Trying to navigate the world of professional fashion can be tricky. Sure, youve got low-cut tops and tattered jeans in your wardrobe that are perfect for college life, but what should you be wearing on the job? We took a few minutes to chat with the blogger Belle, an anonymous Hill staffer with a flair for fashion, about what interns should be wearing to work. You can read more of her advice on her blog, caphillstyle.com.
Q: Why does what you wear to work matter?
A: Its important for interns to dress professionally, because a well-dressed intern who is also willing to learn and competent will be treated with a higher level of respect. If you look the part of a professional staff member, then your wardrobe becomes the physical manifestation of your internal sense of professionalism. Its difficult to believe that the intern in the Havianas [flip-flops] thinks of herself as a professional, so why should I?
Q: Whats the most common fashion mistake you see interns make?
A: The most common mistake I see interns making is that their clothes are ill-fitting. Pants that are too short, skirts that are too tight or short, boxy jackets and tight tops are the worst. You can buy a $100 suit and make it look like a $500 suit if you choose a good fabric and pay a few dollars for a tailor. Ideally, everything you buy except tees and sweaters should be tailored.
Q: Can you recommend an affordable place for interns to buy work clothing?
A: The Limited, Express, H&M and Zara are all good places to start. Try to choose natural fabrics or cotton and wool blends whenever possible; nothing looks cheaper than polyester.
Q: Do you have advice for interns who want to wear the outfit they wear to work out to the bar?
A: I love sequin tops for work. A sequin tee or tank under a cardigan, a blazer or a v-neck sweater is really cute. Just pair it with a black or navy pencil skirt, and you are good for day or night. Also, investing in some transitional dresses that can do double duty is a definite must.
Q: If there is one golden fashion rule all interns should remember, what is it?
A: The golden rule of intern style is to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. You might get a free pass because youre an intern, but if you use it, its like saying that you dont care about moving up the ladder.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.