April 24th, 2007
Last week, we asked the Omiru community "What should I wear to a humid New York City summer internship in a design-related field?" on behalf of fellow reader Christina. Here’s what the community had to say:
On Wardrobe Strategy:
Rachel sums up her creative office wardrobe strategy: "Offices in creative fields generally have a slightly more casual dress code. However, it’s still advisable to make a good impression by dressing in professionally for your first week or so." Krista adds, "as an intern, you should strive to look very professional no matter what you’re wearing in order to be taken seriously by your co-workers." Briana agrees, "In business, it’s always better to over dress than under dress - you can always take layers off."
Because New York is hot and humid, Briana recommends layering. And because many offices are air conditioned to the max, Rachel says to "think about investing in a light cashmere wrap to bring with you every day." Maureen recommends sticking to fabrics that breathe–think natural fibers like linen and cotton.
As for specific items to wear, H.P. says not to stifle your originality. "Skirts and dresses are a given in hot and humid weather, but mix it up by using colours and patterns to not only flatter your body but to reflect a little bit of why you were hired as an intern in the first place."
Adds Cindy, "Don’t be afraid to integrate color/prints/patterns into your outfits at your internship. How you dress in a creative environment often expresses your personality and how impressions are made. After my first internship, I threw out all my khakis because I grew to hate how corporate it looked."
On What to Wear, What Not to Wear:
Lynda suggests simple wrap dresses in cotton fabrics to keep you both cool and chic. Briana looks for pencil skirts that "aren’t too tight and go at least to your knee." Rachel’s partial to a simple pair of black pants, as "they don’t have to be expensive to look nice." She suggests shopping at Ann Taylor Loft and Express for reasonably priced work-appropriate pants.
Specifically, Briana says "no flip flops" and "wear pantyhose at least on your first day." Maureen goes a step further to suggest taking out or covering up any tattoos or piercings–and she cautions against wearing "anything low cut or revealing."
Says H.P., "A good way to avoid burning a hole in your pocket is to focus on the small details, such as a bright hairband to push your hair back (and help keep your face cool) or a pair of unique earrings. It’s not a question of what but how!"
Krista notes, "You will also probably find that your position in a creative design atmosphere will allow you to show off some funky accessories such as bright jewelry, trendy heels, and (tastefully) loud handbags."
With regards to shoes, Rachel adds "be careful with the heels — nothing too high. The last thing you need is to trip on your way to the subway in the morning."
On Beauty and Grooming:
Colleen advises, "The heat on the subway can be murder so if you tend toward oily skin, carry some blotting papers so you can look fresh upon arrival at the office."
Rachel offers, "Err on the conservative side with makeup and hair. If you have long hair, a low ponytail usually works. If you find the office is more casual, after a few days you can wear your hair down."
Want more advice? Check out the full set of tips on what to wear to a summer design internship.
Style question? We (and the Omiru community) have answers. E-mail us at tips at omiru dot com, or leave us a comment with your question.