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From Ed’s Intern Diaries: What Every Intern Needs in Her Closet

This is one in a series of posts, “The Intern Diaries” from Ed’s anonymous summer intern blogger. I love to dress up. Whenever I agree to do something, the first thing I plan is my outfit. But when it came to my internship this summer, I was a little stumped. My outfits had to be professional but still stylish—and I had to fit everything into my suitcase (then into an NYC-sized closet).

Just like any challenge that comes with a new job, solving it is all trial and error. Here are the clothes I’ve found most necessary for my NYC internship.

Tops
Okay, this is obvious, but a nice button down shirt will go a long way. Find one that fits perfectly and another that’s slightly oversized for a menswear look. You can wear them with pants, skirts, or over dresses—the combinations are endless.

I also wear silky, high-necked tanks pretty frequently. I like the high neck since it is sleeveless, and the fabric is great for the summer heat.

Dresses
Heat is a very real issue during summer internships in NYC, and dresses are one of my favorite ways to combat it. Pack at least one dress that makes you feel great. Make sure the length is professional, but feel free to pick a fun color or pattern! I found a purple tank dress and it is my favorite thing to wear when I need to be on top of my game.

Bottoms
I was a little nervous about trying “work pants.” I’ve never been much of a “slacks” kind of girl. That being said, I found a great pair of black (non-denim) pants that I wear all the time! They’re a great staple.

If your office allows it, pack some distressed denim. I’m obsessed with my white boyfriend jeans, which are great for summer. 

Shoes
Unfortunately, Carrie Bradshaw gave us unrealistic expectations about heels and New York City commutes. Save space in your suitcase by packing one pair of versatile, comfy heels. The wider the heel, the better. Add a pair of fancy flats and comfy sneakers. Trust.

Jacket
It may be 90 degrees outside, but the AC in your office will definitely be blasting. So bring a jacket. Pack a light, structured blazer to give your outfit a professional finish. Try wearing it over your shoulders when you’re outdoors to look chic and stay comfortable. 

Accessories
Accessories are a great way to change up the same outfit or to dress up a more casual look—so bring them on! My favorite packing hack is finding reversible items. I packed a tan and black reversible belt that I wear all the time on both sides. I find that it adds polish to the menswear button down and distressed jeans.

I also packed a reversible laptop-sized bag. A big bag like this is another necessity for editorial internships, as you might be carrying your laptop and a million other items. I also brought a smaller purse for running errands or a night out. 

When it comes to jewels, bring a simple set that you can throw on every day to complete your outfit. I recommend a nice watch (no intern should be checking their phone during meetings!), a simple bracelet or necklace, and some pretty earrings.

Dress conservatively on your first day, and ask about the dress code. If you have to ask yourself “is this appropriate for my office?” it probably isn’t. And no matter how well dressed you are, your skill and work ethic will always shine through! Happy packing! 

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