The NYC publishing world is famous for its stylish office dwellers, so whether you’re walking into your first or third internship, knowing the dress code is smart. Ed has seen his fair share of well-dressed interns breezing by his glass-windowed office. But he’s also seen some not-so-great wardrobe picks like cut-off shorts and sheer, see-through blouses. Yikes!
To prevent the new class of interns from making clothing faux pas, Ed got the scoop from fashion experts for what’s office-appropriate and what to leave at home.
“Fashion is a form of expression and projects a bit about you,” says Erin Wylie, the former NYC Editor of DailyCandy, “so standing out [in a positive way] can be a very powerful thing. Editors definitely notice interns’ style.”
“Show your love for style at your internship,” says W Fashion Credits Editor Natasha Clark, “You have to realize that if you’re walking down the hallway in the office, you pass everyone from the Editor-in-Chief to the Creative Director. Dressing the part is essential for making a good impression.”
So how are you supposed to know what flies at Popular Mechanics versus Marie Claire? According to both Wylie and Clark, it’s fine to email your supervisor or HR contact regarding the dress code, but they recommend observing sartorial cues while you’re interviewing.
Ellen Campuzano, owner and founder of Colour & Trends says, “Flip flops, bare midriffs, short skirts and shorts simply are not professional, even in a fashion environment.” She recommends simplifying your clothes and accessorizing with panache.
Here are the editors’ top choices for the NYC intern’s must-haves:
1. Sturdy, comfortable and stylish flats (because you’ll likely be trucking all over the city)
2. A simple dress that can be jazzed up in case your editor invites you to an out-of-office event
3. A tailored blazer or cardigan for two reasons: to smarten up an outfit and to keep you warm in the frigid air conditioning
4. Statement accessories like big messy pearl necklaces, bangles and headbands
Their other wardrobe suggestions include interesting tops, skirts, dark jeans, collared shirts and matching trousers.
Although labels are predominant in any office, there are plenty of super-stylish alternatives that anyone working an entry-level job or non-paying internship should know about. Vintage and second hand shops like Beacon’s Closet and Housing Works have great selections that are both unique and eye-catching. The sale rack at Rockefeller Center’s Anthropologie is always chock-full of pretty things. For sample sale listings and online sales, try DailyCandy.com (NYC edition) and Clothingline. And as always, H&M and Urban Outfitters are familiar stomping grounds for those in need of a quick fashion fix!