6 Tips for a Supremely Stylish Summer Internship

By Liza Corsillo

You are about to embark on an office adventure. The summer internship, a rite of passage into adulthood, is a learning experience, a place to make connections, and a chance to impress a few VIPs who could easily turn out to be lifelong career mentors. It is not a place to bring your B game. When you walk into your first day on the job, you should exude ease and self confidence, and you should look damn good.

But dressing the part of a summer intern has its fair share of challenges—first of which is not looking too much like an intern. And when it’s hot as hell outside and so humid you could drink the air, navigating proper office attire can feel pretty impossible. Whether you’re commuting underground or carpooling with friends, making sure your clothes survive the trip is key. You’ll need breathable fabrics, lots of deodorant, and above all a back up plan. But don’t worry, you’re far from alone. We’re here to guide you and help you build the perfect intern starter kit—from no-show socks and the best underwear for summer to stylish button-downs and performance suiting. Unfortunately, we can’t do your work for you, but these six tips will give you a leg up on looking the part.

 

Dress Like a Grown Up, But Also Like the Cool Kid in the Office

Depending of the kind of office you’re in you will need to wear a suit. But regardless of the environment your goal should always be to look professional AF. That said, you’re most likely the youngest person on staff this summer and that means you are the arbiter of cool. Instead of phoning it in with a suit that is boring and basic, prove you’re someone to watch in a slim gray kit with unique accessories that let your personality shine. Pocket squares and subtle details like a simple bracelet or a pair of monk strap shoes instead of lace ups take a standard issue work outfit and make it your own.

GET THE LOOK: Classic Light Gray Suit Jacket, Pre-Folded Pocket Square, Braided Leather Bracelet, Leather Double Monk Strap Dress Shoe

 

Embrace Color and Patterns

Neutral grays, blues, and browns form the foundation of any good work wardrobe but the mark of a truly stylish man, especially in 2018, is in how he mixes in more saturated tones and patterns. And lucky for you it doesn’t take much to liven up a gray or navy suit. Start by adding small scale florals and stripes to your shirts and ties. As you get more comfortable you can go for brighter colors and bolder patterns. Want to really push the envelope? Wear two patterns at once. Think micro-print floral shirt and a wide striped tie—just make sure they share the same color palette but are varied in size.

GET THE LOOK: Floral Dot Print Dress Shirt, Narrow Diagonal Striped Silk Tie, Floral Print Dress ShirtSlim Floral Silk Tie

 

Take Advantage of Casual Fridays

This is your chance to show people more the real you. It’s also your chance at a pair of more comfortable shoes. But we’d caution you to take the word casual with a grain of salt. You’ll obviously still want to aim for a dressier version of casual than what you’d wear at home on the couch. Plus, it being Friday, you might want to dress for drinks or a post work date. Slim dark denim is a can’t fail way to begin. Add a T-shirt with structure or a polo to avoid looking sloppy, a pair of clean white sneakers, no-show socks to keep them dry and fresh, and whatever extras you like.

GET THE LOOK: Crew Neck Tee, Slim Dark Wash Stretch Jeans, Chambray Trim Low Top Sneakers

 

Wear a Watch

Speaking of extras, a simple and sophisticated wrist watch works in your favor on several levels. First off, it’s just plain handsome (especially one in stainless steel or with a leather strap). Secondly when you wear a watch it limits the amount of times you need to look at your phone, and not looking at your phone while at work is sure to put you in your boss’s good graces.

GET THE LOOK: Timex Three-Hand Scout Watch, Stainless Steel Multi-Function Watch

 

Be Diligent About Grooming

You got the suit and tie, you even went and bought a handsome new tote bag to carry. Congratulations, you’re almost ready. Now go get a haircut, shave, or treat yourself to a professional beard trim. If you have the time get a manicure. Style and grooming go hand in hand, each one capable of ruining the other if something is off. So get trimmed up, moisturize, floss, and give yourself a spritz of cologne.

SHOP: Express 3 For Men

Be Prepared for A/C, Stains, and Lots of Sweating

This summer you will without a doubt sweat through your shirt and jacket, spill something on your pants, step in gum, and probably endure a handful of other style emergencies. Our advice, don’t wait until it happens to find a solution. Get out in front of these totally common problems by carrying stain stick, keeping a second shirt in your desk drawer (not to mention deodorant, face wipes, and a toothbrush), and making sure you have a jacket in case your office has a habit of over-blasting the A/C.

GET THE LOOK: Distressed Denim Trucker Jacket