In a sea of button down shirts and pencil skirts it can be difficult to let your personal style shine through. Is it possible to wear things you love in a professional work environment? Of course it is! The key to sticking to your workplace’s dress code, but adding unique details where appropriate through shoes, accessories and pattern.
Acceptable heel heights are one of the most highly debated topics in terms of work attire. One of the determining factors is what type of industry you’re interning in. For example, working at a fashion magazine, no one would blink an eye at 4 inch, wildly colored platform heels. On the other hand, working at a law office you’re better off with 1.5 inches or less in a conservative color. Keep an eye on what your co-workers are wearing to determine what works in your office.
At internships with more flexible dress codes, give your outfit personal style with a fun pair of high heels or even a knee high boot. A splash of bright color, metal hardware, or peep toes can add a lot to a ho-hum outfit. If you need a more conservative shoe, go for a ballet flat with an embossed snakeskin pattern or a style like Tory Burch’s famous “Reva” flats.
Accessories can be a simple and often inexpensive way to give an outfit personal flair. Try wearing a dangling earring or pair with colorful stones to play against a blouse and blazer. One of my favorite looks is adding an oversized watch, like Michael Kors’ styles for function and fashion. Abejeweled statement necklace can give a solid colored button down some added drama and style. Skinny or wide belts in leopard prints, metallic leathers and embellished buckles give a little black work dress some added dimension.
As an intern you may be tempted to stray away from pattern, worrying it might look too casual, but it’s a great solution to giving an outfit your own style. The trick to wearing it is keeping it in dressier fabrics like silks, synthetic-blend imitation silks, and heavier weight jersey material. Smaller patterns like dots, florals, and abstract prints work well on tops and skirts while bolder, larger print work better for wrap dresses. A blazer can also be worn to tone down a print.
Posted by Lauren Felix, college fashion student and fashion blogger at www.LaPetiteFashionista.com