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Fashion industry professionals give students wardrobe tips for upcoming summer jobs and internships

Fashion industry professionals give students wardrobe tips for upcoming summer jobs and internships


Local fashion experts guide students in shopping and dressing for their upcoming summer jobs or internships.  Credit: Dreamstime (via TNS) [Original caption: How does smart casual differ from snappy casual, glitzy casual, dressy casual, party casual and business casual?]

Local fashion experts guide students in shopping and dressing for their upcoming summer jobs or internships. Credit: Dreamstime (via TNS) [Original caption: How does smart casual differ from snappy casual, glitzy casual, dressy casual, party casual and business casual?]

As the school year ends and summer begins, many students trade in their backpacks for briefcases and their sweatshirts for that part they're not so sure about.

As internship season gears up and graduates enter the job market, students may rummage through their closets for the appropriate attire, scrambling to figure out how to dress to impress.

Luckily, local fashion industry experts Ann Paulins, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Humanities at Ohio State who specializes in fashion and retail professional development, and Candace Read, director of women's style at Columbus-based fashion consulting firm Dressing Therapy, has tips for elevating students' wardrobes. so they can express their individual styles in a professional environment.

Paulins said that before panic buying a whole new wardrobe, it's crucial to do some basic research about workplace expectations.

What I would suggest to students considering immersing themselves in a professional workplace like an internship is to research the company, Paulins said. It is important to know the company standards, dress code and environment.

Read agreed, especially given how labor standards have changed in recent years.

So much has changed since then [COVID-19], and different office environments have changed, Read said. I think it's essential to adapt to the company culture and then explore your personal style, while making sure it aligns with the company philosophy.

For spaces with a particularly formal dress code, Paulins recommends students invest in basics.

I think it's imperative to buy basics that you can wear in different ways, Paulins said. Regardless of gender, basic khaki and black pants are good colors that many tops will go with. Much like a shawl, these are basic types of tops that you can put on [on]like a cardigan sweater or blazer, which could be a more professional leaning blazer or a casual leaning blazer.

Accessories like belts and blazers are optimal for elevating the foundation of a professional outfit, Paulins said. These extra pieces can also be helpful when needing to fit multiple dress codes or styles in the same day, she said.

Belts can be versatile, and you can put cardigans and blazers over your tops, which can be more professional, Paulins said. You can go from a smart casual look to a professional look with basic pants. With layering, you can transcend the seasons and transform your day outfit into an evening outfit.

Typically, work environments lean more toward a casual, professional atmosphere, Read said. She said this style exists somewhere between formal and casual and is a great way to create a smart-casual look.

Business casual may be preferred in many environments, Read said. We're seeing a lot of business casual, which often means you can wear nice dark denim with a higher-cut blouse or even a more fitted, crisp t-shirt with a blazer on top.

As an even more casual alternative, Read said crisp casual is a newer style that allows for a more everyday approach to business attire, allowing individuals to bring more personality to their outfits.

The relaxed, lively style is found in many creative environments, such as creative agencies, Read said. This allows you to show your personality a little more, and that's all good.

Regardless of the particular fashion standards within a workplace, Paulins said it's imperative that interns consider not only their clothing but also their overall appearance.

Always prioritize good attire, Paulins said. Don't look unkempt, just out of bed. Make sure you always look neat.

Although many students may feel stressed about purchasing workplace-appropriate clothing due to financial concerns, Paulins said there are ways to work around the student budget and find less expensive alternatives. expensive.

Specifically, Paulins said she recommends planning ahead when shopping for clothes, researching thrift stores, asking friends and family for second-hand clothes, and purchasing neutral colored clothing that can be worn again as main pieces.

Students need to be effective and efficient with their money, Paulins said. Not all students have all sorts of money to buy a new wardrobe, so you may want to wear clothes several times a week and swap out your clothes.

Ultimately, Paulins said comfort and confidence are key. She said students shouldn't have to suppress their identity to conform to a workplace's dress code and that, if they do, other non-fashion-related questions are worth asking.

If you can't be yourself, then you really need to think about why you want to work there, Paulins said. You don't want to be someone you're not every day, so research all aspects of the business and think about what type of opportunities you're looking for in the workplace.




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