TREND: Working Girl

Ah, summer in Madison. Lazy afternoons on Bascom Hill, sailing on Lake Mendota and jaunts around State Street tasting ethnic food. Summertime is all fun and games, well, until your summer job or internship starts up. How can you, as a college student, be prepared to take on the working world? Well fear not! Finding the inner business-chic Fashionista inside of you will allow you to dress for success and to impress.

Take this Fashionista’s lead and draw from clothing you probably already have in your closet. Start with a simple dress or skirt that you’d typically use to go out in. Evening wear is meant to be worn at night for a reason — it’s dressy. Your summer job is likely to be in a somewhat formal environment, so look for some evening pieces in your closet that are office appropriate (with long enough hems). Avoid pieces with sequins and leather, and go to the simpler ones such as a black mini dress or tiered black skirt that you love to wear out.

Offices are notoriously chilly, so put that military-inspired jacket or blazer to use! You can always take it off and reveal a nice silk blouse underneath, such as this one by Piperlime. If you do go the skirt route, let the shirt you pair with it be the colorful part of your look.

If you don’t already own a pair of loafers, snag some. These classic shoes are making a comeback and with so many modern styles these are not your grandma’s loafers! To find similar black ones like my featured Fashionista’s, try Topshop. If you’re sitting at a desk a lot for your job then look to high heeled loafers. However, if your summer job requires you to be on your feet a lot, I don’t recommend heels unless you are really comfortable in them. Looking fashionable and business ready is key, but only if you are able to perform your work as well as possible!

Now, how can you accessorize and have fun but still be appropriate for your job? Wearing a hat to work, like this Fashionista’s adorable brown cloche may be fine, depending on your job. If not, take it off at work and hang it on the coat rack, revealing the fun headband you wore underneath. Don't be afraid to add another bit of print even with the shirt you already wore. Mixing prints is very in and it keeps it interesting, as long as it's not over the top.

Hint: Use your summer job or internship not only as an opportunity to learn about the working world, but to also explore different options for business appropriate fashion. Your job is likely to require blazers and pencil skirts someday, so practice now!

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