The Intern’s Style Guide: 5 Fun Business Casual Outfits to Inspire You

Ah, summer internships. They’re almost always unpaid and seemingly impossible to get. Plus, applying to them is oddly reminiscent of applying to college. Yet most college students are more than willing to trade in their summers of fun in the sun in the name of resume boosting and connection making at a summer internship.

Landing that picture perfect summer internship is a multi-stage process filled with many ups and downs, all of which I’ve gone through by now.

The sleepless nights spent researching my options and endlessly refining my cover letters and resume layout? Been there.
Anxiously refreshing my inbox in hopes of an email from editors and hiring managers. Done that.
Casually hyperventilating before phone interviews and after that moment when I was formally offered internships. Done that, too. (Sorry lungs.)

As the reality of a summer internship quickly approaches (emphasis on the quickly… I’m packing my bags to move to NYC in one week!), I’ve realized that my wardrobe needs a bit of a facelift. My summery crop tops and high-waisted shorts won’t exactly have a place in the office this summer. If I want to make the most of this summer and be the best intern I can be, I’ve got to play the part, and that means dressing professionally.

The term “business casual” may leave a bad taste in your mouth, rendering visions of stiff white button-downs and grandma-esque kitten heels. But while indulging in a little internship shopping spree, I realized that business casual attire doesn’t have to be bland and boring. It’s totally possible to add your own flair and colorful personality to any business casual look, as I recently learned myself. If you’re in need of some fashion inspiration before beginning your summer internship, look no further! Using Polyvore.com, I created five internship-approved options that will have your hiring manager thrilled he or she hired such a chic intern.

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Pre-Summer Musings: Lessons I learned this semester and why I can’t wait for these next few months

Wowzers.

That’s the only appropriate word I can come up with to begin this blog post because this past semester has been a whirlwind of the following:

1. Internship-related emotional breakdowns (Boy oh boy is the journalism industry competitive…)
2. A whole month of 21st birthday shenanigans (I mean, #YOT21O—You Only Turn 21 Once—amirite?)
3. Exciting adventures in and around my college town of Gainesville (Gorgeous freshwater springs only 20 minutes away from campus?! Sign me up!)
4. Excessive consumption of caramel iced coffees from Starbucks (I may or may not have become certifiably reliant on caffeine… oops.)
5. Enormous growth both inside and outside of the classroom (With a team of 50 gals looking up to you for guidance, you really have no choice but to suck it up and take the reigns.)
6. One heck of a Spring Break adventure (I lost my voice halfway through my week-long cruise… #worthit.)

And that’s only half of it in convenient Spark Notes form.

Through the craziness and sleepless nights, I’ve definitely learned some lessons, and I’m here to impart my fledgling “wisdom” on the rest of the WordPress blogosphere.

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1. You are your own worst critic.
I’m always hard on myself, thinking that whatever I do, say or write isn’t good enough. If you’re currently nodding in agreement, I’m here to say that it’s time to let go of those self-criticisms. It’s one thing to have high expectations for yourself, but it’s a whole other story if you find yourself unhappy with everything you do. I learned the need to loosen up a bit on my self-expectations this semester when I submitted one of my stories for a local news website, WUFT News. I was completely unhappy with the final product and was later pleasantly surprised when my editors raved over the story. I realized that I needed to step back and look at the big picture of how much work and effort I had put into it to see that maybe my work wasn’t too shabby. Cut yourself some slack every now and then.

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Musings from a stylish summer in Europe

It’s been nearly three months since I landed back on American soil after my unforgettable seven-week European summer adventure. Following a two-week family road trip from Florence to Barcelona, I spent five of the most memorable weeks of my life studying abroad with my three best friends in Valencia, Spain. It’s safe to say that I nearly cry every Thursday, as I scroll through my photos trying to pick out what photo to use for #ThrowBackThursday. Valencia’s culture became a part of me in the short time I was there, and I miss the laidback, relaxed vibe of the people more and more each week.

I planned to blog every week during my time abroad, but I obviously didn’t stick to that commitment, as this is regrettably the first time I’ve posted on my blog since July 2. Though I would’ve loved to document my adventures and fashionable escapades along the way, I found myself wanting to be 100 percent immersed in everything I was experiencing. I probably passed up great opportunities for killer “Outfit of the Day” blog posts, but it’s all worth it for the memories I made. Trust me — I’d love to ramble on and reminisce about my weekend adventures to Paris, Ibiza, Barcelona and Madrid or the times my friends and I stayed out late enough to catch the sunrise on the beach. But I’ll spare you the details and just stick to the focus of my blog — fashion.

I was so stoked to receive the opportunity to start writing for CollegeFashionista, a website dedicated to college campus fashion trends, at the start of the summer. Once my European journey began, I started writing for the “Fashion From Abroad” section, which was a total dream come true. Being a Style Guru Intern for CollegeFashionista required (or should I say requires, as I still write for the site currently!) me to find a stylish stranger to photograph and write about once a week. From freely flowing fabrics to practical purses and flashy sunglasses to funky overalls, the European trends that I wrote about were all over the board.

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Army green is the new black

What is it that’s so appealing about this color that is all the rage right now? Is it the resemblance to split pea soup? Definitely not. Is it the way that it makes us feel like Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games”? Possibly. Is it the fact that it’s the perfect subtle shade of green that can be paired with various patterns and colors? Absolutely.

If someone were to tell me a year ago that army colored clothing would be considered stylish in a year, I probably would have laughed in his or her face. Until recently, I thought that camouflage colored clothing should be saved for hunting in the woods or going to army themed parties. But when I saw Harper’s Bazaar’s New York Fall 2013 Trend Report, I noticed how major designers like Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein were able to transform this rugged color into something, dare I say, fashionable. Since I got over my former aversion for this color, I have truly come to love it.

While walking to classes every day, I’ve noticed that army green has become a prevalent color around campus among those who choose to actually dress up for class. These people do still exist, though sparsely, and it’s rather refreshing when I come across them. They’ve inspired me to come up with different ways to incorporate this earthy hue of green into my wardrobe.

My advice is as follows: Don’t be intimidated by this color. Wearing it won’t make you look like you just came straight off of the battlefield. Since the hue isn’t an in-your-face shade like kelly or lime green, there is a lot of room to experiment with it. Though many believe neutral colors are only the basics like white, black and beige, army green can definitely be considered a neutral color because of its versatility. I think it looks particularly great when paired with burgundy, coral, neon and patterns like stripes or tribal prints. Below are some of my Polyvore creations centered on this popular color.

Casual Fridays
A pop of coral

If you’re still in need of a bit more inspiration for diving into this fashion trend, check out this similar blog post that gives more tips on how to rock it.

Do you have any suggestions for additional outfit ideas? Please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. As always, thank you so much for reading!