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Intern Diaries

Dress for Success

10.27.10 | Comment?

"The Devil Wears Prada" big makeover. (Photo: The Movie Binge)

There’s no debating that in the fashion industry, an important part of your job is dressing for the part. Continuing with my intern tips (aka lessons I learned the hard way and wished I had before I started!), I thought I’d talk about “dressing for success.”

“Appropriate” depends. Where you are working, who you are working under, and what your position is are all factors that you should take into account. For example, in my experience, heels were a necessity for the fashion departments at Conde Nast, while funky flats or sandals were popular in the buying departments at Barneys. At one internship, my boss wore cut-off shorts. Considering that shorts are usually “the big no-no” anywhere and that I was working under her, I allowed myself to wear knee-length bermuda shorts.

If there’s a memo about it, forget it. If you hear gossip about something you wear through the grapevine or receive a memo about dress, think “danger, danger.” Not a good idea. Don’t wear anything that anyone considers borderline appropriate–it’s like playing with fire. I think I can safely say that the fashion industry gossips like none other, and one never wants to be the subject of that.

Someone will always see you. After my last day at my Teen Vogue internship, I went into the Times Square building at noon in plain clothes and minimal makeup to turn in my security badge. Mistake. I ended up getting into an elevator with a certain someone (a certain important Vogue someone). As we passed floor 5, she whipped off her sunglasses and looked me up and down for a full two minutes. I will never know what judgment she ended up with, but judging by how I felt when it happened, it wasn’t good! Never think that you are safe in New York City on a lazy clothes/makeup day, even when you are off work.


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