2013 May 15

Henbury_Ladies_Short_Sleeve_Classic_Oxford_Shirt_27_189Many of us, particularly interns and those getting their first job, are becoming stressed and confused by the demands of Friday clothing. Here are some key dos and don’ts to help manage the perplexities of the day before the weekend:

Do

•    Wear black or navy denim if denim is allowed, but don’t succumb to the desire to wear stone-washed, denim cutoffs (Daisy Dukes) or short skirts. Keep it classic with boot cut jeans and a semi-formal top like a short sleeved shirt with a vibrant necklace.
•    Stick to heels or bright flats – red ballerina pumps work, flip-flops don’t. The Friday rule is if you are showing heels (slingbacks) don’t show toes or vice versa.
•    Be bright – large florals or jungle prints look great, as to strong coloured polo-shirts with a pair of simple black trousers and a statement necklace or designer scarf or bracelet.

Don’t

•    Get sultry – it’s casual attire not clubbing attire. When in doubt wear the longer sleeve, the higher neckline or the more formal outfit.
•    Wear shorts, unless they are fully tailored and worn with a blazer and formal shoes. Think Audrey Hepburn.
•    Forget to accessorise your casual clothing – you can fool just about everybody that you’ve perfected the casual Friday style if you wear a good necklace or belt with a plain t-shirt.


2012 June 6

As Spurs come under the spotlight for trying to recruit an unpaid PR intern for a year and Hilary Devey, of Dragon’s Den, moves to Channel 4 to host her own show The Intern, it’s clear that internships are a big deal.

They also mean working long hours for little or no money, doing menial tasks – so it doesn’t matter how you dress, does it?

Wrong. It matters a lot. Interns are often being screened for their future suitability and somebody who pitches up for work in torn denims, Vans trainers and a slept-in T-shirt is ruling themselves out of contention.

On the other hand, turning up like a Cameron Clone won’t work either – that just makes you look like an upstart, an idiot and a fool. Appropriate attire is a narrow path and here are some tips to help you walk it.

Summer jobs mean wearing semi-casual garments, but never make the mistake of slipping into holiday clothing. Work is work and it excludes anything open-toed, shorts, and vest style T-shirts. Men should choose casual short-sleeved shirts or polo shirts, in light colours and never wear a printed T-shirt if there is any chance you might end up ‘customer-facing’. It’s a good idea to have a spare shirt in your bag, just in case you get asked to go to an evening function for the company and you’re dressed too casually.

For women it’s okay to wear a camisole or vest T-shirt as long as you have a cardigan or jacket over the top, but bare shoulders are a no-no, even if other women in the organisation dress that way – an intern needs to be noticed for efficiency and commitment, not her great tan or physical attributes.

Remember that it’s not just the clothes but how you wear them. An intern whose shirts still have the packing creases in them, or whose formal jacket still has the pockets sewn up is telling the world that this is not his or her natural style. Wash, iron and/or wear your intern clothing before you take it into the workplace or risk looking like a pretender.