From the World of an Intern: Dressing Business Casual in your 20’s


Fashion has been one of my favorite things since childhood.  Now that I’m a 20 something intern, it’s time to step up my game, and incorporate some business casual outfits into my mix.  I am now entering a new phase of my life where I must keep in mind that what I wear is not just a representation of myself, but also my professional intern career and the brand for which I am working.

Many of us interns find it hard to know how to dress without compromising personal style. I believe that you can have both, and here are a few tips:

  1. Invest in a good pair of denim. No rips, or holes allowed! Not sure what fit is best for you? Check out this article/style quiz that will help you figure out what works for you!
  2. Always have a blazer. Blazers are the perfect business item that you can either dress up or down. Oversized blazers are a fashion trend right now but try to keep these true to your size.
  3. Add some accessories. Accessories are the easiest way to add some flavor to an outfit, so do not be afraid to spice it up a little with some funky earrings or a statement belt!
  4. Be comfortable. Style your business attire in a way that is more comfortable for you. Whether it’s a dress or pants, use what you are comfortable in as a baseline for your wardrobe. For more tips like this one check out this article about business attire.
  5. Finally, remember to be yourself! It is your personal style. You should not have to compromise that to impress someone else. Bottom line, always dress professional, but always put your own spin on it.

I created a few outfits to give some examples.

But before we share the outfits that I have created, let me explain my personal style:

I love the 70’s – the music, the fashion, the décor, all of it! So usually that translates into most aspects of my life. However, my recent challenge is maintaining that style within a business casual setting. Long skirts, small tops, big sweaters – aren’t your typical fashion items for a business setting. To combat this professional struggle, I created six outfits that are inspired by my personal style, while keeping the business casual trend.

Outfit Number 1: Boho Chic

This outfit is comfy and cute as most of them are. It brings in the fun red colors and patterns of the Bohemian vibe while being more on the conservative side with the long sleeves and cami underneath.

Outfit Number 2: “The Little House on the Prairie”

Outfit 2 is one of my personal favorites. It is super light and airy, with a flowy mid length skirt. This dress is a great choice when you are short on time to put together a full outfit.

Outfit Number 3: The Classic

Jeans are always a go-to in any 20-something’s wardrobe. Who doesn’t love a good pair of jeans? There are some great affordable jeans that are perfect for business casual dress. Compliment your favorite pair of jeans with a bright colored top and a statement belt to add a little flair to the standard jeans. But remember, leave the ripped jeans in the closet for your date nights or casual weekends.

Outfit Number 4: The Overalls

I am currently obsessed with comfy overalls! It adds a relaxed look to your wardrobe especially paired with funky designed sneakers and a colorful top. The classic overalls are stylish and add a little extra fun to your day. This look is suggested for a more casual workday.

Outfit Number 5: Golf Chic

Ah…the classic Polo Ralph Lauren dress. It is a classy, flattering dress that will impress anyone. The Golf Chic is perfect for a day in the office or on the greens.

Outfit Number 6:  A Pop of Color

This one is very similar to Outfit Number 3, but instead of a statement belt we have a perfect statement shirt! This Lilly Pulitzer zebra pink print top adds some flare and color to a basic denim look. Gen Z, pull out your mom jeans if you haven’t done so already!

Your main take-away: Growing as a young professional intern includes how to present yourself through fashion! I love that I can represent myself in a professional manner without compromising my own style and interests. Remember, fashion is subjective — if you like something and it suits your professional atmosphere, wear it. It is all about being yourself!

Professionalism goes beyond your appearance. Check out the Professionalism Series on our blog site for tips on how to be the best in the business.

“From the World of an Intern” is a blog series created and drafted by the interns at Polished Nichols Public Relations & Marketing.  It is important for our student assistants to learn the value of blogging and sharing their personal stories and ideas with others in the industry.