CommunityFDL Main Blog

Late Night: Hey Intern – Your Momma Called, Said Put on Some Clothes

Dear Intern: What's wrong with this picture? (photo: Funny Biz via Flickr)

Your peeps have been dropping me hints and talking about you; dammit, we have to talk.

You know those four little words don’t bode well; they’re enough to make your boyfriend’s blood run cold.

But seriously, even your boyfriend knows I’m right.

THIS is not acceptable office attire. No. And I mean, HELL NO.

Neither is this outfit volunteered at a college advice site written by students. You might do well to check the age of the person posting style suggestions and their agenda when they give you advice, because some people will steer you wrong and they won’t even realize they are doing it simply because they are too young or never had a job in an office environment.

Stiletto heels and a pink tennis skirt? Your mother needs to ground you to your bedroom for a weekend without your cellphone. Who ever told you that looking like you make money in the oldest profession was a sure thing in an office environment? You realize when we talk about “corporate whores” we’re talking about politicians on the take whose campaign coffers have been lined with company money, right? It’s a figure of speech, not a choice in couture.

Just because it’s hot and sticky outside does not give you adequate reason to dress like a bimbo, either. And that means these things are out of line:  . . .

— Skirts with hemlines shorter than the ends of your fingers when your arms are relaxed; an appropriate length is 2-3 inches above the knee to at the knee.

— Tank tops, especially those which allow your undergarments to show. (No, removing undergarments does not count. NO.) A cap sleeve or short sleeve is appropriate, a sleeveless shell may also work if the neck and armhole are not too aggressive in cut. That’s the same reason why this dress does NOT work, no matter what the silly college students at the advice site tell you.

— Bare midriffs are an absolute no-no unless you are working for a strip club or a specific kind of sports bar which encourages ample display of skin.

— Sheer fabrics which are unlined. C’mon, really now, I shouldn’t even have to tell you this.

— Too metallic, neon, shiny, Lycra-stretchy, animal-printy. These kinds of things are appropriate for afterhours events at certain venues like clubs, not in the office. It’s called work, not a party. For example: again, even though some silly college students may try to tell you this pantsuit is cut conservatively and may work for the office, the shiny factor is reason to stay the hell away from what looks to adults like summer pajamas.

— Speaking of undergarments, wear them, and keep them out of sight. Perhaps you were in high school when this was discussed last, no matter. The rules have not changed.

Do you know what to wear to an interview for an office job? That’s what you need to wear every day, perhaps a little loosened-up version if business casual is in order. As an intern, every day is an interview for the next job; with your attire you are telling people before you even open your mouth that you are a serious person who intends to work hard and make a difference. Serious attire is NOT a pink tennis skirt with spike-heeled strappy sandals. Take a look at what the most respected woman in the office is wearing and use her attire as a guideline if you have difficulty figuring out how to master this.

Yeah…I know this is late, I’ve been putting off having this little chat with you because, well, I figured you were smarter than this and that you’d eventually clue in. But after a few weeks on the job, I’ve been getting more frequent pokes about this problem and smart-alecky remarks about you, to the point that I am certain the attire problem is causing serious damage to your future prospects for a reference. This stuff can poison the well for a long time, too. In a sea of fresh young things they may not remember you were the fastest at the printer or smartest on research, but they’ll remember the poor child with the bad sense to wear a tennis skirt with stiletto heels.

Sure, you’re going to call me a bitch and ask me who died and made me the mother-of-all-things. Whatev. All I know is that one of us lived through a similar come-to-Jesus moment as a student and worked in the business world longer than you’ve been here on earth. And one of us still has to survive the summer as an intern and score a reference.

Previous post

We Need Jobs! But Elected Offals Are Killin Us!

Next post

Time to Do Better



Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, FDL community member since 2005, geek since birth.

Fan of science and technology, wannabe artist, decent cook, successful troublemaker and purveyor of challenging memetics whose genetics may be only nominally better.

Assistant Editor at Firedoglake and Editor at The Seminal.