The Intern Diaries: The First Day Outfit Challenge
I’m Andie. I’m a senior at Arizona State University, a Maya Rudolph-style lip synching enthusiast, and a summer intern at Luckymag.com. Here’s the first of several confessions I’ll make in my intern diary this summer:
I saw my very first episode of Ugly Betty this past weekend. (Extremely late to watch the pilot episode of a show that is perhaps past its point of relevancy, I know. But what else is a gal to do on a Sunday evening in New York City? Seriously, does anyone have suggestions? I’m new here.) As late as I was to my first viewing party, it couldn’t have come at a better time. (Ugly) Betty Suarez was also new at a big publishing company.
In my mind, the halls of 4 Times Square were filled with sprinting fashionistas in Prada and Gucci, trying to balance trays of venti-frappa-mocha-choca-double-non-fat lattes atop piles of iPads, while pushing around racks full of designer clothes and accessories. Whatever insane multi-tasks I was assigned on my first day, I just needed to make sure that I'd “look the part.”
Much like Betty drew inspiration from a fellow interviewee’s Dolce & Gabbana poncho, I too had to start somewhere… somewhere a college student can afford to start. (And somewhere that didn't house a Guadalajara poncho, Betty's ultimate choice for her first day outfit.)
I wanted to look crisp, clean, and trendy, but in a “Let’s be real, I’m not above eating McDonald’s at my desk during lunch every day,” sort of way. I anxiously set aside several outfit options chosen from the ramshackle corner of my apartment that I call a closet. I went with a white sleeveless button-down shirt with sheer detailing, Dalmatian print skinny jeans from Forever 21, and bright red Steve Madden Kalypsso wedge pumps. The accesories: MAC lipstick in Russian Red, some simple pearl earrings, a pink watch, and a two-fingered ring. At first, I thought I looked great. But wait—what if I was sooooo last season?! What if everyone else looked ten times better?! My usually confident style felt a little shaky in a place where EVERYONE would be a clothes expert.
I was nevous walking into the building looking like a foolish, out-of-style intern. But on my first ride up the elevator—Eva Chen, Teen Vogue Beauty Director/idol of mine—complimented my shoes! To my relief, the praise continued. It turned out my bosses liked my style! They liked my shoes! They liked... a lot of things! This made me feel great.
Style is about what you wear and how you wear it, sure. It’s about making a statement in the best way you know how. I could dress well and true to my fashion sensibilities as an intern, but I also needed to let my work, attitude, and enthusiasm carry the bulk of that statement. It’s easy to want to measure success (even daily wardrobe successes) through a comparative lens. However, when you’re new in a big city like New York, that may be the last place you should start.
The first place? Your ramshackle closet, of course. Ugly Betty made it work, and so will I. Whether I grab a poncho from Guadalajara or a pair of dalmatian-print jeans, I think I’m going to be just fine.