Working at an IB internship this summer, I find myself having to wear a different set of clothes from the one I usually wear on a day-to-day basis. Oftentimes, abiding the dress code means not having a lot of flexibility in apparel options.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t look great with what you already have…
Who says that you always have to wear solid black pants?
It turns out that my workplace is a bit more lenient than I thought it would be. So, instead of wearing the typical pair of black pants that everybody on NYC Wall Street seems to have on at work, I went for the very slightly less unconventional – what I’d like to call, the “speckled” pants.
The COACH purse you saw on my last look is actually used for this look as well! So, you can either wear it on shoulder like this…
… or like a typical cross-body bag. Somehow, wearing it like this makes me feel more like a journalist on the go, haha.
I love how the pattern of the pants still makes the look professional and relatively conservative. Not only that, I can match them with tops that I usually wear with my black pants. Because the pants are not solid black, you can pair them with dress shirts from a slightly wider color palette.
Fact: My pair of high heels did not make me want to smile – but sitting did. So, I sat.
Fact: I was told to get away from the fountain because apparently, you can’t sit there (but do the blocks not look like somewhere people could sit?).
Fact: My awkward hands…
If your office allows you to wear clothes outside the solid, neutral tones, take advantage of it! You don’t have to (and most likely can’t) go for the bright neon colors, but you should at least experiment with colors and patterns that are within reason.
Honestly, I wouldn’t call this look a huge risk but I thought it would be an appropriate leeway to my advice on adding your own character to what you wear at work. Just because you take your work in a serious manner, doesn’t mean you should lock yourself out from the little things that make up you. Also, just because you work in finance – or in any professional career for that matter, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with fashion (please use common sense, though)!
As for how I will relate my post to reality…
A quick update on my internship for those who are curious: I recently finished my internship at my firm last week, actually! It was truly a great pleasure being able to work with such friendly, intelligent, and driven people.
And since we are on the topic of “staying true to ourselves” by what we wear, I also want to encourage others to stay true – but also be open-minded – by what they believe as well. At work, you will meet a variety of people who have different lifestyles and beliefs from yours and in my situation, it is no different; one of my mentors is one of these people.
Despite our differences of opinion, I have come to respect and admire his attitude toward his convictions. After all, having strong convictions make up who you are. In fact, he has become someone I secretly strive to be like: confident, knowledgeable, and respectful towards others’ opinions. Seeing people like him work has motivated me to push forward and test the limits of who I can be in this world. So, career tip of the day: whether it’d be in fashion, finance, or another field, find your mentor (the good news is that you don’t even have to let that person know either if you feel stressed talking about it!) and develop new goals from there.
Overall, my experience there has definitely made me more sure about what I want to do in the future. I’ve learned a lot from them so hopefully, I will be able to move forward with the knowledge I have now. Wish me luck!
Ann Taylor Light Blue Dress Shirt
BCX Pants from Macy
Nine West High Heels from ROSS
Photography by Ishmam of ishmam.com.
Location: Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania