When getting ready for graduate schools, internships, job interviews, clinicals or even just your final occupation it is really important to have at least one nice business casual outfit. But man is it hard to find that perfect outfit, especially when you have no idea what to buy, do you buy a dress, or khakis, or nice black pants? Do I need a blazer, a jacket, or can I just wear a sweater? Is a short sleeve and nice cardigan appropriate?
These are all incredibly valid questions and I spent forever trying to figure out what business casual attire was the best and most appropriate for me in the setting I was planning to be in. There are a lot of things you need to consider, including the amount of time, activities, environment that you are going to be in during those times.
For me I just started my internship at a local Chiropractic office, and am going to Chiropractic School in the fall. When shopping for clothes for my internship I started off my talking to my friend who interned earlier, saw people in the office and what they were wearing, and talked to current DC students at the school I am attending in the fall.
I asked for help.
I had my friends come with me and help.
I learned that as a Doctor, who works primarily with her hands and manipulating joint dysfunctions wearing a dress, pencil skirt of heels really isn't ideal because I would be more focused on my appearance then making sure that I was giving my patients the best care I could. Furthermore, it when running around with patients and standing on my feet all day wearing heels would kill my feet and be unpleasant.
When at the store I learned that khaki is not my color.
I bought black pants, that I can switch between and a pair of dark red ones to alternate between. I also bought all sorts of types of shirts, including blouses, sweaters, and short sleeves so that I wasn't wearing the same thing every week. But after my first week at my internship I realized that some shirts were less ideal than others.
It gets very very toasty when you are working with three different patients and running up and down the stairs all day with the heat set at a normal temperature so the patients and desk workers are also comfortable.
While it took me so many different days to figure out what worked for me and my occupation, I was able to find that my nice pants, a short sleeve and a cardigan was the best outfit for my internship and future. It allows me to look professional, affectively do my tasks at my internship, and remain comfortable while I am there.
It is hard to find business casual clothes because there are so many different things that need to be considered and you want to make sure that everything is perfect. But remember to never be someone you aren't. Never adjust your clothes and way you look to try to impress everyone else.
Fight the battle of finding your business casual attire that makes you smile and happy to go to work everyday.