NEW YORK — It's that time of year, folks. Winter coats are being stored away, blossoms are dappling the trees, and before long, the annual summer parade of skinterns will begin.
"Skintern" is a term I first heard from a male colleague who disapproved of the yearly ritual of scantily clad young women showing up to do summer internships at our company. (This was before I started working at Slate.) Every June there would be a new batch, just as clueless about appropriate office attire as those from the year before. Think dresses so clingy they leave nothing to the imagination, tops worn without a bra and tied together with string, daisy dukes, sheer harem pants, and cleavage straight out of a men's magazine.
But don't worry, ladies. I'm not here to judge. I'm here to help.
I spent most of my early 20s is a state of panicked confusion about what was appropriate professional attire. And I get that when it comes to office wear, summer is the worst of all: It's hot outside, you want to look good, and often there's no clear company dress code. But fear not! Follow the tips below, and I promise you won't get fired — or the intern equivalent — for your sartorial artlessness. (No luck if you're terrible at your job, though. The perfect A-line skirt can only do so much.)
No sheer shirts, dresses, or pants. If you are wearing anything that doesn't block light, you should wear something that fully covers you underneath, like a full slip or cotton tank top.
Your bra and underwear are your business only.
When it comes to thongs, lace, and patterns, to each her own. You rock whatever garments make you feel great. However, no one at the office should know anything about your preferences.