“Being dressed appropriately in the office shows that you are serious about the work  your internship is doing. It also gives you a boost of confidence. There’s a reason why it’s called a power suit!”

  • Melissa Cortes, S’ 2020

One of the bigger “Bills” in last week’s conversation on handling money for the semester revolves around you – well what you wear. D.C. may not be the fashion capital of the world, but it’s definitely important to dress the part. In today’s column, we’ll discuss what to wear and also, how to afford it.

It’s essential to pack the essentials – you can never go wrong with having one too many white button ups or black slacks. For the most part, many offices will ask you to wear business casual but be sure to ask in your to get a direct answer from your supervisor (business casual, in my experience, varies from place to place). To help you out with planning, we’ve compiled a list of items to have ready here. While you may not need everything on the list, it still is a good idea to have enough to make it through the first week – afterwards you can see what you still need to add to your wardrobe!

Financing business attire can be…expensive. It’s no secret that looking the part can add up quickly so we compiled a few tips to help you out in preparing for your PIW semester!

As a Penn student, you also get access to the VPUL Emergency Fund – a fund through VPUL which allows you to request financial assistance in case of an emergency or for a school purpose. If you are a student needing professional attire, I recommend requesting aid from the emergency fund and using it to purchase the proper attire for D.C. prior to your stay. Once you do get your money, be on the lookout for CareerWardrobe through Career Services which can help you get professional outfits for very low prices. For more information on what clothes to bring check this out, but also remember to ask your employer about the dress code before purchasing anything!