The first thing we notice about someone is how they look. We can’t help it, it’s human nature. Nobody really does it on purpose, but people form opinions in the first five or 10 seconds of meeting someone – based largely on appearance and that includes clothes.
If two people are standing side by side and one is dressed in a business suit and the other is wearing a t-shirt and jeans, the automatic assumptions will fly. The suit has money and the t-shirt doesn’t. The suit has professional aspirations and the t-shirt is a creative free spirit. Nose-to-the-grindstone on the left, and couldn’t-care-less on the right.
You get the picture.
Given that how you look is key to forming first impressions, planning your wardrobe carefully as you approach the interview or the internship is critical. To get the offer, you have to dress the part. If you want to work on Wall Street, you can’t ignore the optics. And if your closet is long on casual and comfortable clothes or body-hugging bandage dresses, you might want to invest in a few flattering, tailored, professional ensembles.
But let’s say you’ve been a college student for a year or two or three, dedicated to your education and your wardrobe is more casual and trendy than put-together corporate. If you’re not made of money and can’t see how you’ll ever assemble a week’s worth of professional outfits — let alone a month’s – not to worry. There are plenty of consignment boutiques and thrift shops in New York City where you can browse new and gently-used clothes at a deep discount. These include suits, jackets, blazers, dresses, dress pants, button-down shirts, ties, sweaters and skirts. All priced to fit an intern’s bank account.
Beacon’s Closet is one of the most well-known resale stores in New York, scouted by TV stylists and regularly patronized by students and others on a budget. There are some real finds here since so many people make this their go-to store when they clean out their closets to sell little-used clothing. The items are always stylish and in good condition and they have several locations including Union Square.
Another resale outlet, the Buffalo Exchange has a brand new store in Lower Manhattan at 714 S. Broadway that can hook you up with at least some of the business attire you need for interviews, career fairs and the workplace. They also have locations in Chelsea and East Village. You’ll find a mix of styles with an average price of $15 per item – it’s THE place for serious deals.
For more of the top 12 New York consignment and resale stores, check out Racked. You’ll find several in the list that ditch the second-hand vibe and feel like you’re shopping new.
Glam Get-ups for Swanky Soirees
You might find yourself invited to a company soiree that requires more day-to-evening wear and if that’s the case, look for some gems in the above list. Guys have an advantage if they’re already in a suit – there’s no need to get any more glammed up than that!
But women might want to ditch the sweater set for something more, well, out-on-the-town. If so, check out Rent the Runway. You can access thousands of options online, either as a one-time rental ($30+) for four to eight days, or a trial month at $69 and rent four pieces per shipment (free shipping and insurance). Rent the Runway has deals for first-timers, too – 20 percent off your first order and more for a two-month unlimited wardrobe (which looks like the best deal).
And as for accessories, New York’s own Red Carpet Rocks can help you rock a swanky event with rentable jewelry for as little as $39. Founder and Creative Director Urvi Tejani has launched her own rental revolution with statement earrings, bracelets and necklaces available by express delivery. “Why own power jewelry when you can wear it to a great event and give it back?” says Urvi. “When you only need something for a moment, it should only be for a moment.”
Clothes and Shelter in NYC
Now that you’re expertly outfitted for your internship, sign up for one of the amazing student intern apartments at 3 locations across New York City. We offer many amenities and activities to ensure your summer is unlike any other!