What a Hot Hillternship Looks Like
If there’s one thing people at this school won’t shut up about, it’s their Hillternships. At AU, having a Hillternship is about as normal as seeing your campus cat get a house, so they aren’t something that should be common, but, weirdly, they are. Does having one of these “prestigious” internships really make you special? It’s likely that you got yours because you know someone who knows knows a guy who knows your state assemblyman’s scheduler, and they got you the unpaid job, so let’s not forget where you came from. My favorite part about them, other than the millions of times people mention that they “work on the Hill” or try to flex by saying that they “work for (insert irrelevant political figure here),” is that they never stop mentioning when they’re going to/coming from their internship. The dead giveaway that someone is about to rave about their Hillternship is seeing them walk into class with their full work outfit on complete with their security badge around the neck. As absolutely obnoxious all these Hillterns are, they are usually dressed better than most people just sitting in class. Here’s our joint take on Hillternship fashion for those of you who have locked down some unpaid work on the Hill this summer.
The funniest part about seeing people come to class all dressed in their nice work outfits is how different they look compared to a normal day. Guys: how are you so good at dressing up in a full suit, but then on any other day, all you can manage to wear is some t-shirt that you probably got for free somewhere? As for women’s Hilltern fashion, some of it works and some of you have some work to do. My first major issue is the awful patterns and designs you all seem to find from I don’t even know where. I personally detest all patterns that are more than either a plain one or not brightly-colored, but anything else, especially for a Hillternship, doesn’t look right. The other awful thing I see all too often in Hill fashion is those tacky fake lace mock business pants. Never have I ever seen a clothing item worse than anything made of this completely revolting materia. It usually looks even worse on especially if being worn to an actual job. Burn these pants. If you have a shirt made of it too, burn that along with them.
Another Hillternship fashion fail is those absolutely awful blazers that everyone seems to own. I have no problems with Forever 21 or Target fashion, but when everyone wears the same one, it’s not so hot. The worst of all is the terribly organized outfits as a whole. When I see a top that is totally ill-fitting and messily tucked into pants that look like you borrowed them from your grandma’s closet, I fear for you in the future if that’s what you think being put together for a job looks like.
On a more positive note, some of you have really figured out how to dress well, and it works. Even for those of you who haven’t, here’s my full breakdown of the best styles and places to shop for Hillternship looks. I love a cute, professional skirt because they are plain and can be paired with anything in a fun way. Also, any plain blouse is the best clothing item to have for a Hillternship because it can go with any pair of bottoms, pants or skirt, but all you have to worry about matching and properly tucking it in. A great pair of business pants goes a long way, so getting a good pair or two is the best clothing item you could own since they’re so versatile. As for shoes, plain black or nude heels and wedges are great with any outfit as long as you don’t mind walking in them. If not, there are flats, but anytime I see people wearing them, they seem to be more of a hit-or-miss kind of thing.
As for the best places to shop, H&M has the best and most affordable clothes that are actually business appropriate. They have a huge assortment of colors and options for any style type to get stocked up on all Hillternship necessities. As for shoes, Target is a really great place for shoes that you may not want to spend a ton of money on, but are great for the specific purpose you need. With business pants, Old Navy has the best pants, called the Pixie, that are super cheap, professional, and comfortable. As for more upscale styles, Aritzia has the cute professional clothes that don’t make you look like a secretary. Even though their stuff is a bit pricey, it is all nice quality and wearable elsewhere.
Moving on to guys, let’s start with the basics. You cannot ever wear white socks with dress shoes. I’m not sure how you all got this far in life without this critical piece of advice. Another major fashion fashion faux pas I’ve seen is guys not matching their belt color with their shoe color. Luckily for y’all, you can buy cheap reversible belts at most clothing stores to avoid this major embarrassment. And speaking of shoes, never, I repeat never, wear athletic sneakers to work. Unless your member of Congress is having a staff work-out day, there is no excuse. If your office has a business casual policy, be on the lookout for casual dress shoes or fancier sneakers. Nordstrom Rack has an awesome selection for reasonable prices.
When it comes to office dress, there is no substitute for the navy blue suit. Not only does it provide a timeless and dapper look, it goes with just about everything. Black shoes? Check. Brown shoes? Check. Blue shirt? Check. White shirt? Check. The navy blue suit should be the staple of every guy’s work wardrobe, and with Memorial Day coming up there are awesome sales happening at most stores. One last piece of advice when it comes to suits is to be sure to invest in getting it tailored. The cheapest suit that’s well tailored looks far better than an expensive suit that does not fit well on you.
In terms of ties, let’s start with the length. Don’t be like the President and have your tie hanging way too long below the belt. Also, if you haven’t yet, take the time this summer to learn how to be a big boy and tie your own tie. If you’re old enough to write policy memos for a Senator, you’re old enough to learn how to tie a tie. Lastly, try your best to be original and avoid the whole red tie “Capitol” look. Also, if you own any American flag ties, please throw them out. They make you look like a tourist.
Best of luck to everyone interning this summer. We hope you enjoy talking to crazy constituents, chilling in the Longworth Dunkin,’ and doing office supply runs for your lazy Staff Assistant. DC couldn’t survive without the work you do!