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Fashionably Famous: The Savvy Intern

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By Politiquette’s Marissa Mitrovich: Politiquette is a place to be inspired by the art of fashion. Readers gain an understanding of the politics of why to wear–and the etiquette of when to wear–specific styles. Marissa Mitrovich founded Politiquette with the goal of bringing further substance to the dialogue surrounding style in DC. 

The Savvy Intern: A guide to succeeding at your summer internship fashion

The lines are all of a sudden longer to get through security when entering the House and Senate buildings in the morning, there are fewer seats in the Longworth Cafeteria, and there are people roaming the halls of Congress who look like they are heading to a frat party instead of a Congressional hearing – ‘tis the season to be a intern.

Many years ago I was an intern at The White House.  I was presented with a book that was created by the office I worked in – shout out to Intergovernmental Affairs – to help me be the best intern I could be (read: not get fired).  I knew one day I would pay this good gesture forward, so here are my tips on how to be a well-dressed and savvy intern.

Dear Interns,

This summer is going to be one of the best times you will ever have in life. You are going to see how politics works firsthand, help make the world a better place and if all goes well, you will be lined up for a permanent job down the road because you will have succeeded at your summer internship.

In order to achieve this success, you will need to start making the world a better place which begins with the most important thing: your work attire. Professional settings can be daunting, especially because all you have known to date, about places of work, is your experience from “Bring your child to work day.” Don’t worry though, you don’t need to raid your parents’ closets, but you do need to dress like your parents helped you pick out your clothes – minus the suspenders and Mary Janes.

Fortunately, some summer interns have already arrived on Capitol Hill who have mastered professional style for their summer internships and were kind enough to assist FamousDC in helping to provide fashion guidance for the rest of you.


These three interns just met, but are bonded for life now by their dedication to public service and their fashionable professional style.  What I like about this group is that they all have very different looks that work.  Vander Copeland is wearing a nicely pressed, classic suit and tie.  You can’t go wrong with this look. James Conway has a look that is widely accepted and worn on Capitol Hill – a navy blazer, khaki pants and tie. #winning.  Mary Samson has nailed a great look for female interns.  Her look is simple, age appropriate and understated. Female interns: it is most important to note the length of Mary’s skirt and shoe choice. What would be a little too “Club Capitol” with heels is completely acceptable for work with flats.  A rule of thumb is to always wear a longer skirt when you wear heels, and never anything more than 2 inches above the knee, and I am being generous with this measurement!  


Ellie Papadopoulou looks chic, fresh and ready for her summer internship with her white and navy outfit.  I am especially digging her white platform brogues!  Both Ellie and her shoes are from Greece so unless you are traveling there soon, you can’t get those amazing work appropriate-and-comfortable-enough-to-walk-the-Halls-of-Congress shoes, but I encourage you to find something similar!

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You are probably thinking that Matthew Dougherty is a staff assistant based on his professional attire – nope! Not yet.  Well done and take note!


Charles Goldstein already has a fancy desk immediately when you walk into the Congressional office he works in.  Being the first face to greet constituents means you have to act and look professional.  It isn’t a coincidence he landed this locale up front, he knew he had to pull out all the stops and suit up for a job this important.

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An honorable mention goes to Dr. Jennifer Dabbs Sciubba’s students from Rhodes College who are in DC this week to meet with legislators and learn about government.  This is an extremely dapper crew.  Dr. Sciubba gets major props for working with her class in advance to prepare them to look professional before their visit.  I may have even Skyped with them to talk about intern fashion do’s and don’ts!

These students and interns are the model ad for what you should wear for your summer internship.  I am honestly thinking some of my friends should pay attention to this well dressed group #InternInspiration.

xoxo – Politiquette


Intern Style Staples Guide:

White Brogues:

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Navy Blazer:

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Flat shoes:


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Bow Tie:

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Messenger Bag:

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Work tote:

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