iStock_000004752194SmallSo you’ve snagged a coveted summer internship — great! You’ll be earning valuable experience while earning some extra cash and/or college credit.

But with the temperatures rising, it might be difficult to determine whether or not what you’re wearing is appropriate. Use these three rules to help you decide if what you’re wearing is acceptable — or if you’ll get a few sideways glances from your new co-workers.

1. Ask about the dress code
The first and most essential thing you need to do to determine if what you’re wearing is appropriate is to ask and become familiar with your company’s dress code. If your work environment requires professional attire at all times then you can pretty much disregard the rest of these toe-the-line situations — you must at all times cover and dress yourself appropriately, no matter how hot the temperature gets. If your company has a more lax situation, get a feel for how “casual” they define their business casual.

2. Take inventory of what others are wearing
If you’re still confused about what’s appropriate after asking about dress policy, take a look at what others in the office are wearing. Do you see flip-flops around? Are there multiple people wearing shorts? Also take note of who is wearing these items: are they people in your department? Do they often work with consumers or clients? Are they at partner-level? Who you work with can often influence what you are allowed to wear — whether it is more or less strict than other departments. Look for patterns and when in doubt — overdressing is better than showing up with too little.

3. Be realistic of the temperature
It may be warm outside, but your tank top and shorts are going to leave you freezing once you step into a heavily air conditioned office! Knowing the kind of environment you’re going to be in is hugely beneficial when it comes to figuring out what to wear. Have a traditional office job? Layer with some cropped pants and cardigan or button-up shirt. Going to be working outside? Shorts and a t-shirt may be more appropriate.

The best rule of thumb you have is your instinct — if you’re questioning anything you wear, your best bet is to change into something you’d feel comfortable in. Once your attire isn’t a concern, you can focus on the more important things — that being the excellent experience you will receive!

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