What does 'smart dress code' even mean??

For my work experience placement, I'm (hopefully!) going to be a Graphic Design Assistant. I've got to do some office-type work, but I can help artists, learn to use the design software and go to art centres, so hopefully it will be a pretty cool week.
The thing is, it says 'smart dress code - no jeans or trainers'
What is a 14 year old supposed to wear for that? Also, because it's quite a creative-type job I want to look kind of arty when I go and make a good impression - who knows who I might meet?!

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6 replies since 10th November 2010 • Last reply 10th November 2010

I would wear a pencil skirt or dress pants with an interesting top and cute flats. Add a cool scarf or funky jewelry and ALWAYS remember awesome tights make a statement! I checked out your projects and the gray fabric and bead necklace you made would be a great pick!
Good luck~

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It means office wear- so a nicely cut pair of black, grey, tweedy trousers (ie not jeans, leggings or combats), or a skirt, and ballet pumps/kitten heels or (in this weather) boots (but not uggs). On top, a blazer type jacket and a tailored-style shirt or fitted jersey top - or a smart (finer knit) jumper with an interesting design.

This is probably just as easy to style 'your way' as jeans or leggings. Probably more so as you won't look like a member of your scene/tribe, shopping with other likeminded teens for comfort and to do with music etc'. With the smart stuff, you can think outside the box a bit- going for a period of vintage/retro, or colour theme it, use scarves or accessories (pocket-watch-as-a-necklace with some tweedy trousers, a long-sleeve t-shirt and a waistcoat would be appropriate but miles away from a boring suit for example).

Whatever you do, DON'T try to be as close-to-comfortable-jeans-without-getting-in-trouble as you can be; because you are work experience, it WILL trigger people to think 'she's only there because her school told her' etc' - and you'll have to work twice as hard to prove them wrong.

I know because I am currently arranging work-exp for my Y10s AND before I worked with young people I used to have work-exp people come to me for placement in an arts environment.

Go for it. Think of it as a chance to be a bit creative and 'dress the part' as a successful career-woman in preparation for your future.

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That's what i think Sqizita - I want to make a good impression. My mum used to get work experience people at her shop and they were really unenthusiastic and only went there because they had to so I don't want to give the people at my placement that impression. Thanks for all your suggestions too.
Felecity W thanks for your suggestions and for liking my necklace - maybe i can use it as an excuse for a shopping trip?!
I can't resist shopping!

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A basic dress like a wrap dress that goes to the knee and has sleeves.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=purple-wrap-dress_300.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/purple-wrap-dress_300.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

a knee length skirt- because of your age I'd go with an A-line skirt. Pencil skirts are way too harsh for a 14 year old to wear.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=Knee_Length_Pleated_A_Line_Skirt_Skinny_Belt_Choose_from_3_Colors_.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/Knee_Length_Pleated_A_Line_Skirt_Skinny_Belt_Choose_from_3_Colors_.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

A button down blouse- white is pretty standard but you get a lot of use out of it.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=game-of-graces-calla-lily-blouse-white_medium.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/game-of-graces-calla-lily-blouse-white_medium.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

A fitted blazer- you might be able to get away with a denim one because of your age and intern status.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=denim-blazer.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/denim-blazer.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

A pair of dress pants- black again are standard and you'll get a lot of use out of but you can go with grey, navy or brown as well.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=000030564.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/000030564.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

Sensible shoes like a pair of ballerina flats.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=140724_366_45.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/140724_366_45.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

You can probably spice it up with a low-key neck scarf or a brightly colored belt but don't go over-board with accessories or else you'll look a bit silly. And don't dress head-to-toe in one color- it's a bit harsh on the eyes and no one wants to see that on a fresh faced youth.
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=neck_scarves1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/neck_scarves1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
<a href="http://s67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/?action=view&current=red20belt.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h287/pinkweeds/red20belt.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

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Thankyou for the ideas and for attaching pictures PinkWeeds, how do you attach pictures to posts btw? The white shirt is quite cute aswell. I'll probably have to buy a couple of things but I don't want to spend loads because it's only for one week, maybe I'll go to a next outlet store or something?

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oh I uploaded pics to my photobucket and then used the html code in my message. Pretty easy really. Don't spend a ton of money on stuff. But an outlet store is always a good idea.

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