The Baltimore Sun has an interesting article about scantily clad interns in the professional working environment. Some young folks are shocked to learn that what they’re wearing isn’t appropriate for the professional office environment. During those long hot summer months some young folks are showing up in booty shorts, belly shirts, flip flops and tank tops.
Employers struggle to impart integrity and professionalism on scantily clad workers
By Jill Rosen, The Baltimore Sun
July 12, 2010
In a recent episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” called “The Bare Midriff,” Larry David is disgruntled that his new secretary is wearing a shirt that exposes her tummy. When he confronts her, she tells him she’s proud of her body and wants to flaunt it.
“You can flaunt two-thirds of the day outside the office and then you have one-third non-flaunt,” he tells her. “Why not take a break in the flaunt?”
In white-collar offices across Maryland, “the flaunt” has become an issue and a distraction, particularly when it comes to interns who, professionals say, perennially show more daring than sense in their work wardrobes.
In Washington, D.C., where they’ve never quite forgotten Monica Lewinsky, a name has evolved for the scantily-clad summer staff: “skinterns.”
“It’s something we deal with all the time,” says Carol Vellucci, director of the University of Baltimore’s Career Center. “One staff member said she received a call from a not-to-be-named employer who had to speak to their intern about wearing booty shorts to the office. I said, ‘She had to tell her that'”?
Booty shorts. Thigh-grazing dresses. Flip-flops. Ripped jeans. Cleavage-baring tops. See-through skirts. Forgotten bras. … Employers have seen it all — and wish they hadn’t.
Missy Martin hires about 80 interns a year as vice president of human resources for Ripken Baseball, where she says it’s critical that employees — even interns — represent the Ripken name with integrity and professionalism. That’s difficult to do with thong underwear peeking from your waistband.
If Martin sees a sartorially-challenged intern, she says she nips the problem in the bud with an up-front discussion about standards and expectations. But at other offices, she’s seen young staff members in jaw-dropping get-ups.
“It’s not that they come in and look sloppy, that’s not what you see,” she says. “They’re showing up to work in bar clothes. Short skirts, tank tops and cleavage showing. It’s like, ‘Kids, do you realize you’re not supposed to be dressed like you’re going out to drink in Canton?’ ”
Vellucci says, no, they don’t.
When a lot of students hear they’re supposed to get “dressed up” for work, she says they think of their best, night-on-the-town outfits. “It seems to be something that especially younger students aren’t quite getting,” Vellucci says.
Where I work we have business casual but the interns that work there know where to draw the line. I haven’t seen any ripped jeans or booty shorts.