Rags to Riches… In Clothes

 

Andy Sachs on her first day at work (left); Andy Sachs after her makeover (right)

By TIFFANY CONTRERAS

Have you ever walked into your place of employment or internship and felt you just didn’t fit in? Allow me to introduce to you Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) from The Devil Wears Prada.

Dressed in a knee-length skirt, a type of sweater that’s not commonly seen in the fashion world, tights and shoes that “your grandmother” probably wears, Sachs walked into the office of one of the biggest fashion magazines in New York: Runway. Sachs looked around her to see women dressed in name brands, Chanel shoes and fancy jewelry.

Sometimes you walk into a place and either feel overdressed or underdressed. For me, this experience was slightly opposite.

It was the first day of my internship at a news station in Palm Springs, California. I was so excited that I had gone shopping the week before for professional attire. I put on my favorite outfit with a blazer, heels and hair well-done. I was ready to dominate this day. I walked into the building and was led to a big conference room to go over instructions. The lady who spoke with me had basic clothes on, but they were still a little fancy. I walked into the news room, only to see everyone, except the anchors, in jeans and t-shirts. All eyes shifted to me as I walked in. I told myself it was because I’m a new person, I’m the intern and I’m overdressed. To my relief, they all ended up being very nice, and I didn’t have a Miranda Priestly on my back.

Sachs had to make coffee runs, answer phone calls and make appointments for Priestly. Although I didn’t have to make coffee runs, I still had to answer phone calls and make appointments – and go out into the field with reporters. That was what I did on my first day – in heels… And fancy clothes. I might have been sad that I went shopping for nothing, but I would much rather go out into the field in comfortable shoes and clothes than in heels and a suit. It also made me feel normal when I was next to my supervisor.

Sachs always had to report to Priestly and make sure everything was perfect. My supervisor, thankfully, wasn’t as demanding as Priestly – but I still tried hard to impress her. I walked into the newsroom early every day, I made conversation and I worked for her “great job today” comment at the end of the day. But what happened when I felt I had done something wrong? Sachs explains it. We complain within ourselves, and then try harder to earn that “great job today” from our boss or supervisor.

At the end of Sach’s day, she went to a restaurant with her boyfriend and friends and celebrated her accomplishment and role that “a million girls would kill for.” Well, my job wasn’t necessarily a position for which a million girls would kill, but it was a job that I loved and learned from at the time. At the end of my internship, I had developed a style that still allowed me to feel confident, but to have better access to stories that heels wouldn’t let me report. Sachs went from comfy to fancy, while I went from fancy to comfy. Whatever works!

Thank you, Andy Sachs, for being relatable and setting an example to girls who had to learn things the hard way.

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