Travelling to a different country with one suitcase for work for longer than a month is fun, adventurous and challenging. What should I take? What will people at work wear? Are chinos appropriate or not?
Recently I moved for three months to Boston, where I have started my internship. Have a look at my tips on how to avoid taking too much for your travel and how can you find out what clothes are appropriate.
Before you pack your favourite red dress, that worked well in your previous company check if there are available pictures of employees online, you can search for: name of a company management employees. Google Image search works best for me. You are very likely to find an article with photographs of employees. Also have a look at the company website.
"If I would stand next to them in the clothes I have picked, would I look out of place?"
For me there would not be anything worst than being remembered as a girl in too short dress, way too red dress. First impression counts and something like this can affect your career, not in a good way. I would like to be remembered for my professionalism not for what I was wearing.
Another way is to research company policy. Explained dress code is very often included in your employment contract. What if it is very vague?
Write an email to your manager, supervisor or colleague from the company and ask for pointers. If you are lucky as I was, and you have a very creative team you might receive photo of them. It not only helps you to visualize what to take with you but also helps you to familiarise yourself with how people from your team look like. It is also a great way to start conversation when you arrive to the company, when you do not really know how to introduce yourself.
“Hi, I am Iga. I think I have seen you on a photo with XYZ. My manager sent it to me last week. It is pleasure to meet you in person."
Easy! If you could not get this information remember that is better to be over dressed. It is easier to take your tie off at work than look for one during your lunch break.
Now you know what to wear and what your colleagues wear on a daily basis. Before I packed all my work clothes I checked if some of the items repeat by sorting them out on a floor. Do you really need two the same looking black skirts? Also how about 20 pair of knickers? You might not want to do a washing every three days, especially if you do not have a washing machine, but are you sure that sale in Victoria Secret will not tempt you to get another five pairs to your luggage weight?
Everything counts towards your final luggage weight and space; you should have this on mind. For the same reason I packed less than I needed. I knew that I would and will go for a Carrie Bradshaw shopping spree. Before wild buying you might want to ask yourself these questions.
Packing is also a great opportunity to think what clothes you like the most and if it is the time to say goodbye to some of them. I take clothes that are still acceptable but I do not enjoy them as much as I used to. If during my adventure I need more space in my suitcase, I just get rid of the items that do not feel right for me anymore.
Start completing your wardrobe from items that are going to be a base for your office outfit such as a skinny trousers, skirt, and dress. I tend to have one base colour (black – original, right?) that I brighten up with shirts and tops.
Try to pick tops that are going to work well with trousers as well as the other clothes. 10 different clothes can give you more than enough options to create a summer intern outfits.
What are your tips for smart packing and creating outfits without breaking the bank and your back from carrying very heavy suitcases? Let me know in comments.
Check my other posts about minimalism, I love reading comments from you.