The do’s and don’ts of Summit style.
Our newest blog series — #TravelTipTuesday — covers travel topics to help our families feel equipped for their Summit experience. If you missed any posts in series, you can catch up by clicking here.
Today’s blog is all about ensuring students pack the clothes they’ll need to feel comfortable and successful during their Summit experience. Follow along as we overview all the must-haves.
DO: BUSINESS CASUAL
The Summits are opportunities for students to bring their A-game and that means dressing the part. Students will be meeting and interacting with college students, community leaders, and business professionals. As leaders representing their schools and hometowns, students should plan to put their best foot forward.
This isn’t simply because we’re judged based on our appearance. Did you know clothing affects performance? Studies show that participants who dressed in “power” clothes experienced more success than their casual counterparts. Being well-dressed changed the way participants thought and even changed the hormones they produced. Clothes really do make the man (or woman)!
Packing chinos, collared shirts, capris, or blouses doesn’t have to break the bank. Remember, you’re only packing for one week, and second-hand stores like Goodwill or Plato’s Closet can be great places to find like-new (and new!) clothing to fit the bill. If you don’t have any second-hand stores nearby, check out thredUP or Poshmark which offer similar deals but are web-based.
We know distressed clothing and athleisure wear are all the rage. Nevertheless, clothes with holes, or tears, or clothes fit for bedtime or the gym are not good choices for daily Summit wear. Those perfectly ripped jeans in your closet? Leave them at home.
The team-building activity day is a notable exception where athletic clothing that allows for full range of motion is the best choice.
DO: RAIN GEAR
Even though the Summits take place at the height of summer, it’s a good idea to pack a water-repellent jacket and collapsible umbrella. Especially on the East Coast, summertime often means unpredictable downpours. They may take up precious real estate in the suitcase, but these are the kind of items it’s better to have and not need than need and not have. Be sure to pack them!
DO: COMFORTABLE SHOES
Each day of the Summit is an active one, and clocking anywhere from 3 - 10 miles is possible. Comfortable shoes are an absolute must! We recommend walking shoes, tennis shoes, or walking sandals that have been broken-in before the start of the Summit. Take it from us: the Summit is not the place to discover those cute new sneakers cut into your ankles or rub your foot to the point of blisters.
Also plan to pack rubber flip-flops that can be worn as shower shoes. In most cases, the restroom accommodations (including showers) are shared. Shower shoes allow students to walk to and from the restroom without being barefoot or risking their walking shoes getting wet.
DON’T: High heels
The last day of Summit includes the students’ final presentations and a celebration. It’s a time for students to shine and look sharp. While we encourage students to dress their best on this day, we discourage impractical shoe choices like high heels or stilettos. The final day of Summit still includes a fair amount of walking (and dancing, too!). We want students to feel comfortable all day long and recommend leaving heels or platform shoes at home.
We hope this has been a helpful guide for packing clothes that will have your student looking and feeling his or her best throughout the Summit. For more details on what to pack, please review the Packing List and Dress and Appearance Guidelines linked here and in your Summit Prep Portal.
By Corie Bales
Corie is the Academic Affairs Manager of Ambassador Leaders. As a lifelong educator and avid traveler, she believes in empowering students and teachers to learn and lead through experiential education.