Help. Going to the United States on Business Trip in Winter

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  1. Hi, I am changing a new job this month and have gotten notice that I need to be in DC in March. Now, I come from a tropical country where we get sunshine all day. The last time I was in Europe in autumn, I was shivering like a chicken even though I had leggings and socks and 3 layers on in 12 C/ 54 F weather.

    I'm worried about the upcoming trip. I know it will be subzero in a few weeks time. I have been researching online on the options and every site says to layer - which I DID - yet still feel cold. What are the types of clothings to wear and especially in BUSINESS situations?
  2. Coat, gloves, scarf, earmuffs, expense your cabs.
  3. If you can wear long underwear or tights under your pants, that will help a bit. Layers really are key - wear a sweater over your blouse/dress/whatever you wear on top.

    I really can't overstate the importance of a good scarf - if your neck is cold, your whole body will be cold. A warm scarf is my number 1 in the winter.

    A warm coat is an absolute must, but if you don't have a super warm coat or can't get one, then the most important thing is that it be wind-proof. If you have a coat that blocks the wind, you can always add more layers under it (sweaters, a tank top under your blouse, etc), but if the wind gets through your coat you're toast no matter how many layers you have on.

    To echo PJD, earmuffs or a hat are important, good gloves or mittens (again, you want to try to find something wind-proof for maximum warmth), and good footwear. If you don't have warm winter boots and don't want to buy them, then at least try to get really warm socks and wear 1-2 pairs of socks under your boots. Waterproof boots are ideal in case it gets to just above freezing and the snow starts to melt.

    In business situations, you can usually wear your normal business clothes, just with some modifications (eg tights or thermal underwear under your pants, a tank under your blouse, a sweater over top), it's really about the outerwear and making sure you have enough. In Canada at least, it's fairly common for people to wear winter boots to and from work and change into work shoes at the office.

    Good luck!
  4. #4 Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
    Remember too that offices will have the heat turned on so beware of layering *too* much under business attire.

    I don't know your profession. I'm office-based and a typical work day for me during business trips is going from the hotel to the office back to the hotel and possibly out to a team dinner. There's not a lot of time spent outside. Usually if it's very cold, the host would arrange transport to and from the hotel/office/dinner. If I need a taxi, I hail/have the hotel or office call one.

    Your best bet is to bundle up to be outside during transit but not so much that you will be overheated in a heated office building.

    I travel frequently to the Washington, DC area too.
  5. ^That's a good point! The offices I've worked in tend to run cold, but I know that a lot are at either a comfortable temperature or run warm - when I'm in hospitals I have to layer a ton because they keep patient rooms really warm and I have to be able to take layers off.

    I also was thinking more in terms of being a tourist and being outside a lot, and not necessarily in hotels and offices all the time. Good suggestions, redney! :smile:
  6. And maybe a hat or beanie too. I agree with the posters above. Layer up, but not too many layers since you won't be hanging outdoors. If you are, then thick coats, boots, warm socks, gloves, scarves, warm long johns. They also sell hand warmers that will heat up one you shake or click it.
  7. Thanks for the tips. What's a warm coat? Must it be made of wool? Should I avoid cotton and polyester? I'm assuming I have to buy larger pants and boots to fit the extra leggings and tights. Do most people do that?
  8. Ahh hand warmers. Okay. Good to know. These things are almost never of, I'm such a country bumpkin on my sunny island!
  9. I don't think it has to be made of wool, necessarily. Most of my winter coats are more of a parka style and they keep me warm. One of my favourite fashion blogs is Capitol Hill Style, and she's done a ton of posts on winters in DC with suggestions of what to wear, I'd definitely suggest checking out some of her posts.

    I don't usually buy bigger pants or anything to wear over tights, I just wear a thin pair of tights that fit under normal pants. If you're not spending much time outside, you might not even need that layer. Sometimes I buy my winter boots a half size up so I can wear thick socks, but I don't think you need to go out and buy bigger boots just for this trip, you can probably get away with just wearing the thickest socks you can under whatever boots you're going to wear. :smile:
  10. I was just on a business trip in DC last week where the daytime temperatures were in the teens F. I wore a business pantsuit, blouse, dress booties for the office and a big heavy coat (down North Face), hat and gloves for the 5 minute walk from hotel to the office building. No tights underneath my pants needed.
  11. Comfy furry boots
    nice warm coat
    Gloves hat scarf
    it is freeeeezing here! :smile:
  12. My son is attending school in DC and my main office is there. By March, especially the end of March, it should be warming up a bit. I have never added undergarments or tights to go to DC. Just a regular winter coat (adding scarf, gloves, etc. when really cold). Maybe a pair of boots.

    Do some research regarding average temps in DC. Some of this advice seems a bit over the top.
  13. Thanks! :smile:

    Pre-teens F is crazy. I was in 4 layers in 60 F.

    I have been monitoring the average temps in March (I'm going early March) and it's still gonna be very cold. :sad: