Packing List: Winter Weekend in London

London is one of my absolute favorite cities in the world. 
When I was growing up we lived there for a few years and my love affair with that glorious city has never ended.

When traveling, my wardrobe goal is always to blend in as much as possible without being pretentious. As an American choosing travel clothes for Europe, stick to classic styles and practical pieces that will keep you comfortable, but most importantly not sloppy. One of my pet peeves is Americans dressing badly and making the rest of us look bad when they travel abroad.

Recently, quite a few of my American friends (all of whom dress very appropriately, for the record) have been heading across the pond for visits and it's inspired me to create this packing list of things I would wear and bring for a quick visit to jolly old London town. If you're getting ready to travel to London, this one is for you.

I lived in the UK and was raised in New England. Those facts are all too clear in my love of most things Barbour. This jacket is a classic investment piece that will last you for decades if you treat it right. It will also give you the practical waterproof protection with room for warm layers that you'll want while exploring the city. December in London (or any winter month) is going to be chilly and damp. Be prepared. Another great jacket option is a classic trench coat like this one. 

These practical leather booties will take you anywhere you need to go and keep your feet dry and cute. You'll probably want to spend quite a bit of time exploring London on walking tours. Sightseeing in London can be overwhelming and the last thing you want is to get blisters or be uncomfortable.

These earrings are slightly retro and perfect for everything. I'm just in love with them. 

A simple necklace for every day. 

Layers, layers, layers. Cozy sweaters are key. 

Everyone should have at least one cashmere sweater in their wardrobe. I love that this one has a neckline that's a little bit different. 

Because this is what I live in. Wearing a button down will very rarely leave you feeling out of place when you're somewhere with a strong business culture.

These t-shirts from Old Navy are seriously my favorite layering tees ever. They're inexpensive, they fit beautifully, and so far mine have held up for years. They are the perfect base layer.

You'll want to have some layering shirts with varying sleeve lengths to stay comfortable. These are the best layering tees. 

The thing I love about high rise denim is that they don't slide down to expose things you don't want exposed, and they can conceal a variety of sins. Specifically they'll be able to conceal any amount of delicious curry you want to eat during your adventures. 

These just look so hip while not being ridiculous.

Warm. Comfortable. Dress. Yes please.
Sweater dresses make great travel dresses because they tend to not wrinkle as easily due to their thicker fabrics.

A simple flattering dress is one of the biggest assets you can have in your travel wardrobe. Different colors and styles will give you great travel outfit options. 

Seriously, one can never have too many sweater dresses in the winter. 

This is a great option if you're planning on going out to a more upscale dinner or meeting while you're in town. It's professional enough that you could wear it into a boardroom but elegant enough that it wouldn't be out of place at a party.

Party necklace! Wear it to your event or pair it with one of those sweater dresses to jazz up your every day look. 

For attending that party- these have a thicker heel that is perfect for navigating cobblestone streets after dark. No one wants to fly home on a sprained ankle. 

Additional items to consider:

How to Ace Your Flight Attendant Interview

Ah, the dreaded job interview. For most people, it's exciting (you're one step closer to the job!) and also terrifying (this is make-it-or-break-it, buddy) to be invited to an interview. 

So while you're at home this winter thinking to yourself "I want to be a Flight Attendant." or even just "Hey, maybe being cabin crew could be fun." fill out the application and start prepping for your interview to join our club. 
Right now there are quite a few airlines hiring to fill open flight attendant jobs. They might call it "inflight jobs" or "cabin crew jobs" but it's all the same- you want your office to be at 30,000 feet and they want to hire talented people like you! Learn some more about it, submit your application, and go for it. 

In this job process, there are quite a few ways in which airlines could interview you for the position you've applied for. 
It could be a video interview that you record in the comfort of your own home, it could be a group interview at a large session, or it could be a private interview with just you and 2-3 interviewers from the company. 
For some airlines, all of those are a part of the process. 

In my opinion, the most exciting part of the process is when they fly you to their corporate headquarters for an interview- I felt like such a celebrity.

Here are a few tips to ace your interview:

For Every Flight Attendant Interview:
  • Dress like you already have the job, but don't copy the uniform of the airline you're applying with. Wear a suit in a conservative color. This is a great opportunity to purchase a skirt or pant suit that you'll be able to use for any variety of interviews. I found my navy skirt suit at Banana Republic and I've been very happy with it. Try something like this one that's currently on sale.
  • Jewelry: pearls are always a good idea.
  • Accessories: personally, we all know that the sassy scarf is the signature flight attendant accessory. If you're a scarf person, wear one! I'm currently obsessed with this Kate Spade "Going Places" scarf. Heart eyes. Guys, keep it simple with a tie in a professional color and pattern. If you want to spice things up, add a coordinating pocket square. 
  • Hair: For the ladies, make sure your hairstyle is professional, polished, and simple. For the guys, make sure that any facial hair is neatly trimmed. Even better- be clean shaven.
  • Shoes: black dress shoes. The end. Ladies, keep the heel height under 4 inches. 

The Video Interview:
  • Check the lighting to ensure that it doesn't wash you out on the screen, and make sure there's enough light that you're not casting weird shadows.
  • Ensure your background is neutral- a plain wall, no crazy colors, not in front of a window, a mural, or a bunch of plants. 
  • Sit up straight.
  • If the program you're using gives you the opportunity to record a test clip, DO IT. Watch it, and make corrections. 
  • Stick to the appearance tips I mentioned earlier, no matter how much of you is visible on camera, take this as seriously as any other interview. 
The Group Interview:

  • This isn't your chance to show off and prove you're better than everyone else in the room, this is your opportunity to demonstrate that you're a team player. At work, we rely intensely on our co-workers, most of whom we've just met. You need to be calm, kind, patient, and professional.
  • Don't fight to outshine everyone around you- this is not your diva moment. 
  • Answer questions honestly and illustrate your answer with a travel story if you have one that applies. 
  • Support other interviewees in their answers (if appropriate) by using phrases like "I agree with Kate, travel helps us all understand the world we live in."
  • If there's a group activity, actively make sure that everyone's voice is heard and contributes to the overall result. 

The Individual Interview:
  • This interview will likely be a segment of the events on the day when your group interview happens. Your interviewers will take you to a separate room and ask you one on one questions.
  • Have a clear answer to the question: "Why do you want to be a Flight Attendant?" and "Why do you want to work for our airline?" 
  • Focus on your experience providing great customer service and being a team player.
  • Illustrate your points with stories! 

Things to Avoid:
  • "I want to be a Flight Attendant because I really hate my current job."
  • "I want to be a Flight Attendant because I love to travel."
  • "I want to be a Flight Attendant because I hear the money is good."
  • "I want to be a Flight Attendant because the uniform is cute and I hear it's easy to pick up dates on the plane."

At the end of the day, be yourself and be professional. 

Good luck!