Student Life

What To Pack for Boarding at Forman School

August 4, 2023

Packing for living at a boarding school may seem daunting, especially if you are moving far from home. But we have compiled a list of general guidelines for what to pack and what not to pack to ensure you have everything you need to live comfortably, dress appropriately, and enjoy boarding school life!

Before getting started, think about your successful habits at home and what items will help you continue with those habits at school. One big piece of advice is not to overpack. It is much easier for students to be organized when their belongings are limited. Minimizing items also helps students work to build healthy cleanliness habits. You can always add more items to your room if needed later on.


Official Forman Dress (Formal Mondays, Formal Fridays, and Special School Events) 

  • Pack 1-2 Formal outfits

    • Khaki-colored dress pants or skirt

    • White oxford shirt (must be tucked in)

    • School tie or school scarf

    • Navy Blue blazer

    • Traditional style belt

    • Dress shoes 

Class Dress (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from breakfast throughout the academic day)

  • Shirts: Students must wear a collared shirt, which can be a button-down shirt or a Forman-branded or solid-colored polo shirt without logos. Button-down shirts must be buttoned. Students may wear a sweater or cardigan over their collared shirt. Students may not wear a collared sweater in place of a collared shirt.

  • Pants: Students may wear chinos (twill pants) or dress slacks of any color. Students may also wear solid-colored Bermuda shorts when the weather is warm in the fall and spring trimesters. Students are not permitted to wear jeans (any color), cargo-style pants/shorts, joggers, sweatpants, yoga pants, or leggings of any style. 

  • Skirts: Students may wear skirts or dresses of mid-thigh length. If wearing a dress, students must also wear a blazer. 

  • Shoes: Shoes may be of any style, including sneakers, boots, or sandals (no beach flip-flops, athletic/hiking sandals, or slippers).

Leisure & Athletic Clothing (worn after class and on weekends)

  • 6-12 sets of clothing for athletics and leisure activities after classes

  • Clothing free of inappropriate slogans/graphics and does not advertise, promote or display alcohol, drugs, sex, or tobacco.

Outerwear for New England Weather

  • 1 lightweight fall/spring jacket 

  • 1 windbreaker/raincoat

  • 1 heavy winter coat

  • 1 pair of tall waterproof winter boots 

  • 1 pair of rain boots

  • 1 umbrella

  • 2 pairs of winter gloves and 2 winter hats


  • 2 sets of twin XL sheets

  • 1 lightweight blanket and 1 heavyweight blanket

  • 1 twin bedspread, duvet, or quilt

  • Mattress pad and/or plastic mattress cover

  • 1-2 pillows and pillowcases 

  • 4 towels and washcloths 

Personal Care Items

  • 10-14 undergarments, socks, tights, etc.

  • 2 belts

  • 6 pajamas

Other Items

  • Laptop

  • Hangers

  • Lockbox for valuables (should be an appropriate size to store under the bed)

  • Plastic carry case for trips to the shower

  • Toiletries - body soap, shampoo, conditioner, other hair products, shaving products, comb, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, nail clippers, etc.

  • Alarm clock: Here is one creative and effective alarm clock 

  • Wastebasket

  • Laundry basket or bag 

  • Reading lamp and light bulbs 

  • Rug – optional 

  • Wall decorations – optional

  • Notebooks and pens (these items can also be purchased in the School Store) 

Forman School Provides the Following: 

  • Twin bed and mattress

  • Desk and chair

  • Dresser and closet

  • Refrigerator (do not bring your own) 

Additional Notes: 

  • No additional furniture or LED adhesive strip lights are permitted in dorm rooms.

  • Our School Store has academic supplies, health and beauty aids, sporting goods, clothing, and other miscellaneous items available.

Bonus Tips: 

  • If students want to take food from the dining hall, we recommend bringing reusable containers and utensils. 

  • Bring a reusable water bottle — there are many stations to refill on campus!

  • Bring photos of friends and family to make your room feel more like home. 

We hope you find this list helpful as you pack for boarding at Forman. The keys to a successful move-in are to stay organized, remember less is more, and try to have fun! In case you forget anything at home, we often offer weekend trips for students to retail stores such as Target and Walmart. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the packing list, please contact Nicole Ostaszewski, Director of Student Life, at or call 860.567.6230.

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