How to Build a Travel-Ready Work Wardrobe for Your Next Business Trip
Whether you’re meeting new clients, jetting off to a conference or visiting a satellite office in another city, business travel has its ups and downs. On the one hand, hitting the road means a nice break from your regular routine and – time permitting – the chance to explore a new place. On the other hand, when it comes to packing your bags, figuring out how to pack a road-ready wardrobe that looks great, travels well and fits inside a carry-on suitcase can feel like a chore.
There are, however, ways to compile a set of smart, travel-ready work wear. Here are a few quick tips for building the perfect business travel wardrobe to take on your next work trip:
Step 1: Pack separates you can easily mix and match.
As you put together your packing list, opt for smart, straightforward separates that complement one another. Let’s say you’re heading out of town for a week: pack five separates – two bottoms and three tops – and you’ve got six work-ready outfits at your disposal.
Sleek, minimalist straight-leg slacks are a great option and work well with everything from sweaters and blouses to T-shirts and tanks. Your trusty pencil skirt is another winning choice that will easily transition from day to night.
When it comes to tops, stay away from busy patterns or big, bold details and instead seek out simple but sophisticated garments. A classic work dress or basic blazer can also add one more option into the mix.
Last but not least, don’t forget your feet: basic, understated flats will get you through the day, while a pair of heels should work for more formal engagements.
Step 2: Pick a colour scheme.
The best way to eliminate the hassle of outfit pairing is to choose a colour scheme: stick to three complementary hues that suit your destination. If you’re heading to a major city, for instance, pack your best blacks and greys along with a more adventurous colour like burgundy, mustard or forest green. For warm-weather destinations, switch out your darker base colours for hues like tan, light blue or eggshell.
Whatever palette you choose, make sure that all three colours pair well together and you’ll save yourself time each morning knowing that everything in your suitcase is fair game.
Step 3: Focus on wrinkle-free fabrics.
And now for the greatest challenge of a travel-ready wardrobe: how to walk into your eight o’clock meeting without looking like you’ve slept in your clothes the night before. Eliminate the hassle of having to iron your clothes by packing wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Wool, cashmere and Modal fibers are great cold-weather options that travel well and don’t wrinkle, while lighter materials like lyocell – which often goes by the brand name Tencel – and bamboo are solid choices for warmer climates. Even polyester – a fabric known for producing bad ‘70s leisure suits – can be a reliably wrinkle-free option for travel and is relatively easy to pack.
Step 4: Add a few pieces of flair.
Last but not least, pull together your travel-ready capsule wardrobe with a few pieces of jewelry. Because you’re keeping it simple with your clothing, these pieces can be a touch bolder than the ones you might wear on your average workday: slightly bigger earrings, rings or necklaces will help to give your otherwise understated work wardrobe a bit of personality.
WRITTEN BY: DANA FILEK-GIBSON
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