The Essential Business Travel Wardrobe
Jetting away to NYC for a quick work trip? Packing up for 48 hours in Montréal? Fitting all the essentials into one carry-on can be a challenge. Every item must be essential to cover your bases, maximize space, and allow you to go from office to dinner to drinks while looking sophisticated and pulled-together. Look no further for your ultimate business travel wardrobe capsule to make packing for your next business trip a (stylish) breeze.
Classic white button-down
They’re called the classics for a reason. Whether you’re a lawyer, a graphic designer or a marketing consultant, a white Oxford shirt is fashion’s consummate blank canvas. Let the collar peek out of a sweater for a dressed-down vibe, or pair it with trousers or a high-waisted pencil skirt or for a more buttoned-up look—pun fully intended.
Look for: cotton poplin, the most breathable of the Oxford-friendly fabrics. Make sure the fit is tailored to your shape; a suit or outfit can go from sophisticated to sloppy in no time with a too-long sleeve or a too-tight fit.
Toppers that do double-duty
Even when it’s 40 degrees outside, offices tend to dip toward the polar side of the thermostat—ditto for flying. A sweater or blazer will ensure you don’t get left out in the cold, while mixing up your getups from day to day.
Look for: wrinkle-proof fabrics like wool, which is practically immune to creases and crinkles.
You can’t go wrong with a pair of pants or a flattering skirt that works just as well for daytime meetings as it does dressed-up for night. The trick is to maximize potential combinations to get the most bang for your sartorial buck.
Look for: materials that will maintain their shape after multiple wears, with the added bonus of stain-resistance in case excited conversation leads to a splash of red wine on your khaki pants.
Shoes made for walking
Depending on what airport you’re heading to, the march from terminal to gate could feel like a marathon, and without comfortable shoes, it’ll seem even longer. Without jumping to the realm of sneakers, a good pair of broken-in yet polished Oxfords or 2-inch block heels for ladies will serve you well, especially in walkable cities where you may be going on two feet from office to 5 à 7.
Look for: a cushioned sole to absorb shock, plus top-notch ankle support.
Accessories to accentuate
A bold necklace, belt or pair of earrings can go a long way in elevating a look for nighttime. Business travel is sometimes as much about the schmooze as it is about the work, and if that’s the case, you’ll want to look the part. Just don’t go overboard—one or two statement pieces is more than enough to make an impact without cluttering your suitcase.
Look for: something with a pop of colour or added shine, even if it’s just a polished belt buckle. It’s all in the details, people.