When not to pack something

While packing for a business trip one of the first things I ask is, is it worth it? There are plenty of items I would love to take on trips, but end up bulky sweatergetting crossed off the list because it’s not worth the effort involved to bring it along.  Certain clothes are usually the first to go when I’m looking to deduct non-travel friendly items.  Here are some reasons certain clothes don’t make the cut for a business trip.

It requires ironing.  Oh hotel iron, how I loathe thee.  If a clothing item is going to require ironing I refuse to bring it.  For one, ironing is way too time consuming—I would rather spend that twenty minutes sleeping!  Not to mention, even after ironing some things still wrinkle. Linen is the main culprit, but buttoned down shirts are another biggie.  Also, it seems like every hotel iron functions differently.  My brother in-law had a disaster once where his iron heated up faster and hotter than expected.  He went to iron his pants and they melted. I don’t know what I would do.

Another time a friend used a hotel iron on a gorgeous cream-colored blouse and rusty water came out, ruining the garment (if that ever happens to you try to get reimbursed for your clothing from the hotel).  And another horror story (not on a business trip): the Home Warrior’s graduation gown was supposed to be hung in a steamy room for a certain period of time then ironed.  Thirty minutes before we had to leave I put the iron on the gown and of course, it melted.  After a few minutes of panicking I was able to stitch up the melted spot so that it blended together, but you can see why I might want to shy away from the iron.

There are plenty of options for a wrinkle free business travel wardrobe.  My style tends towards pullovers, but when I need a button down I go to Brooks Brothers  for their wrinkle-free shirts. For business casual offices jersey and ponte knit dresses are another great wrinkle-free solutions.

Takes too much room.  In the summer, this is less of a problem. But in the winter it is so easy to fill up your suitcase with bulky sweaters. Two thinner items can be layered and take way less room than one bulky item. If there is something that you have to have (like boots) then wear it to the airport (as long as it’s easy to take off and put back on for security).

Risk of stains.    White clothes are my favorite for summer, but I pretty much never bring them with me on a business trip.  The risk for stains is just too great!  I learned this lesson the hard way, several times.  Even when I’m being super careful with my eating a mystery stain will show up.  If you must wear white read this post to see why having a bleach pen can save the day.

I haven’t worn it before.  For me, shopping for clothes is a blast even when it’s for business.  The more options for outfits I have the less stressed I’ll be when I’m packing.  When I find something I really like it’s very tempting to take it on the next business trip without a trial run.  Fight the temptation! Wardrobe malfunctions happen, and you don’t want to discover this while on an important business trip.

Can’t be worn multiple ways.  If you don’t use a capsule wardrobe when traveling for business you should start now. 8-10 pieces that can all be worn together create almost unlimited options for a trip. If I can’t wear an item in at least two different outfits then it stays home. (For an example of a 6-piece capsule wardrobe check out my post on how to dress for two climates.)

Readers, what makes you decide to leave a clothing item at home? Any reason for crossing something off your business travel packing list that I missed?

Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

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