Building a Business Travel Wardrobe: Business Casual

Building a Business Travel Wardrobe is a new series here on Road Warriorette. The focus will be on the key pieces a woman needs to build a wardrobe that is ideal for travel. Based on the “capsule” wardrobe model, each week will feature an item that is professional, stylish, and that travels well.

Finding fabulous separates for business travel is much easier than finding suits. The pants or skirt do not need to match anything other than a top, which allows for more flexibility and a lot more choices. I still recommend that they are in the same neutral “family”, so for example pack a gray skirt with black slacks, or a brown skirt and taupe slacks. It’s best, though not required, that all pairs of shoes match with all bottoms, just in case.

When shopping for business casual clothes for travel, the key elements to look for are very similar to those for suits:

  • Neutral color. Neutral bottoms go with the greatest amount of tops. Also, as mentioned above, try to stick to the same color family to make coordinating shoes, blouses, and accessories easier. Look for your most flattering neutral, such as black, gray, brown, taupe, or navy.
  • Anti-wrinkle. The last thing you want to do after you’ve been traveling all day is to spend an hour ironing your pants.. When searching for a slacks or a skirt, look for terms like “wrinkle free” or “no iron”.
  • Comfort and fit. Make sure that anything you plan to travel in fits you well, and is comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. If those pants are great while you’re standing but make it hard to breathe when you sit, don’t pack them!

Slacks and skirts that are work appropriate and great for travel can be found virtually anywhere. Nordstrom, Talbots, and Banana Republic are my personal favorites. Ann Taylor, TravelSmith, Macy’s, and even Old Navy for those on a budget also have a variety of options.

The whole Theory line from Nordstrom is incredibly cute, well tailored, and perfect for any work situation. I am in love with the Max C Cohesion pants and the Golda – Tailor pencil skirt.

Macy’s has some really great stuff at very reasonable prices. I am digging this black Jones New York pencil skirt (and the top it’s styled with!) for a traditional look,  and the AGB Box Pleat skirt for something unexpected.

For the extremely budget conscious, Old Navy has some fashionable basics for little money. The Essential Wide-Leg Trouser is $29.50 and comes in three colors.


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