Building a Business Travel Wardrobe: The Dress

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.

A dress is a beautiful thing to own because it makes getting ready in the morning so easy. You don’t have to worry about coordinating skirt to blouse and sweater, or pants and belt and jacket. You just have to accessorize it, pick shoes, and voila. An outfit that is ready to go. The best dresses are even very easy to pack, taking up little room and not wrinkling. And there are so many to choose from!

Some of the same things are important when shopping for dresses that are important when shopping for other travel wardrobe necessities:

  • Fit. Because there is little to no layering with a dress, it is important to make sure that it highlights your attributes. Make sure it fits you impeccably.  Have it tailored if it fits well in one place but is too big in another.
  • Comfort. Depending on the material, a dress can be the most comfortable clothing item that you own. It can also be the most restrictive. So make sure that when you’re shopping for travel dresses you choose the former.
  • Anti-wrinkle. Some dresses won’t wrinkle no matter what you do to them. Those are the best!
  • Coordinates with shoes. Dresses are one item that don’t have to be neutral (unless you want them to). But make sure they match with whatever shoes you pack.

If you need a suiting dress, Talbots is my favorite place. In fact, they have a ton of work dresses, period. One of my favorites right now is the Sash Wrap Dress in Navy.

TravelSmith also has some great dresses designed specifically for travel. I really like the Women’s JetSet Twist Dress and the Voyager Knit Faux Wrap Dress.

Banana Republic has some great work dresses, including the 3/4 Faux Wrap Dress.

Other great places for business travel dresses include Ann Taylor, Saks, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and J. Crew.

One caveat about dresses: I don’t recommend that you wear them on actual travel days right now. Due to the TSA security screenings and potential pat downs, wearing a dress could lead to a very uncomfortable situation. But they are still great for travel! They pack small and make getting dressed in the morning easy. What else could you want?


  1. Learning how to be pack savvy is one of the most important things I teach my clients! Nothing like no-wrinkle, easy, and light fabrics for the jet-setter.

    tampa concierge

  2. Great Tips! I’m just got my first job out of college and I’m already going on a business trip. I was planning on suits only, nice to know dresses will work too.

  3. So, I have an update re: TSA/dresses. I flew out of CVG yesterday, and I had an interview so I wore a dress. I also packed a pair of yoga pants in my computer bag, just in case they tried to make me go through the strip search machines. (sorry, I calls it like I sees it!) 🙂 Anyway, of course they chose me, and so in the private screening, I asked if I should pull my yoga pants on – and the TSA agent said no, my dress was fine, it wouldn’t be a problem. It was a snug, ponte knit knee length skirt. Basically, she had me put my right leg forward, and then put my left leg forward, while she did the leg pat down. It was actually LESS intrusive than when you wear pants. I’m interested to see if this is the case on a regular basis – I’m going to start wearing dresses on travel days again, and just make sure I have PJ pants or yoga pants easily accessible in case the whole thing goes poorly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.