Building a Business Travel Wardrobe is an ongoing series here on Road Warriorette. The focus is on the key pieces a woman needs to build a wardrobe that is ideal for travel. Based on the “capsule” wardrobe model, each installment will feature an item that is professional, stylish, and that travels well.
Previous installments in this series have covered all of the components necessary to build a capsule business travel wardrobe: suits, business casual, tops, dresses, shoes, bags, and accessories. Phew! That’s quite a list. Putting it all together can be pretty intimidating, but it’s definitely doable. Four day trips seem to be the most common (according to my readers) so that is the length of time we will plan for.
For a four day trip, the following work clothes need to be packed:
- Suit, with jacket, slacks, and skirt OR
- Business casual slacks and skirt
- Four tops
- Two pairs of shoes
- One bag
- Coordinating accessories
Day 1 (travel day): Pants+blouse A (+suit jacket if needed)
Day 2: Skirt+blouse B (+suit jacket)
Day 3: Skirt+blouse C+cardigan
Day 4 (travel day): Pants+blouse D
Wear whichever shoes you want each day (I recommend alternating for comfort). I bookend with slacks simply because I prefer pants on travel days. Obviously, there are plenty of variations on these outfits that you could choose, which is why the capsule wardrobe is so brilliant. Another option is to bring a dress instead of a skirt–wear it alone one day, and topped with the cardigan another day.
Tips for making it work:
- If you have more than one capsule wardrobe, i.e. one in black and one in brown, try to alternate so you’re not wearing the same thing for every trip. My mother travels every month to see the same people, and she actually notes down in her planner which color she wears each time so she doesn’t wear the same one twice in a row.
- Make sure that all the pieces you pack are non-iron. Ironing is no fun!
- You can make the same skirt and top look completely different by changing a necklace to a scarf, adding a belt, and wearing different shoes.
- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Make sure everything you buy is comfortable to wear!! (And be aware of any potential wardrobe malfunctions and address them in advance.)
And that’s it! You can pack fewer things, making for a less stressful trip, simply by utilizing a capsule wardrobe. Happy travels!