Essential business travel jewelry

Packing for work trips creates a unique challenge for women. I wrote about my winter packing list last week, which focused primarily on clothes. Accessories help you create more outfits with fewer clothing items. There are a few criteria that I keep in mind when choosing what jewelry to pack.

  1. Don’t bring everything you own. This sounds super obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people I know bring an enormous bag of jewelry and then wonder why they can’t fit more clothes in their suitcase. If you plan your outfits before you pack (like I know you do, right?) then you’ll know exactly what necklaces you need. If you’re not bringing anything that matches with your bubble necklace, don’t bring it!
  2. Avoid stiff jewelry. Collars and cuffs look great, but pack awkwardly. There are plenty of necklaces and bracelets that “collapse” so reach for those instead.
  3. Neutral goes with more. I feel like I can wear my pearls with almost anything, and many gold or silver pieces are the same way. Of course I say that, but I love color so much that I always bring colored items as well.

What scarves and belts you bring will vary based on your outfits, but there are several types of jewelry I recommend for every trip.

Essential business travel jewelry

Studs. Whether you prefer pearls or something colorful, stud earrings are a great way to make an outfit look finished but not fussy. Since they are very small, I never take a trip without my pearl studs! However, as much as I love them, I don’t like to wear them on planes because when I lean my head on anything the posts poke my neck.

Hoops. For travel days, nothing beats hoops or another type of simple earring. They won’t get caught on bags and scarves, and definitely won’t poke your neck when you sleep!

Long single strand necklace. A long strand of beads can be worn multiple ways, giving you more bang for your packing buck. I wear my strand of pearls long, doubled, and knotted. These are also good for travel days since they are less likely to contain metal, which could set off a metal detector and be a pain. I know because I’ve done it…

Statement necklace. While multi-taskers are great, sometimes one specific necklace will complete an outfit. Since necklaces often take up a relatively small amount of room compared to the impact they make, I say bring it. I have a fabulous rose quartz triple strand necklace that I loooove; it’s not as small as my pearl strand, but it looks great and I bring it on trips often.

Rings. Because I do a lot of presentations, I don’t usually wear rings other than my wedding band. But a great ring can add some oomph to a look, not to mention look lovely. A good friend of mine has a gorgeous black and gold ring that she wears on occasion. I’d always admired it so finally asked her for the story. Turns out it was a cuff link that belonged to her grandfather, and her grandmother had it made into a ring for her when she went to college. Love!

Bracelets. If bracelets are in your jewelry arsenal, you should certainly pack them. I try to stick to smaller bracelets that are less stiff. Cuff and bangle bracelets just take up too much valuable suitcase real estate for me, but my sister loves them and brings several on every trip.

Jewelry is small enough that you can pack a lot without it affecting your overall space. Whether you prefer colorful jewelry or more neutral metal, following a few simple guidelines will help that space stretch even farther!

Readers, what are your favorite jewelry pieces to take on business trips?


  1. A tip for traveling with necklaces so they don’t tangle, just string half of it through a straw. It is collapsable and can bend any which way keeping the necklace from folding back in on itself.

  2. One trick I’ve learned as a full time traveler – my jewelry bag is an evening bag. All of my jewelry fits in a very elegant black satin bag. When we have a more dressy occasion I transfer the jewelry to my laptop bag and I have an elegant evening bag ready to go. Everything must do double or triple duty if it is going to ride with me 🙂

  3. I once had a hotel maid throw out a shopping bag that was on the floor of my hotel room… which had, among other things, all my jewelry in it! The hotel reimbursed me (especially since I had declined housekeeping), but it’s a great reminder to only travel with inexpensive costume jewelry.

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