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When personal assistant, Theresa, asked me to put together a stylish business trip packing list, I jumped at the chance to re-visit my old lifestyle! She wanted to know how to pack for a business trip in a way that was sleek and sophisticated but not corporate with an element of style.
Keep reading and check out my business professional packing list!
Business Trip Packing List
In my previous life, I worked for a company that required corporate business attire – in the fashion industry. No way was I going to wear a suit!
Twice a year, I packed a carry-on bag with a week’s worth of professional yet fashion-conscious clothing for business meetings, dinners, and parties. In this minimalist packing list for business trips, I’m showing you how to mix and match ten pieces of clothing to create a minimum of 1-2 weeks worth of outfits.
If you mix and match 3 bottoms with 4 tops, that equals 12 outfits. Add the dress and you have 2 full weeks of unique looks! If you’re a fashionista that travels for business and likes to fly carry-on, learn how to build a business trip packing list with just ten pieces of clothing!
4 Tops + 3 Bottoms + 1 Dress + 2 Jackets
10-Piece Business Trip Packing List
If you’re a true minimalist, you’ll love this business packing list that includes just the essentials.
Lose the crisp white button up and choose one in your favorite color, pattern, or in a feminine fabric. My favorite options are a royal blue oxford shirt or a vintage style ivory button up trimmed in touches of lace. Tops with longer sleeves are more appropriate in big meetings or in conservative work environments than sleeveless (unless paired with a blazer).
It’s good to avoid a solid white top on a business trip because it requires more cleaning. If you get one stain on a white shirt, game over. On a blue shirt – not so obvious. With the abundance of oxford shirts in the shops, there’s no excuse why you can’t find a cute one.
If your trousers and skirts are all solid colors like black, choose tops in a variety of prints or stripes to keep your look from becoming too mundane.
Basic black is always a classic look but you can change it up by choosing a seasonal fabric or print. For winter, tweed, corduroy, or velvet depending on the trends. For summer, a bright or pale hue in a lighter fabric are good options.
It’s essential to have a pair of classic black trousers in your closet but it’s okay to change it up and add a fresh take on the pants and suit ensemble. Choose a different fabric, color, and style whether its high waist pants or skinny fit. Check out the Anatomie Skyler travel pants for awesome trousers you can wear to work and for travel, too!
Of course you need jeans on a business trip whether to travel, for after work drinks, when you’re running errands, or just having some down time. Nothing feels better than a comfortable pair of jeans. Avoid trendy jeans with rips or hardware. Choose a classic cut whether a slim fit or boot leg that will look great dressed up with a blazer or casual and comfortable with flats.
Choose a skirt that’s not too high above the knee, especially in conservative environments. A couple of inches is a good rule of thumb. If you’re in a more relaxed environment, a shorter skirt can be toned down with a pair of tights and flats. Don’t like skirts? Take another pair of trousers following the seasonal styles.
A little black dress rocks in a professional setting because it looks professional at work paired with a blazer during the day; throw on some sexy heels at night and you’re ready take the town. However, the cut and styling of the dress is more important than the color. Ask yourself if it’s appropriate in length and fit? Dresses that are meant for the day are better options than the ones meant for the night time.
With so many options in the stores, a stylish blazer should be easy to find. Choose a cut that’s classic, fits perfectly, and is timeless. It’s worth investing in a quality blazer and getting it tailored so you always look flawless.
Along with your main blazer, take another blazer, coat, or cardigan. Choose a color or print to add a splash of color to your basics and use it to “accessorize” your outfits.
2-3 Pairs of Shoes
Shoes are the big one for me. When it comes to business, it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing on top – if you’re shoes scream fashion goddess, you’re golden. Find an incredible pair of shoes that will leave all the other fashionistas drooling. You can wear the most simple outfit so long as you have statement shoes.
One of the best ways to alleviate sore feet is to change shoes so bring at least 3 pairs of fashionably practical shoes that you can rotate. This may sound like a lot for a 10-piece business packing list, but you’ll thank me later.
Since I was on my feet practically 20 hours a day during our big fashion events, I wasn’t going to be caught dead in flats (at least for the first few days of our shows). So I wore heels with my secret weapon: Dr. Scholl’s for Her High Heel Insoles. They truly are a life saver! On so many occasions when I’ve had to work with sky high heels these little babies have made the hours a little less painful.
The rest of the time, a pair of sexy flats work. Pointy or more narrow toes tend to look dressier and more fashion forward than round toe.
The last, but certainly not least, element of your business packing list is the accessories. This is where you have to be very careful. In a professional environment, especially meetings, the last thing you want is gaudy, excessive jewelry. Choose minimal yet sophisticated accessories and make sure each piece counts – just like the shoes.
As always, a scarf has the ability to transform an outfit. Classic black circle cotton scarf works in practically every setting especially in cooler climates and a colorful print adds life when it’s warm.
Take two purses or handbags; one for the day and one for night. If you’re traveling for work, chances are you’ll have business dinners and need something for nice restaurants.
Alternate Business Look
Need to get more mileage out of your business trip packing list? Take a cue from these alternate business looks you can create.
And remember, DRESS for the job you WANT not the job you HAVE.
If you need a more conservative business trip packing list, check out the Travel Fashion Girl Facebook page featuring an alternative Business Trip Packing List for you.
Comment and let me know which one you prefer, or share what you would add to your business trip packing list.
For more tips and ideas for a business trip packing list, please read:
- What to Pack when Traveling to Europe for Business
- Business Travel Essentials: 10 Products to Simplify Your Life
- Women’s Business Clothes for Travel and Sightseeing
- How to Pack for a Business Trip when You’re a Powerhouse Female Entrepreneur
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