Work Trip Essentials

Look like a boss and impress your coworkers!

Packing for work trips can be daunting. It’s not like packing for vacations where you can essentially wear whatever you want.  There’s a certain level of appropriateness you need to maintain in all your looks, while still remaining comfortable.  Often times outfits have to take you right from the plane to a meeting or from a convention to dinner and drinks.  You want outfits that can show your professionalism but keep you comfortable and of course, stylish.  

Fortunately I’ve traveled enough for work that I think I have the formula nailed down.  It only takes a few key pieces to build a number of different looks that can take you from day to night effortlessly.  Paired with smart accessories, you’ll be the best dressed colleague in the bunch.  

Here are my picks, which I followed for my recent wave of trips (including Miami, San Diego and Seattle):

  1. Colorful knit dress
  2. Simple stretch pencil skirt in a neutral color
  3. Patterned shell or sleeveless top
  4. Blazer
  5. Professional jumpsuit in a neutral color
  6. Navy pants
  7. White blouse or structured t-shirt
  8. Flats
  9. Open toe pumps
  10. Tote

Outfit ideas:

Plane: blazer/top/pants/sandals/tote.  I like to wear layers on planes because you never know how chilly it can be. Pairing a patterned top with a neutral blazer allows you to adjust your outfit depending on the temperature and still be appropriate.  Flat sandals are best for traveling, especially if you have a long day ahead.

Trade show followed by drinks: Jumpsuit with flats and tote.  A jumpsuit is effortlessly cool, but this one with capped sleeves and a higher neckline keeps it professional.  Since you’ll be on your feet all day, wear flats and carry a tote to store any work info.  If you have time for a quick change before drinks, change into pumps and trade the tote for a clutch.

Meetings followed by a late dinner: Colorful dress, sandals, clutch (blazer optional).  A day of meetings keeps you sitting down most of the day, so throw on a simple, wrinkle resistant dress for comfort and style.  The pumps add some glamour, which you can spare since you’ll be seated most of the day.  Bring your blazer in case you’re chilly, but lose it for dinner.  

Morning meeting followed by plane ride home: Pencil skirt and structured tree with flat sandals and tote.  For a transitional but polished look, opt for a comfortable and simple skirt with some stretch and pair it with a structured tee.  It allows comfort without sacrificing style and is easy to throw together so you can focus on things like packing and finishing your last bits of work.

Images via (#1), (#2), (#3).



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