Deciding what clothes to pack for business travel can be a real headache – do you stick with the tried and tested (that trusty but boring grey suit), or go for broke with that colourful ensemble you’re dying to show off?
For , there’s a fine line to tread between safe and savvy, but it can be done! Here’s how to compile a travel wardrobe which is both fashionable and professional….
Unless you’re in a fashion-forward industry like advertising or film, save the high-fashion look for the weekend. Corporate executives tend to be a conservative bunch and anything too outlandish could lose you that deal. Think carefully about the image you’re trying to portray – professional, capable, reliable; not gimmicky, flippant and frivolous.
Stick to suits and separates with classic lines – this approach also means you can spend a bit more, since classic styles don’t date. Happily, classic styles are also more flattering on ordinary bodies than trendy gear. Pairing classic with contemporary, in the form of fun fashion shirts or blouses, creates the perfect balance between consummate professional and pleasantly current.
Business trips call for a neutral colour palette
Stay with dark neutral bases (grey, black, navy or brown) for purely practical reasons. Nothing sinks a slick business presentation faster than a yellow coffee stain on a wrinkled white shirt. Dark neutral shades not only send the right message (“I mean business”) to clients and colleagues; they’re also less likely to show creases and dirt and make mixing and matching easier. Brighten with patches of bold colour in ties, shirts, blouses, belts, and even shoes.
Wrinkle-free fabrics equal less worry
Swanning about the boardroom in cool linen pants sounds very Dallas, but do you really have the time and inclination after a long hard day to whip out the travelling iron and iron this notoriously crease-prone material? Didn’t think so!
Rather look for clothes made from crease-resistant, quick-dry fabrics. When you inelegantly drip tomato sauce from that take-away sachet over your trousers, you’ll be ever so glad that you took our advice – simply hand wash, hang to dry in the hotel shower, and you’ll be good to go come morning.
Flat and fashionable?
Indeed. Not only do flat slip-on shoes come into their own when travelling, right now they’re bang on trend! For ladies, this means ballet pumps and for men, brogues. Easy-to-wear and run after taxis in, you can also slide them off at will, whether when going through customs at international airports or if you need to get comfy on the plane. Choose a pair in your neutral shade of choice and ladies, go for something which has a bit of sparkle and can double up as an evening wear shoe as well.
Ladies, here’s where you can really have some fun – there’s no quicker, easier or more cost-effective way to update an outfit than by changing accessories. Add pizazz to those power suits with bling jewelry, colourful belts and scarves, or handbags in this season’s fashion colours – yellow, orange, red, teal, purple or green. You can take one outfit from day to evening simply by swapping out a necklace, bracelets or belt – no need for burdening your suitcase with clothes you don’t need.
Gentleman, take your business suit from boring to brilliant with a bold tie or shirt. Even a dash of colour on spectacles is a no-fuss way to get fashion-forward with your look.
TIP: When clearing customs and immigration, put metal accessories – watches, necklaces and bracelets – into a clear, zip-lock bag and stash in a carry-on bag or handbag. Once you’re through security checkpoints, you can fish out the bag and put it all back on.