Okay, so I haven’t done any fashion-related posts for awhile. I am a huge fashion nerd, and pretty much all of my site traffic comes from people looking for Dior dresses (sorry, don’t have any to sell, but a girl can dream!), so I thought I’d write up a piece on how to pack and dress while traveling.
So here’s the deal: I travel for my job. A lot. In fact, recently I’ve begun to wonder why I’m even paying rent. I think I’ve spent about 6 days in my apartment since I moved in this May. I guess it’s worth it to feel like I’m a functioning adult with a home to actually return to when I do manage to get a day or two off. 🙂 But anyway, this post is not about that. It’s about what I do with my wardrobe and how I manage to pack for all sorts of weather, work, and the occasional fun night out. Now, my job isn’t terribly controlling of how I dress. I am not allowed to wear sweatpants to work, which was a huge disappointment, but I am allowed to wear jeans. You may have a more formal job, in which case, you’re going to have fewer choices to work with.
The basics, and what works for most ladies:
If you’re going for a short business trip, say, between 2 days and a week, pack light. You might be thinking of a million things that you want to do, like sightseeing after work or checking out the nightlife, or touring a museum. But the most important thing here is that you’re going to be working, and that’s what you’ll probably be spending most of your time doing. So pack for work first, and fun second. You don’t want to have to pay an extra $100 because you over-packed your one bag. So your medium-sized suitcase should probably look something like this:
– Three pairs of slacks, dark and neutral colors (like black, gray, and camel, for example). Keep the hemline shorter. You’re not going to be wearing stilettos. For a touch of personality, try interesting, yet clean cuts, such as a tapered or wide leg, or a high waist.
– Blazers or jackets that match the slacks. They can button or drape.
– Several blouses. Make sure you bring blouses that fit properly; no one wants to see the epic straining button while you’re talking to your clients or investors. Well, maybe they do, but it’s not going to make them pay attention to what you’re trying to say.
– One pair of black kitten heels. If your dress code allows, you can have slingbacks or peep-toes to feel fancy. Otherwise, the heel should be no higher than an inch and the shoe will probably feel a bit dowdy, but it is professional and it will look good with the suit. And you can stand in these for awhile and not feel like your feet are trying to escape from your body.
– A pair of flats. Love love love me some cute flats.
– If you like jewelry, pack a pair of stud earrings and maybe a few statement rings. I don’t think huge necklaces or layers of bangles are very professional, but a simple necklace or bracelet would be okay. You don’t want this to be the defining feature of your outfit. You also don’t want to show off extremely expensive jewelry when you’re traveling. Keep it simple and safe.
– Another easy way to accessorize is to throw in a cute scarf or two. They don’t take up much space and they are always in style.
– Underwear: Obviously this is up to you, but I usually bring 2 or 3 bras and enough underwear for every day I’m there.
– If you work out, pack a sports bra or two and your workout clothes. Don’t bring more than one pair for a week. Suck it up and reuse your clothes. You can do it, I promise.
– Sneakers/tennis shoes.
– For after-work activities, choose either a dress or a pair of skinny jeans and a cute top. There’s really no need to pack a lot for this. Try to pick something that you can mix and match with your blazers, or your blouses. You can create some pretty cute looks by mixing professional and casual.
– Finally, throw in a coat you can wear in case of rain, and of course, an umbrella. If the weather is going to be cold, pack a jacket. Don’t tell yourself you’ll be indoors all the time and therefore won’t need one. You’ll regret it. 😦
Here’s an example of some outfits I would pack, thanks to the ever-wonderful Polyvore. Click the image to see the set up close! Oh, and a note on the prices: I just chose looks I liked. I’m sure you can find similar looks for wayyyyy cheaper:
50 – dorothyperkins.com
$175 – stylebop.com
20 – oasis-stores.com
220 – matchesfashion.com
$759 – boutique1.com
$1,179 – mytheresa.com
$615 – net-a-porter.com
$368 – aliceandolivia.com
€208 – luisaviaroma.com
$199 – my-wardrobe.com
$23 – couture.zappos.com
$43 – romwe.com
38 – oasis-stores.com
55 – houseoffraser.co.uk
$150 – nordstrom.com
$25 – armaniexchange.com
€18 – welikefashion.com
$14 – urbanoutfitters.com
$75 – reissonline.com
$298 – intermixonline.com
$17 – kohls.com