business-trip-packing-list-for-minimalist-fashionistas

business-trip-packing-list-for-minimalist-fashionistas

How to Pack for a Business Trip with Just Ten Pieces of Clothing

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.
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 travel packing list, 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 = 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 pack for a business trip with just ten pieces of clothing!
business-trip-packing-list-for-minimalist-fashionistas

10 Piece Business Trip Packing List

4 Tops + 3 Bottoms + 1 Dress + 2 Jackets

4 Tops

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.

3 Bottoms

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.

Trousers

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!

Jeans

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.

Skirt

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.

1 Dress

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.

2 Jackets

Blazer

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.

Additional

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 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. 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.

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

business-trip-packing-list-for-minimalist-fashionistas

business-trip-packing-list-for-minimalist-fashionistas

Planning a mix of adventure and business? Check out designer travel clothing for women Anatomie Wear and the variety of travel outfits I created using just ten clothing pieces.

And remember, DRESS for the job you WANT not the job you HAVE.

If you need a more conservative packing list for your business travels, 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. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to share and re-tweet!

 


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25 Responses to Business Trip Packing List for Minimalist Fashionistas

  1. Itzel says:

    Could you recommend a purse to use so that all my clothes for a 1-2day trip could fit as a carry on that is versatile and still looks professional?

  2. Lili says:

    Do you have any tips for packing for a summer internship in SE Asia, but will entail travel on the side? Want to keep packing to a minimum, but don’t know how to include enough clothes for both work and travel on the weekend. Thanks!

  3. Krystene says:

    I love this packing list! I use it all the time when I have business trips to Vegas, Cali and Utah. I also use your budget airlines packing list when I go to colder places, because it’s very similar to this.

    And how perfect is it that you used my favorite colors, black, white and blue! Keep up the good work. :)

    • alex says:

      That’s great to hear Krystene! I’m glad you’ve found the packing lists helpful for work – hopefully you’ll also be traveling for fun soon too :-)

  4. Luca says:

    Great article – thanks! I’m heading off for several months of work + adventure, so this article (actually, your blog) is a great find. How were the Anatomie tank and pants for exercising/long days of travel? And the mesh on the tank looks cute – but how hardy does it feel? Will it be alright bearing a bag with work stuff (laptop etc) all day?

    • alex says:

      Hi Luca, Thanks for commenting! the clothing is really comfortable to wear for long days of travel – in fact, i prefer to wear the pants for long transportation journeys or just to lounge around all day when i’m working too. They’re very comfy! The mesh is soft, not stiff, so it shouldn’t chafe your skin :-)

  5. Emma says:

    Wow!! I am a full delegate for the CCMA’s this year, and was TOTALLY worried about what I should be packing. This is PERFECT!!! Thank you :)

  6. Charmaine says:

    This list is perfect! I travel all the time for work and I’m keeping this on file! Totally love that dress! Where is it from?

  7. MMAndamon says:

    Great packing list! Love this list – suitable for academic conferences too!

  8. Theresa says:

    I used this list last week for my trip from Vegas to Boston ! :) I just changed up the color scheme to use hunter green and black. Except I added 3 more pieces! It was insanely perfect! Thanks Alex! You’re a gem!

  9. This is a really useful article! I am not really that experimental in terms of clothing colors (black-white-brown girl here lol). Might as well exercise my mix and match talent in terms of fashion :D

  10. Theresa says:

    Alex,

    Thank you so much for this! You are an angel! This will definitely help me in in my next travel adventure.

    XoXo Theresa
    P.S.The google+ add link would not let me add this blog to my google reader.

    • alex says:

      I’m really glad that you found it helpful! I wasn’t sure about a clothing style so I made 2 different looks :-) Which one works better for you?

      Thanks for the Google tip. I’ll make sure to fix it.

      Feel free to send over any other questions :-)

  11. Mary says:

    I love this list – I travel lots for work and will definitely use this next time I pack for a business trip.

  12. I’m not a business woman by any means but this packing list is so my style!! Maybe switch out the black pants for leggings and the skirt for shorts and I’d be a stylish travelling mum!

  13. Clare says:

    Work – if you are listening, can you please send me on a business trip so I have a valid excuse to pack like this?!

    Love it!

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