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Travel wear for women in business

Updated on September 11, 2014

Travel fashion tips for women from an expert

If you're like me, it's easy to pack too much when you're going away. This is even more so if you're traveling on business. Should you take this just in case? Maybe that should be packed too? Will you have enough? It's easy to pack too much and arrive home with clothes that you never wore during your trip.

Luckily, I've been advised by an expert. I have mentioned to you before my friend Caroline, who is a fashion editor in London. She is always having to fly to fashion shows and events all over Europe and she has business travel fashion down to a fine art. Because she travels so often, she has refined her packing over the years. And remember that she is going to fashion events, where she has to look chic and stylish.

I remember well going to Paris with her and she had exactly the right amount of clothing with her. What's more, throughout the four day trip she was always stylish and she seemed to have far more items with her than she really had.

She's also happy to share her secrets with us.

Business travel tips from a fashion editor

  • The first point that Caroline makes is that most women pack far too much. I know I'm guilty of that! She has a regular carry on bag that she uses - I think it's tiny - and if it won't fit in, it doesn't go, simple as that.
  • Choose a color scheme. Like most fashion experts, she is devoted to black because it's so versatile. But any color you love can be used to form the basis of your business travel wardrobe.
  • Try to research your trip as much as possible beforehand. Of course, the chances are that you'll be in meetings during the day but what about the evenings? Will you be expected to attend receptions or evening functions?
  • Think carefully about the shoes you take. Most women pack too many pairs and they take up a lot of space in your luggage.
  • Consider accessories carefully as they should be multi purpose. But remember that accessories make or break the way you look and are the perfect way to make each outfit look completely different.
  • Look for items that are reversible. One reversible dress is really two dresses!


The blazer

Zacoo Women's Slim Lapel Cotton Office Blazer
Zacoo Women's Slim Lapel Cotton Office Blazer

A classic blazer can be incredibly practical and yet stylish at the same time. Many businesswomen swear that a basic black blazer is the most useful item in their wardrobe. By choosing a good quality blazer, you can ensure that it can be dressed up or dressed down to suit most occasions.

Although different coloured version has been automatically generated here, black or grey will give you more flexibility.


Clothes for travel

What should you wear for the flight? You will want to be comfortable but you'll still need to look smart, especially if you'll be met at the airport. When you're traveling, it's a good idea to wear clothes that will also be useful during your stay. Caroline and I have been looking through many products and these are among our favorites.


These are comfortable and can also be worn during your business trip. They are a good way to add color to a neutral colored outfit.


This can also be worn during your trip and if it's a large t-shirt, you may choose to wear it as a nightgown.


This will be invaluable during your stay.


These will double up as slippers and often come with their own bag that you can use as an evening clutch.


This will help to keep you warm on the airplane and has so many uses when you arrive at your destination.

The next items are incredibly comfortable so are particularly useful when you're on the plane. THey'll be very useful when you get to your destination too.

Shoes - tip!

Caroline tells me that you really only need one pair of shoes for the average business trip. Hmm....!

She says that if you choose a pair of black pumps with a medium heel that are comfortable that will do, if you have ballet slippers as well. She suggests that you wear your shoes when you travel (so that they won't take up space in your luggage) but keep your foldable ballet flats in your purse. That way, you can wear them on the plane.

Clothes for business meetings

Remember that you'll still be able to wear your travel clothes with your business meeting clothes. The belt, scarf, shoes and scarf can all be worn on business occasions. All should be lightweight, easy to care for so that you can wash them and wrinkle free. These are the important items:


You can wear these with your travel top and the belt.


Choose a top that will match your leggings and your scarf, then you'll have another outfit. Jazz it up with your scarf and jewelry.


Caroline prefers to take one reversible dress rather than a skirt. The tops she takes can be worn over the dress to give a two piece look. Also, scarves and jewelry can add interest and color.


It's important to have a jacket that won't wrinkle in transit. Caroline tends to wear hers on the plane - or put it in the overhead storage compartment so that it doesn't take up luggage space. This works best in your number one color - black in this case.


Smart cardigans are excellent as they can double up as jackets. Choose one in your secondary color.

Clothes for evening and dining out

Because you have your reversible dress, your scarf / shawl, your leggings, top and knitwear, you have already got several outfits suitable for evening. A reversible dress is a great idea too. Another scarf in a different colorway will give your black dress a whole new look.


Choose carefully and you'll find one that can also be worn for business during the day. The one below can be worn as a scoop neck or a v neck.


Caroline loves these as they can be worn at the waist, on the hips or doubled up and worn as a necklace.

Reversible dress

Why take two dresses when you can take one? You can give this garment totally different looks.

Merrell Women's Finley Reversible Dress
Merrell Women's Finley Reversible Dress

Also available in black (see above) this dress is so very adaptable.It has stripes on one side - switch and you have a polka dot dress.

Because of its simple shape, it can be dressed down for business meetings and glorified with accessories for evening.

Worn simply - as shown - with a pair of sandals - it's also perfect for sightseeing or shopping.


More expert travel tips for women

  • It's a good idea to leave any valuable jewelry at home. Wear the same gold or pearl studs in your ears every day and only take costume jewelry to wear in the evenings.
  • Have an inexpensive personal alarm with you at all times.
  • Take only small quantities of toiletries such as shampoos and so on, or rely on the ones supplied by the hotels.
  • Be sure to have cash with you. Today, I tend to forget this! But you'll need to have cash with you for cabs, tips etc.
  • Many stores sell miniature sample sizes of toiletries. It's a good idea to stock up on those if and when you see them.
  • Check with your hotel to be sure that they have hairdryers, irons and other items you might need. If they are missing when you get to your room, ask for them!
  • Wrinkle free and easy care clothing items can sometimes seem to be expensive but they are a great investment. Buying inferior quality clothes for travel will turn out to be a false economy.
  • If you know that you'll have downtime and absolutely must take jeans, wear them to travel in. They take up a lot of space in your bag unless they are very lightweight stretch jeans.

Thanks for reading - please say hi!

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    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lewisgirl: What a lovely comment - thank you!

    • lewisgirl profile image

      lewisgirl 3 years ago

      Very nice! I am doing a few things right and learned lots. Thanks

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Andromachi: Thanks so much.

    • Andromachi profile image

      Andromachi 3 years ago

      What great lens you have here! I really liked the tips.Keep up the good work.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MarcellaCarlton: Thank you!

    • profile image

      MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

      A very well written lens with lots of useful information!