I’ve been doing a lot of one- and two-night trips for business this past year, and I’m not always sure what I should pack to look cool, confident, and chic. And, to make things more complicated, I’ve been heading to different climates, too: Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte . . . sometimes all in one week!
On my last trip to Charlotte to launch the new partnership between Red Heart Yarns and the American Red Cross, I traveled in the morning wearing an outfit that was perfect for my afternoon of meetings, followed by an early dinner: black tights, medium-heel black pumps, and a charcoal grey crew neck, 3/4 length sleeve sheath dress, worn with a cool necklace. It was comfortable enough to wear on the flight, and chic enough to wear to meetings.
The next day, when I gave my speech I wore a very cool navy blue dress, nude fishnets, and nude patent high heel pumps. It’s one of my favorite “power” outfits. My pop of color was the special Red Heart Yarns “Red Heart Cares Cowl.”
Wanting to make sure I always present my absolute best self when traveling for business, I consulted with my good friend Karen Klopp, the founder and editor of the fabulous What2WearWhere website, and author of “Packing for Travel: From Jetset to Trekset, the Definitive Globe-Trotting Guide.” This terrific book has become my personal guide to knowing what to take . . . and just as important . . . what to leave behind, for any possible travel opportunity.
But, since my thoughts have been less on adventure and more on giving speeches about positive and healthy aging at women’s conferences around the country, I asked Karen to tell me her top tips to make sure I always have what I need, when I need it, in my bag when traveling for business.
Here’s Karen’s ideal 5-day business travel wardrobe (which works just as well for two nights!):
- 1 Jacket/Blazer
- 1 Pencil Skirt
- 1 Pair of Pants with Stretch (St. John makes fabulous, chic knit pants)
- 1 Cardigan
- 1 LBD (little black dress, not too short!)
- 2 Cashmere Sweaters
- 1 Blouse
- 1 Pashmina or Cashmere Scarf/Wrap
- 1 or 2 Silk Blend Scarves
- 1 Tote or Work Bag (or a very cool backpack, like this one)
- 1 Clutch
- Statement Necklace and Cuff Bracelet
- 1 Pair Ballet Flats or Wedges
- 1 Pair Kitten Heels
- 1 Pair High Heels
Karen feels that black or navy are perfect colors for business travel clothes, and you can add pops of color with scarves and blouses, and interest with jewelry.