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Business travel packing tips: How to create the ultimate business capsule wardrobe

By Jake Daniels on 9th August 2019

How can you be expected to walk in to a boardroom, secure that new client, or close a big deal if you don’t feel completely confident in yourself. And can you feel your best if you aren’t armored in a power suit? You’re a luckier person than I if what you wear doesn’t have a subtle, yet considerable, effect on the way that you feel about yourself. This can be a challenge when flying away for business: you need to bring your A-game, but only have a carry-on case to achieve it.

When the pressures of work mount up on top of the heightened tension of being away from home, the last thing you need is to feel second rate. This underlying worry is probably evidenced in your packing habits – do you whistle through the checklist of electronics, passports, essential travel documents and currency before faltering at the final clothes-horse hurdle?

A capsule wardrobe that still packs a punch is hard to achieve, especially when headed for a business destination. Variants of shorts and slogan t-shirts won’t cut it! It isn’t impossible though, so we have put together some advice to help you through this critical decision making.

Young businessman talking on mobile phone and using tablet pc while sitting on back seat of a car. Caucasian male business executive travelling by a taxi and looking at digital tablet.
A capsule wardrobe that still packs a punch is hard to achieve, especially when headed for a business destination

Colour scheme clothing

Rather than packing everything under the sun for your travels, you need to be methodical about what you’re adding to your case. Although it may feel stressful taking anything less than your wardrobe away, think logically about what you actually wear each day. A great way to do this is to select a single colour scheme to pack, comprised of complimenting shades and hues. This gives you the flexibility to mix and match as the fancy takes you, dressing to how you feel on the day whilst being secure in the knowledge there is nothing left at home that could complete the outfit.

For the summer months think classy neutrals, shades of white, and some complimentary pastels. In winter you can simply darken the neutrals, and swap out whites for chic blacks which can weather a winter destination and remain smart all day. Now is not the time for experimentation with bold prints and bright splashes of colour. Although in the comfort of your hotel room you may feel like they’re a step towards a more powerful you, you will likely reconsider when nervously facing a high-pressure business situation.

Mid adult Latin businessman packing clothes in suitcase while sitting on bed in hotel room
Rather than packing everything under the sun for your travels, you need to be methodical about what you’re adding to your case

Style experimentation is great, but save it for when you have your entire wardrobe to play with, and you don’t need to feel nervous about making an iffy choice! Remember, power dressing is about making yourself feel powerful, as much as looking powerful to the outside world.

Dress to impress

Neither is now the time to pack your old work clothes in the suitcase for your business ventures. It is, however, an occasion to bring out the best garments you have. Even if this means taking yourself on a shopping trip to browse designer stores for that perfect dress or suit, you can always hunt out deals such as places offering 20% off all men’s suits. Is this really necessary, you may cry! Just as clothing experimentation opens up insecurities and may leave you feeling vulnerable, an old suit you thought just passable, or a dress that has only a small hole, may suddenly seem totally inadequate when faced with a terrifying Berlin boardroom! Feed your self-confidence with a small purchase, especially if you can find a bargain.

Business tourist traveler with luggage is using his mobile phone
Dress how you want to feel

Hideaway clothing

As with any workday, winding down is essential. But it’s not something anyone achieves if they’re still stuck in the suit that they’ve been wearing all day. Once you’ve made your best impressions with your stylish business attire in the day time, you’ll want to snuggle down into the clothing that helps you recuperate. Although your favorite oversized dressing gown might not fit in the carry on, your comfiest pajamas or t-shirt mustn’t be forgotten. Don’t underestimate the comfort they afford if you are working away from home.

Within all these hints and tips lies one fundamental golden rule, and one that should already guide your dressing habits. Dress how you want to feel. Although a cracking outfit can definitely leave a lasting impression, what will have more impact is the confident, expressive self you can put forward when you feel your best. Whether you achieve this through a shopping spree, a pre-organised outfit, or making sure you curl up in your coziest pyjamas at the end of the day, the outcome should be the same. Don’t needlessly agonize over your outfit choices. Stay simple, stay calm, and the trip will be a success.