WONDERING WHAT TO WEAR WHEN YOU TRAVEL FOR WORK? TRY THIS.
Unless you work at a tech start-up, sweats and flip-flops don’t tend to be appropriate attire in the workplace—though they are all too easy to throw on for an early morning flight.
So, how do you balance comfort and style when traveling with coworkers? Start by keeping the following seven tips in mind:
CONSIDER YOUR COMPANY
Even when outside of the office, you are still representing your company and it is important to behave as you normally would—which includes following the company dress code. Unless you work for a company that requires a formal suit, a business casual look is usually appropriate for work travel.
Even when outside of the office, you are still representing your company and it is important to behave as you normally would—which includes following the company dress code.
ASSESS THE AGENDA
Are you heading straight to a meeting with clients once you land? Or will you have a few hours to check in to your hotel and check emails? Your wardrobe choice should be dictated by your plans once you arrive.
CONSIDER TRAVEL-FRIENDLY OPTIONS
What do you need to wear to look polished that will also withstand the strains of travel? Choose dark colors that hide stains if you spill something and travel-friendly fabrics that don’t wrinkle. Also, stick to neutral colors that can be mixed and matched.
KEEP IT OLD-SCHOOL
Make sure your outfit is one that you feel confident in and that won’t have you tugging on hemlines or making sure a button hasn’t come undone. Wear pieces that fit you well and that you have worn before—don’t use a work trip as the time to test out the latest addition to your wardrobe.
CHOOSE EASY & EFFICIENT FOOTWEAR
You might wear a slip-on shoe, such as a pair of foldable ballet flats (that won’t take up a lot of room in your luggage) or a pointy-toed flat that adds a bit of polish (but is still comfortable for walking around an airport)—both are great options. And let’s be honest, running through an airport to catch a flight in heels—which looks so glamorous in the movies—is just asking for a sprained ankle. Also, try to avoid cumbersome boots that have to be tugged on and off when going through security and anything with laces that requires you to sit to get your shoes back on. Consider wearing a pair of ped socks with your flats too, so you’re not walking on the airport floor barefoot.
MAKE JEWELRY MINIMAL
While it’s a great way to accessorize, you don’t want to be the person in your group fumbling with a jewelry clasp while everyone else is ordering their coffee at the terminal Starbucks. Stick to a pair of small stud or hoop hearings that are unlikely to go off in a metal detector and a watch to stay on time. Save the statement necklace for when you land.
PULLING IT TOGETHER
If jeans are appropriate in your office on casual Friday, then dark denim is a great travel option, as it looks polished with the right accessories, doesn’t wrinkle and hides stains if you spill a drink during turbulence.
If you need something dressier, consider a pair of slim black pants. Make sure that they are tailored for the shoes you intend to wear them with.
And while I love a beautiful silk blouse, the material wrinkles easily and ends up looking messy. Choose a top in a material such as crepe, which blends silk, wool, and rayon and can withstand the stress of travel. Then, throw a black blazer over it. It makes any outfit look professional and will go with everything in your suitcase.
Finishing with a scarf in a pop of color is a great way to brighten your outfit, stay warm on the flight, and takes up minimal space.
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These are all suggestions, of course—highly recommended suggestions, but suggestions nonetheless. Consider the usual attire in your office, and plan accordingly.
Just remember that, with careful planning, it is possible to combine comfort, style, and professionalism for the perfect work travel look.