In last week’s article, we covered how to pack and dress for travel when you’re heading off on a journey of leisure. With the holidays fast approaching, this could be anything from Christmas Day at home with the family, Christmas Eve down the pub with old friends or New Year’s Eve somewhere crazy with your mates.
Either way, I hope we came to the conclusion that a well packed and prepared bag can take off a lot of the pressure when it comes to travelling in style over the December period.
But what do you do when you’re asked to travel for business? Because that is an entirely different proposition altogether. Not only will you be packing a different selection of clothes, it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate to the man who will probably be signing off on your next promotion just how well you have things together. No pressure, right?
Well, as per usual, if you follow a few simple steps, it really should not be as stressful as you think – leaving you more time to focus on nailing that presentation…
First things first, get a killer carry-on piece of luggage. This is going to be your main companion throughout the entire journey so you might as well make it a good, reliable one.
Like when travelling for pleasure, I personally find a medium sized leather holdall is the most convenient and versatile option. However, this time make sure that there is enough room to fit in other essential business items, aside from clothing: laptop, tablet, work folders, etc.
If you are looking for something more durable yet still convenient, a carry-on, multi-wheel case offers the perfect alternative. Practical and secure, they often weigh slightly more and do not have quite as much internal storage space, in comparison to a holdall, but they will ensure your essentials stay safe and protected throughout.
Luckily, you should be taking less clothing when travelling for business, so make your luggage choice based on your own personal requirements.
A mid-sized leather holdall is a versatile accessory that can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion. We already covered casual looks last week, so here we show how it easily adapts to smarter, more refined ensembles:
- Tan Leather Holdall
- He By Mango Weekend Bag
- Reiss Sawboss Large 48 Hour Holdall Whale Grey
- Ted Baker Jakjil Branded Holdall Bag
- Austin Reed Chocolate Brown Leather Holdall
- North Coast Luxury Leather Holdall
- Globe-trotter Special Edition 21 Carry-on Case
- Mulberry Henry Leather-trimmed Nylon Wheeled Suitcase
- Rimowa Topas Multiwheel 55cm Carry-on Case
- Samsonite Cosmolite 2 4-wheel Cabin Suitcase
- Samsonite B-lite 2 2-wheel Cabin Suitcase green
- Herschel highland Carryon Bag
What To Pack & What To Wear
Be clever with the clothing that you take. Most business trips only last a maximum of three days, so there’s no reason why you can’t wear the same suit every day. As long as you pack an interesting and diverse selection of shirts and ties (as well as pocket squares, if appropriate), it will appear brand new every time.
I’d suggest taking either a solid navy or grey suit as they are the most versatile, then pack the trousers and wear the jacket when travelling to reduce the chances of major wrinkles.
All you need to do then is pack three shirt and tie combinations for each day – think subtle, work-appropriate patterns like micro-check and pinstripes, in interesting colours like pink, blue, lilac and green, and always remember that your tie should be darker than your shirt.
Altering The Look Of A Suit
Using the current AW13 lookbook from sartorial heavyweight Suitsupply, below you can see how changing just your shirt, tie and pocket square can alter the whole aesthetic of a standard grey or navy (albeit different shades in this instance) suit:
For travelling, try pairing the suit jacket with a neutral polo shirt and pair of broken in jeans or chinos. In terms of footwear, brown penny loafers are easy to slip off when needed (e.g. airport security) and also double up as a great ‘after work drinks’ shoe, making them a versatile choice.
One of my personal tips is always take a navy v-neck jumper. This can be used when the temperature starts to randomly fluctuate on the vehicle you’re travelling in, or can be worn under your suit and out in the evenings. Pack it and you won’t regret it.
Business Travel Outfit Inspiration
Along with the shirt and tie combinations that you have packed, add a pair of black Oxford shoes – they will be your work-horse for the days you spend in the office.
A lightweight mac/trench is ideal for tackling unpredictable weather. Furthermore, it can be rolled to fit into small spaces (should you wish to pack it in your carry-on) and will still look great when it comes out the other side.
You’ll also want to include a handful of casual shirts in Oxford cloth, flannel or chambray, which can be worn when you’re out in the evening with your team after a hard day’s work. Alternatively, t-shirts or polos can be used to dress down your tailoring at night – adjust depending on your taste, weather or the formality required:
- Topman Mid Grey Slim Fit Suit
- Churchs Elveden Leather Penny Loafers
- Polo Ralph Lauren Plain Logo Slim Fit Polo
- He By Mango Slim-fit End-on-end Shirt
- Reiss Driver Formal Shirt With Small Collar White
- Reiss Gatlin Plain Collar Stripe Shirt White
- Charvet Patterned Woven-silk Tie
- Emma Willis Two-tone Woven-cashmere Tie
- Reiss Dino Woven Dot Design Tie Saffron
- Polo Ralph Lauren Jumper In Merino Wool V Neck
- He By Mango Leather Oxford Shoes
- He By Mango Garment-dyed Cotton Trench Coat
- A.p.c. Button-down Collar Cotton Oxford Shirt
- Tall Selvedge Chambray Utility Shirt
- Ovadia & Sons Midwood Suede-trimmed Gingham Cotton-flannel Shirt
Finally, as the next few days are going to be a bit of a whirlwind, it’s a good idea to make sure that you pack smart when it comes to your grooming kit as well. The basics are always going to be a must: toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving prep and deodorant.
But you should also make room for a travel aftershave (under 100ml), along with some face wipes and eye drops to help ease the battering that your body takes when it travels, especially in the air:
- Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette 50ml
- Giorgio Armani Mens Minis Gift Set
- Allure Homme Sport Eau De Toilette Travel Spray 3 X 20ml
- Penhaligons Travel Atomiser
- Loreal Paris Dermo-expertise Triple Active Ideal Balance Cleansing Wipes – Normal & Combination Skin 25 Wipes
- Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops 10ml
So there you have it, a few simple tips that can make travelling for work a whole lot easier to stomach.
Remember to pack underwear and socks in available shoes and jacket pockets to help keep their shape and always, ALWAYS roll rather than fold your clothing – it maximises your available space.
Until next week,