How to Pack for a Business Trip
The ideal work trip wardrobe features items that can be worn in multiple venues — think morning meetings into evening cocktails.
Business trips can often be more stressful to pack for than vacations. How much time will be dedicated to working? Are there any social obligations, and if so, what are they? How do people dress in the new locale? It's a lot to consider when packing only a carry-on bag.
Transitional basics (with just a touch of personal style) are appropriate everywhere. For women, a blazer is a key staple. Layer it over separates or a neutral dress for the conference and ditch it later (with the addition of a sparkly accessory) for dinner with clients. For a touch of personality, kick it up a notch with a statement tote bag.
For men, a classic sports jacket with pants is far more versatile than a traditional suit, and arguably more stylish to boot. A pair of black brogues and a matching briefcase means business and will seal the deal before you can say, “sign here.”
To help make packing for your next business trip easier, we’ve put together capsule wardrobes for both men and women full of versatile, office-appropriate pieces that can be easily mixed and matched with each other. These tailored items not only help you tackle the boardroom in style, but they are also super comfortable to travel in and easy to pack. Keep reading to shop them all.
Women’s Business Trip Outfit
Naturalizer Natalie Pumps
These black pumps by Naturalizer will not only pair perfectly with just about everything in your suitcase, but they are also comfortable enough to stand and walk in all day. Along with a contoured footbed that provides ample arch support, the sleek shoes also feature dual density cushioning for maximum comfort and a non-slip outsole for added traction. Plus, their three-inch height makes them easy to walk in (while still adding a little extra height).
To buy: zappos.com, $99
Leith Ruched Tank Dress
This cotton tank dress by Leith is the perfect layering piece to pack for business trips. Wear it under a blazer during important meetings and then ditch the outerwear for after-work drinks and dinners. The stylish work-ready dress comes in 13 pretty colors and ranges in size from XXS to XXL.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $45 (originally $56)
Ministry of Supply Kinetic Blazer
This tailored blazer from Ministry of Supply won’t wrinkle no matter how smushed it gets, making it a great option to wear on flights and long commutes. It is also water-repellent, moisture-wicking, and made from a comfortable warp-knit fabric that moves with you.
To buy: ministryofsupply.com, $275
Dagne Dover Legend Signature Tote
You’ll never have to waste time on business trips searching for your travel essentials again thanks to this super organized tote bag from Dagne Dover. The sleek carryall features a plethora of pockets and compartments to keep all your belongings safe and organized, and it’s even big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop.
To buy: dagnedover.com, $265
Ippolita Classico 18-Karat Gold Earrings
When it comes to packing jewelry for a business trip, it’s important to reach for simple versatile pieces that will match all your planned outfits. We love these gorgeous gold studs from Ippolita because they add an elegant touch to any ensemble without overpowering your look.
To buy: net-a-porter.com, $450
Men’s Business Trip Outfit
Nordstrom’s Traditional Fit Non-Iron Dress Shirt
You’ll always look polished and professional thanks to this wrinkle-resistant button-up shirt from Nordstrom’s Men’s Shop. The crease-free shirt is made from 100 percent cotton, and since it’s conveniently machine-washable, you won’t have to find a dry cleaner while you’re traveling. It comes in five classic colorways and can be found in regular, big, and tall sizes.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $50
Rhone Commuter Slim Pants
These Rhone trousers are stretchy, comfortable, and sleek enough to wear to important meetings. Along with being made from a soft four-way stretch material, these tailored pants boast zippered pockets to keep your belongings safe and secure while you travel. They range in size from 28 to 40, and the company even offers complimentary hemming to ensure they fit you perfectly.
To buy: rhone.com, $128
Eddie Bauer Voyager Travel Blazer
This travel blazer from Eddie Bauer is specially designed to keep you looking sleek and polished while on the road. The stylish topper is water-resistant, packable, and provides UPF protection from the sun’s harmful rays. It also features zippered interior pockets so you can securely store your essentials.
To buy: amazon.com, $107
Johnston & Murphy Conard Casual Dress Wingtip Oxford
It’s not often that you find a pair of dress shoes that are as comfortable as they are stylish, which is why we love this pair from Johnston & Murphy so much. The lightweight leather oxfords feature a cushioned footbed, rubber outsole, and a water-resistant suede upper. Plus, they are so sleek they will pair perfectly with everything from three-piece suits to tailored slacks.
To buy: zappos.com, $169
Tumi Alpha Bravo Aviano Slim Briefcase
A sleek, multifunctional briefcase is a must-have for any business traveler. This option from Tumi is made from a durable nylon fabric that is built to last and can be carried from the top handles or the convertible shoulder strap. It also boasts a handy back strap that can slide over the handles of a rolling suitcase for added convenience.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $395