Looking sharp on a business trip without carrying a heavy suitcase is easy with the help of a few clever packing tricks
There are three things business travellers must carry while on a trip – a well-planned schedule, a mind full of ideas, and an arsenal of gadgets to keep it all neatly filed away. What you don’t need is excess baggage, a suitcase crammed with clothes that makes flying cumbersome. This weighty matter is easily sorted out by employing downsizing tactics while packing your bag.
The secret to an uncluttered bag is to include a lot of neutral coloured pieces in it. Colours like black, white, navy blue and tan are extremely versatile, and can be paired with almost any shade. A crisp white shirt is a classic, which can be worn with nearly any colour; it can also be dressed up or toned down to suit different occasions. Trousers and skirts in understated shades are regarded as professional across most cultures in the world.
Day To Night
An executive’s day is packed with meetings and conferences, but when the sun sinks into the horizon, the atmosphere gets a little lighter. Whether it’s for a semi-formal dinner or a night out on the town, the suits can be replaced with something more casual. To avoid donning a new after-hours outfit that takes up more space, it’s best to wear something that can smoothly transition from day to night. Men can skip the jacket of the suit and the tie, and switch the shirt underneath to something more befitting the night. For women, a sheath dress looks professional with a blazer on top, but once night comes around, the dress can be worn alone. This applies to a pantsuit or a skirtsuit as well, and if a formal shirt is worn with it, the latter can be replaced with a dressy blouse.
A minimum of two suits should ideally be carried for a trip that spans four to five days, but in certain settings, blazers worn with trousers or skirts are acceptable. Lightweight blazers made of cotton or linen save a lot of space. An important thing to remember is to pair blazers with bottoms in colours that complement each other, and here again, neutrals come in handy.
Taking the Right Step
Shoes are always hard to pack. The best way to avoid footwear from taking up too much space is to pack only two pairs. Oxfords and brogues are the most popular choices for men in formal settings, but loafers are more suited to night. Women can carry a pair of sensible shoes, such as flat pumps, block or wedge heels for work, and bring out the stilettos after dark. Packing flip-flops isn’t necessary as most hotels usually provide them for guests.
The Finishing Touches
Accessories can change the look of any outfit, and occupy very little space as an added advantage. A relatively large number of scarves, ties, belts and jewellery can be tucked between layers of clothing to save a few more square inches in the suitcase. It’s a good idea to coordinate outfits around accessories as well.