Dressing for a Business Trip – 4 Looks for All Occasions

No matter what your work style personality is – whether you’re a high sweatpants radius type of person or “I want to look my best even for a Zoom call“Packing for personal – business travel can be a daunting task. You’ve usually only got one carry-on and yet you have to dress for every occasion – it just doesn’t add up!

But packing for a business trip doesn’t have to be your Everest. Once you figure out the formula, it can actually be quite simple. It involves carefully looking at the details of your work trip – how many meetings you have, whether there are team or client dinners, when you have downtime, etc. – and then matching an outfit to each key activity.

So, let’s dive right in and check out every “see” you’ll need on your trip.

Look 1: Business attire and attire to impress

If you’ve got a client meeting, for example, or an important company-wide event, chances are you’ll want to look sharp. These days, it doesn’t necessarily mean a pencil skirt and a shirt for women or a 3-piece suit and dress shoes for men. You have more flexibility in what business attire you can wear, but generally you’ll want to pack an outfit that makes you look objectively professional.

For what occasion will you need this dress?

  • Meetings with clients, partners, investors etc.
  • Meeting with more senior members of your leadership team
  • Presentations, keynotes, roundtables, panel discussions etc.

Formal Business Wear Dress Ideas for Women:

Good news! You’ve actually got a lot of options to choose from. Whether it’s a white shirt and a cardigan paired with a pair of pants, or an outfit with black tights and ankle boots, you can put together a nice formal work outfit from the packed wardrobe anyway.

Women's Business Formal Collage
Knit jacket from Claudi Pierlot; Monroe Beige Leather Pointed Toe Courts from LK Bennett; Regular fit embroidered collar shirt from COS; Savoy black pleated pants from Banana Republic; Laptop bag from Picuadro; Textured Double-Breasted Blazer from Zara; Derby shoes from Pollini; Aimee Claw hair clip set from Anthropologie; Black dress by Max Mara

official Business attire outfit ideas For men:

Workwear options for men don’t vary as much as for women. Basically, to be more formal you should probably ditch the chinos and wear a smart pair of pants and a variety of suit jackets. Wearing a tie will depend a lot on the nature of the trip you are going on, as well as the overall feel of your company.

Men's business formal collage
Black leather shoes from Tod’s; Rally black leather watch from Larson & Jennings; Prince of Wales two-button suit from Paul Smith; Blue Slim Fit Poplin Shirt from Ralph Lauren; dark blue coat from Ted Baker; Pin-dot silk tie from Lanvin via Mr. Porter; Black leather belt from Boss via Farfetch

Look 2: Business casual everyday style

When going to the office, for example, for a typical day of meetings and async work, rocking a business casual look is the safe way to go. Swap your suit jacket for a blazer, for example, or crisply pressed black pants for a pair of your khakis. Depending on what your company is like, a nice pair of sneakers (no, the ones you wore to run your half marathon) can also complement a business casual look very nicely. Not to mention they’ll transition seamlessly into your after-work outfit!

For what occasion will you need this dress?

  • Regular day at office
  • Team meetings and get-togethers like offsite
  • Team building activities and workshops

Business Casual Dress Ideas for Women:

A comfortable pair of capri-cut pants, or a flowy mid-length skirt with a cute top and white sneakers or ballet pumps are staples of business casual attire. Think about what you’ve got in your capsule wardrobe and mix and match until you find something a little more formal than what you’d wear to brunch. For example, an oversized blazer is something you can easily wear to both a business meeting and sightseeing in the city you’re visiting!

Women are business casual
Foster 45 leather ankle boots from Gianvito Rossi; black and white pants from Marks & Spencer; Austin Crew Neck Tee from Saint & Sophia; white blazer by Massimo Dutti; Scalloped leather ballet flats from Chloe via Net-a-Porter; Orion Retreat Backpack from Herschel

Business Casual Wear Ideas for Men:

A nice pair of chinos, a polo shirt and some loafers combine beautifully for the perfect business casual outfit for men. The great thing about this look is that it’s easy to refresh day after day – just swap out one polo for another, or for a more sophisticated look, wear a button-down shirt! Thinking sustainably is an important staple of business trip packing, so the more combination options you have, the better!

Men's business casual
Cashmere sweater from Falconeri; Slim fit chinos from Michael Kors; Leather ankle boots from Officine Creative; Oxford Charlie Shirt from October Edition; Polo shirt from Barbour; Blazer from Hackett; Leather-trimmed suede derby shoes from Paul Smith via Mr. Porter

Look 3: Dinner or drinks with colleagues after work

Going out for drinks or dinner with your teammates after work is a great way to unwind at the end of a long day. Not to mention the feeling and team spirit you will feel after breaking bread with colleagues and laughing together over a glass or something. And sure, some days you’ll probably go out for dinner or drinks straight from the office – but if you get a chance to go back to your hotel, changing your clothes can give you a much-needed boost of energy.

For what occasion will you need this dress?

  • After work dinner or happy hour
  • Team-building activities offsite
  • Social activities with work friends

Business casual clothing ideas For women:

This is a great opportunity to flaunt your personal style! Even if you’re packing light, feel free to add an accessory or statement piece that makes you feel like… well, you. It’s easy to leave details behind when packing a travel outfit, so don’t forget the little things! For an after-work dinner or drinks outfit, go a little more casual and true to your personal style. A cute dress, a pair of jeans, even leggings and an oversized jumper would be totally fine for such an occasion!

Work after women
Paige net top from The Reformation; camellia green dress from Cezanne; Cargo leather biker jacket from All Saints; straight ankle jeans from Levi’s; black patent leather shoes from Dr. Martens; Dark red sweater from Sandro

Business casual clothing ideas For men:

Swap that dress shirt for a t-shirt or a casual polo, and you’re good to go! Dark jeans, a pair of chinos, a casual sweater and some urban sneakers can go a long way in creating your after-work drinks look. Lucky for you, your travel capsule wardrobe can be very flexible and easily transition from business casual to off-duty.

Men's afterwork
Cashmere cable-knit sweater from J.Crew; Black Jeans from G-Star Raw; striped cotton-linen shirt from Zara; Slim-fit jacket from Hugo Boss; Pink polo shirt from Polo Ralph Lauren via Asos; Wingtip Oxford Shoes from Cole Haan

See 4: Non-Trollsh Travel Clothing

We can all probably admit that the clothes we travel in are usually not something we are very proud of. Old, comfy sweatpants, soft t-shirts with those irresistible stains, or warm jumpers with your university logo… sound familiar? That’s what I’m thinking. And it’s a perfectly respectable outfit for leisure travel, what about when you need to go straight from the airport to a meeting? You still want to be comfortable while traveling, but look presentable for a meeting as you head to the office. Well, have a look for that!

For what occasion will you need this dress?

  • Travel by air, rail or car
  • Jetting straight from your journey to the office

travel clothes Ideas for women:

To get perhaps the most difficult outfit right, you’ll want something very comfortable that won’t wrinkle and will look good no matter how long your trip is. Stretchy or loose fit pants are a pretty safe bet, along with a fitted blouse or top that’s not too tight and made of a breathable material. A button-down cardigan also tends to be quite travel-friendly – ​​you can wear it with multiple things and adapt to different temperatures.

Women's flight dresses
Pink wide leg trousers from Frankie Shop via Farfetch; Sport slip-ons from Fratelli Rossetti; Jack Jacket from Rouge; white cowl-neck tee from Saint & Sophia; Cropped denim leggings from Spanx via Farfetch; From The Gold Button Cardigan & Other Stories; Black leather shoes from Kurt Geiger

travel clothes Ideas for men:

You’ve got some great options here, with plenty of retailers and designers making chino-looking pants from comfortable materials typically made for sweatpants. This, paired with a simple polo or a cotton shirt will make traveling fun and you’ll look good when you get off the plane. It’s minimalist and simple! What more could you be?

relaxed-fit chinos from Zara; Classic-fit polo from Lacoste; Go to adidas commuter pants; Wingtip oxford shoes from Cole Haan; Blue cotton shirt from Uniqlo; Black cashmere cardigan from Hackett

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