Your choice of outfits could influence how you are perceived socially, convey your standing and status, and how well rounded your personality is, concludes a study on Appearance Management Behaviour.
Dressing for work is a 24*7 job. Even when you aren’t in the office premises, your wardrobe choices are still sending out social cues to your fellow workers, business associates, and clients. When you are travelling for work, whether intercity, intracity, or flying across the globe, your clothes set the tone for the first impression you’ll create as you step out for work in new environs.
Whether your work gear is a carefully created ‘Airport Look’ or donning casual fitness apparel for a job down to the hotel gym, your clothing choices contribute significantly to the way people perceive and interact with you. When you travel for work, your wardrobe is under the scanner all the time, shaping your professional image one look at a time.
Leverage the power of a well put together work travel wardrobe by adopting these simple tips:
1. Packing with a Purpose
What is the goal of this work travel trip? Who will be your audience? What cultural norms should you be aware of? Are there any colours, outfits, taboos to avoid? What kind of meetings will you be having? What would the settings be like? What’s the weather forecast for your travel dates?
In answering the questions above, you’ll be saving yourself from a lot of major and minor mishaps like culture shocks, being caught dead in a woollen jacket in the tropics, walking on cobbled streets in stilettos, or living down the embarrassment of sweaty underarms in a formal meeting. Plan your travel wardrobe according to the customs and weather of the place you are visiting, and the goals of the trip.
2. Creating the Right Kind of Looks for Your Travel Needs
Monochromatic or two-toned dresses that are form fitting look smart yet appropriately formal. This way you can match the same pair of shoes with two or more looks. Old Navy dresses selection is a good place to look for inspiration as well as shopping. Blacks, navy blues, reds, and neutrals, can be worn in endless combinations on diverse occasions. Include a well-cut jacket to introduce layering, or a pashmina to add a dash of flamboyance to your travel style. If you have a couple of oft-worn looks that garner compliments, pack them in. Include a touch of matching accessories to add flair to your looks.
Ensure formal business suits are complemented with the right accessories. Pack an extra pair of formal pants and a blouse for emergencies. Incorporate easy wardrobe changes like switching out of the formal jacket into a fancy dinner jacket for a day to night look.
If you are big on the health and wellness lifestyle, don’t forget to pack in
fitness apparel and accessories. Also, add a pair of comfy pyjamas to change into at the end of a tiring day.
3. Packing the Right Footwear for Business Travel
Always carry a pair of comfortable, flat, formal shoes in a neutral colour that can be matched with formal as well as casual clothing. Only pack well worn, tried and tested footwear. Don’t even think of breaking in a new pair of pumps on an official trip. A pair of sports shoes that double up as gym gear also come in handy for those walking around the city excursions. Pack a pair of day to night pumps for formal and after-hours occasions.
Shoes take up a lot of packing space so sticking to a colour theme with outfits in similar colour ranges will drastically bring down the number of shoes that need to be carried.
4. Packing Efficiently
Use packing tips and tricks to utilize space judiciously:
- Insert accessory pouches, lingerie bags, socks, and other knick-knacks inside shoes/pumps.
- Roll your clothes to fit them in more snugly.
- Perfume bottles and other makeup items can be squeezed into the corners and crevices between clothes.
- Place jackets and heavier clothing items on top.
Remember, travelling light doesn’t mean you show up in the same two outfits throughout your trip. If your trip extends over a longer duration, pack in an extra suitcase with proper looks for all occasions. The goal is to create the best impression, not to show how ingenious your matching skills are. Also, women, these days have a lot of room to manoeuvre as business casual attire is gradually being accepted as business formal attire, so the flexibility of incorporating trendy dresses, cuts, and fit styles is enormous.
To sum up, avoid wardrobe experimentation on business trips, stick to classic looks in solid or neutral colors, pack tried and tested footwear, smart accessories, and cheerful disposition to get the most out of your trip.
Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, travelling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion. She wants to travel the whole world as travelling helps her calm her body as well as mind and explore fashion and style game around the world.