Travel Basics for Women

When traveling, whatever your occupation or position, bring items that can coordinate with other pieces of your wardrobe.  Build your travel wardrobe around neutrals such as black, taupe, camel, navy and go from there.  Include lots of accessories, such as scarves, jewelry, belts and hosiery to change up the look with the same pieces.  Here are some ideas for a great travel wardrobe:

  • If suits are required bring a suit or suit separates.  Add blouses and shirts for variety and accessorize for impact.  Consider a black dress with bold jewelry for evening and stripy sandals.  Or consider a dress with a coordinating jacket that works both during business hours and after.  Wear the jacket over the dress with some jewelry during the day, take off the jacket and add some bold jewelry and perhaps a shawl for evening.  Consider trousers and a coordinating cardigan with a top for weekend events.  Choose a couple of pair of shoes such as pump or ties that go with your travel wardrobe with medium heels.
  • If jackets are optional, consider knits for day and evening wear.  Chico’s has their “Travelers” line that was popularized by Michael Phelp’s mother during the Beijing Olympics.  Made of Lycra and Acetate, they travel well, are easy to care for and comfortable to wear.  Consider pants and skirts and coordinating tops and jackets that can go anywhere as well as day into evening like black, silver, deep navy or dark chocolate.  Team up black Traveler’s pants with a black turtleneck and jewelry and perhaps if its cooler, a tailor mandarin collar jean jacket with jeweled buttons for evening events on the road. For day try the black pants with the black denim jacket and a tailored shirt, belted for day.  Everything goes with black.
  • Consider classic suit separates that go from day to evening such a gabardine twill trousers or skirts and a single blazer in black or navy.  Bring an assortment of blouses, shirts and sweaters such as turtlenecks that coordinate.  Accessorize dramatically for evening events and employ scarves and some jewelry for day.
  • If you have a tendency to get cold in air conditioned hotels, bring a blazer or good rib knit or double knit cardigan that coordinates with the rest of your travel wardrobe.
  • If jeans are permitted choose ones in a dark wash that are in excellent condition as well as another pair of pants or skirt in a neutral such as khaki or black.
  • Introduce knits such as sweater sets, cotton V- or round neck pullovers or turtlenecks and mock turtle styles.  Look to natural fibers blended with synthetics or 100% synthetic fabrics for ease of care.
  • Consider bringing one jacket, perhaps a black blazer or a cardigan that coordinates with the rest of your wardrobe.  A blazer or box jacket, if necessary, can take you to evening if jackets are optional and jeans are permitted.  Wear it with a silk blouse or jeweled tone shirt and bold jewelry.
  • Regarding shoes, don’t buy any new ones to wear on your trip, your feet will hate you.  Buy the shoes about a week or two in advance and break them in at home, then they will be ready for your trip.  Consider bringing a pair of shoes perhaps slip-ons, loafer or tie styles in a medium to low heel such as an inch and a half.
  • When it comes to cosmetics, have them in a makeup bag.  You may lots of makeup but you can only take what you really need and the colors you wear most often.  All of my makeup is in such a bag and makes it really easy to travel anywhere and cuts down on decision making each morning.
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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

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