Many of us have the dream of owning fewer things, a smaller collection of well loved pieces that all reliably go together. When you get up in the morning, you can take anything out of your closet and look great.
This is the concept of a capsule wardrobe — a limited number of pieces that mix and match and go with every other piece. The whole idea is to save time and conserve energy in thinking about what you should wear, so you can apply yourself to more important things.
A work capsule wardrobe is a slightly different beast, as it has to fulfill even more requirements, like, you may need to look formal one minute (blazers and suits) and comfortable the next. But no matter what, whatever you bring needs to travel and pack well (wrinkle free).
Until recently, checking off all the requirements was extremely difficult. Technical travel clothes don’t look smart enough to wear into an important business meetings, and traditional suits and blazers aren’t designed for the rigors of travel.
But that’s where we come in.
What should a business travel packing list include?
My business casual capsule wardrobe includes the following for a three-day trip:
- 2 Shirts: I usually bring two Meridian Travel Shirts and either rewear one, or throw a t-shirt under my blazer on a travel day.
- 1 Pant: I usually choose Khaki or Charcoal that go well with my blazer and shirts.
- 1 Suit: I wear our Gramercy Travel Blazer for business meetings and as an extra layer for warmth when traveling. Bring one pair of our our Gramercy Travel Pants — which, when paired with our Blazer, create an instant lightweight travel suit.
- 3 T-Shirts: My habit is to wear a t-shirt casually during the day, and then polish it off in the gym the next day. Our Threshold Performance T-Shirt is my favorite.
- 2 Workout Shorts: I often bring two pairs of shorts, one extremely light pair just for the gym, and a second pair that is a swim suit which I can wear in the gym, walking around, or in the pool.
- 2 Pairs of Shoes: I bring one for business, one for workouts. Take a look at our full post about the best shoes for travel.
- Personal Items: In addition to a tie and belt, you need a full kit of socks and underwear — because a three-day trip is too short to do laundry. Shoot for three to five pairs to accommodate workouts.
Depending on your personal style and the formality of your business trip, you might want to add some accessories like ties, pocket squares, watches, bright socks, and belts in complementary colors to mix things up. The key is packing light, so you can mix things up with accessories that are small and packable. No one will notice you’re wearing the same blazer or shirt when it’s paired with a different tie.
What to look for when selecting your business travel clothes.
The key to a professional wardrobe that goes the distance isn’t just in the number of pants and shirts you select — it’s also about selecting the right pieces that will get the job done.
You’ll want to consider:
- Color: choose a single color scheme so that everything goes together well (for example, choose black, blue, or grey as your neutral — but not all three).
- Quality and style: a few high-quality pieces will last longer and look better than many cheap, disposable pieces.
- Wrinkle resistance: because walking off the plane into a meeting looking like a scrunched up prune doesn’t make a good impression.
- Perfect fit: if you’re not comfortable in your clothes, it shows. We offer multiple fits and lengths so that you can find the perfect fit — and our customer service team is always available to help.
- Comfort: look for breathable fabrics with a little stretch so that they move with you and you’ll never feel overheated when running to catch a flight or when the adrenaline starts flowing in a big meeting.
- Packability: lighter fabrics make packing light easier, and wrinkle-resistant fabrics mean you don’t have to carry a separate suit bag just for one garment.
- Washability: if you spill food on yourself, the last thing you want to do is search for a dry cleaner while you’re traveling. Our machine-washable travel clothes mean you can easily wash in a hotel sink, send them to be washed at your hotel, or even drop into a laundromat if necessary.
Do you have any business travel plans coming up? Get started on your packing list today.
My whole goal is to equip you to take on the world. That’s why we’ve built a collection of business travel pieces that you can be sure make you look good for any conquest. Despite being a clothing company, we happen to believe experiences are more important than things.
In those dark and early morning hours when you are looking for something to wear, we want it to be easy. We’ve got your back.