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Wardrobe for business trip.

(21 Posts)
CardiCorgi Tue 16-Jun-15 09:00:58

Calling any jet-setting business women for tips or advice. I'm being sent on a rare business trip starting at the end of the week. Clearly I'll need my business suit, smart shoes and a selection of shirts. Running kit and some casual clothing as there will be time for sightseeing at the weekend. Something comfortable for the flight (long haul, back of the plane). Anything obvious that I have forgotten and any tips for packing my suit so that it doesn't get completely crumpled?

yakari Tue 16-Jun-15 10:14:26

Like any kind of packing, make sure you plan items that coordinate so take tops that will go with different skirts and trousers, that you can mix and match. Also think about shoes can you cut back on shoes for work, can you use the same pair for sight seeing/evenings or will they kill your feet. Depending on the weather, take flip flops which are easy to pack and your feet can recover from heels.

Be very very honest about your spare time, will you have time for the gym or to run? Its a standing joke amongst my colleagues that their kit is the one thing that never comes out of the suitcase between meetings, socializing with colleagues and any form of sight seeing. I take a resistance band and do basic exercises in my room - in underwear or Pj's.

Take a large scarf or pashmina for the flight - the airline blankets are usually awful and planes can get cold. Can also double up as a wrap in the evenings depending on where you are going.

On the suit I find that you can fold the arms in across the chest then fold the jacket in half and it should fit into the size of a carry on suitcase. I always pack mine on the top to keep as flat as possible. But for tops and dresses I pile them on top of each other and fold them all together to fit the suitcase, seems to give less creases than folding individually - and quick steam in the bathroom when you rely will drop out any that are there.

CardiCorgi Tue 16-Jun-15 11:46:42

Thanks, good points, I am updating the list. I had forgotten a scarf or pashmina, but that could be pretty handy.
I think I will only take one pair of slightly boring but sensible work shoes and then there will be room for something more casual.
Regarding the running kit, yes I will use it, but I know what you mean. DH is notorious for taking several sets on holiday and never going running. One set will probably do, if necessary I can wash it.

MelanieCheeks Tue 16-Jun-15 11:51:57

I usually travel in my trainers. If it's long haul, you can loosen them for comfort, and you have them then for running in.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 16-Jun-15 11:52:43

What happens in the evenings? Are there dinners to attend? What do you wear for these?

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Tue 16-Jun-15 11:54:09

And are you going for long enough to use the hotel laundry? Can be useful to get the first two blouses you wore and the clothes you travelled in laundered for the last two days and the return journey

ememem84 Tue 16-Jun-15 12:00:54

Where are you going?

I was away for business recently - in Israel and completely overlooked how warm it would be. i should have packed loose floaty items instead of structured suit type items. Luckily my hotel had a pool. And I remembered my swimmers.

CardiCorgi Tue 16-Jun-15 12:17:08

Vancouver for a whole week of meetings and talks. I'm hoping to go up to Whistler on my weekend off and see bears.
Yes, we have been invited out to eat one evening, my thought had been that a wrap dress would be handy for that and could also be worn for sightseeing or even on the plane home. I don't think that there will be any events where we are expected to glam up, it's not that sort of industry.

ememem, I had the same experience in Israel, the business suit was really not necessary. I swam in the sea or ran before work every day there which was rather nice.

Melonfool Tue 16-Jun-15 19:50:20

I always wear loose drawstring linen trousers to fly and if there is any chance of going walking/sightseeing once there I wear my walking boors for the flight, they're heavy to pack and comfortable.

My problem is always bags. Need work bag for work days, handbag for evening, rucksack for sightseeing, carry on bag for flight, suitcase for full luggage.....so I end up taking up packing space with bags!

Melonfool Tue 16-Jun-15 19:51:02

hmm, that'd be walking boots!

FrugalFashionista Tue 16-Jun-15 20:06:22

I wear jumpsuits and ultralight down jackets and a big scarf on long flights these days. Take along mini toiletries and earplugs, you'll feel fresher.

Vancouver is very casual, Lululemon yoga gear and sporty outdoor clothes. Plus it rains a lot.

If I have to take boots, I wear them to the plane but take them off and then wear cashmere socks and disposable hotel slippers

CardiCorgi Tue 16-Jun-15 21:28:11

Thanks everyone. I knew you would have the answers.
frugal now you mention Lulemon gear, is it worth buying while I'm there? I've heard friends rave about it and wondered if it was that good.
melon the bag problem is one I always face when travelling. I'm wondering if I can get away with a messenger bag for both work and sightseeing.

I wonder if my male colleagues have any of these concerns?

CMOTDibbler Tue 16-Jun-15 21:40:53

I travel a lot for work (and always in the back of the plane).

I currently wear (15 years of this means I go through phases) yoga pants, my running shoes, long sleeve t, cardigan on the plane, plus a pashmina thing or an infinity scarf.

For a week like you describe I'd take 3 dresses, 3 cardigans (so they mix and match), or two suits in the same colourway plus tops, one pair work shoes, one pair less dressy, one set running kit, a more casual dress, jeans and two tops, and clean yoga pants/t for the trip home. If I'll need one, I take a very basic rucksac from Decathlon as it flattens to nothing

I always run when away - jet lag gets me up early enough and I feel vastly better for it. If the hotel has a pool, I really like swimming as the sun comes up smile

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 16-Jun-15 22:00:28

Lay suit jacket on bed. Open and insert two sheets of tissue paper folded in half so a long rectangle. Button jacket. Flip over so it's face down. One sheet per sleeve. Then cross sleeves over and fold bottom of jacket up. Last thing to go in, first thing out. Save paper for return flight. It really works. In business class most people will wear their jacket and coat on board and hang it up.

What about travelling in light summer hiking trousers? Some styles are quite smart but generally they don't wrinkle like linen does.

I wouldn't take shirts, light tops that can look smart under a suit jacket with a necklace and can be worn on the weekend would be handier.

Def bring something smart casual. Americans are v hospitable and are likely to want to take you out to dinner. Wrap dress, ballet shoes and a cardi?

Long haul at the back of the plane. Shoes that will accommodate swollen feet are handy. Bring flight socks in case there is turbulence. If you can't move around your feet can be horribly swollen.

I've never been to Vancouver but certainly in NY you are expected to wear hosiery into the office.

Melonfool Tue 16-Jun-15 22:11:18

Lulumon is nice, but I couldn't find it in New York and not sure it would be cheaper in Canada than here?

yakari Wed 17-Jun-15 00:30:05

So Vancouver and Whistler -well gut reaction is ditch the suit unless your corporate culture is very much 'suited and booted'. I'd go for dresses and smart trousers with a variety of tops so you can mix and match work/evening. That will also allow you a more casual messenger style bag for work and relaxing.
I agree travel in light walking trousers or whatever you would wear plus what ever shoes you will wear but pack flip flops or sliders in hand luggage and change once on flight
If it's a full week and weekend I'dbuy toiletries at the airport or there and leave. But I'm not fussy about anything beys me conditioner so wil use body wash etc from hotels.

yakari Wed 17-Jun-15 01:31:41

God knows what happened to that last sentence --- If it's a full week and weekend I'd buy toiletries at the airport or there and leave. But I'm not fussy about toiletries so as long as I have a good conditioner, I will use shampoo & body wash etc from hotels.

Anyway have a great trip - a stunningly beautiful part of the world

kitsilana Wed 17-Jun-15 03:44:38

I live in Vancouver and can confirm it's very casual, so you may not need a suit, smart dress or heels. Personally I wear smart(ish) jeans, blazers and sneakers to work every day - these are also appropriate for about 99% of Vancouver restaurants and bars. Can't remember the last time I wore heels!

For flights, I usually wear jeans (stretchy ones like Gap resolution denim are great), layered tops, sneakers and a scarf.

Vancouver's a great city for running, enjoy the seawall if you are anywhere near it. It's fabulously sunny right now and we don't have much rain at this time of year. And you don't need to go to Whistler to see bears, there are two grizzlies on top of Grouse Mountain - bit touristy but you can see it from the city and get there on public transport pretty easily. Have a great time!

Kahu Wed 17-Jun-15 05:42:02

All the Vancouver people are MNing right now!

I agree with pps - you won't need a suit, a messanger bag will be just fine, no need for heels, we are a very laid back bunch! We are having really hot dry spell so think loose fitting tops and natural fabrics. Whistler will be cool in the evenings though.

There is a big Lululemon store on Robson Street downtown - you should probably get a little something before you go home. Their running gear is nice.

And yes, you must go for a run along the sea wall!

CardiCorgi Fri 19-Jun-15 05:16:12

Thanks everyone, I'm sitting in the airport feeling a bit nervous about the trip. There's plenty of room in my case for presents for DH and the DC, but I think I have the clothing for anyone I will be doing.
My male colleagues will all be wearing suits, so I did pack mine.

CardiCorgi Wed 08-Jul-15 09:41:33

The trip went well, thank you for all of your packing advice. The one redundant item was my wrap dress as it was far too hot to wear it when we went out to eat. I managed all of the business stuff with a skirt suit, one pair of black trousers and a selection of shirts and tops.
I did use my running kit and ended up buying more in Lululemon which is definitely cheaper in Canada than it would be in Germany (plus they hem the yoga pants while you wait, how great is that?).
Dh and the DC have already been told that we must go back to Canada.

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