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The Travel Essentials Our CEO Won’t Leave Home Without

August 23, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

When I was growing up, my dad was a diplomat in the State Department, and my mother’s family lived in Tokyo. Our family was always on the road, and I learned to pack my own suitcase by the time I was six. After college, I worked as a management consultant, frequently traveling four days a week, then moved to South Africa, where I traveled to rural farms on a weekly basis. Back in the U.S., I settled in NYC and joined a private equity firm that took me to Paris every week, Monday through Thursday. It sounds exciting, but most of the times I was worn-out and jet lagged, and my number one priority when traveling became “feeling cozy.” Finding my Travel Hygge, if you will.

But how to reconcile “Scandinavian coziness by the fireplace” with “looking polished so your clients don’t think you’re their daughter’s age?” This challenge was particularly acute when I was heading straight to the client site from the airport, or when traveling with my very senior boss. I became especially picky about fabrics, and found that most workwear pieces are not at all suited for travel. They are stiff, wrinkle easily, and often require dry-cleaning. 

Our latest collection, Up, Up, and Away, is the clothing I wish I had for those business trips. These days I don’t travel as much as I used to, but this is hands-down the most comfortable, easy-to-care-for collection that Miyako has designed to date, and I find myself wearing them on the weekends or on the days when I just want to feel relaxed at work.  

Here are a few of my go-to outfits when I’m on the road, plus a few of the travel hacks I’ve learned along the way.

On The Plane

Sarah wears the Angelou shawl, the Celeste top, the Shaw pant, and the Bezel earrings.

I always wear pants on planes, and the Shaws are my favorite. They’re so comfortable, and the fabric has a slight sheen that transitions easily from day to night. Pro tip: Pack the Angelou shawl in your handbag, because it doubles as a blanket for chilly flights. (Plus, airlines don’t offer blankets anymore for domestic travel in economy!) 

I wear the Bezel earrings when I travel—they’re light and add a sparkle to any outfit, and if I lose them (which I have), I’m not too devastated since they are $100. Fake diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

Meeting With Investors

Sarah wears the Merritt jardigan, the Giulia top, the Shaw pant, the Capri earrings, and the Ginger pump.

When I’m traveling, my staples are knits because they’re soft and comforting, and not to mention impossible to wrinkle. I’ll wear the Giulia or Peggy top underneath, with the Merritt jardigan on top. The Merritt jardigan is my favorite creation of 2019. It stretches in all the right places, and you throw it on and instantly look polished. 

The Capri earrings are the other pair of earrings I often pack because they tend to dress up any outfit. Bring jewelry when you travel, and you won’t have to pack as much clothing. I’ve found that simply switching out your earrings can take your look from day to night. Don’t I look bankable?

(Speaking of bankable, here’s a photo of me wearing an eyepatch when I was out in Silicon Valley fundraising. It was a stressful time, I had the grossest eye infection, and we had sixteen meetings lined up back-to-back in three days. This look is called “Arrrr…give me your money!” See how the Angelou shawl comes in handy?)

Dinner With VIP Customers

Sarah wears the Doris dress.

I call dresses the ‘adult onesies’—there’s no need to worry about mixing and matching, which is perfect when you’re on the road. The Doris dress is one of my favorites because it’s basically a huge t-shirt and is machine-washable. I like wearing prints when I travel because they make me feel cheerful and disguise small wrinkles.

Breakfast Presentation

Sarah wears the Lise top, the Moreland jacket, the Cobble Hill skirt, and the Beebe belt.

The magic of our triacetate tops + origami suiting is that it knows no wrinkles—you can be rough with the pieces and they still look beautiful. Did you know that triacetate is a special fabric that you can only source from one mill in Japan? It’s one of the most elegant but sturdy (and machine-washable!) fabrics out there. The Lise top + Cobble Hill skirt or Lise top + Colby pant is my go-to look, even when I’m not traveling. Oh, and don’t you want this belt? It’s called the Beebe. It’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

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Sarah wears the Giulia top and the Capri earrings.

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Photographs by Lindsay Brown.

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Sarah LaFleur is the founder and CEO of professional womenswear brand MM.LaFleur . Her mission: to take the work out of dressing for work. Read more of Sarah's posts.

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