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The 5 Pieces You Need For The Perfect Business Trip Capsule Wardrobe

June 21, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

There are a lot of tips out there about the best way to pack for a business trip. From rolling clothes (highly recommend) to using packing cubes (I’m a big fan), there are a million ways to stuff everything in your carry-on and still have room for a couple extra books.

But when it comes to the actual clothes you need to pack, there’s still a bit of mystery, as the climate, activities, and needs of your trip are pretty much up to you to figure out. But here’s the thing: just like you have a capsule wardrobe for your normal non-traveling life, you can have a capsule wardrobe for your travel life, too. Pieces that take you from airport to meeting to drinks can do double, triple, or even quadruple duty if they’re made of good, wrinkle-resistant, easy to clean fabrics that pack up lightly.

Below, our best picks for your travel capsule wardrobe, modeled by our team member Kartinah.

Our top five picks for a travel capsule wardrobe.

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The Perfect Dress

Kartinah wears the Dana dress, the D-Ring belt, and the Pave earrings.

Every jet-setting woman needs a dress that can do it all. The Dana dress has that sleek tuxedo-dress look, but it isn’t fussy. In fact, it’s the perfect day-to-night dress that feels polished in the office and fun for after-work drinks. Bonus: It also works as a long-line vest worn over another dress, or paired with the Elliott trouser and the Sheila top (below). Plus, the Dana is machine washable, so if you spill on it or have to pick it up off the floor in the morning, it will be ready to go anyway.

Kartinah wears the Dana dress (as a vest), the Sheela top, the Elliott trouser, the Pave earrings, and the Ella sandal.

The Plane-Friendly Blazer

Kartinah wears the Emalis jacket, the Sheela top, the Elliott trouser, the D-Ring belt, the Pave earrings, and the Ella sandal.

Whether you’re taking a plane, a train, or a car (or all three!), chances are there will be times when you’re freezing. The temperature is rarely set with women in mind, so it’s best to come prepared. The Emalis jacket is a blazer, but it’s also the perfect thing to toss over a T-shirt before boarding the plane, just to make sure you’re not caught shivering on an overnight flight. What’s even better, the next morning you can pair it with the Cobble Hill skirt and be instantly ready for your big meeting.

The Grab-And-Go Skirt

Kartinah wears the Emalis jacket, the Sheela top, the Cobble Hill skirt, and the Pave earrings.

The Cobble Hill skirt is the gold standard of pencil skirts. It’s machine washable, fully lined, and works perfectly from day to night. It’s a signature piece in your everyday wardrobe, but you should definitely roll it up and bring it along on your next (or every) business trip.

The Not Basic T-Shirt

Kartinah wears the Sheela top, the Cobble Hill skirt, the D-Ring belt, and the Pave earrings.

There comes a point on every business trip when you’re just like, “Eff it, I want to wear a T-shirt.” Behold: the Sheela. This polished, 100-percent cotton, machine-washable top is perfect under a blazer, but stands on its own with a pair of jeans. It’s the throw-it-in-the-suitcase staple every woman needs.

The Most Flattering Pants

Kartinah wears the Sheela top, the Elliott trouser, the D-Ring belt, the Pave earrings, and the Ella sandal.

There’s nothing quite as crucial as a good pair of pants. You need a pair that’s formal enough for meetings, but comfy enough to sit in for several hours on a cramped Amtrak. The Elliott trouser delivers on both fronts and then some. We’re talking pockets, machine-washable fabric, and a day-to-night fit that makes planning your outfit a breeze. Plus, paired with the Emalis jacket, it makes for a timeless suit.

Photographs by Yan Ruan. Styling by Nyjerah Cunningham.


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Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com. Read more of Caitlin's posts.


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