Packing Effectively

Advice on how to dress/packing for travel, specifically business travel? Or are there some other bloggers out there who do this well?

I’ll answer the second question first: Audi of  Fashion for Nerds is my personal idol when it comes to packing advice. Or, really, ANY advice about traveling. 

My personal packing tips are nothing earth-shattering, but they do work so I’m happy to share ‘em! They’re all top of mind for me anyway, as I prepare to depart for NYC …


If you’re going on a journey that will last more than three days, the best way to maximize your packing space is to chose a three-color scheme and pack only items that fit within it. For maximum versatility, you might consider two neutrals and an accent color – black, gray and turquoise or brown, tan, and red. Create several core outfits from your pieces, but include a few additional pieces that could be swapped in for variety. Sticking to a simple palette of mix-and-match pieces will give you what is, in essence, a capsule wardrobe for your trip.


Especially if you end up with a dark or neutral-heavy color scheme, including some truly stellar accessories can help enliven your travel looks. On our recent tour to Iceland, everything in my suitcase was black, gray, or white. But I included a gorgeous multicolored scarf that made every outfit look chic and funky, while simultaneously adding a dash of color. Make sure you include a pair of mind-blowing shoes, a glorious scarf, a killer belt, or an eye-catching necklace. Or all of the above. Accessories are small and wedge into suitcase corners easily, so don’t forget to include a few when you pack.


I absolutely refuse to lay down a single rule about packing for a wrinkle-free trip. There are simply too many options and too many individual traveler preferences.What I’ll say is this: Whether you pack only jersey knits, roll your items instead of folding them, insist on a garment bag, or pack a portable steamer, make sure that you’re aware of how your clothes may look after several hours in a suitcase. This is especially relevant to business travelers. If looking professional is a priority, being wrinkled is unacceptable. Pick a wrinkle management solution, and stick to it.


Most folks are aware of this trick, but it bears repeating. If your comfiest flat boots fit into your packing scheme but hog half the suitcase, wear them as you travel. Construct an outfit that incorporates your bulkiest item or items and wear it/them on the plane, train, bus, or in the car.


If you’re spending a long period of time in a climate or culture unfamiliar to you, consider packing some core basics and shopping for some accents on arrival. Don’t leave TOO much to chance, though! If you’re flying to New York for an important networking event, don’t assume you can track down the perfect dress in a few hours.  But for vacations and extended business trips, it can be fun and rewarding to pick up a few new items once you’ve reached your destination.

These are just a smattering of ideas for packing efficiently and effectively. I’d love to hear any other ones you folks would like to share! How do you pack for business travel? Vacation? What’s your wrinkle-management preference? Do you tend to pack heavy or light? Any other blogs or online resources that provide fabulous packing advice?

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