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October 14, 2014

#1 Business Trip Rule to Live by: Mix-and-Match Your Way to Light Packing

When we pack for a business trip, we want to take up as little space as possible, so we can stay nimble. Depending on the kind of traveller you are, you may like to fly the night before. Others prefer an early morning flight to head straight to your meeting. Either way, time is always precious, so efficiency is key. A few packing tips we live by:
1. Pack small things, like scarves, socks, stockings, and belts by rolling them up and putting them in your shoes. It helps keep your shoes from getting crushed and saves space.
2. Fold and then roll your clothes. It actually helps reduce wrinkles.
3. If you’re only going for 2-3 days, just pack 1 set of workout clothes. Since these fabrics are made for moisture, you can rinse them in the bathroom & they’ll quickly dry in the room.
4. While last in this list, this is the most important: Pack items that mix-and-match to create all the outfits you need, with as few pieces as possible.

If you have some great tips, share them in the comments below - we’d all love to hear them. Happy travels!
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/blazers/suitingblazers/PRDOVR~B0757/B0757.jsp
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/blazers/suitingblazers/PRDOVR~B0757/B0757.jsp
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J. Crew - Single-button Jacket
Single-button Jacket
J. Crew
Sold by: J. Crew

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Build your outfits around: The Versatile Blazer. If you work in a more creative industry, the dress code may be flexible – which can sometimes be harder to dress for, as it may be harder to determine the “uniform”. Start with a stylish, but classic, blazer. Keep it fitted and to the hip, so it will work with pants, skirts, or even a simple dress. You want a jacket that you can wear with black, for easy packing, but isn’t actually black, so you don’t need to worry about whether your shades of black match. This J. Crew jacket has a very subtle heathering of white mixed into the deep charcoal color. It is twill, so it will work with wool, ponte, and most fabrications of pants, skirts, or dresses. While stylishly modern in its slim silhouette that comes just past the hip with a single button closure (great for all chest sizes), it is subtle enough to re-wear. You can wear it with pants one day, a skirt or dress another. The simple lapel works with any necklines, and the slim silhouette layers perfectly over any pant or sleek skirt silhouette. Rag & Bone has this great one, too.
http://www.shopbop.com/andrew-wide-waistband-skinny-pant/vp/v=1/845524441848296.htm Alice + Olivia - Andrew Wide Waistband Pants
Alice + Olivia - Andrew Wide Waistband Pants
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Alice + Olivia - Andrew Wide Waistband Pants
Andrew Wide Waistband Pants
Alice + Olivia
Sold by: Shopbop

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A black pair of pants in a ponte material is comfortable, doesn’t wrinkle, and will look great with this blazer. The jersey material also works with all kinds of fabrications – wools, silks, cottons – so they are great for mixing and matching. These Alice + Olivia’s are mid-weight, so they work year round in any climate, making them a great packing piece. They have great stretch to them and a wide waistband, that not only eliminates muffin top, but makes them very comfortable for a long day –even if you are traveling in them. Alice + Olivia is known for their well-fitting contemporary pants, and the quality is great. They do a wool version, also.
http://www.shopbop.com/favorite-turtleneck-vince/vp/v=1/1594012605.htm Vince - Favorite Turtleneck
Vince - Favorite Turtleneck
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Vince - Favorite Turtleneck
Favorite Turtleneck
Vince
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Turtlenecks are everywhere this season, and they are great layering staple for work. They create a perfectly polished look – and especially in this case – provide the comfort of any easy tee. This Vince turtleneck is in a lightweight cotton that has a beautiful hand to it – really luxurious in feel, so its more elevated than a basic turtleneck, and has some stretch to it. That stretch is key to having it lay well under your blazer. The color is saturated and washes well, so it will stay a nice deep black (or pure white, if you go that route). It even looks good under the DVF wrap dress we’re showing below – another way to mix-and-match these pieces.
https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/sweaters/Pullover/PRDOVR~53268/53268.jsp J. Crew - Collection Cashmere Long-sleeve Tee
J. Crew - Collection Cashmere Long-sleeve Tee
Because it’s thin (but not sheer), this J. Crew cashmere sweater can be worn under the blazer for a completely different look. But it can easily be worn on its own. This is a great place to add some color if you want a little pop, as J. Crew always does a wonderful job with color in their cashmere collection. This acorn color is still neutral, but gives some nice contrast to the dark greys and blacks in the rest of these pieces. The forest green (click through the “shop it” button to see that color, and the others) is perfect for the season and still feels neutral.
http://www.toryburch.com/ulisse-skirt/30141308.html Tory Burch - Ulisse Skirt
Tory Burch - Ulisse Skirt
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Tory Burch - Ulisse Skirt
Ulisse Skirt
Tory Burch
Sold by: Tory Burch

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While a skirt can sometimes require a bit more work than a pair of pants, this Tory Burch pencil skirt is effortless. It has stretch for comfort, and has an inverted kick pleat in the back, so you don’t need to worry about a slit that might reveal too much if you have to bend down. The seams are piped subtly, which only provides a polished finishing touch. It is a modern fit that looks great on all body types. The length can hit anywhere from just below the knee to a little bit above for a professional look that is great with tights (and the booties we’re showing below). Wear it with this thin cashmere sweater or the turtleneck, with or without the blazer.
http://www.shopbop.com/sissi-platform-flare-goldsign/vp/v=1/845524441915438.htm Goldsign - Sissi Platform Flare Jeans
Goldsign - Sissi Platform Flare Jeans
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Goldsign - Sissi Platform Flare Jeans
Sissi Platform Flare Jeans
Goldsign
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Even if your industry is creative, we don’t think you should wear your ripped boyfriend jeans. Keep it modernly classic with a pair of dark flare or trouser style jeans. They’ll pair beautifully with the blazer and all the top options we’re suggesting. They’re also a great option if you have time to change before a more casual dinner. These Goldsign jeans are nothing short of a miracle. They look amazing on everyone we’ve seen wear them, short or tall, curvy or straight. If you’re short, you’ll need to hem them (any local tailor can do it), but you won’t lose the flare of the leg. Technically they’re jeans, but the fabric has a lot of rayon and stretch to them, so they are amazingly comfortable and give them a bit more of a dressed up feel. These don’t stretch out, either, so they’ll look as good at night as they did when you got on the plane in the morning. The contemporary fit and higher rise, with a wider waistband, keeps “things” nicely tucked in, too (your shirt, and that extra muffin you ate at the early breakfast).
http://www.shopbop.com/new-jeanne-two-dress-diane/vp/v=1/1525904822.htm Diane von Furstenberg - New Jeanne Two Wrap Dress
Diane von Furstenberg - New Jeanne Two Wrap Dress
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Diane von Furstenberg - New Jeanne Two Wrap Dress
New Jeanne Two Wrap Dress
Diane von Furstenberg
Sold by: Shopbop

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If your trip is 3 days long, or you are worried one of the evening events might require an outfit change, a jersey wrap dress from DVF is easy to pack, as they don’t wrinkle much at all. This one is a classic. You’ll wear it forever, but it always looks fresh and modern. This style has a collar detail that is perfect for a business trip. It’s a contemporary fit, but should work for most chest sizes without anything underneath – you can certainly wear a cami, or the turtleneck underneath, if you are more comfortable. The booties we’re showing here will look great with it, and you can easily add the scarf, too.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Diane-von-Furstenberg-Vault-Kenley-Cashmere-Python-Print-Scarf/prod171890049_cat41270753__/p.prod Diane von Furstenberg - Vault Kenley Cashmere Python-Print Scarf
Diane von Furstenberg - Vault Kenley Cashmere Python-Print Scarf
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Diane von Furstenberg - Vault Kenley Cashmere Python-Print Scarf
Vault Kenley Cashmere Python-Print Scarf
Diane von Furstenberg
Sold by: Neiman Marcus

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We are always fans of traveling with a scarf. It is great for the flight, and to layer over everything we’re showing to freshen up your look – especially if you’re heading out for dinner and drinks, and didn’t have time for a full outfit change. Animal print works with everything, not only all the pieces we’re showing here today, but it also works with color or browns or whites beautifully. And it’s timeless, so you’ll be able to reach for this one from Diane von Furstenberg for years.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306624251&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446699584 Joie - Rigby Leather Ankle Boots
Joie - Rigby Leather Ankle Boots
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Joie - Rigby Leather Ankle Boots
Rigby Leather Ankle Boots
Joie
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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A heeled bootie is great with a skirt, dress, pants, or jeans and gives a little stylish edge, while still being completely work appropriate. This pair from Joie (yup, the line that does amazing contemporary apparel does shoes, too) is really comfortable with its of-the-season stacked heel. It comes just above the ankle and is nicely fitted to the leg, so it look great with tights and a skirt or dress and doesn’t break the line of your pants by being too wide. If you like a kitten heel, these Loeffler Randall ankle boots will be just as comfortable and versatile.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-tulia-tropical-wool-trousers/3154125 BOSS Hugo Boss - Tulia Tropical Wool Trousers
BOSS Hugo Boss - Tulia Tropical Wool Trousers
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Tulia Tropical Wool Trousers
Tulia Tropical Wool Trousers
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Nordstrom

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Build your outfits around: The Versatile Black Pants. If you work in a conservative industry, building your travel wardrobe around a great pair of black trousers is always a safe bet. This stylishly modern option from Hugo Boss keeps it from being boring, though. They will be perfectly appropriate all day. And since you may end up checking your email in that brief time before drinks and dinner, they are still stylish enough for evening. The virgin wool is soft with a bit of stretch for that all day comfort you’ll be looking for. The fit is modern and easy (if you are between sizes, size down), just adding to the comfort. One of the many great things about this style is that it doesn’t have pockets at the hip or in the back, which creates a smooth line with a longer blazer or slim sweater. The leg is straight, which is flattering for any body type – and shoe option. If you go with heels, as we are recommending, you want the length to hit mid-heel. They should just skim above the ground with flats. Tailoring is essential to create a polished look for most of us, and these are things that any local tailor can do. (Note: If you buy something from Nordstrom online, you can still bring it to them for tailoring, too.) If you like a slimmer leg, you will not go wrong with these Santorelli Italian wool pants.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/o/lafayette-148-new-york-check-jacket-pants/3874605 Lafayette 148 New York - Denisa Colorblock Check Jacket
Lafayette 148 New York - Denisa Colorblock Check Jacket
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Lafayette 148 New York - Denisa Colorblock Check Jacket
Denisa Colorblock Check Jacket
Lafayette 148 New York
Sold by: Nordstrom

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A blazer with a pattern that includes black is an effortless option to go with the black pants. This Lafayette 148 New York, in a modern fit and large array of sizes, is a great business travel piece. It is made of a combination of a patterned tweed and solid ponte material, which won’t wrinkle much (if at all) in travel, and has some stretch so it will be comfortable all day. The collarless style is versatile, working with collared shirts, crewnecks, cowlnecks, or square necklines. You also don’t need to worry about the lapels wrinkling in travel – there aren’t any. But it doesn’t lose any of its professional appeal.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/santorelli-leopard-jacquard-open-front-jacket/3780331 Santorelli - Leopard Jacquard Open Front Jacket
Santorelli - Leopard Jacquard Open Front Jacket
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Santorelli - Leopard Jacquard Open Front Jacket
Leopard Jacquard Open Front Jacket
Santorelli
Sold by: Nordstrom

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The easiest way to make your black trousers look new again, is to pair them with a different blazer or a tailored cardigan for the 2nd (and potentially 3rd day) of your trip. Santorelli always delivers with professional options in an easier fit that convey both leadership and style. This collarless style is a true stunner, yet subtle. It is made of the most luxurious blend of wool, silk, and angora that makes it not only comfortable, but so polished looking. The neutral colors and pattern make it an effortless option to wear with black pants. The collarless neckline and open front looks great with the simple shell below.
http://www.shopbop.com/privy-ashtry-cardigan-theory/vp/v=1/1568178315.htm Theory - Privy Ashtry LL Cardigan
Theory - Privy Ashtry LL Cardigan
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Theory - Privy Ashtry LL Cardigan
Privy Ashtry LL Cardigan
Theory
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This Theory long cardigan provides the same tailored look of a blazer, but with a softer finish. It is also an open style, which works with either top option, and of course, the black pants, in it’s heathered brown/grey color. It will work over the sheath below, too, - just make sure it is the same length, or slightly shorter than the dress. To give it more of a conservative finish (or adjust the length), add a simple, slim belt.
http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Finley-Piper-French-Cuff-Blouse/prod173730041_cat41240742__/p.prod Finley - Piper French-Cuff Blouse
Finley - Piper French-Cuff Blouse
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Finley - Piper French-Cuff Blouse
Piper French-Cuff Blouse
Finley
Sold by: Neiman Marcus

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A simple shirt or blouse will work easily under any blazer or cardigan, and automatically add a professional look to any outfit. Yes, it may require some ironing, but as far as ironing goes, this is a fairly simple one – no pleats or ruching or silk to contend with. But what this Finley shirt does have is a lot of clever style, which we have been fans of for years. It has a double collar that looks great with the collarless jacket and sweater options we’re showing. It also has a French cuff that you can peak out from under your sleeve. The stretch cotton provides comfort for a long day, but the princess seaming keeps the shirt from looking boxy. It is not fitted, though – just a modern silhouette. If you prefer a silk blouse, Vince’s half placket will provide a slightly more relaxed finish.
http://www.shopbop.com/double-georgette-bringam-blouse-theory/vp/v=1/1527521256.htm Theory - Bringam Blouse
Theory - Bringam Blouse
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Theory - Bringam Blouse
Bringam Blouse
Theory
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A shell will pack easily and will work well under a blazer or cardigan. This Theory silk crewneck has an a-line silhouette, which creates a lovely, easy fit that lays beautifully under a jacket. A lightweight sweater – like this one, also from Theory - will work just as well, especially if you like a sleeve. The key is the fluid fine material and and simple silhouette of each that works under your jacket or cardigan. If they are out of your size, try Theory's site.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/santorelli-crinkled-crepe-sheath-dress/3780161 Santorelli - Crinkled Crepe Sheath Dress
Santorelli - Crinkled Crepe Sheath Dress
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Santorelli - Crinkled Crepe Sheath Dress
Crinkled Crepe Sheath Dress
Santorelli
Sold by: Nordstrom

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If you are going to be gone for 3 days, a sheath dress can replace your pants and shirt. Wear it with your blazer or the sweater you packed. This Santorelli option has an easy neckline that works under either blazer or sweater, and adds some pretty interest if you wear it on its own for dinner. Of course, the Italian fabric, with a bit of stretch, has a beautiful drape to it, and the hourglass cut is very flattering on most body types. Santorelli’s fit and large array of sizes makes this a perfect staple in anyone’s wardrobe. If you like something a bit more contemporary, Vince also has an amazing classic sheath that works just as well.
http://www.shopbop.com/eyelash-rayon-scarf-love-quotes/vp/v=1/1585169939.htm Love Quotes - Eyelash Rayon Scarf
Love Quotes - Eyelash Rayon Scarf
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Love Quotes - Eyelash Rayon Scarf
Eyelash Rayon Scarf
Love Quotes
Sold by: Shopbop

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We like to include a scarf for fashion and function. From a fashion perspective, it changes up your outfit instantly. If you have a chance to go back to your room before drinks and dinner, this is an easy way to freshen up without doing a full outfit change. You can leave your blazer behind or just add this to it. It’s also great to have on the plane, if it gets chilly. This scarf, from Love Quotes, is a staple. It comes in several colors – all saturated and beautifully sophisticated. Any neutral, like this soft grey works with all the neutrals we’re showing in this outfit, but you can pop some color in with the gorgeous pale blue, too (click through the “shop it” button to see all the colors).
http://www.zappos.com/michael-michael-kors-mk-flex-mid-pump~1 MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex Mid Pump Shoes
MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex Mid Pump Shoes
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MICHAEL Michael Kors - MK Flex Mid Pump Shoes
MK Flex Mid Pump Shoes
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Sold by: Zappos

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The shoes you take (or wear, depending on when your flight is) need to work with the pants, and the dress. They should also work for day and evening, so a simple pump is the easy answer. We cannot say enough good things about this pair from MICHAEL Michael Kors. It is so hard to find a pair of comfortable pumps that are also stylish-looking, but these deliver. The sole is made of a flexible rubber and the heel is not too high – just high enough to elongate the leg, so it looks great with a skirt or pants. The sole makes them so comfortable and easy to walk around in. They are broken in from the moment you get them. Oh, and the price? Amazing. They will easily transition from your meetings to dinner.
 

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