Heading off on a work trip, but unsure what to pack?
Following 18 months of WFH, the return to the office has been met with a mix of trepidation and excitement (in equal measure). Whilst we have become lax in terms of our at-home dressing repertoire – mine being a consistent rotation of activewear pieces – the return to a corporate workspace means re-embracing office-ready attire. This is even more important if you have a work trip on the horizon, where you will want to present the most immaculately polished version of yourself. Stress not: there are plenty of smart, boardroom-ready wardrobe solutions which place an emphasis on comfortable cuts.
Here, CF’s Fashion Editor shares the hard-working pieces to add to your suitcase for your next business trip.
Dai's MO is creating smart-looking workwear with all the comfort of your favourite activewear pieces. The iconic Trail Blazer is a true business-trip stalwart. Firstly, the silhouette is ultra-flattering – with a waist-sculpting fit – but the real magic lies in its fabrication. The stylish blazer is made from performance fabric, so it's super comfortable to move in. Available with matching trousers or city shorts, it can easily be paired with your favourite denim for a relaxed evening look too. Even better, this piece is machine washable and iron-free, so there's no need to panic over any coffee spillages or in-flight creasing.
The search for the perfect work trouser is over thanks to Bottega Veneta. Sporting a sophisticated wide-leg silhouette, the cut is undeniably flattering and timeless. Fabricated from wool twill – with a satin waistband and stripes – there is a distinct "borrowed from the boys" feel at play here. Style them with a roll-neck sweater or shirt by day, whilst a silk camisole transitions the look to off-duty glamour.
You really can't go wrong with a crisp white T-shirt. It's an item I wear most days, and can look simple yet elegant layered under a blazer, paired with well-cut denim for informal meetings. Now I have discovered the crew neck T-shirt from Arket, I won't buy T-shirts from anywhere else. Made from a heavyweight cotton, this tee doesn't crease and maintains its shape well wash after wash.
A tote is a prerequisite for any business trip, and doubles as the perfect hand-luggage bag too. The Mulberry Bayswater is a true 'It' bag with everlasting appeal. It's capacious enough to fit in all your essentials: including your laptop for presentations, or a pair of flats for dashing between meetings. Plus, by night, the internal, removable pocket makes for a chic clutch bag.
Shirting is fundamental to any workwear wardrobe. Opt for soft, silk fabrics to add instant polish, with day-to-night wearability. French label, Equipment is my go-to for the best in the business. The menswear-inspired Signature shirt is a timeless classic. Oversized with two front pockets, it works just as well tucked into a pencil skirt, as it does untucked with a pair of jeans. Stock up in every colour.
You just need one good pair of heels with you on a work trip – if you chose wisely, that is. These pointed pumps by Jimmy Choo are classics with a twist. We love the combination of black suede with patent leather details, plus the sculpted kick heel lends the silhouette a contemporary touch. The modest 2.6-inch heel makes for all-day comfort too.
If you plan to squeeze in a quick workout at the hotel gym or head for a jog pre- or post-work, be sure to pack a Varley two-piece. The collection marries style and function – read: these are the clothes you want to wear, even if just for lounging in your hotel room.