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How to Pack for a Business Trip

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

While having a wardrobe full of elegant, sophisticated items can do much to accentuate our every day aesthetic, translating this into being a well dressed man for the frequent traveler can often prove to be challenging.

Hence, a mix of discretion and efficient packing are needed when choosing the right clothes to travel with, so that you travel light, with style and efficiently.  After all, when we are travelling for business, we do want to focus on the task at hand.

Packing is always a sore subject for the chronic over or under packers, but it doesn’t have to be. Packing for a business trip means you’ll be wearing these clothes for a whole new audience, so making the right decisions is important.

When it comes to having formal attire on a business trip the main points to focus on are packing light, packing the right things and packing them correctly. With that being said, here is our guide on how to pack for a business trip.

Packing Light

While there are a lot of pieces to business attire the best thing to do is to pack light.

For most business trips you can get through with no more than carry-on baggage, which will keep you safe from the embarrassment of having to wear the same outfit all weekend as well as inconvenience of having to pay for new clothes if your luggage is misplaced.

Packing light for a business trip also saves you time when it comes to dressing and making decisions while on your trip by having all of your choices made for you.

When packing light it is important to make the most out of your carry-on luggage, so before you fly make sure that your usual luggage is the proper dimensions and weight as these things vary from airline to airline.

What To Pack

In order to be able to pack light you need to have a wardrobe that can be versatile and pieces that function with multiple different outfits.

This means that when you start packing it is important to not just look at how you will wear one outfit, but how some pieces of that first outfit can be used with some pieces of a second outfit to create a third and even fourth outfit.

For this article we will be looking at a three day business trip and how to best utilize your luggage space for that length, but the ideas here can certainly be extrapolated to longer trips. If done correctly the luggage you bring on a three day trip could even be the same that you bring for a four day trip with the addition of socks and underwear. Then this foundation could be stretched to another day with just the addition of a shirt and tie or even just one or the other.

Packing for a three day business trip means that you should wear one suit on the plane and pack one suit in order to save space and keep you from wearing the same suit day after day.

Three shirts and three ties will also keep you well stocked and will let you avoid having to get laundry done or wear the same thing twice. However, it is smart to make sure that the shirts and ties are largely interchangeable in order to give you some flexibility.

For a range of ties that are suitable for work, please click here.

Lastly, we won’t really go into under garments like socks and underwear, but it helps to have an extra pair of each for so that you can travel with a certain degree of comfort and margin of safety.

This brings us then to shoes. Packing an extra pair of shoes (more or less formal) depending on what you are wearing on the plane will afford you flexibility when dressing up for your business meetings.

Generally, an additional pair of shoes in a different color or at least largely different tone should also be packed. It is best to make sure that both pairs of shoes go with both suits so that you can wear them interchangeably.

How To Pack It All

 Packing for a Business Trip

Courtesy of

If you have a piece of luggage that is near the limits of most airlines’ dimension rules fitting all of this into a bag along with your toiletries shouldn’t be too hard. The main problem is wanting to have your clothes ready to be worn once you arrive, which means avoiding wrinkles, creases and scuffing. Two big problems for most are wrinkled ties and creased suits.

In order to keep your ties fresh and ready to wear it is best to keep them in your luggage for as little time as possible. This means unpacking them as soon as you arrive if possible. Otherwise for the travel time you want them not to be to crushed or wrinkled. One way to do this is to roll your ties into coils and find a place for them to go without too much pressure on them and they should do fine.

Wound up ties can be protected from other luggage by being packed into your shoes as well, saving you space. Another way to keep your ties safe is to fold them and keep them in a pocket or somewhere where they won’t be moving around too much. If kept this way too long they may crease at the folds but for a short trip this shouldn’t be a problem.

The Dark Knot's entire range of ties, that come elegantly packaged in a black gift box that are perfectly suited for business travel, can be viewed here.

The next big problem is the suit. There are two different ways to pack a suit when you aren’t afforded the luxury of a garment bag and they both have their benefits. Both methods start the same way by, first flipping one of the shoulders of the jacket inside out so the lining is showing.

Then the other shoulder is moved inside this space essentially folding the jacket in half into itself. Work the shoulder into the other snugly and you should have what looks like half of a jacket with both sleeves protected.

At this point is where the two methods differ. You can roll from the shoulder down to bottom hem or simply fold the suit in half. Depending on the space in your bag you may want to choose one method over the other. If you choose to roll the jacket it is important not to have any wrinkles as these can easily occur while rolling and become pressed into the jacket.

Finally are the shoes, if you have place in your bag specifically for your shoes this will work, or you may want to use some sort of bag or covering to keep the soles of your shoes from touching any of your other clothing.

And that's a wrap for this one! We would love to read your comments below on how you prefer to pack for a business trip!

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