Recently I posted an article for the ladies offering tips on how to pack for a typical 4-day business trip in winter. Today I’m offering practical advice for the savvy businessman.
Your boss has just told you, you’re going on a business trip. You immediately imagine exotic travelling, adventure, freedom, warm nights out, and meeting new people. Then you get your schedule and see that where you’re going, it’s the dead of winter. Your days will be filled with business meetings and your nights with business dinners. That’s when the practicality sets in. What do you pack to keep warm? How many suits do you take? How do you get the wrinkles out of your shirts?
When you travel for business, you’ll be meeting and greeting a lot of people. Your first impression is critical.
1. Take One Suit Made From Wool or Other Warm Fabric
You really only need one suit for a typical 4-day business trip. Use the colour of your suit as your base colour and co-ordinate the rest of your travel wardrobe with it. If your trousers tend to wrinkle easily and you feel they won’t last 4 days looking professional, then consider having two pairs of identical trousers for your business travel. Simply ask your tailor for two pairs, or if you purchase off the rack see if you can purchase another pair of trousers separately.
2. Plain White Dress Shirt is a Staple Item
A plain white shirt is your safe and conservative choice. It will suit business meetings during the day, and even business dinners at night. I highly recommend taking at least 2 white shirts just in case you spill some coffee on one. Use cufflinks to dress up your white shirt for more formal dinners, or dress it down for general business meetings.
3. Buy Wrinkle Resistant Material
There are many shirts available nowadays that are made from wrinkle-free fabric. These are fantastic for business travellers because you don’t have to worry about ironing them in your hotel room. Also, because wrinkle-free shirts are made from synthetic materials, they’re usually warmer to wear.
4. Take Three Ties
If you’re going to be attending business meetings and more formal events youâll need a mixture of ties to suit each event. I recommend packing two ties to wear during the day and one tie to wear at night. Navy blue, red, or green shaded ties will make you look professional during business meetings. A grey/silver, or royal blue tie with an elegant pattern will enhance your cufflinks will dress up your white shirt for evening events.
5. Wear Your Loafers on the Plane
When you’re travelling you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. Always wear slip-on loafers on the plane and put your more formal oxfords or wing tips in your suitcase. Slip-on loafers make it easier to go through airport security - you don’t want to hold up your colleagues. Check also that your socks are hole-free. It’s not a good look if you’re asked to take your shoes off at airport security to reveal socks full of holes and lint balls that really should have been thrown out weeks ago.
6. De-wrinkle Your Shirts As Soon As You Get in the Hotel
If your shirts are made from more natural fibres and are wrinkled when you take them out of your suitcase, there’s a quick solution that you can easily use in your hotel room. As soon as you arrive, hang your shirts in the bathroom, blast the hot water for a few minutes to create steam, close the door. After a few minutes your shirts will be wrinkle free and ready to wear for that day’s meeting.
7. Take Quality Scarf and Gloves
Men look sophisticated wearing winter scarves, plus they’ll keep you warm. Choose a colour for your scarf that contrasts well with your winter coat. If your coat is black, then choose a grey, dark green, or blue scarf. If your coat is grey, then you can wear a black, maroon, or a dark yellow/gold colour scarf. Your gloves should be made from a warm material such as leather or suede. Black or brown are always the best colour choices for gloves.
8. Don’t Forget Your Winter Thermals
If you’re going to a bitterly cold place, then you may want to put on your thermals. When choosing a thermal shirt that you’ll wear underneath your business shirt, make sure that it matches your skin colour and isn’t too noticeable. If you’re going to wear your business shirt without a tie, make sure your thermal shirt is not visible around your neck area. It’s also a good idea to take thermal socks. But keep your outfit co-ordinated and make sure the colour of your socks matches your pants, i.e. grey pants, grey socks.
Now I’d love to hear about you. How do you keep warm when you’re travelling on business? Leave a comment in the section below.