Packing for the Short Business Trip

I recently went to Brisbane for a short business trip to attend a conference. I had been asked to speak so needed to make sure that what I wore was professional, however I also wanted to be comfortable, true to my personal style and to pack light.

I used to always over pack. Thinking “what if” and ending up with clothes I didn’t wear and a suitcase that pushed the boundaries of excess baggage! Over the years, my packing habits have gotten leaner and leaner. The secret is in mixing and matching and selecting a colour palette for the trip. I also start laying things out a few days before I have to pack. This allows me to edit and to be sure that everything I want to take with me is clean and in good order.

The colour palette for this three night stay in Brisbane – Browns. Of course brown was just the starting point. I then added in neutrals, a bit of blue and my beloved orange to have a little pop of colour. The large black Olga Berg bag on the left was my carry-on and held my laptop and other important papers. Three of the items in this picture didn’t make the final cut, I did add one midi length brown skirt that I wore there, and three of the items that did make the cut didn’t get worn! So even when I am trying to keep things to a minimum, I still slightly over pack.

The items that didn’t make it were; 1) The pair of wedges. I knew I would be spending a lot of time on my feet and thought the suede boots would be fine for each of the looks I was packing…plus it left me more room in my small checked bag, 2) the brown braided belt, I thought one brown belt would be enough, 3) the brown lacy poncho, just thought I could do without it!

The three items that made the trip and didn’t get worn were; 1) the black pair of fish net stockings…because the brown ones were sufficient, 2) the taupe coloured long-sleeve t-shirt, and 3) the tan coloured scarf…Brisbane was well too warm for even light weight winter scarf!

I used the same colour palette for my jewelry and tried to keep it to the minimum as well. Plus I didn’t bring anything too valuable. You just don’t want to risk loosing valuable jewellery when you are travelling, it can be heart-breaking. So I went with the turquoise jewelry, both pieces purchased at the Salvation Army Thrift store, a wooden bangle, my copper bangles and bracelet plus the wire bangles. I also had some pearl earrings that I wear a lot ALL the time, a pair of brown beaded earrings, my orange double wrap watch and my citizen watch, plus a statement beaded necklace.

Sorry for the poor lighting of the travel outfit pic.

I opted to wear a brown midi-skirt, the brown suede boots, the blue denim shirt and my nude coloured jacket for the trip up to Brisbane. The jacket is part of a complete suit I had made in Hong Kong but I used it as a separate for this trip. I wanted to wear the jacket so I wouldn’t have to pack it and it wouldn’t get all creased. You can see from the close-up that I wore the turquoise jewelry. I also added the brown and orange scarf as a pocket square, and wore the orange double-wrap watch and the orange belt. It was cold when we left Melbourne and I find it is usually cold on an airplane so the jacket was welcomed.

I continued to wear variations of this look while in Brisbane. Each day I felt I looked professional but was also true to my personal style.

On the day of my presentation I wore the black and tan pencil skirt I had made in Hong Kong, brown fish net stockings, brown suede boots, an orange cardigan buttoned up and worn as a shirt with the jacket over top. You can’t see from this picture but I had tied the brown and orange scarf around my neck in place of wearing a necklace. Because I was comfortable in this look, I wasn’t so nervous during the presentation. Had I gone full suit, I think I might have felt to self-conscious.

One other thing I have learned about packing for a business trip…if you forget something…you can always buy it there!

What secrets do you have for not over packing? Or do you find yourself maxing out the weight limit every trip?


About astimegoesbuy

Just a middle-aged woman with a love of fashion trying to have a purchasing fast. Spending 90 days dressing out of what is already in the wardrobe.If I can't shop for clothes, I may as well write about clothes! View all posts by astimegoesbuy

9 responses to “Packing for the Short Business Trip

  • MJ, Nonstepmom

    I havent had to travel (far) for business, so my only experience is vacations…..but I start as you did – I pick a “color basic” to stick to so I can “mix and match”. And only acouple bottoms, focus on more tops to have more options.

    • astimegoesbuy

      If you stick with basic bottoms the tops can change the whole look.
      One of my trickiest packing experiences was spending the month of December in the US. We were in Northern California, Las Vegas, Arizona (in the 80 degree range) and then back to Northern California for the snow! Layers were my friend. Lots of black with a little pop of colour here and there because I wouldn’t pack more than one medium bag…well, I packed one medium bag and put it inside a big bag for the trip over so I could fill it with purchases and came back with two bags! 🙂

  • Melissa

    I start with the heaviest (most limited in quantity) items first: shoes and handbags. Then I make sure that every garment I select “goes” with the accessories. For me, it’s easier than thinking about specific outfits.

    • astimegoesbuy

      That is a good way to work it!
      You can also but socks and underwear and smaller items in plastic bags then put those inside the shoes, boots and handbags before packing to utilize every bit of space.
      I think because I am such a huge shoe and handbag junkie I have so many options that can be changed to work with outfits, that is where I start.
      Thanks for your ideas!
      Much Appreciated!!

  • fashionmasher

    Hope all went well in Bris-Vegas x

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