It is currently 6am and I’m sat in a hotel room watching BBC world service and wishing I could get a cup of tea without the need for getting dressed.
BUSINESS TRAVEL TIP: Check your hotel offers in-room catering before booking
I seem to spend a fair amount of my time like this; I travel a fair amount with work and so may back is pleasantly screwed from multiple hotel beds. I’m in Berlin for a conference that is dull, unfriendly (bordering on hostile), utterly disorganised, and a complete waste of money.
The city itself, however, is quite an astounding. Perhaps I’ll tell you about that a different time as today I want to share a few business travel wardrobe trips with you.
Colour Schemes and Colour Pops
Over the past few years, I’ve accidentally created a workwear capsule wardrobe of jersey dresses, white blouses, and cigarette pants. The colours are, for the large part, monochrome with just the odd flash of colour. They are classic, timeless items, normally from the higher end of high street shopping.
A wardrobe like this is particularly useful for travel because it allows you to mix and match your items. For work, I usually pack one pair of cigarette pants and a series of blouses and camisoles that will work with the cigarette pants or with jeans for the evening.
These often follow the monochromatic colour scheme: black trousers, white blouse. I inject colour through a blazer or coat, depending on the venue.
In Berlin this week, my Arched Eyebrow x Navabi coat* was perfect for adding that colour pop. It is vibrant, playful and a great contrast to the cigarette pants and white blouse. My cigarette pants* are from Elvi and actually have an elasticated waist which make them very comfortable for wearing in stuffy conference venues. They also have a stipe across the leg that feels very military inspired. It was perfect for the slightly more relaxed conference that I was attending.
The great thing about dressing like this is that you can switch out the work shoes for trainers and no-one is any the wiser about your business purpose for the visit.
Lets face, I rarely iron at home so I’m hardly going to when travelling abroad – whether its for work or play.
Jersey dresses are the best for getting around this. They can be rolled up so small in your case and will come out looking the same as when they went in.
Jersey also dries very quickly so its great for longer trips when you want to give a dress a quick wash in the sink and leave to dry for another day. It helps to skip the over-priced launderette fees of your hotel.
I tend to keep my jersey dresses very classic; simple shifts or wrap around dresses. This Ten21 at Navabi dress* is perfect for workwear on the go and I love that is comes in multiple colours – all of which I am likely to purchase as it is just a beautifully cut dress that is easy to throw on and look instantly sophisticated.
I particularly love the little knot detail at the waist and how easy it is to dress up with a little bit of jewellery and some high heels.
Do you really need heels?
On the heels subject, do you really need them? Every work trip I pack a pair of heels and every work trip, they come home unworn.
Okay, so I am wearing them in the picture but that is from an evening out exploring Berlin.
For the day, I have lived in my Clarks loafers.
They rubbed my feet raw to begin with, as most new shoes do. But I walked half-way across Berlin in these this week, hopped on and off the U-Bahn (Berlin’s answer to the tube) and looked pretty swish whilst doing so.
They have a little sturdy, heeled sole that supports my feet and stops too much muscle cramp in my calves from pounding on concrete pavements. Similar styles that I love for work trips include my trusted brogues, also from Clarks as they come with built in cushioned soles.
They were more than I needed for the week and, for future trips, I will definitely be leaving the heels at home.
BUSINESS TRAVEL TIP: Don’t forget to schedule time for fun!
Although, perhaps, that is a topic for another post!
Do you have any workwear packing tips? I’d love to hear them.