If you are a consultant traveling on business, you know that what you wear can make the difference between being professional and comfortable and, well, not. Let’s look at winter outfit ideas for business trips for professional consultants.
Choose dark neutral pantsuits, skirts, and blazers. These choices, along with a dark pair of shoes, will create the foundation for all your outfits. If you will be on a week-long business trip, plan on at least three pairs of dark pants, at least two neutral blazers, and a blouse or shell for each day. Always have at least two women’s white blouses for a week-long trip. They are a wardrobe staple that you won’t want to risk being without. With two of them in tow, if you spill coffee on one, you can still have the other one ready for your big presentation.
By sticking to classic choices, you can pair any of your tops with any bottom and a coordinating blazer. In addition to white, consider adding a couple of conservative solid-colored tops for variety. Choose colors you know will be flattering to your skin, eyes, and hair to keep you looking and feeling your best. If you are there for a week, go for no more than one patterned blouse. Black and white patterns can look sharp under a black blazer.
Sweaters are probably best left at home even though they are warm. With a blouse or shirt and a blazer, you will be able to stay comfortable in most offices — even those with cold spots. Don’t forget to have dark-colored socks or hosiery, too. It’s a great idea to put together a standard packing list for business trips. If you love detail, consider a spreadsheet. A checklist on your smartphone can also be a quick way to be sure you have what you need. That way, you won’t find yourself needing to buy socks or cosmetics in a new city.
As a professional consultant, you are both a guest and an authority when you arrive at the office you will be visiting. As such, make sure you know the dress code, but err on the side of dressing more professionally than the average manager at the company. Always include a blazer with each outfit. Be sure that if you get too warm that the women’s dress shirt you have underneath it will also look professional on its own. Keep jewelry classic. One set of jewelry you can wear all week (earrings, pendant, watch, ring) is plenty. This will also keep packing easy as you can wear your jewelry on the plane.
If you travel frequently on business, it’s a great idea to have two weeks’ worth of business outfits ready. You can get home from one business trip, drop items off at the dry cleaners, and do a little laundry while already having the next week’s worth of clothes in your closet ready to be packed. By sticking with dark neutrals for dress pants, skirts, and blazers and relying on white and conservative choices like a nice blue shirt, you will always be ready. You will want your look to be authoritative and professional so they will concentrate on your ideas instead of your clothing. Keep the fun outfits for the weekend when you can chill at home.
You will want to make sure that your shoes are literally polished as well as dark neutrals that will look sharp. Always bring two pairs of women’s shoes that can be worn to the office. That way, if a heel breaks or some other mishap occurs, you will have a pair ready to go instead of needing to go shoe shopping at odd hours in a new city.
Chances are you will also need a pair of boots to navigate rain, slush, and snow. Plan for this with a pair that can be taken off once you get to the office, where you can change into your shoes for the day. When possible, park your boots in a coat closet or cubicle, but always have an extra plastic bag in your bag or backpack in case you need to transport wet boots or shoes.
When you are a road warrior in winter, you will need protection from the elements while still looking professional. A great choice is a full-length black coat in either wool or down. Keep the lines simple. Packable down coats can be a great choice if you are traveling between climates.
Winter outfits for a consultant on a business trip require a little planning. By sticking with dark neutrals and always erring on the side of looking professional, you will look and feel great in your classic American style. Now, go out there and impress them!