In today's ever-shrinking world, it's a given that business comes with travel. The more travel-oriented nature of modern business means that working hours are just as likely to be spent in a boardroom as they are a plane cabin or an Amtrak dining car. And just as the nature of business travel has changed, so has the clothing required. In the words below, we'll delve into what constitutes the very best travel clothes for business today.
Although many businesses have recently loosened and relaxed their own dress codes, many still uphold a more formal standard of dress. Whether that means a pencil skirt and a blouse or a full business suit, we won't get into the specifics of what you're required to wear once you arrive to the destination of your meeting. Instead, we'll talk about what you're putting on to get from point A to point B, from that Uber to the airport to your hotel check-in. This list concerns what you wear during the journey, which should be guided by comfort, utility and convenience.
No conversation concerning comfort, utility, and convenience can begin without a reference to the single article of clothing that best exemplifies all three of those qualities: jeans. Whether you're about to hop on a 45-minute train ride or staring down a 12-hour cross-continental flight, a pair of jeans that really knows your body will be a huge comfort boost. And while jeans are certainly on the casual end of the spectrum, they're not so casual as walking onto the plane in sweatpants, pajamas or a pair of yoga pants.
Match this practical bottom layer with a similarly comfortable article of clothing on top. Our immediate suggestion would be a flannel shirt. This suggestion may strike you as odd at first, as flannel shirts aren't considered business wear outside of the most casual start-up offices or a sawmill in the Pacific Northwest. However, the entire idea is that the flannel shirt is simply the shirt you wear on the journey, and not to the destination. That way, you can pack away your business-wear blouse or crisp pinpoint shirt in your luggage, and allow your flannel shirt to absorb whatever sweat, stains or dirt your travel may entail.
It certainly doesn't hurt that a soft flannel shirt can be supremely comfortable. And if you opt for a pair that has two chest pockets, you'll also have a convenient place to store keys, sunglasses, and other travel necessities.
Now let's shift to additional layers. Travel can come with the occasional chill, whether it's a drop in temperature at your destination or a plane cabin with too much cold air. However, you won't need to worry about getting the chills so long as you are properly prepared. Do that by bringing along a cotton sweater, or a cashmere sweater. If your destination may be particularly cold (or if you just happen to be a bit more susceptible to cold weather in general) opt for a turtleneck as part of your kit.
So far this list has been concerned with what you're wearing in transit, but you'll also have to consider the weather conditions when you arrive. Once again, protecting your business wear is of great importance. So make sure to have a rain coat at hand in case of a sudden squall—nothing can (quite literally) dampen the mood of a meeting than arriving soaking wet. Also, you don't want to risk damage to your business footwear—or suffer a fall on icy streets—so consider investing in a pair of winter boots.