The Smart Travel Wardrobe

If you travel a lot, whether for your work or for pleasure, then your suitcase becomes your closet. And since no one has invented the walk-in suitcase, it’s crucial to have a smart travel wardrobe. You certainly don’t want to be lugging big suitcases around the airport or paying extra fees for additional luggage. With the right travel clothing choices, you can even pack everything into a carry-on or garment bag and avoid the endless waiting at the luggage carousels.

Today’s woman can find executive-worthy clothes designed especially for travel. Stores, such as Chico’s, offer a line of clothing in a flattering fabric that travels well and won’t wrinkle no matter what you do to it. And most hotels now routinely place an iron and ironing board in their guest rooms.

Still, there’s no room for error in a capsule travel wardrobe that needs to be ready for anything. So make all your clothing choices work overtime. Stick with classic design that never goes out of style.

Build your mini-wardrobe around the color black. There’s a reason legendary designer Coco Chanel called it basic. Nothing dresses up or interchanges with other pieces of clothing as well as black. With just a quick change of accessories, a beautifully tailored black suit can go from your stuffy client meetings to dinner at the most upscale restaurant in town. Pair your suit with a silky blouse in white or cream, but throw a sweater in your luggage that will coordinate with the skirt or pants for a different look. In fact, with different tops, your dependable black suit will take you through three work days out of town. Wear the complete suit the first day, the skirt with a sweater the second day and the pants with a different top the third day. Mix up the look with jewelry and scarves.

Add a dress in a neutral color and another skirt in a print fabric that coordinates with the black jacket from your suit. If you have room, take another pair of pants or maybe a leather jacket for more relaxing events.

Comfortable black leather pumps with a mid-range high heel need to be the mainstay of your smart travel shoe wardrobe. A pair of dressy flats will give a more casual look to a skirt and sweater, while still looking polished.

Don’t forget a classic purse that will go with everything. And you’ll need a beautiful and elegant laptop bag as well. Jewelry doesn’t take up much space, so this is the one area where you can cheat and take a few extra pieces. Always include pearls and timeless earrings, such as small hoops.

Your hair can also be an smart travel accessory. If you can wear it pulled up into a soft chignon one day and then down around your shoulders the next, you’ll add to your different look.