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November 8, 2023

6 Smart Style Tips for Travel

Post By:
Stacey Kovalsky
In-House Contributor
Vice President, Global PR & Communications
USPA Global | U.S. Polo Assn.
Guest Contributor:

Travel is on the rise-- both personal and business. In fact, according to Forbes, 49% of Americans expressed plans to travel more in 2023. This is no surprise, given we were all cooped up for about two years dealing with COVID and its aftermath. That level of isolation only served to make us want to get out and see the world! From a business perspective, we got sick of Zoom meetings. We wanted to see people in person, shake hands, have dinner, and sign deals in person. 

When it comes to traveling for business, finding the perfect balance between comfort and style can be a challenge. Whether you are attending meetings, conferences, or simply exploring a new city, dressing appropriately while remaining comfortable is essential. 

This style guide will explore the best women's style for business (and some fun!) travel, with a focus on practical and chic outfits that are also comfortable. After all, a day spent traveling in comfort will set you up for success-- no matter where you’re going or why!

Here are 6 smart tips for travel-ready style.

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1. Holiday Travel

The holidays are fast-approaching, and I am betting that much of that aforementioned 49% will be in these last few months of the year. One of the toughest tricks for me when traveling is leaving Florida in November in 70–80-degree temperatures to virtually anywhere else…being much lower. What’s the solution? It’s all about layers. For example, I might start out wearing leggings and a long oxford top with the sleeves rolled up. Perhaps with it unbuttoned and a tank top underneath. In my bag is a scarf and on my arm is a trench coat. On my feet are low booties. It’s the perfect transitional travel outfit. 

Check out this oxford top from Zara; it’s perfect with jeans or leggings, and can go over your tank or tee (like this timeless tee from Banana Republic at just $15). 

2. Layer Up

As I mentioned above, layering is a key strategy for both comfort and style while traveling. Airplanes and conference halls can be notoriously unpredictable in temperature, so ensure you have options to adapt accordingly. Start with a lightweight, breathable base layer, such as a camisole or a fitted tee. Layer it with a cardigan, blazer, or a versatile trench coat that can be dressed up or down. A pretty, lightweight scarf shows your personality and can keep you a little bit warmer. This allows you to adjust your outfit based on the weather or the environment you find yourself in.

This houndstooth cardigan from Loft is comfy and perfect for looking sharp on the go, direct from flight to meeting. 

3. Versatile and Wrinkle-Free Fabrics

When traveling for business, it's essential to choose clothing made from versatile, wrinkle-resistant fabrics. Select materials such as poly-blends, rayon, or jersey, which all can withstand long hours in transit and still look presentable upon arrival. These fabrics are also easy to pack, lightweight, and require minimal ironing, making them ideal for business or any kind of travel.

This stunning jersey midi wrap dress from Quince is a head turner, perfect for travel, and a great price at just $59. 

4. Easy Yet Stylish Footwear

Choosing the right footwear is crucial when traveling for business. Seek shoes that are both comfortable and appropriate for professional settings. Invest in a pair of stylish flats or low-heeled shoes that offer support and are suitable for long hours on your feet, particularly if you are working at a conference or trade show or walking through a big city. Depending on the nature of your trip, consider versatile options such as ankle boots or loafers that can be paired with different outfits. (Besides, loafers and booties are the fall/winter must-haves!) If you truly prefer a heel, opt for something with a small wedge or kitten style.

If you want a practical shoe that’s not your mom’s or dad’s loafer, check out these two-tone pretties from Sam Edelman.

5. Tailored Looks

For a polished and professional look, consider tailored pants or dresses that offer both comfort and style. When selecting pants, opt for a mid-rise or high-rise style with a relaxed fit to ensure comfort throughout the day. Pair them with a classic blouse or a well-fitted blazer for a sharp, business-appropriate ensemble. Alternatively, go for a versatile dress in a wrinkle-resistant fabric that can be dressed up or down with great accessories.

Try the carefree crepe pleated trouser from Spanx for that professional-yet-effortless style. Spanx offers sizes from XS to 3X in Regular, Petite and Tall. Pair it with the Eddie Bauer departure blazer for the perfect power look. 

6. Accessorize Smartly

Accessories can elevate any outfit while reflecting your personal style. Invest in a few key pieces that can easily transform your look from day to night. A bold necklace, a brooch or a scarf, or perhaps a fabulous belt that ties your whole outfit together, can really make a statement when you walk in a room. 

Try this chunky sailor knot chain necklace from Anthropologie or this beautiful print Montecito chintz scarf from Tuckernuck to elevate your travel outfit once you arrive at your final destination! 

Traveling smart and in style is where comfort meets chic. And it doesn’t need to break the bank. When you look good and feel good, your confidence level is higher, and you are likely to perform better in meetings, presentations and beyond. Go ahead and win that client, make that deal, sign that contract… and plan your dream vacation immediately after. The whole world is your oyster again!