Businesswomen have more variables to consider than men when packing for a trip. But a well-considered approach can maximise style and versatility while also minimising the weight of hand luggage.

Be ruthless
“Women often pack for too many occasions,” says Rachel Butterworth, a stylist and private shopper who commutes between the UK and France. “Look at your diary and think about what events you need clothes for.”

Packing too much underwear, she adds, is a common problem. “Bras take up a lot of space.”

Similarly, you need to keep your make-up bag manageable by rationalising down to the basics rather than planning for every eventuality.

Think about colours and how to mix and match
“I base my weekly bag on a colour,” says Ms Butterworth. “One week it might be navy, the next week grey – you want colours that go together.

“You also want dresses that you can use for a meeting and then wear out in the evening. I normally take two dresses, a blouse, a more relaxed top, a knit, such as a cashmere cardigan, a pair of jeans, a skirt and two pairs of heels.”

Of course, she adds, it is always a good idea to think about how you can mix and match high street and high-end items. “You might wear an Equipment blouse with a Zara jacket,” she says.

Accessorise cleverly
Often the difference between a business and an evening outfit is no more than the right piece of jewellery or a good scarf. “Scarves are a great investment,” says Ms Butterworth. “You could also use a clutch handbag as a purse inside a larger bag during the day and then take it out for the evening.”

Get alerts on Work & Careers when a new story is published

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window)

Follow the topics in this article