How to: Pack a Carry-On with Style

    A reader recently came to me with a question about his travel wardrobe, and instead of trying to answer it myself, I decided to go straight to the expert. In this case, that would be my good friend Hitha, who runs Hitha On the Go, a blog about living the good life while perpetually on the go. A VP of Operations at an international pharmaceutical company (at the ripe old age of 27, no less), she knows how to travel in style. Her passport’s seen so much action it should probably get tested.

    Check out the question, and her ace answer, below.

    Bearski writes:

    Since I travel every week and don’t check a bag I have to get pretty creative with my casual outfits. I usually try to find layers (in the winter) that I can wear with other items or alone so I can save room and wear things more than once. Unfortunately, my current wardrobe is not very conducive to this idea. I would LOVE it if you could do a piece on ways to minimize space whilst maximizing options. It would be even MORE stellar if you could actually put together some example options!

    Hitha says:

    I empathize you on the traveling every week front – I deal with it regularly, as do a few of the men in my life (namely, my husband, and a few busy cousins).  Lucky for you, they all have great style and manage to pack a week’s worth of clothes neatly into their carry-ons.  I’ve put together a packing list and sample outfits for you – with 9 pieces, you can stay stylishly professional throughout your trip.

    1.    Brooks Brothers Button-down dress shirt ($88)
    2.    Brooks Brothers pinstripe dress shirt ($88)
    3.    Brooks Brothers French cuff dress shirt ($88)
    4.    Brooks Brothers ‘Fitzgerald’ Wool Blazer ($598)
    5.    Brooks Brothers Supima V-Neck Sweater ($80)
    6.    Cole Haan Air Jackson 2 Gore loafers ($150)
    7.    JB Britches Wool & Cashmere Trousers ($155)
    8.    John Varvatos Wool Trousers ($145)
    9.    Autobot Cuff Links ($42)

    There’s a great deal for the Brooks Brothers shirts – 3 for $219, and they’re the non-iron variety.  Double win.

    A couple basic rules to think about when packing for a work trip:

    Choose variety.

    Pack a pair of flat front and pleated trousers each.  Select a mix of patterned and plain shirts.

    Pack around a neutral color. 

    Your blazer, a pair of trousers, and shoes should be the same color (either black or brown).  Gray, tan, and navy can be worn with either neutral.

    Add your personal touch. 

    Unique cuff links (Bauble Bar has a great selection) personalize even the most basic of work outfits.  Choose brightly colored or patterned socks (like these pairs from Cole Haan) over basic black.  Instead of a wallet, store your cash and cards in this awesome money clip.

    Happy travels!