Colette Werden is a style and image specialist who works with female entrepreneurs and professionals.
I’m heading away internationally for a 6 month working holiday and won’t have a lot of luggage space to take the usual staple options. Can you recommend some essential items/colours I can work with while abroad?
Packing for travelling. Three words that can give even the most organised woman a rush of anxiety and send her into a frenzy of “excess baggage” even before she’s left the country.
It can be such an exhausting process packing for just a week, let alone 6 months, so let’s get really clear on a few things first.
What climate will you be travelling to?
What activities will you be involved in? Ie. Office environment, plus conferences and events? What leisurely activities will you be doing?
We covered the 17 pieces to a versatile working wardrobe here [http://www.womensagenda.com.au/style-agenda/latest-products/fashion/how-to-build-a-killer-work-wardrobe-on-a-budget/201503125441#.VUrhnPmqqko], a condensed version of this is definitely the perfect place to start, before we then mix it in with casual/smart casual pieces.
Condensed version of the versatile working wardrobe:
1 skirts (basic)
1 blazer (basic)
2 shoes (Your go-to black and a nude)
3 tops (two basics and one statement)
1 dress (basic)
1 pair of pants (basic)
2 belts (One statement and one basic).
That’s now down from 17 to 11.
Now to add the casual/smart casual pieces:
2 pairs of jeans (light pair (casual), or this could be a comfortable pair of chinos + dark pair (smart casual; dinners)
1 jacket (like a leather, or denim)
2 pairs of flats (sneakers for walking, ballet flats/loafers for brunches and lunches)
2 basic tees (to wear casually, or with a blazer with jeans and heels for a dinner).
A total of 17 pieces. Easy!
Again, depending on the climate that you’re travelling to, you may need to switch a few of these pieces around; like, jeans for shorts/casual skirts (hot), or flats for boots (cold), or thrown in a casual summer dress.
Also, if you’re needing heavy, warm pieces, like a coat, either carry this with you on the plane, or buy one there. Lighter pieces, like bathers, can be easily rolled into a crevice of the suitcase. If you’re keen on accessories, choose one statement piece (for evenings) and a simple piece for day.
Following this structure will most definitely ensure that you’re covered from day to night. Especially if you ensure that the work pieces you choose can be easily mixed and matched in with your casual pieces and that the colour palette flows.
A good idea, to save you the hassle of deciding on what to wear when you’re abroad, is to put together a Look Book before you go (I’m sure you’ll be wanting to spend time on experiences, rather than fretting about what to wear!)
Each one of our time-poor clients that do the 1-on-1 Professional Image Development process receive a Look Book of all the outfit options in their wardrobe photographed and put together in an e-book. This covers their whole busy lifestyle and when it comes to packing; makes the process incredibly easy, no matter the duration of the trip.
This is a snapshot of what it looks like.
We’ve taken a grey blazer from work, to smart casual to casual. This is a great example of how the structure above can work.
To do this, get out all the pieces you plan on taking with you and put your Mixing’n’Matching Crown on. How can you make that one blazer work in at least 3 ways? How can you take it from day to night? Lay your outfits down, photograph them and save them in a folder on your phone. So, all you’ll have to do is flick through, choose your outfit and go.
If you have a fashion or style related question for Colette email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.