Woman packs a capsule wardrobe for her business trip

How to Pack a Capsule Wardrobe for a Business Trip

Packing for a two-week business trip can seem difficult because you need to look professional every day, but you don’t want to bring along your entire office wardrobe. The best solution? A capsule wardrobe. By utilizing each piece of clothing in several different ways, you can create endless outfit possibilities out of only 21 basic pieces. Then, you’ll be able to fit everything you need in a small carry-on, and your only worry will be doing your best and representing your company well.

The Colors

The key to creating a successful capsule wardrobe is choosing a cohesive color palette. Since you’ll be working most of the time on this trip, you’ll want to choose a mild palette that is appropriate for all work functions. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Minty Fresh: Cream, charcoal, mint, salmon

  • True Blue: White, mocha, navy, smoky blue

  • Wine & Dine: Taupe, marsala, blush, olive

  • Opposites Attract: White, camel, plum, black

The Essentials

  • 2 Work Dresses

  • 1 Cardigan

  • 1 Leather Jacket

  • 1 Solid Blouse

  • 1 Patterned Blouse

  • 2 Camisoles

  • 1 Skirt

  • 1 Pair of Dress Pants

  • 1 Pair of Dark Jeans

  • 1 Pair of Pumps

  • 1 Pair of Flats

  • 1 Long Necklace

  • 1 Short Necklace

  • 2 Sets of Earrings

  • 1 Belt

  • 1 Scarf

  • 1 Purse

The Fun Part

Once you’ve chosen the color scheme and pieces for your wardrobe, you can now get creative with your outfit options. All of your tops should be able to match each of your bottoms, and they can be dressed up with jewelry or dressed down with a scarf. You can also feel free to try out different combinations of accessories, such as layering two necklaces together or wearing a pair of earrings with a scarf. Since you’re only bringing one purse to accessorize with, you’ll want to choose one that’s large enough to carry your necessities, but still small enough to look chic with a pencil skirt.

Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a day or two of sightseeing on your agenda, you’ll have the option of toning down your look with a cute pair of jeans; or you can still stick with the business casual attire. The choice is yours!

  • Day 1: Solid blouse, dress pants, pumps, long necklace

  • Day 2: Dress, cardigan, pumps, earrings

  • Day 3: Camisole, cardigan, dress pants, flats, scarf

  • Day 4: Patterned blouse, skirt, pumps, earrings

  • Day 5: Dress, belt, pumps, short necklace

  • Day 6: Camisole, leather jacket, jeans, pumps, scarf

  • Day 7: Solid blouse, skirt, belt, flats, short necklace

  • Day 8: Camisole, cardigan, skirt, pumps, long necklace

  • Day 9: Dress, leather jacket, pumps, long necklace

  • Day 10: Patterned blouse, cardigan, jeans, flats, earrings

  • Day 11: Camisole, leather jacket, dress pants, pumps, earrings

  • Day 12: Solid blouse, jeans, flats, short necklace

  • Day 13: Dress, cardigan, flats, scarf

  • Day 14: Patterned blouse, leather jacket, dress pants, long necklace

Last Updated: June 10, 2015