by George Mickum

These days, traveling is no longer the glamorous and elegant affair that it once was. However, this is not an excuse to dress as if you are going to the gym. As we leave summer behind and enter fall, this means wearing power suits and returning to full work mode. It is important to maintain a level of professionalism under all circumstances. While traveling, your look says it all. Being prepared for a delay and having to jump immediately into meetings when you arrive is practically a given, let alone the risk of your luggage not arriving with you. Having clothes that make the transition while maintaining a crisp look is invaluable.

While flying, light and mid-level layers are the best way to go. It’s best that you wear a blazer, possibly a sweater blazer, with a light, layered cashmere/cotton blend sweater underneath. This is optimal for travel and for minimizing wrinkles. Closed-toed shoes with proper accoutrements, such as socks and stockings, are necessities for travel. When it comes to the color palette of travel attire, darker colors are always best. Airplanes, whether commercial or private, tend to be less than clean. Light grays and browns easily show stains. Because your clean and crisp travel look can be out the window with one strong burst of turbulence, it’s best to preemptively avoid colors that easily show stains. Black, navy, and dark shades of purple are gold standards for disguising stains.

Although it’s important to be prepared and professional while traveling, this doesn’t mean business formal. No tie is required; if a jacket or sweater is the appropriate length, ties (of substantial fabric) could be worn. Although nothing says fresh and put together like a crisp white shirt, that’s an article of clothing that is best avoided while traveling.

Packing carry-on luggage is crucial to maintaining a professional look while traveling. With a large number of suitcases lost or delayed during travel, a carry-on is one’s only option. If you do experience lost luggage, however, a few essentials will minimize the disheveled feeling of having nothing to wear to your meetings. Men have it easy; they only need to pack shirts of varying colors that can all accompany their suit. Ties and pocket squares can also give the impression of greater depth of wardrobe. For women, it’s a more complex approach. I suggest that female travelers attempt to pick an underpinning and pants that can have multiple top layers, a rotating blazer, sweaters, and blouses. This allows for space efficiency and not looking as if you could be caught up in a negative situation. Making sure that your carry-on bag is sleek and modern is important as well. The whole ensemble can be brought together with a suitcase that is more elegant than the more bare bones luggage.

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This Joie sweater blazer is the perfect look for travel! It is a versatile piece that can be paired with a wide range of colors. It will maintain a put-together look and feel, even after a nine-hour international flight.
Joie Jacolyn B Knit Jacket; $398; saksfifthavenue.com

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This Philip Lim blazer is great to have in your carry-on. It packs well in small spaces and will make for a great emergency outfit when paired over almost any combination of shirts and pants.
3.1 Philip Lim Wool Cropped Bomber Jacket; $795; saksfifthavenue.com

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This Armani Collezioni Color Blocking sweater makes the perfect light layer for travel! Professional, with a trendy flair, this super-thin knit wool will accompany a vast variety of blazers and keep a businesslike feel to your ensemble.
Armani Collezioni Colorblock Knit Sweater; $375; saksfifthavenue.com

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This Vince sweater blazer is ideal for travel. Its charcoal gray color will maintain freshness after the longest of travel days. It gives the appearance of being shipshape while keeping you comfortable.
Vince Wool Knit Blazer; $395; saksfifthavenue.com