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The Dilemma:

Joy and Sunshine reader Shannon contacted me to help her assemble color-coordinated business attire that easily transitions into sightseeing-type activities for an upcoming business trip to the UK. (Luckyyyyy…)

The Process:

The first thing I did was peruse British editions of Vogue and InStyle, just to see if there are any major fashion differences between here and across-the-pond. Answer: Not really. Classic chic is worldwide. More importantly, it speaks to Shannon’s personal style aesthetic, so that’s the direction we’re going.

The second thing I did was check the weather because it would be just too wrong to suggest wearing a bikini top and cutoffs in 40 degree weather. (Actually, given that this is primarily a business trip we’re talking about here, that would be just too wrong for a whole host of reasons… although, I guess that does depend on what a person’s “business” is :-)) Whatever the case, Weather.com forecasts 60 – 70 degree highs and 50 – 60 degree lows for the rest of the month.

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Business Trip Packing

The Packing List (Part I):

  1. Blazer
  2. Denim jacket
  3. Trenchcoat
  4. Pencil skirts: solid, print
  5. Trousers
  6. Long sleeve button-downs: white, striped, etc
  7. Cardigan or lightweight v-neck sweater
  8. Jeans: trouser, skinny, boyfriend
  9. Tees/Tanks/Leggings
  10. Shoes: flats, kitten heels, or wedges for work/walking; Converse or gladiator sandals for chilling

The Basics:

  • For me, sticking with a basic palette of 2 – 3 colors ensures that everything goes well with – and can be worn with – everything else.
  • Staples like a crisp white button down, black blazer, and pencil skirt (print or solid) can be worn in an infinite number of ways, depending upon the situation. For example, the same white shirt worn with a pencil skirt or trousers for daytime meetings can be untucked (with or without the blazer) and paired with leggings or skinny jeans (rolled a little) and All-Stars or gladiator sandals for an instant cool girl switch-up. (Check this post for a visual aid.)
  • Layering pieces – thin tees, ribbed tanks – don’t take up much room in the suitcase, add depth to more basic looks, and offer the versatility to keep up with unpredictable weather.
  • IMHO, wearing just about anything dressy-ish with distressed and/or boyfriend jeans works. (See this postthis onethis one, and this one, too!) So if you only have a moment to dress down a little, ditch the trousers or skirt, and throw on some worn-in, but still stylish jeans.
  • Trouser jeans might work for a casual business day, and swapping them out for skinnies changes the look just enough. (Click here to see this principle in action.)

Cobalt and Orange

The Packing List (Part II):

  1. Scarves
  2. Belts
  3. Statement necklace
  4. Dress
  5. Bananas heel: if you’re really going out after hours

The Extras:

Here’s the fun part!

  • Like the layering pieces mentioned above, colorful scarves and belts don’t add a lot of travel bulk, but easily transform an outfit. A thin belt in a bright color could be worn with a button-down and pencil skirt, for example. (Check these posts for 3 different ways to tie a scarf: 123)
  • Small details such as rolling long sleeves or slightly pushing up the sleeves of a jacket do wonders for an otherwise simple look.
  • Add a statement necklace – I’m in love with this one – to any old boring outfit, and BAM…the look instantly becomes more interesting. (Click here and here for more.)
  • Maybe include a dress in a print or bold color? Vogue UK suggests teal, cobalt, or orange zest, a bright tangerine color. One like this print wrap dress would look great with or without a blazer or trench.

I hope this helps! Please let me know 🙂

Do you have any things you need shopped or any questions or dilemmas you’d like addressed (within the scope of the blog, of course)? Definitely let me know in the comments section, or send me an email! 

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