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For many people, a travel outfit means sweatpants, no makeup, and a messy bun to keep you cozy on a long flight. I’ll admit, this is my travel style too for those long international flights.
However, at minimum once a year I will run into co-workers at the airport, and especially if they are coming from a client, they’re probably wearing a suit. From my co-workers that live in larger cities such as New York or Chicago, I have also heard stories of seeing clients on the same flight.
If I am spending the entire day traveling I don’t think it’s necessary to dress business professional, however I still think it is a good idea to look relatively polished while traveling in the event that you run into someone you know.
Find clothes that are comfy but still fit well.
For my business travel capsule wardrobe, I have switched out my sweatpants with ponte pants, and my hoodies with either a leather jacket or cardigan. Ponte pants have an advantage where they are basically leggings, and much more comfortable than slacks or jeans.
Iron your clothes before you travel.
It may seem unnecessary to “try so hard” to look nice while traveling, but I feel like the difference between ironing and wearing a wrinkled outfit can draw the line between put together and just rolled out of bed. Ironing (or steaming) is one of the easiest ways to look extra polished while traveling. Even for my flight home, I find it easiest to pack my steamer while traveling for work so that it is easy to keep my clothes crisp.
I feel like a few accessories can really give an outfit that extra push to polished. You don’t need to go all out or to wear statement pieces. I will admit I do not leave the house without a necklace, bracelet and my rings, but even a simple watch can be that extra step to make you look put together.
While this doesn’t necessarily make you look polished, having a fresher breath will allow you to come off as more polished if you do run into someone after your flight. After coffee and a long flight, your breath probably isn’t at its peak – bring some gum to refresh once your flight lands.
If you aren’t interested in wearing your professional clothes while traveling, it is still a good idea to dress presentably while traveling domestically. Especially if there is an opportunity to run into your coworkers or clients while at the airport, you do not want to be caught wearing sweatpants.