My Travel Fashion Strategy


I travel a lot. A whole lot. People are always asking me how do I go for a week with just one carry on. How do you decide on what to take on a trip? While none of us want to take extra stuff, we certainly don’t want to be caught with less stuff than what we need. Over the years I have come up with a traveling fashion strategy.

fashion packing for a business trip

Pick a color palette. When I’m traveling for business, my color palette is usually black and one or two accent colors for shirts. This way I make sure that every shirt, socks and pants match each other. If you have a spill or pull a button or hole then it could ruin your one good outfit you had planed. When I go on vacation or to the tropics, I usually pick a navy or tan color scheme. Right now I’m on my way to Europe with my black color-scheme.

Find the right basics. I have been wearing ExOfficio underwear for years. They are virtually indestructible, anti-microbial (no smells), and dry in 2 minutes. According to their marketing copy you can go to 6 countries, 2 continents with 2 pairs of underwear. I have not tried that yet, but I can see how one could do that even while not being French. Good socks are also important. I usually buy them with a small percentage of spandex so they hold their shape and are easy to clean and dry if you didn’t pack enough. I usually pack one pair of dress as well as my running shoes and wear the casual ones on the plane. A transitional belt that can go business or casual, so I usually wear one on the plane with me. I also pack workout and running gear. But since they don’t wrinkle, I  roll and stuff them inside my running and dress shoes. (I wear a size 12/13 so there’s plenty of room inside my shoes)

Smart pants. Depending on your line of work you can wear dark jeans for travel and pack a second, and potentially third, pair of dress slacks. For my European trip, I have brought two pairs of dark jeans and one black dress slacks for a more formal event. One of my jeans is silicone infused. It keeps it’s sheen and dark color from fading but it also resists spills, so I know they’ll look good even after a nasty brawl in a nightclub in Paris (Not that I would know that from personal experience, however).

Defining Shirts. Most of the year, you can get by without wearing a coat, so your shirts will be the most impact-full element in your wardrobe. I brought several different kinds that would work with or without a coat and all of them go well with all my pants, belt and shoes.

Sports coats. Whatever you do, please, please, please fight the urge to wear your sport coat with shorts and flip flops as you travel. I see men doing that all the time and it saddens me. Wear a t-shirt or casual shirt and your jacket on the plane, or learn to fold your blazer so it travel in your suitcase without wrinkling. (I’ll do a video on that soon). Currently, I’m wearing a black polished cotton casual coat on my trip and I have another, more formal one inside the suitcase.

What’s your travel fashion strategy?

  • John

    Maurilio, this is great information. I can’t pack worth a flip. I’m either taking everything I have clean or not enough. I really needed this.

  • Lisa Lewis

    Maurilio, I usually over pack in fear of not having enough. I have always to check bags, but I’m going to try your strategy.

  • Maurilio, Not much of a ‘fashion’ guy, but in my role, I travel Sunday night..return Friday. I HATE to check a bag, so I must magic pack! I also am required to wear a suite daily so, my approach is:n1) Wear one suit during travel. Not ultimately comfortable, but necessary (no tie during travel!n2) Bring 2 suits. One black one blue. n3) 5 shirts. Stay basic…blue and whiten4) I wear a size 13 so my socks go in shoes as well! I wear my dress shoes to travel. 13’s fill up a bag quick!n5) 5 ties.nnIt ends up being conservative, but works for me…AND, I don’t have to CHECK my bag!

  • That ExOfficio tip made it worth firing up my computer this evening.

  • Tedsquires

    I don’t agree with all this stuff!!!do what your comfortable with and look good for the occasion . Ps you don’t need to follow the fashion experts!! Because you know what you like.

    • The great thing about living in America is that you can wear whatever you want, fashionable or not.

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