Packing for a Work Trip

I am traveling to New York City this week for a very exciting conference that I can’t wait to share about in an upcoming post! When I got the call to attend the conference, the first thing that popped in my head was ‘What am I going to wear?’.

Sharing with you all today, how I’ve gone about preparing and packing for my work trip.


Some people may go about this differently but I first decide what to pack in before I begin packing up my clothing and personal items. I find that I need to know my space limitations or I will end up bringing three outfits choices for one day! Anyone else? Not that there is anything wrong with options but when you are only traveling for two days, packing a week’s worth of clothing is overkill.

My go to when traveling for work is a carry-on roller bag and a functional tote as my personal item. I used to always travel with my Vera Bradley weekender, so easy to squeeze into overheard, but for this trip I really want to use a more structured bag with professional vibes.


Now that I’ve set my space limitations its time to map out my outfits for each event. For this work trip, I am traveling into New York mid-day but my first event is the the conference kick-off dinner that night which gives me the afternoon to explore one of my favorite cities! To help me map out my days and events, I’ve created a Business Trip Outfit Planner.

Click here to download.

Below I’ve listed out the various events I’ll be participating in this work trip.

  • Travel Day & Afternoon Exploring
  • Kick-Off Dinner
  • All Day Conference & Panel (!)
  • Travel Day Home

Given my first event isn’t until the evening, I can dress more casually on my flight out to New York which means I only need two professional looks for this trip. My outfits for travel and exploring will include gym shoes and Lulu Lemon or possibly a causal dress. For the conference events, I want to be sure to consider the company’s culture. I’ve been fortunate to visit their offices before and have a good understanding of their culture; they are definitely not your typical financial firm which means I can be more fun with my outfit choices.

Outfit Winners

I used to have so much anxiety when packing for work trips. I would start playing the comparison game and think about what the other women and attendees would be wearing and get worried about being too under dressed or overdressed for the occasion.

In the recent years, I’ve really been able to define my personal style which allows me to feel comfortable and confident in any setting regardless of outfit decision. If I’m in a situation where I might be over dressed, I’m not worried because I feel hella confident in whatever it is that I am wearing.

Speaking of feeling confident, I am going to look back at my outfit pictures and pick my two favorite, most confidence inspiring outfits and wear them to dinner and the conference the next day. Another perk of having a photo diary of your work wear!

Have I convinced you to start keeping a photo diary of your outfits yet?

Conference Kick-Off Dinner

All Day Conference & Panel

My approach here, much like packing for any trip, is to create a capsule wardrobe. Packing in this fashion allows me to change my mind on something or and give me the flexibility to swap out pieces for different days knowing that everything will still coordinate.

Must Haves

When traveling, regardless of the occasion, I have a short (or not so short) list of travel must haves:

Now that I have this trip packed, I can focus on packing for the wedding we are going to next weekend in southern Illinois. Did I mention that I am on the first flight out of New York on Friday morning only to get in a car and drive down to Peoria. Can’t wait to live out of a suitcase for the next week…

Hope this helps you all in packing for your next work and/or personal trip!

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