Winter Business Trip Capsule Wardrobe

This post contains affiliate links.


As you read this, I am sitting in a conference room in downtown Manhattan on the first day of my winter MFA residency. Although this trip is part of my graduate studies, it looks and feels a lot like  real, grownup professional's business trip. Never having been on an actual business trip before, I had some fun packing and planning my outfits for my week in New York City. 

Those who know me, know I pride myself on my ability to travel light and this trip was no exception. My number one piece of advice for packing light is to bring items that can all be mixed and matched with each other. For anyone who's ever scrolled through capsule wardrobes on Pinterest, you know that a neutral colour pallet is the key foundation of Minimalism 101. For a little more insight, here's a peek at what I've packed for this winter business trip. 


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

My second piece of packing-light advice is this: don't bring too many bottoms. Pants and skirts usually stay pretty clean so you don't need to go overboard bringing three pairs of black business trousers. I swear no one will notice if you double up and wear the same pair of black pants more than just once. Since my trip is on the slightly more casual side I'm bringing one pair of black pants, a grey skirt, and a pair of dark-wash jeans. If I was going to be in a more formal business environment a lot of the time I would swap the jeans for a pair of charcoal, black, or grey trousers. 

When it comes to tops, I do like to have a fresh one for every day of my trip so I'm bringing a mix of blouses and shirts that can all be worn with either pair of pants or the skirt. Finally, I never go anywhere business-like without a classic black blazer to throw over any look and a little black dress for a particularly formal event. 

What I love most about packing this way is that I don't have to think about my outfits or plan ahead while I'm away. Since I know everything I've packed can be easily mixed and matched into a complete look, I can simply get up in the morning and throw on whatever combination suits my fancy. 

What are your tips for packing light? What are your business trip essentials?