Kim, Founder of Winser London, is frequently asked how to pack for business. It really is a skill to keep luggage to a minimum and one that takes experience. The above Design Lookbook is an edit of a capsule workwear business edit. Kim always begins with footwear, considering what the trip entails - run-around shoes, heels or smart office footwear? Try to keep shoes to a maximum of three pairs, including those worn on the journey. Then lay outfits out, unfolded on a standard double bed - if they don't fit on the bed, you're packing too much for a week. Colour is key - don't try to take too many hues. Aim for one neutral base of black, midnight navy or camel and add a couple of accent colours - then mix and match to create outfits. Stretch fabrics are a must - they travel so much better, creasing less and providing welcome comfort.
Try this list for a week away:
1. Silk blouses - they pack up small and can be worn day and night. Winser London silk has clever added stretch.
2. Trousers that work for day or evening - remember the lengths must work with your shoe selection. Kim's favourites are the Winser woven cotton two-way stretch pieces, which include leggings, jeans and classic fit trousers.
3. A colourful outdoor/indoor coat is perfect to put over everything, Winser English tweed is perfect if you want to rock the Chanel look. The clever Milano stitch wool or cotton edge-to-edge coats are both extremely versatile.
4. Finally the dresses. Opt for the Miracle Ponte di Roma fabric styles, which are perfect for business meetings, cocktails or supper. Pack a couple and wear with confidence.
Travelling is no adventure, more of an endurance test, so being a good traveller is essential. Whether you turn left or right as you board the plane, the process can be very dehumanising. First, the race to the airport, then the interminable waiting. Often the flight itself is quite short but the proximity of so many people can be an irritation. Preparing for a long-haul flight needs a cosy set-up with cashmere and socks and pillows. Skipping around Europe can be more trying as we often need to go straight to a meeting from the airport. Planning one’s outfit and one’s carry-on needs some careful preparation. A comfortable trouser suit or trouser–jacket combination and a white t-shirt always works. It’s safer to wear a dark coloured suit in case of mishaps, but a large, bright cashmere shawl or scarf works for comfort and beauty. A silk shirt that has stretch but resists creasing is another essential as this will give you the look of 'effortlessly expensive’ without being uptight or overdone – which is never a bad thing.
Other top tips: No point struggling with a change of shoes, better to stick to a beautifully-made, well-polished, comfortable pair of flats. The current trend for fabrics with stretch is the way to go. I load up my carry-on wheeled suitcase with black net zip-up bags from Muji, then I can simply take out the bags I need for the flight and stow the rest. Nylon cross-body designer handbags are what the fashion editors take for their trips to the collections, the Prada satchel being a favourite as it’s light, roomy and easy to wear.
By Vanessa de Lisle - www.thefashioncupboard.com