Everyone goes on these kinds of trips every once in a while, the kind that keeps you away from home for weeks, even months. Whether it's for business or leisure, the challenge is always to look good while you're logging in all those miles. But when you're living from a suitcase, it often proves easier said than done. Here's how to look (and feel) well-dressed, even without full access to your wardrobe.
More Isn't More
A lot of guys think that the amount of time spent abroad should be directly proportional to some clothes they'll be bringing. While there's an advantage to more clothes in your luggage, this never necessarily has to be your solution. It's still possible for you to look good without risking excess baggage fees at the check-in counter.
Working with Less
Men's fashion pundits all agree: you should bring less on your trips and then do laundry more often. In the long run, you'll find that this strategy will be much more effective for your purposes without having to sacrifice much on style.
The trick is to estimate how many days you'll go between laundry sessions, and then pack for just those many days. That is, pack the bare minimum of business or casual clothes that you could wear for those days when a laundromat isn't available. Of course, it's also a good idea to bring along a few extra pieces. Don't go overboard with the extra pieces, though; have enough for two extra days maximum as a contingency plan.
Less Clothes, More Variety
Just because you'll be bringing fewer clothes doesn't mean that your outfits have to be any less stylish or interesting. It all boils down to how well you can mix and match, and then packing just the right amount of clothes to let you do that mixing and matching.
For business wardrobes, this means a working understanding of how to match shirts and neckties for your grooming. With the right technique of matching, the number of shirts multiplied by the number of ties you have will equal the number of outfits you have available. That means simply bringing three shirts, and three neckties can already get you as many as nine different outfits, provided you can match them all properly.
What to Pack
If you're planning to travel for a little leisure time on a business trip, you'll obviously have to bring something other than shirts and ties. Casual clothes are imperative for any itinerary with some off-time, but not all casual pieces are made equally if you're going on a trip abroad.
Classic pieces like chinos and pastel polo shirts are recommended in everyday cases, but they're necessary for these long trips. Versatility is the most crucial thing to have in your clothes, and you can't get more versatile than classic pieces.
In the same vein, you'll also want to look for low-maintenance pieces like wrinkle-free fabric; it's almost certain that your clothes will get wrinkled in your luggage.
More than most other sartorial situations, long excursions require some strategy for you to pull it off successfully and stylishly. And when it comes down to style, no guy is more impressive than the one bearing just one suitcase but looks like he's wearing a closet's worth of outfits.