Do You Look Like a “Don’t” When You Travel?

June 9, 2015

I travel frequently and I find it to be an interesting study in human nature—especially as it relates to professional appearance. I notice very few professionals wearing suits when I’m on the road. I believe the traveling professional has transitioned to an extreme level of casual dress not necessarily appropriate for business. Keep in mind you never know who you may sit next to on the plane on your next business trip. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to look pulled together. It’s as simple as taking a few minutes to think about how you may be perceived when traveling. It’s human nature for people to make judgments based on appearance. Whether you like it or not, they are making up a story about you. So ask yourself: are you telling the story you intend?

 

Here are some tips to keep you looking your best while traveling for business:

 

  1. Ladies: when it comes to shoes, I have one main suggestion: wear shoes you can walk in! I see more women in business attire and shoes I know are killing their feet. I can spot the walk a mile a way. It includes a slight limp which just ruins the look. I love high heels too, but I can walk in the ones I wear. As soon as my feet hurt, I slip on attractive flats that complement my outfit. Try Sam Edelman flats. You can purchase them at www.nordstrom.com 

  2. Men: If you are the CEO of your company or in a senior leadership position, look the part even in the airport. Don’t carry a Patriots backpack with your beautiful suit.

  3. High-water pants and ill-fitting sport coats need to be avoided at all costs. Fit your sport or suit coat to your shoulder size and everything else about the can garment can be tailored!

  4. Polish your shoes or boots. Worn looking shoes ruin more outfits and suits. A black sharpie marker works wonders for the tip of black pump.

  5. I think it’s fine to travel in jeans as long as they are in good shape and are coupled with a great dress shirt, sweater or blazer.  

  6. Ladies: we have so many options when it comes to clothing. Why look sloppy? Chose options that are comfortable yet pulled together. Check out my clothing for business travel on Pinterest.

  7. Your look includes you roller board, carry on and coat. You’ll look polished if they compliment your outfit. You don’t have to match perfectly, but you should look pulled together, especially if you are traveling for business.  If you stick with black or grey you really can’t go wrong. 

  8. Skip the exercise attire altogether.

  9. Ladies, as for your hair, choose a style that easily stays neat. You want to look like you are ready for business when you step off the plane.

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Margaret Batting - Professional Development Consultant, Executive Coach, Brand Strategist and Keynote Speaker, Servicing Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Beyond
 
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