Minimalist French Style for Business Trips

Last week, I shared an academic conference capsule of work + play for 16 days overseas. For shorter business trips, however, here’s what you want to do.

First, choose a tailored blazer made of breathable fabric. Something modern with clean lines and minimal embellishments will allow you for flexibility with your tops and accessories, than if you choose something ornate. Features like big square pockets, gold buttons, and peak
lapels date easily and can sometimes feel too stuffy, even on business trips, if you’re socializing in the evenings. Make sure that the blazer fits comfortable in the shoulders and upper arms, and try it on with a blouse underneath. Then, have it tailored in the waist and arms if necessary.

For the trousers, be sure to include at least one pair that is slim and cropped just above the ankle. This pair, combined with your blazer, will be your power suit, but a refreshingly modern take on it. Then, if you want to have a trendier look, consider either a cropped pair with a slight flare, or cropped culottes. Slimmer silhouettes look more professional to my eye, but a wider leg will be more comfortable on travel days.

When choosing tops, ensure that your staple blouse is silk. It’s light, airy, and doesn’t retain odor easily. A luxe, slim tee will be ideal for traveling, and can still be worn under the blazer. No tailoring necessary with short sleeves, either. I’d be happy with just these two items, but a third top with some detail could give you an evening option, or allow you to feel dressed up without your jacket, in case the climate isn’t co-operating.

Have fun with the shoes. If you can manage a low heel, great, but I prefer flats for comfort. Stick with low vamps where possible. I love patent oxfords, but strappy flats look fashion forward and allow you to incorporate trends and add interest.

If you sweat a lot, it’s worth bringing along a small deodorizer in a travel spray bottle. You can make your own, too, by mixing half a vial of vodka with half a vial of water.

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