Women Business Travellers

Old Sep 23, 12, 5:08 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Women Business Travellers

Hello, my name is Linda and I'm a fashon design student in my final year.

For my thesis collection I am designing a line for women business travellers and I would like to get to know my target market. If you are a woman who goes on business trips, I would greatly appreciate if you could please fill out this quick survey.

I am thinking of designing clothing that is comfortable to wear during the commute for the trip while still looking presentable after arrival if meeting a client/going straight to a meeting/etc. This is only my initial idea and I will alter it to fit the needs of the niche market. Feel free to ask me questions here or discuss anything about being a woman business traveller, especially any issues you have.
lindor is offline  
Old Sep 25, 12, 6:19 pm
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I responded. Good luck with your thesis collection! You should also look through the forum, there are a lot of threads on travel clothes.
embla is offline  
Old Sep 25, 12, 8:05 pm
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Good luck.
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Old Sep 26, 12, 5:54 am
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I responded, but I question if you need to know company names and such.
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Old Sep 27, 12, 2:49 pm
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Good luck on your project! Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I love the idea, there really are very few stylish lines that consistently cater to our niche market.
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Old Sep 27, 12, 3:56 pm
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Good luck, looking for simple clean lines in clothes that stay neat, unwrinkled, comfortable
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Old Sep 27, 12, 4:24 pm
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Ditto what JerseyGirl said. I am not high fashion on the road!
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Old Dec 31, 12, 4:24 pm
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Also just completed the survey... Stylish, fresh, & comfy are what I need!
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Old Jan 13, 13, 3:02 pm
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Best pants I ever bought - from Athleta. Ponte knit. Doesn't wrinkle. Washable. Comfortable enough to sleep in but paired with a long-ish jacket I could wear it for all but a few occasions. Weight is good for all between 0 (F) and 80. Also flattering and have pockets. Best jacket from Zobha (single button jacket - they don't make it anymore). CYA for when you are fat, or have your period but with nice tailoring and shape. I should have bought every color. Also comfortable enough to sleep in and good for same temp range. I actually have a couple pairs of Old navy foldover pants that I have worn to death. Jersey knit, so very comfy, but paired with a nice top and jacket they look very presentable. I have actually gotten a lot of compliments on those with the Zobha jacket and they were (together) under 100$.

I would love to expound more if you want more opinions.

And please - I am fit for my age but I can't wear things that 20 yr old girls wear.
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Old Jan 21, 13, 2:10 pm
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I responded to your survey but here is some additional feedback.

I'm a 40-something lawyer who travels for work about 5-8 times a year: a couple of short trips (e.g., NYC-Washington on the train, or NYC-Toronto), a few trips to Latin America, and a few trips to London and the Far East). Except for the short trips I never go directly from a flight to a meeting, but I might come back from a trip and go directly to the office.

Here are the characteristics of my ideal travel wardrobe:

1. Lightweight - items individually and in the aggregate. Ounces (and half-ounces) count, so reducing the weight of clothes and accessories is important. I never pack jeans (too heavy). I take Merrell Barefoot running shoes (black) because I wear them as casual shoes and also use them for workouts.

2. Ease/stretch. I don't wear anything these days that doesn't have a little give. I won't wear a pure wool suit - just 1-2% lycra in the suit (and the lining, please) makes a difference in terms of comfort. My standard work outfit except for formal meetings is a knit or jersey dress because it's so comfortable. The fabric has to be substantial enough to cover figure flaws but light enough to meet the lightweight requirement above. Too much lycra etc is a problem, though - then you end up feeling like a sausage stuffed into too-tight casing.

3. Black doesn't always travel well. It gets linty and shows stains more readily than heathery colors like charcoal, khaki, etc. So my suits tend to be in these mid-range colours and I'll pack some tops that are black (but not trousers or skirts).

4. 3/4 sleeves are great - they work for all seasons. They're cool enough when it's hot, modest enough for different cultures and warm enough in winter (not toasty, but warm enough if you're trying to be economical in your packing).

5. Fabrics where wrinkles don't form or they hang out quickly. Again, this is one of the reasons I like jersey and many knits. But not all knits are created equal. There's been a bit of a trend lately toward a cotton ponte knit and it doesn't travel well - rather wrinkly.

6. Matte is better than shiny. Shiny fabrics don't hold up well in travel - they show wrinkles, lint, stains etc more. Matte fabrics work better.

7. I try to limit footwear so I usually only travel with one or two base colours - i.e. clothes that either work with black shoes, or clothes that work with brown. This makes packing simpler - it's the "black" wardrobe or the "brown" wardrobe. (And I have coats and luggage that coordinate, by the way.)

8. I do like to pack some colour, though, and I find that purple and coral (either from light to dark) work well with black, brown, navy and tan as base colours.

9. I like leggings and tunics for travel days - the tunics skim my torso so they're comfortable, and the leggings feel like pjs. Someone who is less comfortable wearing form-fitting leggings could do a similar combo with looser-cut knit pants.

10. I always pack something to change into for my hotel room (more comfortable and saves my "outside" clothes for "outside" - usually lightweight menswear-style pajamas. I like knit pajamas from Bedhead and shirt fabric pajamas from Thomas Pink.

For a business trip consisting of 5 working days, 2 travel days and one weekend sightseeing day, I'd probably pack the following (not counting underwear). All of this fits in my 21" carry-on (except for the stuff I wear on the plane).

2 knit dresses (Boden is a favourite)
1 pantsuit (probably Ann Taylor)
1 knee-length skirt
1-2 tops (1 black 3/4-sleeve silk knit sweater and one other top - maybe a bright silk pattern)
2 tunics (wear one on plane)
2 pairs leggings (wear one pair on plane)
2 workout tshirts and one pair capris
1 pair knit pajamas
1 pair lightweight khakis (probably grey, probably from Old Navy or Gap)
1 3/4 sleeve tshirt (something interesting)
Black Rainforest trench coat
Long cardigan (the one heavy thing I bring - wear it on the plane)
Wool/silk pashmina
Polar fleece gloves (always good to have layers to keep you warm; I pack these unless I know it's going to be 75+ degrees)
1 pair low-heeled dress shoes (usually loafer-style)
1 pair Merrell Barefoot running shoes (wear on plane)

I wish I had a better-quality version of an amazing "suit" I used to own. It was a two-piece jersey top and skirt in my favourite travel colour, charcoal grey. The top was designed to look like a suit jacket (i.e., lapels, buttons down the front etc) but to be worn without a top underneath, so the the jacket buttons were closer together (no gaping) and the first button sat higher up than it would on a suit jacket. It had sleeves that were probably between 3/4 and bracelet length, not tight (not quite as loose as a suit jacket but not as fitted as a shirt). The body of the jacket was shaped but not snug and came to about mid-hip level. The skirt pull-on with a flat waistband (very comfortable, didn't roll), had a slight A-line cut and ended just below the knee. It didn't wrinkle, it was extraordinarily comfortable, it took up about as much space as my wallet in my suitcase, I could wear it in the winter with black tights and in the summer with bare legs (and it was cool enough for hot summer days), and it was conservative enough for all but the most formal business meetings. The only problem was that it wasn't a high-quality fabric so it didn't wear well - but I sure got a lot of wear out of it in the year or so that it lasted.

I have seen some similar outfits online from time to time (e.g., J Jill) but for my tastes they have looked too relaxed/loose/flow-y in style and therefore not formal enough for the business environments in which I work.

If you made an outfit like this and the fabric quality/value was good enough, I'd buy half a dozen in different colours.

Last edited by Kate_Canuck; Jan 22, 13 at 10:42 am
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Old Jan 23, 13, 11:18 am
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For those of you who like knit tunics, what brands do you recommend?
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Old Jan 23, 13, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Buster View Post
For those of you who like knit tunics, what brands do you recommend?
Most of the tunics I own come from Boden (google Boden US) - ordered online. I'm not a big fan of the current collection, but that's just personal taste. Boden usually has a tunic or two in jersey knit, some in woven fabrics (especially in spring summer) and a few in knit (wool or wool/cotton). The latter are not always available in spring/summer. But check out their Clearance (for winter and earlier seasons):

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