I recently went to World Travel Market in London for the first time. It’s a stressful experience, made more stressful by the fact that the dress is professional. My day to day life includes staying in my pajamas until noon or wearing all black to work at a bar, so I have no “grown up” wardrobe to speak of.
Once I mustered up enough pencil skirts and collared shirts from my wardrobe, the next item on the agenda was how to keep these items wrinkle and stain free during my trip. I didn’t have any intention of doing laundry while traveling, so it came down to being able to wear everything once or twice, tops.
Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tricks in my travels and found items that keep me looking neat while traveling.
Lint Roller: This item takes up hardly any room and can make all the difference. Nothing says unprofessional like your black pants covered in Cheeto dust. I like the Bounce Travel Lint Roller, which releases a scent while picking up stray hairs.
>> Check out this cute travel sized lint roller on Amazon.
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Febreze: While traveling with liquids can be a pain, a spritz of Febreze can take an outfit from dirty to clean-ish. It gets rid of stale smoke and other smells in your clothing, and they even make a smaller, more travel-friendly option these days exactly with the wanderer in mind.
>> Check out Febreze To Go, travel sized, on Amazon
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Wrinkle Releaser: I bring this with me on every trip because it acts like an iron but doesn’t take up as much room. Just spray it on your shirt that you’ve laid on a flat surface and use your hand to push the wrinkles out.
>> Check out some travel sized bottles of Wrinkle Wiz on Amazon
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Iron: I don’t often travel with my travel-sized iron because it’s heavy, but when I do I am sure to look professional. It takes up less room than your hairdryer and can give you that straight-straight collar your image desires. Just make sure that you have the necessary adapter to make it work.
>> Find a durable travel iron on Amazon
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Laundry Bag: I always bring a laundry bag on my travels because I like to keep my dirty clothes separate from my clean ones. This is especially more important for longer trips where dirty clothes have more time to build up an internal stench. Tide makes one that absorbs odors…. perfect!
>> Get the Tide odor-absorbing laundry bags on Amazon
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Stain Pen: No need to wash an entire shirt to get rid of a tiny stain from spilled spaghetti or a splash of that delicious local wine. Carry a stain pen in your purse (daypack or backpack) to immediately get rid of the stain and keep on wearing it. This is an essential in any traveler’s packing list.
>> Pick up a Tide To Go stain stick on Amazon
Black Pants: Every woman should have a pair of black pants. They don’t have to cost a fortune, but you will wear them often enough to splurge for a pair. Pair with a nice flowy top and you have yourself an outfit.
Black pencil skirt: The pencil skirt is as useful as the little black dress and makes you look more professional, even if you wear a cotton top with it.
Solid color collared shirt: I’ve worn the same white collared shirt for restaurant jobs, with jeans and to professional meetings. It’s a versatile item to add to your wardrobe.
Statement jewelry: When packing for my London trip, I used jewelry to dress up my outfits. I wore a cotton scoop neck shirt, but wore with it a black gunmetal necklace to make it look more fashionable.
Pair of nice looking flats: I would wear the same pair of scuffed up black flats if I could, but they make me look slightly homeless. Find a pair of basic flats like Spare Soles, or splurge for a pair of fold-up leather Tieks.
Blazer: It doesn’t have to match exactly with your skirt, but a blazer always adds to a professional ensemble.
LBD: Andi told us about her One Little Thing and I think all of us can agree that it never hurts to pack a Little Black Dress.
Tricks of the Trade
To eliminate wrinkles, throw your item into the dryer for 2 minutes. If there is coin laundry at your hostel, you can only use one coin.
Steam your clothing by hanging them up in the bathroom while you’re taking a shower. It kills two birds with one stone.
Use what you have. Your hair straightener can iron down the edges of your skirt. You can use your hairdryer if your clothes aren’t completely dry.