2011 May 11

If you have to go away for a single night, to a conference or to meet a client or even to attend an interview, it can be difficult to know what to pack. After all, you might find you’re being invited to go out for dinner, or to some kind of social event and you can’t then wear the same clothes to the next day’s formal meeting.

The way to pack as little as possible and still look good is to make sure you have three tops that can all be worn in different combinations. Packing the smart way means you can still fit all your clothes into a carry-on bag so that you don’t have to check any luggage if you’re flying.

Start with a pair of good black or navy trousers (women can also choose grey or beige but men need to stick to the black or navy route). Wear them with a formal white or cream shirt and a tailored jacket in which to travel. Women can accessorise with a bright scarf or a brooch.

Pack a grey or deep blue polo shirt, or a short-sleeved shirt in pale blue and a charcoal or white round-necked, short-sleeved T-shirt.

Finally pack a pair of chinos if you’re male, or a casual skirt (but not denim) if you’re female.

If you are asked to go to a barbecue or sporting event, you can wear your T-shirt and casual trousers or skirt. If it turns cold, pull the white shirt you wore to travel over the top. Don’t worry, you’ve still got your reserve shirt to wear next day!

If you’re invited out to dinner, wear a polo shirt and smart trousers (or skirt if you’re female) – and you’ve still got your reserve shirt for the following morning!

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