The Business Traveller’s Guide to Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

‘Bleisure’ has revolutionised business travel in 2022. This fashion trend, which combines business with leisure, has developed from employees extending their business trips in order to have a few more days or weeks home away from home. 

Bleisure means redefining your business travel wardrobe and fitting in a few leisure outfits too. With some workers travelling for a few months on end or going on regular trips, carrying along a massive suitcase isn’t ideal. That’s why we’re turning to yet another trend from the fashion realms – a capsule wardrobe.

Here are a few handy tips on how to prepare a capsule wardrobe for your bleisure lifestyle so that you can quickly grab your suitcase and go.

Define your style

Are you a more laid-back kind of guy who wears street style, or do you like to put in a little bit more effort for a polished look? Perhaps you like to rock a leather jacket and boots or are a true hipster by heart with suspenders and a beanie.

Whatever your everyday style is, it needs to be present in your bleisure capsule wardrobe so that you feel both comfortable and stylish on your trip. You will be switching from business meetings to leisure activities, so it’s important to feel your best.

The purge: get rid of what you don’t need

The easiest way to start a capsule wardrobe is by throwing away all your current clothes and replacing them with new ones. However, this is not a sustainable option, and you probably have a few items that fit the purpose and a few that are your guilty pleasure. 

So in order to purge your old wardrobe, remember the following rule: if you haven’t worn something in more than a year – ditch it! Unless it’s your ‘80s rock jacket or your football T-shirt. In that case – keep them.

It’s time to dedicate ‘keep’, ‘maybe’, and ‘get rid of’ piles and ask yourself the following questions when deciding which goes where:

  • Is this my style?
  • Does it fit well?
  • Will I be able to wear it to a business meeting or a chilled evening in the lounge?
  • Do I have similar items in my wardrobe?

Aim to keep about 20 to 30 items as a start, so that you leave space for some new items to enter your wardrobe.

Choose your colour scheme

Although you might be a fervent fan of patterns, they can be hard to style, especially when you only have around 30 items in your wardrobe. 

Instead of picking an item from all the colours you love, pick a colour palette. That way, it will be easier to coordinate your items and you will make use of everything that’s in your capsule wardrobe. Blacks, whites, greys, navy, royal blue, and nudes are some staple colours you can easily pair together and are a great fit both for business and leisure settings.

That being said, you don’t have to ditch all your patterns and vibrant colours. Instead, pick two to three statement pieces that bring you joy!

Layering – the key to your bleisure capsule wardrobe

Like a chameleon, you will be switching between your business attire and leisure clothing on your bleisure trip. In order to make the transition smooth, you need to pack strategically. What that means is mastering the art of layering.

Layering stands for styling a few items of clothing on top of each other. Wear jeans and a white T-shirt paired with men’s brown shoes at breakfast, then put on your navy blue blazer, bring your laptop bag, and you’re ready for a business meeting. Add a cool watch and sunglasses, and you’re ready for afternoon cocktails.

It’s a good idea to invest in basic items, such as shirts, T-shirts, jeans, smart trousers, sweaters, and shorts, in order to accommodate layering. Remember to bring along your bathing suit and gym clothes, as you are likely to have some “me downtime” on your bleisure trip.

Intentional shopping vs impulse shopping

There is another art you need to master when switching to a bleisure capsule wardrobe – that of intentional shopping. It’s time to leave impulse shopping behind and focus on buying exactly what you need to fit your capsule wardrobe. Have an ongoing list of a few staple items you need to add to your closet and be as specific about them as you can.

That way, you’re being kinder to the environment too, as you’re buying fewer items and producing less waste. Moreover, you can invest in higher-quality, long-lasting items instead of buying fast fashion. If you want to up your eco-friendly game, you can also opt for sustainable brands.

Declutter regularly

In order to make sure you don’t accumulate a lot of items, you should declutter your wardrobe regularly. That way, you will be able to make space for new, exciting garments to enter you closet.

As a rule of thumb, once you reach your desired number of items, every time you buy a new piece of clothing, get rid of an old one. Donating it or upcycling it is your best bet.

A capsule wardrobe is the ultimate solution for today’s business traveller. If you’re spending more time away from home, it is the most sensible way to combine business with leisure, and your wardrobe needs to reflect that. So get started packing!