While security is the first concern for jewelry industry travelers, it’s also nice to look good when you arrive. These tips—culled from veteran industry road warriors—can’t guarantee that your travel schedule will stay wrinkle-free, but at least your clothes can.
Pack lightly. Outside the United States, you’ll find many fewer elevators, escalators, and ramps, and you may have to carry your luggage quite far. And even within the United States, not only are airlines cracking down on baggage allowances, but luggage trolleys can be scarce.
Base your wardrobe around a dark neutral color that doesn’t show dirt. By varying the base pieces with different shirts, ties, blouses, scarves, and sweaters, you can create a lot of outfits from relatively few garments. Lisa Roman, of Breitling, works out a “grid system” before she packs. “I basically figure out how many outfits I will need. Then I start with the basic outfit, such as a black pants suit. Next to it I fill in what blouse, shoes, socks/stockings would go with it, and do the same down the line for each outfit, trying for duplication of shoes across several outfits. At the end, I summarize the individual pieces into a packing list.”
Generally, wool and cashmere wrinkle least. Some silk and microfiber garments travel well; others do not. Unfortunately, trial-and-error seems to be the only way to know which is which. Price is not an indicator; some very costly wool pieces may wrinkle more easily than a cheap cotton T-shirt. Properly folded, cotton travels better than one might expect, but may need a touch-up. Leave rayon and linen at home; both wrinkle easily and are a bear to iron.