The Perils of Packing For Client Travel

keens and leather bells

Pondering the combination of Elizabeth & James leather bell bottoms and KEEN Marshalls. Salt Lake City Center Marriott hotel room.

While Jslow was reuniting with herself and her closet, I attempted to reunite with my own self and closet in an effort to luxuriously pack for my business trip to Salt Lake City and the Outdoor Retailer Show for one of my clients, Keen Footwear.

This did not go well.

Packing for client trips is quite the ritual, and there is another level of stress involved in choosing outfits:

• Stress to incorporate the client’s product and appropriately style it (in this case, my new Keen Marshall hiking boots, which although are not something I normally wear, proved to be quite cute, and oh so comfortable)

• Stress to be weather appropriate (in this case, cold and dry outside, hot and humid under the fluorescent lights inside)

• Stress to feel flattered, not battered, by the outfit (in this case, some combination of pants and the aforementioned Keen Marshalls that looked stylish, not like I was ready to scale a mountain)

• Stress to not look old (uh, always the case these days)

• Stress to not wear anything that exposes my ass when I lean forward in a meeting chair

• Stress to avoid a neckline that doesn’t look clunky when paired with my Clic reading glasses hanging around my neck

• Stress to not look over-dressed, under-dressed, or just messed

And so I ended up cramming way too much stuff into way too small of a suitcase and prayed that when I got to Salt Lake I’d figure out something, anything to wear in that tangle of things.

Had I spent the proper time, I’d have experimented with multiple combinations of pieces to arrive at ONE great outfit per day, and I wouldn’t be huffing and puffing up the Glen Park BART escalator, lugging enough clothes for a week when I only needed three days worth. I was an unruly mess, Martin Margiela faux fur coat exploding out of my Barbour Bag, infinity scarf catching on the security line tape, Tom Scott cardigan sweater dragging down Terminal 2 at the Oakland International Airport.

Once in room 706 at the Salt Lake City Center Marriott, I unzipped my luggage, releasing my stuffed belongings out of their cramped misery and all over the hotel room floor. It was like my suitcase was one of those old-school gag cans of peanuts shooting springy snakes into the air. Surprise!

After much experimentation, I ended up with outfit options that felt good, stylish, worked with my Marshalls, and worked for me. I was particular proud of my last minute audible to wear a Suno skirt not over my jeans (sorry, but I do enjoy skirts over pants), but as a scarf or “snood”. I tend to wear leggings, or even button downs as scarfs when I travel. But a skirt? I am high-fiving myself right now. And very KEEN on this sporty look. Pun intended.

PS: The “cat” stayed in the bag. Opted for grey James Perse tank instead. I mean, there’s cute, and then there’s “too cute.”


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