Gone are the days of high-class corporate travel. The number of passengers flying on premium tickets fell 23.6% in May 2009 compared with May 2008, according to the International Air Transport Association. The number of passengers in economy seats decreased by only 7.6%, which means that many are experiencing business travel in coach for the first time.
While the realm of less legroom has many drawbacks, among them damage to the ego, it has perhaps the greatest potential to cause damage to your attire.
Luckily, fashion designers tend to travel frequently, which means they're also on the hunt for comfortable--yet elegant--clothing for both business and leisure travel that holds up in varied climates.
For instance, back in 2007, Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati decided that his female clients were left with little choice in travel attire. In response, he created Edition 24, a capsule collection of 24 pieces that weave in trends featured in his runway collection, but in simple shapes and wrinkle-free fabrics.
Edition 24's latest collection includes a lightweight, double-face jersey wool coat in beige with a brown lining that works from day to night and is light enough to carry on board. While it's summer in the US and Europe right now, it is winter in other spots, which means a coat might be in order. This one isn't too cumbersome.
Long before Pilati hatched his plan, New York-based designer Yansi Fugel decided to devote the bulk of her collection to travel-appropriate clothing; she began in 2000, calling it Yansi Fugel Travel Jersey. The basis of the collection is a jersey dress, available in several colors, silhouettes and lengths. For instance, Fugel's Venice dress--a long-sleeved, A-line, scoop neck frock that hits just above the knee--flatters most body types and can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the occasion.
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Image: Theory "Royden DV" Jacket - A light wool or cotton blazer with a bit of stretch will stay wrinkle-free through air travel, looking as good when you land as it did when you board.