I’m sharing my packing list and recommendations for a short business casual trip to Switzerland in the Fall.
Destination and Weather
So first, some context on the trip. I went to Luzern, which is in the German part of Switzerland, about an hour south of Zurich. I was there for 4 days in September and it drizzled the entire time. If I hadn’t been there for work, I would have been so disappointed. But truth be told, most of the trip was spent in meetings anyway. So weather: rainy and about 15 degrees Celsius, 59 Fahrenheit.
Business Casual Vibe
In terms of vibe, it was a business trip. But I work in tech, so it’s very casual and I knew, based on the location, there was a chance we’d go for a small hike or at least a walk outside weather permitting.
Even though it was casual, I still wanted to go for my usual business trip vibe which is: professional, understated, and practical.
Picking a Color Scheme
Lately, I’ve been into the colour combo of brown and navy, I don’t know why, it’s just something I’ve been gravitating toward so I started with that as my colour scheme.
When it comes to packing for bad weather, it’s safest to pick footwear and outerwear first, so you know that you have that covered and well thought out. For all my inclement weather tips, check out my video on how to pack for the rain.
So, raincoat, check. Umbrella, check.
If it weren’t raining, I probably would have brought a wool blazer coat, a leather jacket, or if I were feeling sporty, my puffer coat. But, because it was a little chilly and rainy, I stuck to my raincoat with a small puffy vest to add warmth.
Choosing Footwear for Switzerland
For footwear, I’m going to share some advice I did not follow myself, but still think is worth mentioning. I’d recommend packing a waterproof hiking shoe. For a casual hike, you could go for a pair of Vessi waterproof sneakers, and for something more uneven, opt for a more robust shoe with light support or even ankle support. You don’t have to go full hiking boot, but something to secure your foot and prevent a rolled ankle.
What did I choose instead? Two pairs of boots: the Converse Goretex booties and a pair of patent croc effect zip-up booties. If I wanted to throw in another pair, I probably would have selected some casual sneakers. Leather ones likely because of the weather, but I would have considered some Converse or sambas too.
How to Pack for a Rainy Business Trip
With rainy weather, I didn’t want to wear anything too heavy or clingy. I also recommend pants made from technical fabrics for rainy cooler weather: merino wool, nylon blends. I look to outdoorsy brands, fitness brands, and even golf brands for these types of clothes. You can usually quickly tell if a brand has good designers who will create stylish trousers with high-quality fabric and thoughtful design elements, without being too technical to wear in the city. It’s a delicate balance.
So, with that in mind, I shortlisted a few pairs of these technical pants from my closet: some Kit and Ace water-repellant trousers, and some Tibi nylon cargo pants. As for other pants, I also tossed in a pair of jeans I’ve been really into these days, these double-waisted carpenter jeans. For no other reason than I think they’re cool.
For tops, I shortlisted some sweaters, sweatshirts, and a bunch of shirts to wear underneath the sweaters.
Making the Outfits
If you saw my LA pack with me video, you’ll see that the pendulum has swing way back to my dark, neutral, simple looks and that this is a pretty boring capsule. I’ve got essentially got a few combinations of brown and navy, with a pop of red in my travel outfit. If I had wanted to add more colour, I might have considered adding a neon top, or a red top, but I didn’t feel it necessary for such a short trip. I also packed a hat, a scarf, and two bags, both nylon because they’re perfect for rainy weather.
It was such a short trip and I had an excellent idea of what we were doing, so I felt pretty confident about my packing list. The only variable was I wasn’t sure if we’d be going out for dinner or drinks one night, so I made sure I had something I would feel comfortable wearing to a wine bar for example. But in those situations, I prefer being underdressed but dressed in an interesting, cool way, than overdressed cheaply, it’s hard to explain, but it’s about the mood.
Anyway, this was a short and sweet packing list for a 4-day rainy fall business trip!
Happy Travels xox