I am going on the first work related trip since the pandemic began next week. It is a relatively short trip: 4 days total, with 2.5 "real" work days: two full days at the workshop, a business casual reception the evening before and a casual dinner with some acquittances on the 2nd evening of the workshop, plus two half-days of travel by car. It is in a small beach town in VA and a colleague will be driving, so I can pack as much as I want and not worry about what airlines will allow. It is also a relatively hard-science, men-dominated field, so I am not interested in dressing very trendy or edgy. The weather will be relatively cool for spring, so no skirts/dresses. And the first day has a tour for which there is a typical safety dress-code: long pants, long sleeves, closed-toe shoes that fully cover the foot, and, new-to-me, low heeled or flat shoes only.

With hints of spring in the air, I am switching to navy as a neutral. There are some hints of my spring "Modernica" theme here, though I wasn't intentionally trying for it. The planned outfits are:
1) 1st workshop day: modern classic navy suit, with simple cream ribbed sweater.
2) 2nd workshop: wide leg navy pants, a little bit of pattern mixing in short plaid navy/cobalt/cream jacket with striped merino sweater in the same colors
3) Reception the evening before: pushing the rules a little with dressy dark wash flare jeans, with pretty floral blouse with a touch of shimmer and the blazer from the suit
4) Dinner on the final evening: same jeans, navy wrap top with sheer sleeves, one of the two blazers
5) Travel outfit: pattern mixed striped sweater and dotty scarf, comfy super stretchy cuffed jeans, high top Converse.

All the workshop outfits will be worn with the same navy booties. Trying to decide if I need another pair of dressier shoes just in case.

Same navy coat, navy tote and mixed-metal watch for everything. Bringing two berets in case it is cold and a couple of patterned silk scarves for all-solid outfits. Trying to decide if I should pack two extra tops, a cashmere sweater if it gets cold and one more layering top in case of spills and similar accidents.

I find that trips often force me to get some items that are holes in my wardrobe and that I have delayed getting for whatever reason. Since I have a large wardrobe, I can get away without such items on day-to-day basis as there is lots to choose from and I can always find something that works well enough. However, for trips, there is a need for such items to go with everything packed. Do you find the same?

Planning for this trip forced me to look for/get two such items:
1) HEWI navy tote. I looked again and finally found it: navy leather, big enough for my laptop, zippered closure, silver hardware. I would rate it 9/10 as it is a bit more casual than my ideal version, but still love it and it is good enough.
2) Mixed metal watch in silver/gold. This is easy enough to find but somehow I never got around to getting one. I do not mind mixing metals, but it has to look intentional, and for me that usually means there is one accessory that ties it all together. I am a silver girl and most of my accessories and items have silver hardware (the bag, the booties, etc.). However, gold was so dominant the last few years that it was hard to avoid it completely in some items, so I do have some of it. This is especially true for buttons on jackets, like on both jackets here. I plan to change most of the offending buttons on my jackets like Angie recently posted, but not on all the jackets, as some have very characteristic and distinct buttons. For example, Smythe jackets always have their characteristic gold crest buttons (like the plaid jacket here), so I feel that changing the buttons on them to random silver ones would somehow be wrong.