Airports may have gyms, Internet access and duty-free shopping, but most don't offer dry cleaning—not yet, anyway.
A sharp-dressed business traveler doesn't have to put up with wrinkles, though, thanks to retailers who are increasingly offering fashionable threads that move from a stuffed suitcase to an important meeting with ease.
Business-wear options for the frequent traveler today include shirts and suits in microfiber and blended fabrics that are wrinkle-proof, stain-resistant and even odor-repellant. They are also lightweight and flatten flawlessly, which means you can pack light without packing less. And, of course, they're loaded with style—a must, since business travelers need to look their best while on the road.
"You have to remember that you represent your company when you travel," says Juanita Ecker, a corporate and etiquette consultant for Professional Image Management, based in Troy, N.Y.
Susan Foster, a packing expert and author of "Smart Tips For Today's Traveler", urges frequent fliers to evaluate their wardrobes before purchasing any new clothes. If a garment still looks polished and presentable after a full day's wear in the office, it's probably a good piece to pack. Cotton and microfiber fabrics are great options because they hide the most wear, while dark colors mask wrinkles and stains, Foster says.
One wardrobe staple worth buying is a wrinkle-free shirt. Thomas Pink recently introduced the New Age Traveller shirt, a version of its luxury wrinkle-free shirt that comes with its own carrying bag. Brooks Brothers also offers non-iron shirts with French cuffs, striped and plaid patterns and monogramming.
In terms of suits, microfiber versions such as the Land's End commuter separates for women tend to be light and don't hold creases as much as cotton-blend suits. Made of a wool blend, they are also less wrinkle-prone and offer greater warmth, if you need it.
"You never know who is going to sit next to you," Ecker says. "It could be the CEO of a major company."
Don't forget that simple tweaks to an outfit can elevate your look without compromising comfort or fashion. Loafers, such as Cole Haan's Air Madero, promise the cushioning of Nike sneakers. Or trade in your old rain slicker for a packable trench, such as TravelSmith's double-breasted version for women.
Business travelers who want to pack light also need to bone up on their mixing and matching. Packing so your major pieces of clothing coordinate means you can get off the ground with less clothing, accessories and fewer pairs of shoes.
And, if you want to make a good impression even if your flight is delayed or your luggage is lost, make sure you wear something appropriate during your trip.
"Never wear anything you wouldn't [wear] to work during travel," Foster says.
© 2012 Forbes.com