Great podcast on packing! However, women have a few different needs. Here are some additional thoughts form that perspective:
* Pack black slacks/skirts and black shirts. No other colors. All interchangeable. Find some that fit you correctly, hold up well, at a reasonable cost, and buy several of the same ones. When you're on the road for business, you don't really need dresses and 12 pairs of shoes to look professional.
* Use the money you've saved from buying interchangeable slacks and shirts to invest in a few great jackets. I like Exclusively Misook jackets. They pack "thin" but never need ironing, can be washed in a sink and always look professional. They're pricey but layered over lower cost slacks and shirt look great! If you can't afford full price, look on ebay. Some women collect, get tired of the ones they've got and sell them cheap. They look sharp forever. And I never need to waste my time ironing.
* Think "free gift with purchase." Most high end cosmetics have regular promotions where you get small versions of their regular product. Usually enough for 5 to 7 days. I can fit these tiny versions of foundation, eye shadow, mascara, powder, face cream, etc. ALL in the same zip lock bag as my travel shampoo etc. The hardest thing to find is travel size mousse. Sometimes Amazon has it or Alltravelsizes.com. If you don't normally buy the high end brands, look on ebay. The free gift sizes are always available there. Also, Estee Lauder sales clerks have a tiny vial available for giving you free samples of things like foundation. Become a regular customer and you can get them free. One vial holds at least a week's worth of foundation in about a half inch of space.
* I use a Tumi 20" "international" rolling packing case. Fits in most overheads, even on international flights. It holds four of my slacks, four shirts, four Missook jackets and my other essentials. I put my makeup, meds, and laptop (including a small Tumi briefcase) into a matching Tumi carryon that fits under my seat. When I get to my destination I pull out the small briefcase for meetings but if I get delayed, I have my toiletries and meds with me. Both Tumi bags are expandable in case you acquire items to take home (but then you might have to check them) When I go through Heathrow (which allows only ONE carry one, including a purse, I use my underseat bag and check the rolling one)
* I only bring one pair of good black shoes. I have a "special" pair of leather slip ons that are very comfortable (but look reasonably professional) that are easy for airport security and comfy for the plane.
* Sometimes when I travel I want a purse for evening events like dinner but I never carry one in the daytime to meetings. So, I invested in a small Coach bag that is totally flat and fits in my carry on. When I need a purse, I pull it out, it looks great, but takes almost no packing space.
I only use it when I travel so it still looks like new a year later and I just feel more professional not hauling a big "lady" bag wherever I go.
Going through security, I simply slip off the shoes (nothing to tie), pull the laptop out of the side pocket of the Tumi bag and my ziplock of cosmetics and I'm done. These two small bags have gotten me through two full weeks of international travel.