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Bleisure is real, guys: This startup makes combo outfits for work travel and vacations

Bleisure is real, guys: This startup makes combo outfits for work travel and vacations
[Photo: courtesy of Par En Par]

There’s a word for mixing business and leisure travel: “bleisure.” And while this is a truly terrible word, the actual concept is pretty awesome. It means tacking on a few days of vacation to your business trip, and bringing your partner. This allows you to see the country or the world for less money, since your company covers the price of the flight, and part of the hotel. According to Travel Weekly, bleisure is on the rise, jumping to 17% in 2016 from 11% in 2012. Millennials are driving this trend, as are employers, who are increasingly more flexible about how their employees book their travel.

Laura Choi, who spent her early career at Bloomingdales and Warby Parker, has just launched a resort-wear brand specifically geared toward the business-slash-pleasure traveler. Her startup is called Par en Par, which means “doors wide open” in Spanish. She uses high-quality cotton and a specific kind of material woven in India called Khadi, creating pieces that are versatile and meant to adapt to different contexts. The Playa Robe, for instance, can be used as beach coverup, but it is also modest enough to be a work dress in a sunny location. The Slip Dress looks good with a blazer, but also would be appropriate by the pool.

The brand, which just launched, has already been a hit with people in the startup world who travel a lot. Away’s cofounder Jen Rubio is a fan, and so is Billie Whitehouse, founder of WearableX.