With the holidays fast approaching, I’m sure there are plenty of you out there planning on travelling to see friends and family from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day. And whilst the prospect of visiting relatives and mates that you haven’t seen for a while may be an exciting one, the idea of packing for said trip can be something different all together.
As a modern, sartorially-inclined male, editing any form of travel bag can soon turn into a nightmare. A heady combination of wanting to include basic pieces, on trend items and the occasional ‘just in case’ shirt can often leave most guys weeping into their paisley pocket square.
Luckily for you guys, that’s where FashionBeans comes in. In reality, men don’t need a lot of options, they just need the right ones. When you begin to understand exactly exactly what these are, packing will become an absolute breeze. Who knows, I may even reveal some of my own personal packing tips to give you that extra competitive edge.
Business Or Pleasure?
There are two primary reasons for travel in the modern era: business or pleasure. This first article in a two-part series will cover pleasure – or, in other words, travel that is not being done for work. Business will follow next week.
With that in mind, let’s begin…
First things first: the bag. You’ll want to pick up a medium sized leather holdall that can be used as carry-on.
For the purpose of this article, I’m assuming that your time away does not extend past five days, which, with the right choices, a holdall can easily accommodate. Anyone who is telling you to take a suitcase is wrong – they only lead to additional hassle (trains) or increased cost (planes). Go carry-on and your life will be a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable.
There’s also a certain pleasure to be found in living out of a bag for a few short days.
The Holdall Lookbook
Not only is a medium sized leather holdall the perfect travel bag, it can also adapt to a variety of different looks, making it a superb investment piece:
- Topman Leather Weekend Holdall
- Reiss Centureous Small 24 Hour Holdall Dark Brown
- Tan Leather Holdall
- He By Mango Weekend Bag
- Royal Republiq Leather Holdall
- Rocha John Rocha Designer Tan Leather Holdall
- Asos Leather Holdall
- Reiss Sawboss Large 48 Hour Holdall Whale Grey
- Ted Baker Jakjil Branded Holdall Bag
- Austin Reed Chocolate Brown Leather Holdall
- North Coast Luxury Leather Holdall
- Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Leather Holdall Bag
Next, decide on what you’ll be wearing for the journey.
You’re going to want to aim for something comfortable here, especially if you are travelling for an extended period of time. So, think broken-in denim/chinos, t-shirts, knitwear and casual jackets.
My ideal combination normally consists of my Levi’s 508s, a grey crew neck tee and navy shawl neck cardigan. For footwear, especially when flying, you should consider wearing styles that are easy to slip off, such as boat shoes, penny loafers or a pair of trainers.
As the weather isn’t great this time of year, you’ll want to take a coat of some kind. Make sure that you wear it, rather than pack it, and go for something that’s versatile enough to be dressed up or down whilst you are away – a navy pea coat or a camel overcoat are ideal.
Travel Lookbook Inspiration
What To Pack
When it comes to packing, you need to be ruthless. You want to make sure that every piece you choose can be combined with everything else in your bag, so consider sticking to items in neutral colours such as grey, blue, black, white and brown.
Think classic, versatile and simple – as much as I’m sure you want blow your old neighbours’ minds with your new Bathing Ape camouflage chinos, there really is no point when you’re trying to maximise space.
Sure, this approach might seem a little boring or safe, but sticking to tried and trusted neutral colours can actually help you create a plethora of classic and timeless looks that subtly communicate you are a stylish and sophisticated male. Just look to icons like Dean, Newman, McQueen, Sinatra and Grant for confirmation.
Obviously, outside of a business trip, everyone’s personal style is completely unique, so it’s difficult to tell you exactly what to pack. However, here’s a sneak peak at what I would include in my own travel bag:
- Grey chinos
- White and blue Oxford cloth shirts
- White and navy t-shirts
- Thick denim or flannel shirt
- Navy cardigan
- Grey v-neck jumper
- Neutral knitted tie
- Black Adidas Sambas
- Brown desert boots
- Navy winter weight blazer
- A statement knit, such as an orange cable knit jumper
And that really is about it in terms of clothing (along with my travel outfit).
Socks and underwear get folded, rolled and stored inside the shoes or available pockets, whilst I also include a small toiletry bag full of grooming essentials – toothbrush, moisturiser, face wash, razor, shaving prep and shower gel – and a towel. I even normally have enough room to spare that I can pack a few books, just in case.
As for packing technique, I find that rolling, rather than folding, is the best way of maximising space when travelling. If you’re taking anything even remotely resembling a suit jacket, roll it loosely and make sure that you hang it up in the bathroom when you shower so that the steam gets rid of the creases.
- Asos Slim Chino In Brushed Cotton
- Farah Vintage Oxford Shirt With Button Down Collar
- Allsaints Fantem V-neck T-shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit End-on-end Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Flannel Checked Long Sleeve Shirt K
- River Island Navy Blue Crew Neck T-shirt
- Acne Isherwood Denim Shirt
- Reiss Dennis Mercerised Wool Cardigan Navy
- John Smedley Bobby V-neck Merino Wool Sweater
- He By Mango Wool-blend Knit Tie
- Adidas Originals Samba M – Trainers – Black/white
- Topman Dune Brown Suede Desert Boots
- He By Mango Unstructured Herringbone Wool-blend Blazer
- River Island Rust Red Twist Chunky Cable Knit Jumper
- Penfield Danbury Washbag
So there you have it guys, my guide to travelling smart and in style over the coming holidays. Next week we cover how to do the same thing when you’re off on business.