Whether it’s by land, air or sea, travelling is a necessary evil. Stylishly combating the challenges such activities present is something worth putting some thought into. After all, nobody wants to be the guy at airport security spending ten minutes putting his shoes back on. His cousin, the man with the myriad of metal (from collar stays to cuff links) that holds the line up, is just as bad.
There is also the major issue of comfort. Short or long haul? Business or pleasure? Public transport perhaps? What about the varying climates encountered? All these variables only present further cause for serious jet set consideration.
Dressing For Travel: Key Pieces
Footwear is essential, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. However, when it comes to travelling, getting your choice right is vital. Not only is your shoe selection likely to be worn for several hours – with the possibility of a fair bit of walking involved – but they also need to be easily slipped both on and off if travelling via plane. With all that in mind, step forth the loafer.
Perfectly practical, worn with or without socks, the number of differing styles current available means the loafer ticks all boxes as the perfect travelling companion. The timeless penny version presents a refined, versatile option for a business trip or smart-casual affair, with them looking just as great with a suit as a pair of jeans or chinos.
If that doesn’t tickle your sole, consider two trending alternatives: the boat shoe or espadrille. Both provide a more casual, laid back option, which would be ideal for holidays to Mediterranean islands or a student party destination. They retain that easy on/off nature of the loafer but can be integrated effortlessly into stripped-back, casual outfits, for those that want to dress down but dress well.
Going sockless should not be discounted for both aesthetic and practical reasons, although it’s definitely worth arming yourself with necessary accessories for the journey. Some form of odour spray or foot antiperspirant is great for fighting the nasty stuff at the source of the problem. Invisible socks, which have established themselves as an essential summer staple, shouldn’t be skipped either.
- Reiss Stefano Leather Driving Shoes Dark Brown
- Churchs Leather Penny Loafers
- Asos Loafers With Snaffle
- Benson Kg Kurt Geiger Navy
- Rivieras Bem Mesh And Canvas Slip-on Shoes
- Topman California Slip On Shoes
- Sperry Topsider Twill Boat Shoes
- Timberland Taupe And Beige Nubuck Boat Shoes
- Falke Invisible Step Grey Socks
- Odoreaters Antiperspirant Deodorant Foot & Shoe Spray – 150ml
- Deodorant Foot Cream 75ml
Key Piece: Jacket/Blazer
When travelling with a business agenda or smarter schedule, a blazer is a must-wear. The short haul essential raises the sartorial bar and saves the jacket from the perils of a suitcase. The extra layer is great for the chill of the aircraft cabin and the pockets come in incredibly handy for storing wallets, passports, tickets, phones etc.
Tropical weight wool, a linen-cotton blend or similar summer-appropriate fabric is the direction you need to be heading in terms of the construction of your blazer. Remember, you’re only fighting off the cabin chill, not the winter weather of seasons past.
If business is neither on your mind nor your intention, dispense with the tailoring and opt for something of a more relaxed ilk. A bomber jacket is this season’s outerwear silhouette of choice among those in the know, and there are plenty of lightweight cotton versions on the market currently. Alternatively, denim, Harrington and safari jackets are all timeless and versatile – adjust depending on destination weather.
A perfect travel look is one where layers can be added and removed with ease. This immediately rules out over the head knitwear, although a cardigan or knitted jacket is worth considering. Utilised in this way it makes a great alternative outerwear option in place of the more casual jackets in question.
- Maison Martin Margiela Slim-fit Cotton Blazer
- Reiss Bradley B Micro Check Cotton Blazer Stone
- Reiss Milton Textured Shawl Cardi Navy
- Allsaints Kogan Bomber Jacket
- Topman Peter Werth Bomber Jacket
- Ted Baker Wolpert - cotton Harrington Bomber
- He By Mango Linen Cotton-blend Safari Jacket
- Allsaints Kiku Denim Jacket
- Reiss Misjiff Shawl Neck Cardigan
Key Piece: A Good Holdall
Stylish carry-on luggage is a great investment for both the occasional and seasoned traveller. Leather lasts a lifetime (when cared for properly) and a mid-sized holdall is big enough to fit a few days luggage in. If packed correctly, you can forego the bulky suitcase on a short-stay getaway altogether.
A solid mid-sized holdall isn’t just a great carry-on, it’s appropriate for road trips, train journeys, overnight stays and can even be used as an elegant option for the gym. Whilst leather retains a timeless appeal, canvas shouldn’t be dismissed for trips where you’re perhaps not packing the most expensive or valuable of your belongings:
- Asos Leather Holdall
- Leather Oversized Holdall
- Burton Navy Holdall Bag
- American Vintage Cotton Holdall 155442
- Reiss Burma Canvas Holdall With Coloured Zip And Leather Trims Stone
- Mulberry Clipper Leather Holdall Bag
Dressing For Travel: Outfit Inspiration
Look One: Business Travel
Unfortunately for some, travel doesn’t necessarily mean a pursuit of pleasure. For those travelling for business, dressing and packing for the trip takes a completely different form.
Wearing your suit to travel in, or at least part of it, saves the jacket from becoming creased and crinkled in the case. Not to mention you may be stepping straight from the plane or train to work.
A navy or grey seasonally-appropriate suit is versatile enough to slot into your day, night, business and smart-casual wardrobes. It will serve you well in the boardroom and transcend to after-work drinks with just a few small tweaks: remove the tie, change your shirt and you’re good to go.
- Reiss Zinc Two Button Poplin Shirt Pale Blue
- J.crew Blue Ludlow Cotton-oxford Suit Jacket
- Burton Purple Polka Dot Hankie
- J.crew Blue Ludlow Slim-fit Cotton-oxford Suit Trousers
- Falke Invisible Step Grey Socks
- Bass Weejuns Larson Loafers In Burgundy
Business-Casual – Formal Lookbook
The lookbook below showcases a variety of business-casual or more formal business outfits, with a focus on smart, easily removable footwear and tweaks that would ensure your work attire is more comfortable to travel in: losing the tie, undoing the buttons on your shirt, switching your dress shirt or suit trousers for something more casual etc.
Look Two: Comfortable Casual
If jetting away for the summer in search of sun, sand and the scantily clad, keep it casual and comfortable. Oh, and be prepared for sweltering heat on arrival. Shorts will ready you for the warmer weather after touchdown and ensure you’re prepared to head straight out.
A printed piece of legwear will help separate you from the crowd. Opt for a solid all-over embroidered print for a slightly less in-your-face option than is on offer this season.
Pair your print with a clean, simple polo and boat shoes in preparation for airport security. Finally, layer a lightweight bomber jacket over the top in case the temperature drops in the airplane on the way over:
- Reiss Vanish Pique Polo White
- Allsaints Niko Reversible Bomber Jacket
- Topman Blue Nautical Motif Shorts
- Kg By Kurt Geiger Sorrento Boat Shoes
Casual – Smart-Casual Lookbook
The lookbook below centres around casual or smart-casual looks. Bearing in mind the principles outlined above, there is a focus on lightweight, easily removable/addable layers and slip-on footwear styles:
Look Three: Winter Get Away
With summer now well under way, some may (don’t frown, it happens) be going away in search of a colder climate. A warm, statement jacket will be appreciated upon disembarkation, along with the obvious cold-weather accessories if venturing into Arctic conditions.
Footwear can become a bit of a dilemma in this situation. Do you go for an easy on/off option in the form of a loafer and the like, or do you opt for something that has a practical merit once you’ve arrived at your destination?
We advise sticking with a slip-on style where possible – nothing is worse than having to re-do your laces in front of a customs officer at an airport. Not to mention, it’s also sometimes nice to kick your shoes off if you’re on a particularly long flight (providing you remember our earlier odour-talk).
For the rest of your ensemble, aim for easily addable and removable layers. The jacket can be slung over a holdall for boarding but a piece of button-up knitwear or a lightweight gilet makes for a great top/middle layer.
- Topman A Question Of Sharks Shirt
- Allsaints Parade Cardigan
- Schott B-3 Sheepskin Bomber Jacket
- Reiss Dusk Garment Dye Soft Chino Rose
- Leather Holdall
- Mr.hare Mens Sergio Navy Driving Shoe
Even the most accomplished excursionist agrees that travelling presents a number of style issues to overcome. From footwear to outerwear, the varying temperatures and above all comfort mean that planning a practical outfit is not without challenges.
Hopefully this guide has given you an insight into improving your attire when hitting the road, air or track in both a practical and aesthetic manner.
So now we want to hear from you:
- Where will you be visiting this summer?
- Do you favour slip-on footwear when travelling via plane?
- Are you a holdall man? Or do you opt for a variant style of carry-on?
- Are you a frequent traveller for business?
- Do you save your suit from the suitcase or favour a more comfortable approach?
Let us know your thoughts and essential travel tips in the comments section below…