The Jet Setter
There’s something about the notion of travel and style that seem to go hand in hand. The adventurous, free-spirited feeling that we get from heading somewhere previously undiscovered is something many of us would like to channel through the clothes we wear – particularly if we can’t actually spend our life on the road. Enter autumn/winter 2014’s ‘Travelling Gent’ trend.
As we reported earlier this year, the spirit of the erudite traveller was alive and well at London Collections: Men AW14, proving that the ‘intrepid wanderer’ look is key to every sartorially-inclined gent’s wardrobe this winter.
Today we’re looking at how to introduce this trend to your style repertoire for the colder months ahead…
On The Runway
E. Tautz proved to be a huge fan of the Travelling Gent trend at LC:M, sending Sherlock Holmes-inspired caped Ulster coats and structured Homburg hats down the runway for a Victorian voyager feel.
Elsewhere, Burberry Prorsum’s ‘Painterly Journey’ collection saw vintage map prints applied to knitwear and shirting, referencing bohemian jaunts in foreign lands and iconic capital cities. Graphics of celebrated London landmarks – including Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Nelson’s column – were also applied to lightweight silk neck scarves, reinforcing the brand’s proud British heritage.
Finally, Hackett’s show saw models clothed in flannel and tweed travel suits, tipping its hat to the adventurous explorers who inspired the collection. This polished aesthetic was finished off with vintage suitcases and cameras, which sat alongside more contemporary woollen hats and practical backpacks:
Ways To Wear
Now you’ve seen it on the runway, we’re going to explore a few easy ways you can incorporate the trend into your own winter wardrobe.
For work, reach for a 1920s-inspired suit in the season’s key fabric, mid-grey flannel, to create a sophisticated, textured look that oozes character. To give the ensemble that vintage ‘travelling’ touch we desire, finish it off with an oversized, functional briefcase or overnight business bag in a statement tan hue:
- Reiss Columbus Cotton Point Collar Shirt Sky Blue
- Ami Grey Wool-flannel Suit Jacket
- Ami Grey Wool-flannel Suit Trousers
- Reiss Dwhyte Polka Dot Jacquard Tie French Blue
- Aspinal Of London Harrison Overnight Business Bag
- Reiss Sorrell Toe Cap Derby Shoes Dark Brown
If your workplace requires something slightly more conventional, keep your choice of suit dark and conservative and focus on your outerwear for the morning commute. A woollen trench or overcoat in a rich berry shade would contrast beautifully against monochrome tailoring, while also keeping you warm, dry and protected during the winter months.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, finish this sharp outfit off with a black fedora. One of AW14’s big hat trends, don’t be afraid to try out this retro-inspired silhouette. It will give your outfit an instant dash of sartorial cool that exudes confidence and self-assurance:
- J.crew White Ludlow Cotton-poplin Shirt
- Reiss Malcolm Three-piece Wool Suit Dark Grey
- Topman Burgundy Belted Wool Blend Trench Coat
- Reiss Tarquin Houndstooth Jacquard Tie Bordeaux
- Reiss Valis Felt Fedora Black
- Hugo Boss Black Urannio Oxford Toe Cap Shoes
If you work in a more creative workplace, why not be as adventurous as an explorer and combine different fabrics and colours together? Layer a blue and white gingham shirt underneath a grey waistcoat and sharp navy blazer for an effortless dose of panache. Team with slim-fit beige corduroys and slip-on brown loafers to complete the look.
If you wear frames, a retro pair of round tortoiseshell specs will work perfectly with this outfit. As would a textured tie in burnt amber, a ruffled burgundy pocket square and an on-trend soft briefcase or explorer satchel:
- Slowear Kurt Slim Tailored-fit Gingham Shirt
- Reiss Barney W Two Tone Waistcoat Grey
- French Connection Wool Blazer In Slim Fit
- Incotex Slim-fit Garment-dyed Corduroy Trousers
- Polo Ralph Lauren Leather Briefcase
- Gh Bass Larson Penny Loafers
- M&s Collection Knitted Tie
- Reiss Icarus Piped Silk Pocket Square Burgundy
- Oliver Peoples 25th Anniversary Square-frame Optical Glasses
For a modern, dandy-esque take on the trend, try pairing a double-breasted tailored overcoat in the season’s big pattern trend, checks, with a lilac shirt and slim-fit navy trousers.
Round the ensemble off with a red velvet bow tie, pork pie hat and large umbrella (if required). The ideal getup for the gentleman on the go:
- Thomas Pink Keaton Slim-fit Double-cuff Shirt
- Lanvin New Alber Silk-satin Bow Tie
- Austin Reed Double Breasted Prince Of Wales Coat
- He By Mango Slim-fit Suit Trousers
- Topman Navy Pork Pie Hat
- Maison Martin Margiela High-shine Leather Chelsea Boots
Modern Lookbook Inspiration
On The Road
Now this trend isn’t just about looking the part. In fact, its heritage actually comes from something far more practical – the notion of travelling itself. Thus, we thought we’d take a look at some ways of buying into the Travelling Gent aesthetic when you’re actually planning to hit the road (or skies).
When it comes to travelling, we all want to reach for pieces that are easy to roll up and stuff into our suitcase or weekender bags. This is why it’s essential to stock up on casual basics that are both versatile and lightweight enough to pack away with ease. From long-sleeved sweaters to soft cotton chinos, easy-to-wear staples are ideal for staying comfortable during long flights or drives.
Yet that’s not to say style has to go out the window when you hit the road. In fact, seeing as this trend harks back to the days of gentlemanly polish, it’s important to keep your sartorial standards up.
So, if you want to travel in both comfort and style, why not reach for an unstructured blazer? Ideal for rolling up and popping into your bag when travelling, this jacket will instantly sharpen up the rest of your look. Wear over a chambray shirt and team with slim-fit winter trousers/chinos to complete your ready-to-ride ensemble.
- Peter Werth Wool Flannel Workwear Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cord
- Reiss Pontus B Fine Corduroy Blazer Navy
- He By Mango Slim-fit Wool-blend Blazer
- He By Mango Unstructured Wool-blend Blazer
- He By Mango Slim-fit Unstructured Wool-blend Blazer
- Boglioli Dover Slim-fit Unstructured Blazer
- Margaret Howell Unstructured Windowpane Check Wool Blazer
- Boglioli Dover Unstructured Flecke
This refined aesthetic should always be finished off with the right footwear and accessories.
As we’re now heading into late autumn, we’d suggest investing in a smart pair of boots that will see you stomp through the colder months in style. From black leather Chelsea boots to earthy brogue boots in chestnut or tan, wear them with everything from your nine-to-five tailoring to chinos and knitwear combinations at the weekend.
Your choice of bag obviously plays a huge part in this trend, without even considering its practical aspects. A briefcase-inspired style is often the best choice for work, particularly when it comes in a satchel design, complete with removable shoulder strap. The best thing about this type of bag is that you can carry it in several different ways, including having the long strap over your head or holding the handle like a standard briefcase.
If you’re heading off on a city break this winter, you’ll want to squeeze your sartorial essentials into a stylish holdall. Opt for a 24- or 48-hour size in luxurious brown or tan leather for the best effect – gradual wear and tear will actually add charm to this rustic, vintage-inspired look. Many new designs also feature multiple compartments for our modern essentials – such as media devices, tablets, laptops, etc. – which are extremely useful and help to keep our lives organised when we’re on the go.
Other finishing touches to consider include sophisticated pieces such as slimline leather gloves, structured hats and well-made umbrellas:
- Ps By Paul Smith Falconer Chelsea Boots
- Ted Baker Tolson Classic Derby Boot
- Ted Baker Sealls Brogue Boots
- Reiss Holt Leather Briefcase Black
- Ted Baker Lochus Scotch Grain Satchel
- Mulberry Elkington Leather Briefcase
- Collezione Leather Holdall
- He By Mango Leather Weekend Bag
- Mulberry Clipper Leather Holdall Bag
- Globe-trotter 21 Carry-on Case
- Globe-trotter Special Edition 18 Carry-on Case
- Globe-trotter 30 Wheeled Suitcase
- Reiss Thorman Leather Gloves Black
- Asos Bowler Hat
- Francesco Maglia Lord Chestnut Wood Handle Umbrella
There truly is something that draws us towards the adventurous and free-spirited notion of life on the road. And despite the fact that many of us will have to settle for our couple of weeks abroad each year, that’s not to say we can’t channel the spirit of the erudite wanderer through our clothes.
So whether you’re tipping your fedora to times gone by in a 1920s-inspired suit for work, or heading to the country at the weekend with a luxurious leather holdall filled with brilliant basics, explore the ‘Travelling Gent’ within you this winter.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this trend: will you be incorporating touches of the aesthetic into your look this AW14, or giving it a miss completely?
Let us know in the comment section below…