City Break Style

When you’re only away for a few days with limited luggage space, planning your weekend wardrobe essentials can often be a more taxing affair than prepping for a long-haul trip.

Yet here at FashionBeans, we aim to take the hassle out of this most dreaded of travel preparations (aside from the obligatory needle-based vaccinations) by providing a guide to the key pieces you need for a selection of stylish city destinations…

New York

New York Skyline

A sprawling and energetic metropolis, the Big Apple certainly lives up to its moniker, and everyone wants a slice.

Enduring snowy winters and sweltering summers, NYC can seem a city of extremes but spring in Manhattan is all about clever layering to cope with the changeable conditions.

A mid-weight coat is a good starting point, as temperature can fluctuate from a few degrees up to the high teens. A cotton-linen blend pea coat or thick cotton mac should hit the mark; these can easily be worn with or without extra layers to suit the conditions. Opt for neutral shades that will complement both day and evening looks.

A tailored navy blazer will prove a key wardrobe component for any visit to the Big Apple – it can be dressed down in the daytime with casual tees and a lightweight scarf, or it can be worn in the evening formally with a freshly-pressed shirt.

A chunky cotton knit is essential for springtime in New York; it will retain warmth on cooler days and add textural interest without feeling oppressively hot. Choose a bold shade to add a welcome splash of spring colour.

Smart tapered cotton trousers are a wise choice for this city break and able to adapt to day or evening occasions effortlessly. Try twinning with a waffle-knit during the day, swapping for a smart shirt in the evening.

With its long thoroughfares, iconic landmarks and inspiring architecture, walking is an inevitable part of a trip to NYC, so remembering to pack a pair of practical shoes is vital. Leather work wear-inspired toe cap boots and desert boots are both sensible options that can be dressed or up down to suit.

Example Looks

New York Spring City Break Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

pepe jeans aw14 reiss reiss mac denim ss13 allsaints ss13 ben sherman ss11 he by mango aw12 he by mango aw12 gant rugger aw13 reiss aw13 allsaints aw13 h&m casual sunday
Key Pieces
  • He By Mango Cotton-blend Piqué BlazerHe By Mango Cotton-blend Piqué Blazer
  • Reiss Oxford ShirtReiss Oxford Shirt
  • Allsaints Inclino Crew T-shirtAllsaints Inclino Crew T-shirt
  • Reiss Nerve Ribbed Knit Jumper Ox BloodReiss Nerve Ribbed Knit Jumper Ox Blood
  • Richard James Unstructured Lightweight Wool And Linen-blend PeacoatRichard James Unstructured Lightweight Wool And Linen-blend Peacoat
  • Ben Sherman Crew Knit The AngledBen Sherman Crew Knit The Angled
  • Reiss Curzon Concealed Placket Mac NavyReiss Curzon Concealed Placket Mac Navy
  • Reiss 1971 Joshi Pleat Detail Trousers GreyReiss 1971 Joshi Pleat Detail Trousers Grey
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Premium Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Premium Cotton Chinos
  • Lanvin Slim-fit Denim JeansLanvin Slim-fit Denim Jeans
  • Allsaints Trap BootAllsaints Trap Boot
  • Reiss Driver Desert BootReiss Driver Desert Boot

Nice Coast, France

Exuding polish and sophistication with its glitzy casinos, grand hotels and sweeping promenades, Nice typifies the style and glamour of the Côte d’Azur.

Enjoying a warm, Mediterranean climate that gave rise to the Riviera genre of dress in the 1920s and 1930s, Nice is a destination where casual elegance prevails.

A lightweight summer blazer crafted from a linen-cotton blend is a worthy investment for both day and evening; it can be worn with shirting or clean-cut polos in accordance with the formality of the occasion.

The Breton tee, an iconic Gallic design, remains a fresh and timeless choice in the Rivera portfolio. Opt for a classic navy or red stripe, or go for one of the alternative colours that are available this season.

Legwear should also ideally be crafted from cotton or linen – chinos or classic tailored trousers will partner easily with both casual and formal pieces.

A classic Riviera footwear style renowned for breathability and comfort, espadrilles are ideal for casual days and beach-bound occasions. This season, consider a luxe pair in suede. Leather deck shoes are another style-appropriate option for a break to Nice.

Oh, and don’t forget your straw fedora.

Example Looks

Nice, France - Men's Spring City Break Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

austin reed ss14 angelo nardelli ss13 sarar ss14 calibre ss14 pepe jeans ss14 he by mango spring 2013 reiss ss14 jigsaw ss14 jaeger ss13 he by mango ss14 massimo dutti june 2013 lbm 1911 ss13
Key Pieces
  • Burberry Prorsum Breton Stripe T-shirtBurberry Prorsum Breton Stripe T-shirt
  • Jigsaw Slub Cotton Short Sleeve Polo Shirt Dusky PinkJigsaw Slub Cotton Short Sleeve Polo Shirt Dusky Pink
  • Reiss Spitfire Contrast Collar Shirt Light BlueReiss Spitfire Contrast Collar Shirt Light Blue
  • Gant Rugger Striped Knitted-cotton SweaterGant Rugger Striped Knitted-cotton Sweater
  • Reiss Nassau B Two Button Textured Blazer RoseReiss Nassau B Two Button Textured Blazer Rose
  • Reiss Cotton Shorts In Regular FitReiss Cotton Shorts In Regular Fit
  • Faconnable Regular-fit Cotton And Linen-blend TrousersFaconnable Regular-fit Cotton And Linen-blend Trousers
  • Acne Studios Isherwood Button-down Collar Cotton-poplin ShirtAcne Studios Isherwood Button-down Collar Cotton-poplin Shirt
  • Linea Hunley Tailored Linen TrousersLinea Hunley Tailored Linen Trousers
  • Rivieras Sultan Suede Slip-on ShoesRivieras Sultan Suede Slip-on Shoes
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Woven Straw Fedora HatPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Woven Straw Fedora Hat
  • River Island Brown Leather Boat ShoesRiver Island Brown Leather Boat Shoes

Copenhagen Water Front, Denmark

One of the most innately stylish cities in the world, Copenhagen is an epicentre of Scandinavian design.

Often overshadowed by neighbouring Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, Copenhagen’s cool climate and mix of old-world charm and modernism has inspired its residents to adopt a style of dress that is best described as ‘contemporary functionality with an edge’.

Rain is an inevitable ingredient in any spring trip to Scandinavia, so a quality trench/fisherman’s jacket should be the first item on your list.

One of the most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world, you’ll find that any trip to Copenhagen will involve covering a lot of ground by foot or bicycle, so comfortable footwear is a must. A luxe pair of colour-pop trainers or explorer hiking boots will look great worn with lean indigo denim or tailored trousers, bringing a contemporary spin to any look.

Lightweight and chunky cotton knits are ideal for the city’s spring climate, which can still remain rather cool until the summer months. Layering one with a micro-print shirt will make for a smart combination.

Example Looks

Copenhagen, Denmark - Men's Spring City Break Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

farah 1920 ss14 sisley ss14 norse projects aw13 burton ss14 penfield aw13 Samsoe & Samsoe ss14 lacoste ss13 pepe jeans aw13 house of fraser ss12 jacamo aw13 farah aw13 pull & bear heritage ss13
Key Pieces
  • Rains Waterproof Rain Jacket In NavyRains Waterproof Rain Jacket In Navy
  • Stutterheim Men’s Stockholm RaincoatStutterheim Men’s Stockholm Raincoat
  • Dockers Alpha Khaki Chinos Slim Fit TwillDockers Alpha Khaki Chinos Slim Fit Twill
  • Allsaints Ettrick Crew JumperAllsaints Ettrick Crew Jumper
  • Edwin Ed-55 Unwashed Rainbow Selvedge Jeans In BlueEdwin Ed-55 Unwashed Rainbow Selvedge Jeans In Blue
  • French Connection Javan Chunky Ribbed JumperFrench Connection Javan Chunky Ribbed Jumper
  • River Island Blue Casual Parka JacketRiver Island Blue Casual Parka Jacket
  • Ben Sherman Plectrum Multicoloured Jacquard Spot ShirtBen Sherman Plectrum Multicoloured Jacquard Spot Shirt
  • Replay Micro Floral Print Shirt EcruReplay Micro Floral Print Shirt Ecru
  • Timberland Gt Scramble Hiking BootsTimberland Gt Scramble Hiking Boots
  • The North Face Back To Berkley BootsThe North Face Back To Berkley Boots
  • Ami Men’s Multi-coloured SneakersAmi Men’s Multi-coloured Sneakers

Istanbul, turkey

The final destination of the Orient Express and the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul has an undeniably exotic allure. A city of a thousand minarets, Istanbul boasts glorious Byzantine monuments and Roman ruins, alongside a buzzing nightlife and rich culture that draws from both European and Asian influences.

The city just starts to heat up in spring, so dressing can be tricky. A mixture of mid-weight and light clothing and a pair of sunglasses are advisable.

A good supply of quality cotton tees is a must, alongside short-sleeved or utility shirting with functional button-tabs on the sleeves, which can be easily rolled-up when the mercury rises.

A fine-gauge cardigan is a better option than a coat, which will be too heavy in the warm spring climate. Wear it in place of outerwear over shirting when the temperature is at its coolest in the mornings and evenings.

A summer scarf is a useful item for this city break; it will provide protection from the sun and rogue dust particles, in addition to offering extra coverage should you choose to visit Istanbul’s iconic landmarks, where baring too much skin is best avoided.

Being an ancient city built on seven hills, the streets can often be uneven underfoot, so a sturdy pair of leather chukka boots is a safe bet.

Example Looks

Istanbul, Turkey - Men's Spring City Break Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

avva ss13 angelo nardelli ss13 de fursac ss14 h&m summer 2013 ovadia & sons ss13 he by mango summer 2013 duchamp ss12 Gieves & Hawkes ss14 lacoste ss13 ben sherman ss11 ben sherman ss12 he by mango summer 2013
Key Pieces
  • Margaret Howell Linen Crew Neck T-shirtMargaret Howell Linen Crew Neck T-shirt
  • River Island Light Blue Short Sleeve Polo ShirtRiver Island Light Blue Short Sleeve Polo Shirt
  • Nn.07 Clay Regular-fit Slub Cotton And Linen-blend ShirtNn.07 Clay Regular-fit Slub Cotton And Linen-blend Shirt
  • Reiss Walter Mercerised Merino Cardigan GreyReiss Walter Mercerised Merino Cardigan Grey
  • Our Legacy Unstructured Linen BlazerOur Legacy Unstructured Linen Blazer
  • Uniqlo Men Supima Cotton V-neck CardiganUniqlo Men Supima Cotton V-neck Cardigan
  • John Varvatos Floral Fine-knit Scarf 190404John Varvatos Floral Fine-knit Scarf 190404
  • Slowear Incotex Slim-fit Linen And Cotton-blend ShortsSlowear Incotex Slim-fit Linen And Cotton-blend Shorts
  • L.g.r Massawa Acetate Aviator SunglassesL.g.r Massawa Acetate Aviator Sunglasses
  • He By Mango Printed ScarfHe By Mango Printed Scarf
  • Reiss Chapman Lace Chukka Boots OatmealReiss Chapman Lace Chukka Boots Oatmeal
  • Asos Chino Shorts With Check PrintAsos Chino Shorts With Check Print

Rome Colosseum, Italy

Rome, the Eternal City, certainly has an enduring sense of style. From contemporary urban attire to traditional polish, the Romans know how to put an outfit together with panache.

A deconstructed blazer in either a light or dark shade is just the ticket for maintaining a polished profile when dining on the city’s piazzas in the evening. Layer it with a simple white shirt and don’t forget to finish with a printed silk pocket square.

Sleek tassel loafers are the perfect accompaniment for tailoring; opt for the sockless look for a contemporary touch. Leather or suede driving loafers are also a wise choice for negotiating the city’s numerous cobblestone streets during the day.

Lean tailored trousers and dark, solid-wash denim are the best legwear choices, offering greater versatility from day to evening.

Example Looks

Rome, Italy - Men's Spring City Break Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

United Colors of Benetton Ss13 Pal Zileri lab ss13 digel ss14 lbm 1911 ss13 sarar ss14 massimo dutti nyc 5th avenue ss13 jigsaw ss14 gant ss13 reiss ss14 massimo dutti june 2013 he by mango aw13 de fursac ss14
Key Pieces
  • Farah Vintage Oxford Shirt With Button Down CollarFarah Vintage Oxford Shirt With Button Down Collar
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Oxford ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Luccheese GreyReiss Luccheese Grey
  • Reiss Florence Cotton Trousers SandReiss Florence Cotton Trousers Sand
  • River Island Dark Wash Dylan Slim JeansRiver Island Dark Wash Dylan Slim Jeans
  • Reiss Wickham Fine Twill Chinos StoneReiss Wickham Fine Twill Chinos Stone
  • Margaret Howell Mhl Unstructured Washed Cotton BlazerMargaret Howell Mhl Unstructured Washed Cotton Blazer
  • Reiss Elm Lightweight Crew Neck Jumper Airforce BlueReiss Elm Lightweight Crew Neck Jumper Airforce Blue
  • He By Mango Garment-dyed Piqué BlazerHe By Mango Garment-dyed Piqué Blazer
  • Okeeffe Excalibur Suede Tassel LoafersOkeeffe Excalibur Suede Tassel Loafers
  • He By Mango Suede Driving ShoesHe By Mango Suede Driving Shoes
  • He By Mango Paisley Print ScarfHe By Mango Paisley Print Scarf
Final Word

Packing logically for a city break has a lot to do with the climate of your destination. Do your research beforehand so you know what to expect, draw up a list of essentials and dress accordingly.

When the weight of your luggage is an overriding factor to consider, remember to only pack items that have a multi-faceted use – those which can be easily recycled and paired with the rest of your travel capsule wardrobe.

So, what are your personal tips and tricks for taking the pain out of packing for a city break?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below…