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While traveling is a more casual occasion today, you can still set yourself apart from the crowd by dressing smartly. Use these tips to familiarise yourself with the characteristics of stylish travel clothing and their essentials, and you’ll turn heads no matter what your mode of transportation.
Traveling used to be rarer so that rarity probably enhanced its charm and added glamour to the idea of going somewhere. Everyone dressed in his or her finest apparel and enjoyed being served by the transportation company’s wait staff.
However, with the advent of no-frills airlines and other modern conveyances, traveling became a chore – something to complete as quickly as possible. Given that, you probably dress down while traveling and rarely wear a suit unless you are traveling on business.
However, there are many benefits to being the exception to the growing norm. For instance, you do not know who you will meet on your travels; perhaps a potential business contact or maybe even someone special. That makes it worthwhile to dress stylishly. It helps you make a positive first impression and could enhance the old-world charm of traveling for you – and those around as well.
Characteristics of Stylish Travel Clothing
- Quality Build: These garments are built to withstand tears and abrasions. Their seams are either double sewn or stitched to a minimum of 12 per inch (the higher the better for pressure points and tight fabrics). Cotton and wool are the most popular fabric choices whether you are a tourist or on business
- Classic Style: Wear conservative clothing that complements your build and complexion without standing out.
- Comfortable Fit: You should feel good all day long while wearing your traveling clothes so it must be comfortable and non-binding.
Stylish Clothing Essentials
- A Classic Coat: If you are heading to a cold or wet place, a stylish coat is an excellent choice. Consider choosing the classic trench coat, a woolen overcoat, or a lightly- lined, water resistant windbreaker. It should fit well and be a conservative colour and pattern.
- Sweaters:Sweaters are perfect for cold weather. Their stylishness and functionality allows for a wide variety of clothing combinations. For example, alightweight cashmere sweater can dress up a shirt and jeans, but it also dresses down a stuffy two-piece men's suit. You don’t have to iron sweaters; as a bonus, they are versatile for mixing and matching as well as durable. If you wear a sweater while traveling, you’ll save space in your baggage.
- Boots: Wear slip-on dress boots for maximum comfort when spending time in airports but opt for laced ones if you plan to walk extensively. Boots protect the ankles and provide support while walking, if equipped with the appropriate sole. You can wear them with a suit or a sports jacket or trousers, if they are not too casual.
- Other Footwear Options: Pack a pair of classic slip-on dress shoes like plain loafers for warm weather. Select shoes in a dark coloured leather with rubber heels. These can be excellent travel shoes for moving through an airport and walking on cobbled streets.
- Socks:You’ll probably never need more than four pairs of socks for any trip. The key here is in eliminating white gym socks and packing only black socks.
- Dark Jeans: Take your best jeans, not those that are faded, riddled with holes, or show signs of heavy wear. Choose those with a perfect fit that complements your build. If you prefer wearing denim while traveling, adopt a style that mimics slacks. If they are dark coloured and not too tight or baggy, you can dress them up with Chelsea boots and a sports jacket or wear them with a sweater and casual leather slip–ons.
- Wool Trousers:If you travel frequently, grey wool slacks are your wardrobe’s best neutral friends. They play well with most other garments, they are dressier and lighter than jeans, and their simplicity and classic style matches almost any shade of jacket. Further, they can be worn with a business shirt or paired with one of those sweaters you so wisely packed already.
- Wool Jacket:Sports jackets and navy blazers are ideal for traveling; pick those made from a dark fabric with a lightly patterned weave. You can pair them with a crisp business shirt and tie or dress them down with a patterned button-down shirt and sweater. Either way, their versatility takes you from the airport to your hotel and even for a stroll around town.
- Business Shirts:Blue complements most men’s skin tones and disguises minor dirt marks. Second to white in formalness, blue is simple, classic and versatile. Hidden button-downbusiness shirts are good for wearing, if you can find them. Medium spread collars are another excellent option. If you plan to wear a tie, the classic point can be a good choice as well.
- Undershirts: You can protect your shirts and jackets from sweat and grime by wearing undershirts. You’ll feel best in undershirts made of woven cotton, which keeps you comfortable because it absorbs perspiration. Since they dry fast, you’ll probably only need to pack two or three undershirts for your trip.
- Hats: Your hats provide functionality and protection from rain, snow, sleet and sun.
specifically Designed Travel clothing
- Travel clothing is non-porous and specially treated to repel liquids and semi-solids. Hence, it looks fresh even when lightly soiled.
- Unlike woolen garments, which must be dry-cleaned or spot cleaned, travel clothing is machine washable, which is more convenient and less expensive.
- Specialty travel gear must be purchased new.
- Travel clothing does not attract a large audience, hence the items are limited in terms of their style and fit options.
- Some wrinkle resistant travel clothing may not live up to your expectations, so consider purchasing garments with a money-back guarantee. However, you may save money and frustration over the long term by selecting quality woolen pieces instead of wrinkle resistant clothing because of the wider choice in fabrics, style and enhanced comfort.
Useful Travel Tools
- A travel iron:Save yourself some money by packing your own iron as many hotels charge exorbitantly for ironing a garment.
- Emergency sewing kit:A stitch in time saves nine or so the old saying goes. If you have an emergency sewing kit comprised of a needle, 2-feet long lengths of black and white rolled threads, a few buttons, and safety pins of various sizes, you’ll be prepared for most minor repairs. Store these in a small matchbox or in a puncture resistant box.
No matter what mode of transportation you choose, investing some time in selecting comfortable, durable travel garments gives you a high return on your investment. You'll look and feel better so you perform better. Why not treat yourself to an obligation free styling session and a newcustom suit before your next trip? Call or visit our Sydney showroom to schedule an appointment.
Original idea for article from Antonio Centeno, author of the internet's most actionable men's style guide. We recommend a read!