The Packing List: Our Ultimate Spring Travel Outfit

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The Packing List: Our Ultimate Spring Travel Outfit

Words by Ms Lucy Kingett | Photography by Mr James Robjant | Styling by Ms Sophie Watson

21 March 2023

We’ve been talking about spring for a while at MR PORTER. As soon as the first new collections of the year come rolling in, we start to feel that faint warm glow. It’s the promise of newness: new life, a new start and, most importantly, new clothes. But, officially, spring has only just sprung (yesterday, to be exact). And the one “new” thing we’ve yet to really get stuck into is perhaps the best of all – new places to go.

That’s right, we’re talking travel. Holidays. Getaways. Vacation, baby! And while we’re not knocking summer beach trips (indeed, now is the time to start planning them and your poolside wardrobe), there’s something particularly perfect about a spring getaway. It’s the ideal time to explore cities and summer-sun hotspots while the weather is warm but not oppressive, the crowds are minimal, and there is still a feeling of excited optimism at bars and cafés (rather than the inevitable exhausted resentment).

But what to wear? We understand that you might be a little out of practice when it comes to choosing travel outfits, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Read on to discover what we’ll be wearing when we’re leaving on a jet plane.

First things first, while we’re raving about spring, it’d be remiss of us to ignore the fact that the weather can be somewhat unreliable. For the trip to and from the airport or train station, and for cool evenings on the terrace, may we suggest a heavy cotton overshirt? This cream option from Brunello Cucinelli is crafted in its Italian workshops, with loose, clean tailoring that is easy to dress up or down.


The Barena ribbed polo

A light polo shirt is another versatile must-have for any compact packing list. The Marco (“Marco?” “Polo!”) style from Venetian brand Barena is a blend of linen and cotton, meaning it will keep you cool when the temperatures rise. Shallow ribbing, wide hems and a slim fit give it an elegant 1950s air, perfect for sipping spritzes by the pool.

Shorts can be hard to get just right – too long, too short, too young, too traditional – but we can count on Kiton’s five generations of experience to craft a perfect pair. These, in classic navy, combine comfort (a drawstring waist), cool (breathable linen) and class (front pleats and a wearable, just above the knee length). You really won’t need anything else.

When picking a capsule wardrobe, it’s often the case that vintage-inspired styles take precedence. It’s not surprising, as they’ve stood the test of time for a reason. The Dealan sunglasses from Jacques Marie Mage’s collaboration with Mr Umit Benan have a subtle Parisian beatnik feeling thanks to their thick, square-framed black acetate frames, but a little contemporary western influence added for good measure by the wirecore panels on the arms.

You can’t go wrong with an espadrille in summer. This soft suede pair from Officine Creative is handmade in the brand’s Italian studio and features traditional jute midsoles set on durable rubber along with a collapsible heel for that little extra artist-in-residence je ne sais quoi. Slip them on when you pop out for the morning bread and flip the heel up when it’s time for dinner.

As well as protecting you from the sun, a hat can hide all manner of sins, from tired eyes or a sunburnt forehead to unkempt post-beach hair. Luckily, caps can be chic, such as this one from luxury menswear titan Loro Piana, made from breathable cream cotton and embroidered with the brand’s logo.

A carefully curated travel packing list would be nothing without a bag to put it all in. Trusted Milanese brand Serapian has been crafting bags since it was founded in 1928. This leather-trimmed coated canvas holdall is part of the Stepan 72 heritage range and features handy pockets to keep your passport and other small items safe.