The Exclusive

The Modern Traveller

Pack smart for your next weekend city break with the lightweight, adaptable capsule collection – a worldwide exclusive from MR PORTER and COS

In the glory days of the ocean liner, travel was not something to be undertaken lightly. You had to plan for months in advance and pack heavy. Thankfully, those dark ages are behind us. International jet travel is now, in this globalised society of ours, almost a part of everyday life, whether you’re zipping across borders for business or simply out of curiosity. What’s more, with the advent of mobile devices and the vast amount of information they put at the fingertips, you don’t need to stick to the recommendations of guidebooks, or rigidly plan your whole trip beforehand. Sometimes it’s enough to turn up – and discover. With this in mind, MR PORTER has partnered with COS to deliver The Modern Traveller, a capsule collection designed for those who think big but travel light.

“It all stems from the fact that many of us at MR PORTER are big fans of COS,” says Mr Sam Lobban, MR PORTER’s Senior Buyer. “We have a lot of respect for the brand’s ideals and integrity, which very much falls in line with ours, and it all comes across in the product’s quality and design that is very much in a class of its own.”

Focusing on utility and adaptability, the collection – available from today at selected COS stores and globally on MRPORTER.COM – contains a range of practical garments, such as zip-front shirts, packable city blazers and lightweight silk-cotton trousers that together constitute an ideal no-fuss wardrobe for those on the move. To complement this travel-ready design ethos, we’ve consulted a few trustworthy figures from the worlds of food, design and lifestyle to compile the following tips for making the most out of your next trip. Here’s to a smooth journey.

The COS collection features a range of pieces that will see you through the day in pretty much any destination. The Penfold bomber, worn on the left with a crisp white shirt, comes with a nifty zip pocket for storing errant currency as you zip between architectural marvels and hotly tipped eateries. The Portland city blazer and matching Cliff trousers, meanwhile, make for a lightweight suit in navy that is day-friendly but smart enough to take into the evening. 

Tip #1

How to get to know a place, by Mr James Lohan, co-founder, mrandmrssmith.com

“Walk. Getting a cab can be tempting, but it’s when I’ve been walking in a new city that I’ve found the places I end up raving about: a hidden bar, a beautiful courtyard, an amazing antique shop or some surprising sculpture.”

When travelling, you encounter many different environments in the course of a day, from airport lounge to sun-bleached city streets. It therefore makes sense to pack a number of lightweight pieces that can be slipped on and off at a moment’s notice as you acclimatise en route. The COS Plympton shirt-jacket fits the bill nicely in this respect, with its sport-influenced ribbed cuffs and practical popper fastenings. 

Tip #2

How to find the best restaurants, by Mr Jacob Kenedy, chef/ patron, Bocca di Lupo and Gelupo

“Read every menu you pass and trust your instinct. Eat away from the main drag. Ask policemen, lorry drivers, taxi drivers where they eat. You can even ask the concierge – but ask them where they eat themselves – not where they recommend.”

A key to dressing well on the move is making sure that everything you pack works together, so individual garments can be worn in different combinations as your trip goes on. COS has made such coordination a breeze in the MR PORTER capsule collection by sticking to a simple colour palette of grey, navy and deep aubergine – inspired by the colours of Scandinavian skies. A signature abstract print, seen above on the Norton short-sleeved shirt, adds a subtle touch of geometry to the clean, simple looks.

Tip #3

How to make memories, by Mr Jason Pomeranc, founder, Sixty Hotels

“It’s important to consider yourself as an explorer, and to use your opportunity of travel to seek out adventure. Allowing yourself to be immersed in a new environment is the best tip I can give. You never know what piece of that experience you will take away with you… But the experience itself really depends on how open you are to learn, or your desire to create your own memories and stories.”

Sportswear works particularly well for travel (as it’s designed primarily for performance and practicality), but no one’s going to be impressed if you turn up on their doorstep in a tracksuit. Strike a balance by opting for one of COS’ sport-inspired pieces, such as the Piccadilly zip-detail top.

Tip #4

How to find a souvenir, by Mr Ryan Willms, editor-in-chief and CEO, Inventory magazine

“Before I travel I try to do some preliminary research to find a handful of shops to visit. Usually between those, and the places that those shops might recommend, you’ll likely find yourself in some good neighbourhoods at least. Personally, I tend to look for out-of-print books, ceramics, prints and clothing.”

The last thing you want to be when travelling is overdressed, so keep things simple. A monochrome look in navy, one of the COS collection’s key colours, is the definition of no-fuss dressing. Helping the barely there feel, of course, is the fabric of the Cliff trousers which has a particular lightness thanks to its mix of silk and cotton.

Tip #5

How to take a travel photo, by Mr Rich Stapleton, creative director, Cereal magazine

“Timing is crucial when it comes to travel photography. Outside, you are at the mercy of the elements. You can’t control the weather, and you certainly can’t control the crowds. My advice? Shoot early in the morning, preferably at sunrise. The light is softer and the masses of tourists have yet to descend. I believe, to capture a unique travel image, you must take a photo at a time and place that others do not.”