Packed For The Weekend?

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Packed For The Weekend?

Words by Mr Dan Rookwood

22 June 2016

The summer essentials the MR PORTER team wouldn’t leave town without – plus the short-haul carry-ons to put them in.

Fridays in summer are all about the quick getaway. Whether jumping in a car to beat the traffic, or slaloming through commuters en route to the airport, we tend to make more effort in summer to pack as much as we possibly can into our weekends – and into our weekend bags.

So it pays to invest in decent luggage that can take the full-to-bursting strain of escaping the city without accidentally taking anyone out. Whether you’re a traditionalist who believes a real man should carry his luggage in order to stride purposefully, or a pragmatist who thinks, y’know, that’s why wheels were invented, we’ve got a wide selection available on our baggage carousel.

Here, seven members of our team make their selection along with a summary of the summery items they would pack in it. Whichever way you roll – or don’t – we’ve got you covered.

This summer, I’ve got a busy schedule of weekend weddings and milestone birthdays all over Europe. A sturdy Rimowa carry-on will save me valuable transit time and is as easy to haul onto a flight to Napoli as a ferry to Folegandros. Yes, at barely half a metre in height, it’s small so you need to pack sensibly. Items such as these tailored Ami shorts are versatile enough to see you from beach club to cocktail bar. Likewise, these suede espadrilles take up hardly any space at all and are a smart enough statement for the high-maintenance Amalfi Coast crowd.

Formerly a perpetual over packer, I now try try to fly with just one piece of hand luggage such as this Balenciaga holdall, which is understated, elegant and not too unwieldy. When packing clever, a linen shirt is indispensable as it’ll take you from day to night and keep you cool on a sightseeing day trip. This white one from Orlebar Brown won’t show up perspiration too obviously and will look good even straight out of the bag (slightly crumpled is linen’s best look). The main hassle with carry-on travel is toiletries, but by using this smart and practical Montblanc transparent pouch, you won’t be scrambling around with plastic bags in the purgatory of the security line.

When it comes to packing, I adopt the “less-is-more” approach. This Blue Blue Japan shirt fits the bill perfectly. Nothing says “holiday” quite like floral print – except, perhaps, for a lobster tan. To prevent sunburn, I wear this Hampton Sun face cream with UVA and UVB protection, which keeps skin hydrated without being greasy. Plus, at 50ml, it’s small enough to stash in the carry-on. I like a soft leather holdall over a hardshell suitcase – so much more practical when it comes to squishing it in the overhead locker or in the boot of a car.

Left to my own devices, I’d probably spend my weekend break in a breezy shirt and a pair of Teva adventure sandals and little else because that’s how I roll. But this year, because I’m off to a wedding in the south of France – I know, sucks to be me – thoughts have turned to more formal attire. Given the climate in that part of the world, this unlined linen blazer is the smart choice. Now I know what you’re thinking: a linen jacket stuffed into a suitcase equals me rocking up looking every bit the human shar pei. However, the cool-but-crumpled fabric of old has come a long way and, rather aptly, today’s examples tend to travel well. And the sandals may even come into their own worn during the inevitable flap through airport security.

A recurring theme over my past few holidays has been the sight of my two regular travelling companions, Tom and Harry, spending hours mindlessly hitting a ball back and forth in an attempt to achieve a beach tennis rally of 500. Despite their best efforts, they never seem able to surpass the 450 mark. This summer, I’m buying them a shiny new bat-and-ball set from Frescobol Carioca in the hope that it’ll help them achieve their target. I’d love to say that it’s an act of pure generosity, but really, I just want my friends back. I’ll throw in a neoprene case to keep the bats in tip-top condition and stash them away in my Ami holdall, ready for the beach. I’m nice like that.

Of course, I understand the rationale for only packing a carry-on case, but the fact everyone now does it means there’s never enough room in the cabin. And anyway, I want to swan about the terminal unencumbered by weighty hand luggage. I prefer to relax, check my luggage in and sling this comfortable (not cumbersome) Brunello Cucinelli backpack over my shoulder for ease. This summer, I will be travelling with this Impossible Project Polaroid camera, which is a combination of analogue and digital – you can print and shake your Polaroids as well as save and send them via your phone. And I’ll be wearing this Peyote Bird bracelet – because when you wear less, a bracelet adds more to any outfit.

If you were to rifle through my day-to-day wardrobe, you’d see I’m not usually one for bold “statement pieces”. But I feel sartorially braver on holiday, emboldened as I invariably am by a) a tan, which always makes it easier for those with normally pale skin to wear colour and pattern, b) the confidence that hopefully not going to bump into anyone I know, and c) daytime drinking, which explains this little Hawaiian-print number. Since I will be travelling light with an easy-access canvas duffle bag, I’ll need to take my grooming products through screening. And that means nothing more than 100ml. I have recently been testing out Frederic Malle’s trial-size 10ml scents and this L’Eau d’Hiver is my favourite right now, even though its name would suggest it is better suited to winter.

Illustrations by Mr Joe McKendry