How To Travel In Style
Give yourself an upgrade with these five looks for every kind of getaway
Day tripper or intrepid explorer, island hopper or business traveller. We all jump on planes for different reasons and, when we do, we want to do so in style (even on a stag/bucks party).
Frequent fliers have got travelling down to a fine art. They pack light and they dress to pass through security with the minimum of friction: no belts, no bootlaces, no liquids over 100ml.
Practicalities aside, there is something to be said for dressing to impress. Very occasionally that something comprises the finest three words in the English language: you’ve been upgraded. But check-in crew are very discerning and only bump up those who look like they paid full whack so as not to anger the people who actually did.
Wherever your destination, these tips on how to dress will ensure you arrive looking as fresh as when you left.
The long-haul flyer
Whether turning left when you get onto the plane or just hoping to be upgraded, this relaxed yet presentable, crease-free, loose-layered outfit is just the ticket for a long flight. The knitted blazer is as cosy as a blanket and easily stashable in the overhead locker (but if you’re in business or better, they’ll hang it up for you). Being unmistakably Missoni, it’ll certainly pass muster in the club lounge. The blazer’s pattern is busy, so keep the rest of the outfit fairly muted. These grey wool-blend trousers from Beams look smart, but have a drawstring elasticated waist, which makes them as comfortable as sweatpants – and there’s no belt to remove at security. The suede and canvas slip-on Brunello Cucinelli sneakers will help you speed through the X-ray, and they won’t pinch on the flight if your feet swell at altitude. The D R Harris wash bag is a tasteful carry-on for your passport, sunglasses and scarf, while nothing says first class quite like wheeling a Globe-Trotter. This surprisingly lightweight yet robust vulcanised fibreboard trunk is part of MR PORTER’s exclusive Kingsman range and is lined in pinstripe twill.
The city breaker
Chances are you’ve got at least one stag/bucks party coming up this summer, as well as a couple of long weekends. This is a practical, stylish outfit that will take you straight from the flight to seeing the sites. The layers are loose, comfortable and easy to remove, so you’re prepared for air conditioning at the airport and sunshine on arrival. Both the zip-up Lanvin blouson and the Sacai overshirt can be easily stashed in this roomy 65-litre weekend-size Tomas Maier holdall in versatile grey leather. (Mr Maier is the creative director of Bottega Veneta, so he knows a thing or two about leather accessories.) The technical leather, suede and mesh sneakers from Lanvin are comfortable for walking around town, or from bar to bar.
The business tripper
If your trip is more business than pleasure and you’re jetting in for a formal meeting, you may have little choice but to travel in a suit. But no one wants to get off a flight looking like they’ve just got off a flight, all creased and crumpled. This is a problem Sir Paul Smith has solved with his A Suit To Travel In line of wrinkle-resistant tailoring. It uses a high-twist yarn with natural “bounce-back” that he developed over the course of 20 years with Loro Piana. It’s also breathable and water repellent, which could be handy if your return-leg G&T comes with a splash of turbulence. Make sure your accessories – from your shoes to your wallet to your passport holder – don’t let down your overall look. This is especially important when it comes to your choice of watch, always a powerful signifier in a professional setting. A Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969, which has a window to the mechanism on the dial as well as an open caseback, is a true aficionado’s timepiece. Finally, if you’re going straight from plane to presentation, make sure you present a strong business case. They don’t come much stronger than Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano’s durable aluminium carry-on.
The island hopper
Few outfits send an out-of-office message quite as emphatically as a floral shirt and a pair of white jeans (especially if you’re wearing some swim shorts underneath). Hawaiian-print camp-collar shirts remain on trend for SS17. This elevated version from Ami can be worn buttoned up or casually unbuttoned over a plain T-shirt. You can calm it down if need be with a navy travel blazer, such as this midnight-blue go-to, also from Ami. Stay cool with a pair of leather sandals. The foam soles on this WANT Les Essentiels pair make them well-suited to a day’s sightseeing, but they look smart enough to get the up-and-down nod of approval from the beach club’s clipboard wielders. This shoulder-strapped terracotta leather weekender from Valextra is ideal for light packers and designed to fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Note how the bag colour co-ordinates with this featherweight tiger-print Gucci scarf, which will come in useful if the air conditioning on the plane is a little aggressive.
Most of us can escape the country for only a week at a time, two at most, which tends to limit how far we can go. This is exactly why extensive, exotic, experiential travel – trekking in jungles, or surfing remote islands, for example – has become such a status symbol. The flashpacker is the backpacker’s grown-up, less pungent big brother. And he’s better dressed. This tie-dyed The Elder Statesman T-shirt is cashmere, the cargo trousers are from Brunello Cucinelli, the beads are Luis Morais and the travel pouch is Ermenegildo Zegna. Not long ago, technical gear was the preserve of dedicated performance-wear brands, but now designer labels are embracing the trend. This sporty featherweight Marni jacket is made from waterproof shell, while these cushioned rubber sandals from Prada are suitable for walking on all kinds types of terrain. And, of course, everything needs to fold down small in order to fit into a rucksack, such as this hardy camo-print leather and canvas one from Dries Van Noten – the very definition of a flashpack.