The 51 Things Every Man Should Be Packing This Spring
Don’t leave home without these holiday essentials
You might be under the impression that travelling is a bit of fun, or something you might have to do for work. But, as all people who travel a lot know, it is neither. Travelling is something of a ninja skill, an elegant art form that depends on deploying the right tools in the right place at the right time. Like a backflip or a soufflé, it must be done correctly to be fully enjoyed. How do you know you have reached this pinnacle? You never have to pause at security, or have to fumble around in your bag, and you never find yourself missing something. Also, obviously, you get to wherever it is you’re going on time, with the minimum of fuss and wonderfully free of any travel-related stress. Which means you can begin to enjoy yourself. It takes many years and many air miles to attain this, but there are certainly some magic weapons that can help you along the way. Scroll down for MR PORTER’s edit of the best of them for spring 2018, split into five handy categories.
For the airport
This may seem basic, but the most important thing about flying is getting to the departure gate on time. Yes, you can do this by continually retrieving your iPhone from your pocket, unlocking it, checking it, then returning it to your pocket. But you can also do it in the traditional and, in our opinion, far easier way by picking up a decent watch. Something on the simpler end of the spectrum will certainly do, but if you travel abroad frequently (and to different places), you might consider a model with a world-timer function, such as the NOMOS Glashütte Zurich Weltzeit. This ingenious piece of German engineering, which comes in at just under 40mm, can do something that even your shiny smartphone can’t. It can flick between time zones at the touch of a button (located just above the crown, at two o’clock). The 24 cities available are indicated on a secondary dial, with silver-plated hands revolving to reflect the time at whichever city is at 12 o’clock. You can check the time at home by observing an additional dial at three o’clock, indicated by a simple red house icon.
Now then, accessories. Even in the age of mobile check-in, a travel wallet will come in handy for storing receipts, currency and, in the inevitable eventuality that your phone dies, a printed boarding pass. Try either of the exceptionally smart versions on offer from Valextra and Bottega Veneta. Finally, you will need some comfortable clothing to travel in, by which we mean anything that can be zipped up, easily adjusted or removed if necessary. Chief among such items is the slip-on sneaker. There are few things more annoying than being asked to divest oneself of one’s shoes at the security gate, but an agile pair such as these from Ermenegildo Zegna will make that particular experience so much easier.
For your carry-on
The most sensible thing you can do on a flight is sleep through it, however tempting it may be to sit hunched over your laptop. You want to arrive fresh and ready for your next appointment, be it business or pleasure, and that feeling is seldom accomplished by four hours of Microsoft Outlook. Give yourself a fighting chance by picking up a quality eye mask – this silk and cashmere example from Armand Diradourian is far superior to the freebie versions you get – and, even more importantly, a supportive neck pillow to stop you doing that awful nodding-head thing and crashing into your neighbour’s shoulder as you snooze. Your pillow doesn’t have to be cashmere, nor does it have to be from Loro Piana, but Loro Piana does offer one, and it is cashmere, so… why not?
It’s always a good idea to moisturise while you sleep. This is a time when, because you are not drinking anything, the skin can get very dry. And plane cabins are particularly dehydrating environments, so you’ll need some potent products. We recommend popping to the bathroom after take-off and applying an ampule of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s potently plumping Hyaluronic Serum, followed by some Grown Alchemist Hydra Repair Day Cream, which is packed with natural oils and polysaccharides to protect and hydrate the skin. If sleep is really not possible – and let’s face it, it often is not – a good alternative can be simply sticking in some earphones, closing your eyes and drifting off to some music or a podcast or audiobook. In the cramped space of the aeroplane cabin, it’s useful if you have a wireless pair and avoid all that squirming around trying to plug things in. We like these B&O Play BeoPlay H5 in-ear buds.
For the weather
There’s no point taking your mind and body on a journey and leaving your clothes behind. Decking yourself out in sunny colours is a surefire way of convincing your brain that you’ve actually arrived. Spring 2018’s appealingly washed-out colour palette seems particularly well suited to such a pursuit, with faded brights on offer from Saint Laurent, John Elliott, Hartford and – new to MR PORTER for spring 2018 – the sun-kissed Tuscan casualwear brand President’s. We suggest picking up multiple T-shirts in these eye-catching, yet wearable shades, and sporting them under a denim shirt (if it’s particularly sunny) or a lightweight bomber jacket (if it’s not). Make sure you’ve got plenty of options by rolling all your clothes neatly in a stylish case from Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano.
For the purposes of chillaxing
We shouldn’t have to tell you how to laze around by the pool, but for the sake of completeness, we’re going to anyway. The basic components of a good poolside kit are three-fold: pool slides, sunglasses and swim shorts. Sounds simple, but if you’re having trouble selecting the latter two items, you might want to read MR PORTER’s guide to choosing swimwear or our piece on which sunglasses will suit your face shape. The difficulty, meanwhile, with the first item on that list is quite simply a preponderance of choice. Since pool slides were upgraded from embarrassing hangoverwear to wry fashion statement a couple of years ago, a huge range of designer brands have begun to offer their own variations. These ones from Gucci are a particular favourite of ours. Bold, graphic and unmistakeable, there’s a reason why they’ve become MR PORTER bestsellers. Once you’ve secured all those items, and you’re expecting to have the pleasure of your own private pool (with no attendants), you might also want to pick up a towel from Hartford and a BeoPlay A1 portable speaker from B&O Play so you can while away the time unearthing some choice R&B hits from the 2000s, or, you know, whatever takes your fancy. Finally, heed the words of Mr Baz Luhrmann and remember your sunscreen. We don’t mind whether you choose a gel, mist or lotion, but start with the highest SPF possible and limit yourself to 20 minutes of the bright stuff at a time please.
For making memories
For the love of all things good, don’t rely on your Instagram feed as the sole means of documenting your travels this spring. You’ll look back on it in 20 years’ time and think, did we just spend the whole week drinking flat whites? Why did I take so many pictures of doors? What was Instagram again? Instead, we would urge you, for the sake of your dotage, to record a more warts-and-all version of your next journey via the perhaps slightly less social media of film, pen and paper. Pack a notebook from Smythson or Montblanc (or both and a set of Caran D’Ache pencils for good measure), and write down all the wonderful things you have seen, the witty things people said and the names of anything particularly delicious that you ate. If that’s all too frightfully analogue, at least consider a Leica. The favoured camera of legendary road-trip photo-diarist Mr Stephen Shore now comes in a series of excellent digital versions, all of which offer exceptional sharpness and extremely high-quality bokeh (that blur you get with SLR cameras that accentuates the depth of focus).
What a carry-on
Brunello Cucinelli Leather-Trimmed Suede Carry-On Suitcase
Prada Saffiano Leather-Trimmed Nylon Carry-On Suitcase
Belstaff Colonial Leather-Trimmed Canvas Bag
Filson 48-Hour Leather-Trimmed Tin Cloth Duffle Bag
WANT LES ESSENTIELS Hartsfield Leather-Trimmed Organic Cotton-Canvas Holdall
Mulberry Medium Clipper Pebble-Grain Leather Holdall