The jet-setting gentleman's ultimate travel capsule wardrobe
Going on a trip that combines business and pleasure? Here’s a capsule wardrobe that has you covered
For those of us who aren’t international megastars, flying our entire wardrobe to whatever country we’re visiting isn’t really viable. And this can make dressing for a trip that includes work time and leisure time tricky. From unexpected invitations to evening events, to an impromptu day at the beach, you need to get smart about looking smart. Here’s how.
First up, you need to invest in a few key pieces that all work together. They don’t have to be the same colour – that’s a bit too ‘matchy’ – but they should complement each other and not contain patterns that will look odd when mixed. Think about shades that work well together. Naturals,like chocolate, deep green and grey are always good. And you can’t go wrong with neutrals, such as stone, beige and taupe.
Let’s assume you’ve got a suit sorted, and several shirts in different colours, so your overall image will look different to most, even if you’re wearing the same suit that colleagues saw you in the day before. Add a couple of belts and a smart pair of shoes, and your workwear essentials are sorted. All that remains is your casual wear, all of which should easily fit into a carry-on bag.
Classic Oxford cloth shirt
This is the shirt to rule them all. A stylish button down item that looks as good in a boardroom as it does at the beach. It pairs with almost anything and, crucial for travelling, doesn’t crease easily. Pictured are examples by Luca Faloni, who epitomise easy elegance.
The white T-shirt
Never a scoop neck – far too boy band – and avoid a V-neck if you have lots of chest hair. Pocketless is the classic style and, obviously, it should look out-of-the-box luminous white. Everyone suits a plain white T-shirt.
Crew neck sweatshirt
Yes, a knitted light jumper is smarter, but a good sweatshirt strikes a sportier, more relaxed note and can be worn with trainers and shorts, or with chinos and a shirt. >>
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An unstructured blazer
No one wants to be ironing in their hotel room, so ensure you pack a lightweight, unstructured blazer in a fabric that doesn’t easily wrinkle. Stripped of all the pomp and padding you find in a traditional blazer, these pieces are more relaxed and natural. Works well with your Oxford shirt or the white T-shirt.
Smart dark denim
Go for slim, but not skinny, in a deep indigo blue. Looks great with shoes or trainers, and it’s a sufficiently rugged piece of clothing that the rough and tumble of travelling won’t unduly affect it. No man should travel anywhere without a good pair of jeans.
Useful if you plan to exercise, and great for travelling even if you’re not. They should be fashionable, but also lightweight, comfortable and breathable.
Like dark jeans, this is your go-to footwear. They look great with denim or chinos, pack easily and strike the right balance between smart and casual. They were originally worn by British soldiers fighting in North Africa in WWII, so you know that they can take a beating. Plus they’re lightweight and very comfortable.
Ideally ones that can double up as shorts. Orlebar Brown is a label to check. And while you may not have planned to do any swimming, it pays to be prepared as an unexpected invite to a pool party (or, why not, a rooftop hot tub session) could come your way.
Granted, not a style item as such. However, no canny traveller should be without one. You never know when a flight might be cancelled and you end sleeping in an airport or when your daytime flight turns into an overnight redeye. Even if you don’t need it for sleep, it’s also useful as lumbar support on a long flight.