It's not easy to travel in style. You'd know about this unfortunate fact of life if you've ever ridden on a red eye only to wake up looking all slovenly and disheveled. The right pieces, however, will be all you'll need to arrive looking every bit as sharp and fashionable as your did at the departure area. Here are some of the things you'll definitely need to bring along on your next business trip, whether you're headed to Rome or Rhode Island.
Watch Your Weight
One occupational hazard of frequent fliers is the exposure to a wide range of climes. You could be leaving a humid tropical city for a dry, chilly one, both of which require a very different kind of clothing. Packing a different coat for each destination is the instinctive reaction for many men, but smarter layering would be a smarter approach to the problem.
Instead of packing a single style of coat in a single thickness, try packing several thinner layering pieces that you can throw on as necessary. It's not as straightforward as putting on a single jacket, but you can't deny that this method is a lot more versatile, especially if you're passing by multiple cities with different climates. Is the cabin cold? Throw on a couple more layers. Is the airport toasty enough? Strip down a layer or two. It's that easy.
A cardigan, a hoodie, a blazer and a topcoat should be sufficient to get you through most any city on the planet. You'll simply have to mix and match the different pieces to create the appropriate combination for the temperature and occasion. Are you in your best shirt and tie? The blazer and the topcoat should work well. Are you in a jeans-and-tee mood? Layer the cardigan under the blazer to create a refined yet laid back pairing.
The more time you spend away from your home, office or comfort zone, the likelier it'll be for you to encounter a stain or blemish along the way. If you want to make a classy impression as soon as you arrive, you'll want to have a robust collection of darker pieces.
Why darker pieces? First and foremost, they don't show stains a lot, so you have one less thing to worry about while you're on the road. At the same time, wrinkles on dark clothes are much more discreet because the shadows of the creases and ridges get hidden. You can squirm around and sleep as you please in your clothes, but you'll most likely land in a state that's just as fashionable as you were when you left.
Another advantage of darker pieces is that they instantly make your outfit seem a notch more formal than it would have been in a light color. This is a useful feature if you're on a business trip, for example, and you have several important people to meet. Lighter colors can make you seem like you're taking a vacation; darker shades will make the suit and tie look outfit even more impressive.
One need not go to the extreme, however, and wear an all black outfit. Just see to it that most of your pieces are in some dark color: a navy suit, a gray coat, a black jacket. Feel free to get colorful with your shirt and your tie.
Be aware that some fabrics are better suited to a ten-hour flight than others. A wool suit, for example, would most probably get somewhat wrinkled during that time, while a linen one would also get wrinkled but be better for it. Other suiting fabrics like tweed will be a risky proposition since wrinkles on them are extremely difficult to remove.
In short, you should be getting clothes that are either naturally wrinkly (textured shirts and knit ties, for example), or will look fine even when scrunched up (chinos and linen). That way, you can still arrive in style even when you get the tightest and worst possible seat in coach.
By: Hendrik Pohl
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