I’ve often noticed that most guys don’t care about their appearance at the airport. Any amount of layering is fine in winters or bermudas and flip flops are cool for summer (Really now???). Sadly they don’t understand that an evolved sense of style comes into play crucially while they travel and conveys a lot about their stature in society, where they come from and where they intend to go. I agree that comfort is of paramount importance during travel but there’s no excuse for compromising on your style. Here are a few travel essentials you should warm up to as you take that big vacation.
Art of Trench: A trench coat is a chic way to protect yourself from the cold weather during the winter months and the oppressive Indian monsoon rains. It’s a great layering option while travelling. Pick one in gabardine fabric with leather accents from Burberry or go for the classic tweed with epaulets. Complete the look with a cashmere scarf in houndstooth or plaid for that great sartorial edge.
Leather jacket: A snug-fitting leather jacket looks killer at the airport as you check in your luggage. It keeps you warm and you don’t have to worry about it getting wrinkled. Pick the one in tanned leather or shades like plum, burgundy or bottle green depending on your personal style.
Cardigan: It is classic and never goes out of style. A soft cashmere cardigan has a preppy-yet-chic appeal and works well on a chambray shirt, a v-neck t-shirt or classic sailor stripped round neck t-shirt and even a polo t-shirt. Pick the polo with a stiff collar and you can even pop the collar up. You can never go wrong with nautical stripes or ombre. If your t-shirt is in a neutral or muted shade then layer it with a bright toned cardigan or the other way round.
Seersucker blazer: Seersucker is a super comfy pick for the summer months. A white and blue seersucker blazer worn over a white shirt or a round neck works beautifully. Complete the look with a navy blue polka dotted pocket square and a pair of vintage glares which you can keep on the pocket if you don’t want to wear them. Details like eye frames and corsage on lapels add beauty to the look.
Aviators: You cannot not travel without accessorising your look with the right pair of sunglasses. Aviators are classic and suit people with a sharp jawline. Go for the thick rimmed modern versions in different tones or the classic metallic thin rimmed ones. Rayban has some really cool versions this season. If aviators don’t suit your facial frame then try wayfarers which complement most facial structures. You can leave them on your blazer pocket or t-shirt neckline for the carefree appeal. Plain frames are also a great idea while travelling.
Monk Strap/ suede loafers or wing tip brogues: Try at all cost to avoid flip flops. It just looks tacky on business class to say the least. If brogues are too formal for you then opt for velvet or suede loafers or mocassins. This season Monk Strap beauties are all rage so why not rock the airport circuit with aplomb. Have fun by wearing some funky socks in pop colours.
A leather weekend duffel bag: If it is a short trip then you need a bag which just accomodates all your needs. A slickly crafted and roomy leather bag with many inner compartments for your travel essentials like vanity kits etc is all you need. Pick the one in black or tanned leather. Don’t forget to wipe off all the dust from the bag before you leave the house. Nothing’s more unsighlty than a dusty bag.
A trunk: If it is a long trip and you need to pack in essentials like your tuxedo, your double breasted suit and your dress shoes then you need a case which envelops all these things without a single fold. You need a volumnious travel trunk that packs all this beautifully. It’s also a great idea to co-ordinate your travel trunk with your over coat or your leather jacket. Think of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. A leather laptop brief case is also a chic way to carry your laptop.
Gloves: A pair of leather or woolen gloves work well. It keeps your hands clean, shields you from cold weather and also add a dose of character and personality to your travel ensemble.
Pocket watch or a Chronograph: A man can’t travel without an elegant watch. Yes even if you are used to checking time on your cell phone, you can’t neglect the watch. A pocket watch with an antique finish popping out of your over coat is also a great idea. Otherwise invest in a nifty wrist chronograph.
More than anything else be a gentleman at the airport and on the flight. More than the outfits and your accessories it’s how you conduct yourself will get you all the right attention. Always remember chivalry is the best accessory a man could own.