Steal the Style: GQ’s guide to traveling light
Most Americans view traveling as something that’s about as enjoyable as the flu, and they dress accordingly. Pajama pants, sweats, crocs, and hooded sweatshirts are the uniform of the coach traveling masses. But you don’t have to look like, feel like, and dress like you’re infected.
Looking good for air-travel doesn’t require a garment bag and checked luggage. It’s just as doable for short trips, and GQ has put together a great list of essentials for traveling light. You know the drill. Click on over to GQ to see their suggestions, then head back this way for a breakdown and some more budget minded picks.
The Simple Raincoat – GQ: Zenga $700 | Dappered: Ben Sherman Moon – $239.00
Some of the soundest advice ever offered by GQ. I’ve made the mistake of hauling along a heavy wool topcoat while flying. It was a sweaty uncomfortable pain. Your first option should be Banana Republic’s Water Resistant Trench. I own it and can vouch for it. It’s just about perfect and looks great with or without the belt. But if you can’t find one of those in store (they’re all but sold out online) consider the simple single breasted “Moon” raincoat from Ben Sherman. Yeah it’s expensive, but see if your tailor can pinch the waist in to make it more fitted. It looks like ASOS has the same coat for $40 less. Another option? The under $100 INC Black Cotton Trench.
The Neutral Carry On – GQ: L. Vuitton | Dappered: Hilfiger – $112 | London Fog – $140
I’ve never been a wheelie carry on guy. Don’t know why. I’ve always carried a duffel, and gone cross the body for the longer tromps to the next gate. It’ll be a sad day when the Hilfiger Fieldhouse Collection finally goes extinct, because they’re one of the few brands that makes a great looking wheeled duffel. If you want to go more boxy traditional, the London Fog option won’t set you back too much.
The Suit Jacket – GQ: RL Purple Label Suit – $5190 | Dappered: Alfani Red – $218.40
Also great advice about wearing the suit jacket as a blazer. It won’t look quite right, but it’ll save you major space in your carry on. What I don’t get is their advice to “hang it up when you board.” Sorry GQ, those of us proletariat back in coach don’t really have an abundance of space to hang up our jackets. Macy’s is running their Men’s Wardrobe Sale and their Alfani RED charcoal stripe suit separates are running as low as they get. They come pre-contoured, have a notch lapel, and the stripes are subtle. You do have to use the code: WARDROBE at checkout to knock an extra 20% off. You’ll also pickup free shipping.
The Loafers – GQ: Luis Vuitton – $560 | Dappered: Kenneth Cole NY Real Life – $147.95
Good Grief there are a ton of ugly loafers out there. Trying to find a dress loafer that would work with jeans as well as a suit (so you could execute GQ’s suggestion just above) is almost impossible. These are on the way high end at $150, but thanks to the strap across the top and sleek toe, they’ll meet those two requirements in black or brown.
The Simple Navy Suit – GQ: Calvin Klein – $1295 | Dappered: Indochino Navy – $249
The coupon code is the shamelessly self promoting: dappered.com No shame in saving $100 though. Modern fit, made to measure, and a $75 re-tailoring credit is nice insurance. For the entire lowdown, click here.
The Dappered Extra Suggestions:
- To de-grease: ELF Shine papers – $1.49: Because your forehead will look nasty once you step off the plane and out of the recirculated air.
- To listen to: 4th generation ipod shuffle – $47.54: It skips the mistakes of the 3rd generation, plus it’s incredibly small, lightweight, clipable, and easy to fit in your inside jacket suit pocket. Your weapon against noisy seat neighbors and crying babies.
- To read: Book of Assassins – $21.63: Since it’s in dictionary format, it’s easy to pick up and put down if you’re dozing off. An alphabetical list of the world’s most famous assassins that spans centuries.
- To Chew: Blackjack chewing gum – $4.10 for 20 5-stick packs: Aniseed flavored and much tastier than your average mint. Crazy looking dark gray / black look. Won’t turn your teeth dark. Good for ear popping.
Now you might not be able to pack a weeks worth of duds in one bag like Clooney’s character in Up in the Air“… but these essentials should get you through at least a few days. Safe travels, and may your flight attendants always be kind and attractive. (Top Photo Credit: Dave Heuts)