Men

Traveling in Style

Nikita Alentyev

The only thing I like more than 90% off clearances and extra melted cheese on my baked potato are airports.

Ah, airports! The rush of excitement you get anticipating a lazy beach getaway or a busy conference, the ridiculously overpriced airport food that for some reason tastes better than anything you’ve ever had and the mysterious, astonishing or sometimes even mundane reasons that bring all those different people to these travel hubs. Like that guy over there must be a media tycoon, the girl sitting next to him – a desperate heart seeking love in a far off land, oh and the children are probably on cloud nine waiting to get to the Paris Disneyland. If you don’t want your look to give off the wrong impression or make you feel like you don’t belong to that diverse travelers’ crowd there are some simple tricks to follow.

Don’t dress to impress!

No matter how much it hurts you to give up your motto of looking your best anytime, anywhere you will have to let that go if you are travelling. Just keep it in mind (at all times!) that you are about to spend X hours getting on the plane, Y hours flying and Z hours commuting to your final destination once you arrive at the airport. This is no excuse to look a mess and stop caring: pajama pants and an old tie-dye T-shirt won’t work. In terms of fabrics this means organic cotton, soft wool, cashmere – those are unlikely to give you a skin rash or feel uncomfortable against your body no matter how long the journey takes. If we are thinking shapes, don’t go for anything that needs pressing, ironing or steaming to look crisp: you might spend your layover at the airport or even stay there overnight, so a dress shirt will look wrinkled and you will look worn once at your final destination. Obviously if you are flying Venice – Zurich to sign an important contract with a Swiss bank I cannot stop you from wearing a fine Canali suit, but other than that keep that dry-cleaned and well pressed business attire in the suitcase. Go for something asymmetric, something that drapes around your body. Simply put, traveling is the one time when you should put comfort over trend.

“Passengers for flight №473, please proceed to security check”

Security check can make your traveling experience miserable if you come unprepared. Let’s start with footwear: lace-up shoes will put you in the end of the line to go through security and your plane to a paradise island in the Pacific will possibly have left by the time you are done untying them, taking them off and then tying them back. Pick out slip-ons and you know it better than I do that there is a host of options in that category: loafers, espadrillas, moccasins, topsiders, etc. The easiest option is go for sandals (NOT flip-flops!), which at most airports you don’t even have to take off. For the same efficiency reasons do not over-accessorize. Don’t let it come as a surprise to you that this rule doesn’t apply to girls only. Think twice whether or not you need your belt, scarf, bracelet, beanie hat or glasses on, while traveling. There is never a better occasion to go by the ‘less is more’ rule than in an airport. This, however, does not apply to layers: if you are traveling from a warmer place to a cooler climate or if you have no idea what the weather may be like you want to do layers out of practical reasons!

Meet me at the baggage claim

Another important point is your luggage. Storage space and easy transportability are the way to go, luckily we do not live in the times of Marco Polo or else you would have to lug around an oak wood chest with a wax finish to prevent it from rotting at seas. Yet if you want to travel in style, believe it or not, your luggage will have to go with your look. I can hardly imagine a business traveler with an oversized backpack or a comfy sweatpants type of tourist with a vintage Bottega Veneta suitcase. Your carry on should hold all of your belongings so that you don’t have your hands full of clothes, magazines or water bottles and at the same time your bag should be easy to carry and not clash with the outfit of choice. No, this does not translate into ‘get a black bag, which goes with everything’ you want your baggage to stand out or else someone will pick it up by mistake. Traveling light? Grab a canvas shoulder bag or a leather overnight bag that either complements your footwear or is of a completely different color, which will make it your ‘one bright detail’. Have a little more that you need with you? A mini-suitcase with wheels would work, making your moving around airports a breeze.

Whatever you chose to wear keep it stylishly minimalistic and comfortable, and don’t forget your plane ticket!