What to Pack for a Holiday

Avoid packing items you'll never wear with these handy tips


Leonardo DiCaprio in casual dress in Catch Me If You Can. Picture / Supplied.

Having already looked at how men now spend more than women on their annual holiday wardrobe; now it’s time to consider what goes in the case and how. As someone who has been known to pack a pair of boldly printed trousers in a fit of optimism about exuding an exotic traveler vibe once the plane lands, only to forget the nuts and bolts like basic T-shirts, the focus on what fashion editors would call a ‘clean edit’ is paramount. Men often find themselves cast adrift in more casual waters, with questionable mountaineering shoes and saggy cargo shorts in place of the crisply tailored trousers and sharp brogues. David Cameron is a proponent of this; at least with his departure we’ll no longer have to look at his crusty trainers and shapeless polo shirts in Cornwall or the Algarve.

That said, the polo shirt and its connotations of preppy style can act as a bedrock for a smart but relaxed summer wardrobe that calls to mind JFK and his brothers boating in Nantucket. A neat number from the king of the collegiate lifestyle, Ralph Lauren, should stand you in good stead. Add a crisp pair of chinos in white or pale blue and a seersucker jacket which combines breathability with a smarter silhouette (polo shirts with a suit jacket being a strong proposal for summer informal/formal dressing this year).

Away from the WASP-y aesthetic that’s a handy guideline with regards to masculine, considered warm weather wardrobes, menswear’s new loosening of the rules – flowing silhouettes, a fluid sense of ease – is an entirely seductive option. If your August break is more ‘louche lounging in Marrakesh’ than clam bakes at the Cod, I’m all for a little experimentation and playing up to your environs.

Collarless shirts can act as a visual signifier that you’re no longer in corporate mode and a Nehru collar hints at foreign sojourns, while one of the biggest verves in men’s suiting in recent years has been towards a slackening of shapes, with seams let out and a greater sense of airiness to tailored jackets and trousers. We’re not recommending that you pair with an aforementioned shirt for a continental wedding, but it’s certainly a debonair option for cocktails on Lake Como. Finally, while a soft driving shoe is a fine choice with chinos, designers such as Giorgio Armani and Dolce and Gabbana are championing the humble espadrille as a chic option to don with a relaxed fit suit. Perhaps the PMs new post-government wardrobe will be able to accommodate for such touches.

— The Daily Telegraph

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