Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

The Beginning of the End of Stylish Travel?

Casual Traveller

I don’t know how I ran across this article, I thought it was recent…

Going in Style: An Update

After a quick read and a vigorous nodding of the head, I noticed the dateline. The article was published in 1985.

With our trip to New York and New Haven and all stops in between fast approaching, I’m wondering how I can get away with packing as little as possible while looking fairly fresh on arrival. I’m still not sure if we will fly or train up. So how to get two days of clothing into a carryon? As much as I’d like a Globetrotter, mine’s a little leather thing that I bought at the market in Ventimiglia a while back. I travel in a coat and tie, but will want to wear a suit to the evening’s lecture by Rosamond Bernier. As it is winter, I think that I will be able to wear a heavier suit, which should help with the wrinkle situation. But, my heavier suits are all more suitable for “day wear” in the country. Except this one. G&H-1 It is a Gieves and Hawkes made for Mrs. E’s grandfather in the 1960s. It needs just a tweak or two to the waist of the trousers to fit me fairly well. But, as I am to meet a very fashionable couple (think Kiton), I’m not sure that I wouldn’t step over that fine line between stodgey and well-dressed.

It’s a conundrum that you will encounter when you begin to “dress better than you have to” (to once again borrow a tagline from a local haberdashery.)

I know, I know, “who cares?” With so many other things more important taking place in the world today, why even begin to think about what to wear when traveling? These are the things that keep you up at night when your business card reads “Easy and Elegant Life.” I am going to hell.. in tweed, of course.

But the question remains: Which way to turn?

Should I stick to the blue blazer, grey flannels and Belgian slippers, with black shoes for evening? Or the suit with a change of tie and shirt? Or my DB, blue, nailhead suit that is best for cocktails? And what about shoes there? Should be black if I’m to only pack one pair, although I prefer brown (and suede.)

I’ve got a few weeks to think about it and track the March weather up North. I’m sure that I will see my way clear. Perhaps our friends will send the company plane eliminating the necessity of the single carryon. (Hey Q, are you there? What do you thinK?)

For the rest of you, remember, the challenge lies in not making concessions to current fashion (see photo above.) There be dragons that way.

12 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End of Stylish Travel?

  1. I remember flying when we were children going back and forth to the UK. We always dressed up. I still do, since I think you get better treatment. Even if it’s just black trousers and a black cashmere sweater with nice black leather loafers and a bright pashmina. I abhor seeing people in their pajamas or trackie bottoms and a t-shirt and flip-flops flying and I certainly don’t want to sit next to them!

  2. First impressions are what people remember. I vote Suit. I quite like your vest too which you posted on.
    That said, for day, the DB Blazer and flannels with a classic shirt always look polished. Your best foot forward in a brown suede shoe sound luxe. Remember your umbrella, should you get caught in a NY down pour!

  3. After reading Habitually Chic’s post Bellisimo (http://habituallychic.blogspot.com/2008/01/bellissimo.html) and zipping over to check on Sart’s postings from Milan (http://men.style.com/fashion/blogs/sartorialist/2008/01/10/index.html) I think I like the Milord look. I may throw caution to the wind and look as if I’m headed to or just returning from the country. In my search for an easy elegance, I quite forget that casual can look great, if done properly. My kind of casual, that is….

  4. I’d go with the suit. One should never fear to be the best dressed in a room.
    And you can’t really go wrong with that threepiece.

  5. Mrs. E’s grandfather’s suit is smashing! I love the idea of looking great while travelling; I also like to pack a can of thermal springwater refresher spray (such as eau thermale Avène) for the dry airplane air and definitely pick up an umbrella in NY.

  6. TIG- great idea! And thanks to my brother-in-law, I now am marinating in a wonderful moisturizer by Kiehl’s called “Facial Fuel.” It should help ease the shock of reentry.

    Thank you and yes, it’s a beautiful suit. They do still make them the way they used to. But, I couldn’t afford the freight these days. I’m lucky to have this one and a dinner suit. He had exquisite taste (he was the U.S. Naval Attaché in London, post-war.)

  7. Hello,

    That 3 Piece is beautiful. I hope you wore it!

    I am really enjoying your site. It’s a wonderful thing when you find a kindred spirit on the internet.

    Thanks and regards,


  8. Welcome Peter. I wore it alot. It’s a bit large for me now. I’m waiting to visit my alts tailor. Thanks! You’ll find many kindred spirits here at Easy and Elegant Life.

  9. Nailhead suit? I can google pics of them, but no definition.

    Why are they the comfortable choice for cocktails? Is there more to it than a 2 button jacket?

  10. Hi Jay,
    Nailhead is the pattern. It’s sort of interesting from a textural standpoint and brings down the level of formality for a double-breasted suit. Being sort of jazzy, I think of it as most suitable for cocktails compared with the strict formality of a navy worsted. The same could be said of navy flannel because of the nap of the fabric.

    I hope that makes sense. Let me know if it doesn’t.

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