How To Put Together A Minimalist Travel Wardrobe

Finally, is it time for that weekend away? Have you managed to catch a long holiday? Sneaking away for Spring Break? We all look forward to the day when we can pack our bag and head off the beaten track – or onto it along with all the other people travelling at this hour!

Whatever the reason for having to travel, you don’t have to leave your style and comfort behind you at home. You can also still stick to a convenient (and much cheaper, given all the new airline bag fees!) one-bag-job with these helpful tips on getting together the A Team of luggage: the minimalist travel wardrobe.

The trick here is clothes that give long lasting function – those bits and pieces that can be worn to different events and in different weather conditions and ALWAYS look stylish to boot.

Jeans

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Faithful friend of short men and tall men alike, jeans are the go to starter kit to any travel bag. Denim is a tough material that can weather most  seasons and occasions. Unlike linen pants, jeans can be worn for at least a couple of days before you have to wash them – assuming there’s not a massive mud mark or grass stain on them!

That being said, wet denim becomes heavy and will take a while to dry so pack two pairs to alternate with. Your average blue denim works well for casual occasions, walks and driving.

Dark blue or black denim can bring out the smart casual look for a meal out or a social gathering. It largely depends on the shirt that goes with the jeans (more on this later), but generally a shirt and blazer says “formal” and a T Shirt or sweater says “casual”.

Sweater

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No matter where it is you’re going, a sweater – make that two sweaters – are a must have for your travel bag.

One sweater should be thick for cold weather or chilly evenings following a hot day. The second is more like an up-style sweater; one that can be worn to a restaurant or put over a shirt for an extra layer.

Depending on the colour and thickness, they can work with a variety of looks. They add an extra layer if you’re taking the kids on a hike, or an easy-going formal look for an evening out.

Coat

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You won’t get far without a coat for all seasons. Depending on your destination you might consider a waterproof material, but most heavy materials will provide decent shelter from the weather.

While the longer length has a sophisticated air about it, the shorter jacket-style coat works best for a variety of occasions. Three things to look out for in a travel-worthy coat are

  • Pockets for keys and wallet
  • A zip to warm up or cool down
  • A simple style – too fancy, and you’ll look out of place in the country. Too plain and you’ll be an embarrassment at social gatherings. Simple and practical wins every time
  • BONUS: Look for a jacket with a zip in/out inner layer.  It can help you adjust if the weather changes suddenly cooler or warmer at your destination

Boots

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The idea that some guys can’t pull off boots is unimaginative. Boots are sturdy, practical, and stylish all rolled into one. Ankle boots in particular keep just the right balance between lumberjack and city slicker.

Saving the flip flops for when the sun is really shining, boots will see you through any day of the year. Boots can survive walking over rough terrain and rain. Then tuck your jeans into them with a shirt and suit jacket and you have the perfect casual gentleman.

Just remember when wearing your boots every day give them a spray to freshen them up and a quick rub of polish before heading out on the town!

Shirts

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The most important thing to remember when packing shirts is to choose ones that you can easily mix and match with your everyday pants.

Dress Shirt

Again, it varies on how long you are away how many clothes might be needed.

For an average stay one dress shirt should suffice, wash as often as needed. We all need a little extra style once in a while and although it’s true that the man makes the look, the look also complements the man.

A crisp dress shirt is the clear winner for bringing out your sophisticated side – whether it’s lifting a pair of jeans or the finishing cuff link to a suit.

T Shirt

For lazy days or informal occasions, you can’t beat a good T Shirt. Here you can get away with letting your manly locks down and being comfortable.

Days of physical travel such as driving or getting on a plane can be long and tiring. You don’t need to strut your stuff on days like these, or on afternoons when you’re taking a break to lie in the sun.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t look great! T Shirts with collar can give a salute to smartness. If you’re feeling daring, try a plain white T Shirt with a blazer; it brings out a formal side to your style but keeps your individualism.

Extra Tips

  • Wool is the friendly material:
    – It has less of a smell after a few days of wear
    – It dries easily
    – It wrinkles less than other materials
  • Choose colors that go with everything (and with each other, for maximum flexibility)
    – Pastels
    – Blues
    – Black
  • Avoid clothes that require a lot of maintenance. Shirts that need ironing or pants that need pressing will take time and energy – and then need washing and ironing and pressing all over again!

Conclusion

The key to your minimalist travel wardrobe are clothes that go with everything all year round. Two of the essentials – two pairs of jeans, two shirts – will give you both a choice of which to wear, and an alternative for when one of them needs washing.

When in doubt choose materials that are sturdy but stylish so that no matter where you are going you can still look great and feel great too.