How men’s business travel style has adapted to a modern world | Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

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Travel today is easier than ever before, with popular city break destinations in Europe just a short flight away and the other side of the world reachable in under a day. All corners of the globe are now connected, whether by plane, train or boat, and there’s almost nowhere that is off limits – which makes planning that next dream getaway all the more exciting.

It’s a far cry from times gone by, and when our ancestors were building the very first railways and commercial aircraft, today’s travel landscape is something they could only ever have dreamed of. Travel hasn’t just become faster and more convenient, but more luxurious, too – and now, you can lie back and relax in a fully reclining first class plane seat and enjoy being waited on hand and foot until you reach your destination, or roam freely on board a lavish cruise ship, dining on Michelin-starred menus and trying your luck in the casino.

While there’s no denying that the continual and rapid changes that have brought travel into the modern world are welcome, it’s worth noting that they have meant that other aspects of our lives have had to change to keep up – and that includes fashion. Where the Victorians would have travelled relatively short distances in horse-drawn carriages wearing sharp three-piece suits, the modern businessperson is likely to be travelling much further and alongside larger groups of passengers, so it’s little wonder that we’re now placing an increasing emphasis on comfort.

Tight belts and buttoned-up shirts simply won’t cut it when it comes to travelling long-haul, but looking good and maintaining a carefully crafted image is still just as important as ever to the sartorial male. So how do you find the balance?

If you’re confused about what the modern man can wear to ensure comfort, style, and professionalism boxes are all ticked whilst travelling, then let us help you out.

Travel outfit essentials: Then and now

Portrait of Mature businessman sitting and holding his passport while waiting in gate for boarding at airport
Luggage has become a unique blend of form and function and has become an integral part of men’s travel style

The jacket

Whether it gets a touch too windy at the railway station, or if you find yourself boarding a plane in light drizzle, a light jacket is an essential garment for autumn travel in particular, and will mitigate the effects of unfavourable and unpredictable weather conditions. It’s safe to say our ancestral travellers had considerably fewer options to choose from in terms of jackets when it came to dressing for travel, which perhaps in some ways made it easier to decide what to wear – but easier isn’t necessarily more comfortable, and today, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

From leather biker jackets to structured blazers and lightweight suede overcoats, there’s something to suit all tastes. While casual leisure travellers might opt for something soft and flexible like a denim jacket, the business traveller can strike the perfect balance of style and professionalism with comfort by choosing a light blazer or trench.

The footwear

There is a degree of walking involved in almost every type of travel – and even if you’re flying to your destination, you’ll need to make your way through airport security and to your boarding gate, so uncomfortable shoes are a big no-no. That shiny, perfectly polished pair of leather lace-ups you wear to the office might make you feel smart and professional, but you’ll likely regret the choice later on.

Historically, men have dressed in their Sunday best to travel, but the world was far different in the past to how it is now, and smart-casual has become an acceptable everyday dress code. Travel was once reserved only for the wealthy, and showing your worthiness through wardrobe choices was considered the norm – but today, nobody will frown upon a smart yet comfortable pair of loafers or boat shoes.

Nowadays, travel is accessible to almost everyone and is more of a core facet of everyday life, so in line with this, and with the broader variety of people travelling to all corners of the globe, fashion, including footwear, for such journeys has become more relaxed than ever.

The hand luggage

One thing that has stayed broadly the same over the years is the need for luggage. Regardless of where you’re going or the purpose of your trip, you’ll need at least one bag in which you can store the clothing and other personal belongings you’re taking along for the ride, and that you might need to access during travel to and from.

Whilst the premise of hand luggage hasn’t really changed, the items it holds has. Way back when, clothes and a toothbrush were all you needed, but this isn’t the case anymore. Nowadays, the modern man travels with a laptop, a phone, and an assortment of associated chargers and cables, which are essential to the business traveller and make it possible to get some work done whilst on the go.

Luggage has become a unique blend of form and function and has become an integral part of men’s travel style. With this in mind, treating yourself to a covetable designer carry-on is a great idea and will allow you to have all the essentials at close hand without lugging a huge, unsightly bag along with you. It will look good and protect your precious cargo for the perfect balance.

Travel outfit ideas

Young man using tablet in airplane during flight
Style and function are key for the modern traveller

For the businessman who wants to look stylish as he travels, take a look at these simple travel outfits suitable for every type of trip.

Long haul flights

When you’re going through airport security ready to board a long haul flight, you’ll want to wear something that is breathable. Given that the majority of your clothes will be packed away in your hold luggage suitcase, you’ll need to make sure you keep everything you’ll need to stay comfortable until you reach your destination and pack it into your hand luggage instead.

While wearing jeans is entirely acceptable for travel these days, if you’re flying Business or First class, then they are best avoided. Given the fact that they aren’t the most comfortable option and can be somewhat restrictive, it’s no huge sacrifice. Instead, opt for some slim fit trousers and a plain t-shirt, and layer with a light overshirt and jacket so that you can take items on and off as your temperature changes. Planes, trains and boats can all get both very hot and very cold at times, so being prepared is key – and much like dressing for the British autumn, layering is thus key.

It’s also smart to either wear something with pockets or bring a carry-on bag with a secure pocket, so you can easily access your flight boarding passes and important travel documents without too much hassle. Considering you’ll need to whip them out at several different points in your journey, having them zipped up inside a large case will only make things stressful.

A holdall is a good option for plane hand luggage because it can withstand the chaos of the airport and be easily cleaned of any dirt or debris it may pick up along the way, but it will also fit within the acceptable luggage size range specified by airlines. And, because they’re nice and spacious, you’ll have plenty of room to safely store your laptop, sunglasses and other valuable items. Opt for a luxurious and structured leather holdall to provide added protection and to gain you some extra style points, too.

Car journeys

Travelling by car can often mean a long journey and extended amounts of time sitting in the same place, so comfort is again key. Ideally, you’ll want to wear an outfit that doesn’t include any tight waistbands, collars or cuffs, but that will still look smart enough to see you through whatever you have planned on arrival.

If your final destination requires you to look more business professional, some slim trousers and a shirt will do. You can always button up the collar and add a belt and tie at the end for a smart finish. If, on the other hand, you have some downtime at your hotel before your meetings or event begins, then jeans and a warm jumper are all you’ll need to feel comfortable.

Train journeys

Train journeys involve you being outside on a platform while you wait to board, before sitting for potentially long hours in your seat. With this in mind, you’ll want to wear something that is suitable for the current season’s weather, so in autumn, this is where your light jacket or raincoat come into play. Anoraks aren’t exactly a fashion staple, but a lightweight trench coat is a timeless classic that will never go out of style. It’s not too heavy, and will keep you nice and dry, as well as being light enough to carry or store in your bag if you want to take it off.

Pack a jumper to put on on the train during the winter months, as it can get decidedly chilly with the doors opening and closing regularly.

Enhancing men’s travel style with Émigré

Style and function are key for the modern traveller. We love Émigré for stylish essentials that effortlessly blend the two, with a range of luxury travel accessories expertly designed to provide all the practicality needed for a train, car, or airport without compromising on style and sophistication.

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