Living in London means a weekend getaway is always a possibility. With it's four major airports, train stations and well-connected motorways, sometimes the only thing slowing you down is deciding what to pack!
A few months ago I wrote some packing tips for a trip back home to Toronto; it was all about building a capsule wardrobe, and getting the most mileage from what you pack; like choosing reversible pieces or bringing along trainers you can pair with suits and sweatpants.
For shorter trips my mantra has remained relatively the same, whether it's a weekend jaunt to Berlin, Paris or just the English countryside.
With the upcoming Spring break, the onset of warmer weather and Mr. Porter's Easter Getaway edit I thought this would be the perfect time to update my essential list. Read on for my 6 Travel essentials ...
1. Drawstring Trousers
Up until recently I have never owned sweatpants, my comfy bottoms consisted entirely of "less-tight skinny jeans" and the two faithful pairs of drawstring trousers I've been rocking for years. The trousers were reserved almost exclusively for airplanes, and i'll admit they were beginning to look a little worse for wear!
I still stand by my "no trackpants rule" and thankfully can now find drawstring trousers in a variety of cuts and fabrications, as designers meld casual dressing with crisp separates.
Never sacrificing comfort, some are even dressy enough to take you from boardroom to boarding lounge. Look for a pair with a front crease or pleat if you're aiming to wear these to work, or go all out casual with utility details as seen at Wooyoungmi right ->
You can shop drawstring trousers here ...
2. Low-top Trainers
Step up your shoe game with low-top trainers from the likes of Common Projects, Gucci and Lanvin. These sophisticated sneakers pair well with both casual looks and contemporary tailoring.
Plus with collaged materials and luxe touches (like python and patent leather) you'll never be accused of not being "dressed up enough". I've gotten into a few places marked, Dress-shoes-only without any issue, or by loudly exclaiming 'but these are Lanvin!"
I've also managed to save a ton of space (and baggage fees!) by cutting down my shoe options to one dark and one light pair of trainers for short trips!
Look for tonal options in darker shades for the most versatility and shop Mr. Porter's edit of low-top trainers here ...
3. The Denim Shirt
Now that we've covered trousers and footwear, it's time to tackle shirts!
In dark or light denim, classic or with unexpected details, the chambray shirt is a perennial wardrobe favourite. Denim shirts can take you from the boardwalk (with shorts and a tee) to fancy dinners by the sea when worn buttoned up and tucked into smart trousers.
With a shirt to fit every budget, from Club Monaco to Brunello Cuccinelli, investing in a chambray shirt couldn't be easier. Once you've mastered the classic, look for one with contrast pockets or patchwork and wear it with everything from shorts to suits!
The denim shirt does wonders for expanding your wardrobe, whether your at home or on foreign soil!
Shop Denim shirting here
4. The Bowling Shirt
The second shirting option you should get on board with for the warmer months is the short-sleeve bowling shirt. With their spread camp-collars, fun prints and lighter fabrications you can get the laid-back look without risking looking sloppy. Nostalgic prints in lightweight voile can be found at Gucci, Maison Kitsune and Saint Laurent. All ideal options for traversing destinations near and far!
When packing for a spring getaway, two pieces will leave you covered in most scenarios. The first is a bomber jacket to wear while in transit, bonus points if yours is water-resistant or reversible (one more option!). Skip the boring Bomber and go for one with fun details like embroidery or a wild print!
The second is a lightweight unlined blazer or jacket. Layer with a knit as outerwear or dress it up with a button-down and trousers should an invitation call for smart dress!
Go-to designers for an unlined jacket? I may be biased but Dries Van Noten, can usually be counted on for a lightweight one that'll give you maximum impact while taking up minimum room in your luggage. Comme Des Garcons and other Japanese fashion houses have also mastered the unlined deconstructed blazer.
6. The Weekender Bag
I saved this for the last so I could actually make it number 6,7,8,9 & 10.
But seriously you're going to need a roomy holdall for all the "What-if's"? you'll inevitably pack! What if you get invited to a black-tie affair while in Paris? You will need the Lanvin tux. Or the more practical... "What if it's chilly every day I'm in Berlin?" You should probably pack a few extra knits.
You'll also need room for all your grooming essentials, sunglasses, reading material and separate portfolio for travel documents etc.
But we'll save that for another time...
When it comes to choosing luggage, I find myself reaching for quiet luxury. I've had one too many bags damaged or opened in transit and I've spent more time than I care to share "discussing" recent purchases with airport security.
Opt for a logo-less bag to minimize issues at customs and avoid making yourself a target to thieves when you arrive at your destination. Choose an unstructured holdall in canvas or leather. This way you can pack it to the brim and jam it an overhead compartment or your friends trunk.
Check out weekender bags from Mr. Porter here...
What's one travel essential you can't do without?
Header image via David Von Poppel for INZURI CO
All other Images c/o Mr. Porter