The perfect travel clothes are light, soft and comfortable. Almost like wearing a silken cloud or a fluffy marshmallow, that you might float off to your destination in. The trouble with clothes that imitate clouds and marshmallows is that they tend to look frumpy, billowy and sloppy. That’s why the our picks below are light, soft, comfortable and stylish.
But the list of requirements doesn’t end there. Because you will be sat down for long periods of time, rustling around in your clothes and you may even pack them away (sometimes haphazardly) into your travel bag, this makes crease-resistant material equally important. To avoid looking like a ball of scrunched up paper, you need to be wearing wool, polyester or crease-resistant suits (if going for office wear). Whatever you do, stay well clear of linen.
There are a few trends happening right now that are aiding in your quest to travel smart and comfortable. The first is the lax suit trousers. In line with the general relaxation of suits, designers are giving pants elasticated waistbands and drawstrings, making them dangerously comfortable and still super structured and sharp. Also, thanks to a streetwear and high-fashion push towards soft fleece material, like track pants and corduroy, the modern wardrobe is looking more and more set up for travel.
So, whether you are heading out on a long train journey, hopping on an intercontinental flight or just dropping the kids off at school, our selection of stylish travel garments has you covered for all eventualities.
1. Champion Corduroy Straight Hem Pants
A pair of cool, comfortable, pants is the bedrock of all good travel outfits. You will likely be sitting on them for a long time, so comfort is king. It’s hard to beat this pair of Champion pants on style, softness and value for money. They come in a modern straight leg and straight hem cut and the 85 percent cotton means you’ll quickly forget you’re wearing them.
2. Howlin’ Chunky Cable Knit Jumper
Despite the luxurious feel of the cable-knit virgin wool and its undeniably smoothness to the touch, knitwear don’t have to always be curling up on the couch and hiding from the world. Paired with some smart shoes, quality pants and an impeccable jacket, knitwear can help nail a smart-casual look. For travelling, this particular Howlin’ jumper has flexibility between casual and dressy, depending on your needs, but most of all, it will be extremely cosy.
3. Frame Checked Flannel Shirt
The flannel shirt is a perfect choice for travel. It doesn’t crease, it’s soft, comfortable and ticks the style box too. This shirt from Frame might look like a flannel shirt, but it actually isn’t. It is made from ultra-lightweight cotton that imitates flannel. This makes the shirt even more suited to travel in since its lighter than flannel. Plus the tonal-blue and ivory check pattern is impossibly easy to style.
4. Barena Tapered Wool Drawstring Trousers
Barena is a wonderful brand from Veneto, a large Italian region also home to Venice. These navy stretch-virgin wool trousers are inspired by the workwear of the locals to that region. They come in a more relaxed cut that traditional suit trousers, with a gentle taper, a dropped seat and then we have the real clincher, that elasticated waistband. These trousers destroy the negative preconceptions associated to the elasticated waistband (people who have given up on life) and instead are for people who need pinpoint Italian style in their jet-set lifestyle. The wool construction makes them crease resistant, too.
5. Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Dress Shirt
This non-iron travel shirt is the perfect solution to your formal/office wear travelling woes. We all know the crinkling havoc that a day’s travelling can inflict on a shirt. When a hectic business schedule includes hopping from plane to train to taxi to boardroom, then repeat, you need a shirt that can handle the stress thrown at it. Thanks to this Brooks Brothers American-grown Supima® cotton broadcloth, the fabric has stretch and is specially treated to resist wrinkles. That’s one less thing to think about.
6. Everlane Puffer Jacket
As well as being super on-trend at the moment, thanks to the introduction of outdoor wear/hiking apparel to fashion circles, puffer jackets make a perfect travel companion. They are lightweight, waterproof, keep you warm and they can be squashed down to next to nothing if they need to be stowed away in a small space. This model by Everlane is constructed of recycled polyester, from 12 renewed plastic bottles and is fully reversible.
7. Paul Smith: A Suit to Travel in
Many frequent travellers have to wear a suit, which can be a nightmare for creasing since material is prone to it. However, the high-twist wool yarns on this slim-fit Paul Smith travel suit are designed so that the material’s tension springs back into its original shape. In a bid to prove this, the brand gave the suits to Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock to perform his moves while wearing one. You can see the video here, and purchase the suit below.
8. New Balance 574 Sneakers
New Balance are some of the most comfortable sneakers on the market. It is half the reason they’ve risen to prominence and achieved an almost cult-like status. Sure, their perennial rolling mill of collaborations might help, but the ubiquitous desire for comfort is a big pull. These simply designed, grey trainers feel like you are walking on pillows, making them the ideal choice for travelling. They come with a padded collar for extra comfort and are easily slipped on and off, great for those long haul flights where you need to let your feet roam free a bit.
9. Tod’s Carrarmato Leather Penny Loafers
If you need to travel smart and stylish, you don’t want to find yourself wearing derby’s or brogues every week; your feet will come to loathe you. So there’s only really two options for smart leather formal shoes: chelsea boots and loafers. These impeccable penny loafers by revered shoemakers Tod’s are perfect for ease-of-wear and comfort. They shouldn’t take too long to break in and get to peak comfort. They’re easily slipped on and off, so sit back and enjoy your trip in style.
10. Penfield Hynes Fleece
Another example of the convergence of current trends and travel clothes. The Penfield fleece plays on the outdoor-wear movement and the very fashionable use of fleece in blocked vibrant colors. Fleeces are so incredibly soft, but they’re also lightweight and crease resistant making them an excellent travel companion. It can act as a perfect temperature regulator for when the plane cabin is either freezing cold or boiling hot (the only two temperatures that seem to be available onboard).
11. Urban Outfitters Keith Haring Graphic Hoodie
What would a travel clothes round up be without the mother of all travel items: the hoodie. It is often associated with celebrities attempting to hide their worn out faces off the back of long flights from paparazzi. But, we can all feel pretty groggy after a long trip, so this cool Keith Haring-designed hoodie can help you channel that celebrity sass. That being said, if you style it with some smart trousers, a long over coat and some clean shoes, the humble hoodie can add some real casual panache to a respectable (yet casual) outfit.