Travel Series, Part 2: You Went There on Business

The hum drum of this Minneapolis bound plane sparked a few thoughts for you traveling business people out there. Nothing profound, mainly observations and a few packing tips.

As I waited in the NY airport, I took notice of what men were wearing. One look stood out: quality denim (think 34 Heritage or Tommy Bahama) with a solid (gray) t-shirt and (navy) sport coat with side vents. A versatile wardrobe item to consider for plane rides is a casual sport coat that can also dub as a jacket in spring and fall. Think soft shouldered, linen blend, or even knit (more to come on that for fall). Something less structured and formal. Wear it with your dress shoes or pack an extra pair of any flat casual shoes. In one form or another, I saw this look everywhere in NY. If a t-shirt and sport coat is outside of your business dress comfort zone, you could achieve the same look with a more polished knit, like Scott Barber or St. Croix mock neck shirts, or even a polo shirt of any kind. Stay neutral or choose from any color in the book, you’ve got options. This outfit is ideal for traveling because of comfort and wearability. I imagine you do a quick change after your meeting and throw on the jeans and t-shirt – but it saves the hassle of packing your sport coat. (If you do decide to to pack your suit or sport coat, it’s not as tricky as you might think, Watch: How to Pack a Suit.)

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Jack Victor sport coat, St. Croix mock, 34 Heritage jean

This may seem obvious, but wrinkle-free clothing is your best friend on trips. At The Foursome, we sell wrinkle-free dress and sport shirts by Enro, Forsyth of Canada, and Overton. All of these are great options for a sharp business look. For pants, I suggest our Riviera “travel pants”. These flat front, wrinkle resistant, machine washable pants are made of a wool/polyester/lycra blend that wears and packs well. They are genuinely comfortable and even have a “Passport Pocket” for personal belongings. I recommend trying a pair of the Riviera five pocket pants in black, a more modern alternative to a regular dress slack. Talk about something that gets good mileage. Easily dress them up or down, wear to a meeting, out to dinner, or on the plane. Enro and Savane pants are also wrinkle resistant and a great basic option for traveling.

If you are an avid business traveler, I am sure you have more tricks up your sleeve than I am aware of. But one thing I realized on my recent trip is that the overhead cabins were too small to fit the average “small” suitcase. Instead of leaving your case in the jetway with a pink tag to pick up after the flight, it seems logical to invest in a smaller bag of sorts and pack light. For an extensive list of more helpful tips than I could ever think up, check out these business travel tips from Executive Travel Magazine.  From recovering lost items in your taxi with a GPS system to RIFD-blocking passport cases to Bedbug reports, it is worth skimming to prevent common mishaps and help make your travels a breeze.

A few extras you might invest in to keep your suitcase clean and organized:

  • Leather Tie Case – Keeps your silk attire flat and avoids unnecessary crumples
  • Leather Dopp kit + manicure set in a compact case to tidy your tips and keep your hands manly
  • A cloth drawstring bag for dirty clothes along the way
  • Extra plastic bags to pack your shoes in
  • A spare pair of Eyebob or Skoji reading glasses and a case to keep them in tact

Lastly, here’s a great song about a guy who went there on business…Watch: Sequestered in Memphis, The Hold Steady

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Travel Series, Part 1: Vacation Fly Away

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Do you ever pity your suitcase? Poor thing. You jam it full and sit on it, ooching the zipper shut and weighing it 9 times before the scale reaches not one ounce less than 50lbs, all the while hoping it does not split at the seams en route. Needless to say, practical packing is a great skill to acquire. So lets explore some space saving, travel friendly, versatile vacation wear to bring on your next getaway.

We should adopt a travel appropriate principle: Less is more. Wearing things twice is no faux pas, though I am not necessarily suggesting wearing the exact same outfit twice. So be creative in pairing different tops with bottoms and creating various looks with the same elements. Roll up your sleeves and loosen a few buttons for lunch and then tighten up the same shirt and throw on a soft shouldered sportcoat for dinner the next night.

My top Tommy Bahama Picks:

1. Pocket T-shirt – Pick a color, any color. Wear them alone or layered

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2. Flipster 1/4 Zip– Perfect for traveling. Two tops for the space of one. A great item to wear on the plane.

3. Linen Suit – Buy the coat and pants separate or the whole shebang. Pair the coat with denim or colored chinos for a different look. You’ll fit in at any restaurant in this perfect cross between casual and formal.

4. Linen Plaid Shorts in Haze – Breathable, sophisticated, casual. Buy linen in every shape and form.

Tommy_TR8847_Birch_Main

5. Five pocket pants in Light Sand- Half linen and cotton, textural, versatile, casual. New this season!

6. Canvas Fold-out Dopp Kit – Keep your toiletries contained and organized in your suitcase

Fashion for the Travel Man

1. Eyebobs Reading Glasses- Current, funky, and come with a durable travel case. Freshen your look.

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2. Robert Graham Shirts – Your after 9 shirt, unbutton the top two and show off the details and fashion.

3. St. Croix Cotton Pullover – A classic sweater with a beautiful color palette to choose from.

4. 34 Heritage Denim – Stretch, comfort, and slimming effects, the best pants to wear on the plane.

5. Southern Tide – The Skipjack Polo is the best, most comfortable classic polo ever made. This fun, colorful brand is new at The Foursome this spring and flying off the shelves.

Golfwear for the Course

1. Bobby Jones Full Zip Plaid Nylon Jacket – So light weight it could fit in your pocket. Perfect for travel, course, and club.

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Available in-store only.

2. Bobby Jones Polo- Mini stripe with solid contrasting collar. Thin and lightweight.

3. Cutter & Buck Polos – Thinner than paper, your skin and suitcase will thank you.

Additional Packing Tips

  • Check the 7-day forecast before you pack
  • Roll your clothes, it limits wrinkles and saves space
  • Don’t pack for the worst scenario, pack for the best
  • Wear your thickest layer on the plane rather than packing it
  • Pack just enough toiletries to get you started and buy the rest when you get there
  • Don’t weigh yourself down with extra shoe options
  • Check your suitcase weight before you leave the house

Healthy Travel Snacks

  • Hard boiled eggs = compact protein
  • Dried fruit and nut mix = salty and sweet pick-me-up
  • Rice cakes = light weight and low calorie
  • Apple = keep the doctor away
  • Green tea bags = energy boost along the way

May your packing be light, your journey adventurous, and your vacation as free as the wind. Soak up the sun and Bon Voyage!

– By Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome

Accessories Make A Statement

Accessories are often essential items but are not limited by function. They help tell your fashion story, which does not have to be eccentric but is hopefully not boring. Some accessories are worth spending money on. For example, I justify spending a little extra dough on my spectacles because I wear them everyday and they are one of the first things people notice on me. (I love scrolling through our reading glass spinner on my way through the store. Did you know Eyebob frames can have prescriptions put in them!)

Tommy Bahama fall jacket layered with Hart Schaffner Marx vest, vintage Stormy Kromer hat, and Lauer gloves.

Accessories might strike some as feminine. But men’s fashion has caught onto a lot of what women have been enjoying for years. Take stretch denim for example. At The Foursome, we have a hard time keeping our beloved 34 Heritage denim fully stocked because it literally flies out the door. These “stretch” jeans are slimming and comfortable, yet are made to fit men well with extra height in the back waistline and the right amount of room everywhere else. Or what about socks? (I used to collect socks from my favorite Japanese line, so I am aware of the uniqueness a pair can offer your outfit.) Between Marcoliani and St. Croix and SmartWool, men are not left out in the cold when it comes to sock fashion. Socks are no longer just essential, they make a statement.

Marcoliani Italian socks pair well with Allen Edmonds shoes

Of the many available accessories for men, scarves are on my radar these days. Without looking at statistics, I can say from observation that scarves are a hot item. Women and men are wearing them every season of the year, they range from cotton to wool to silk and their price range is just as far reaching. A scarf adds color, pattern, personality. Winter is the obvious time to grab a few new ones to spice up your collection or replace the oldies.

While dressing mannequins a few months ago, I happened to walk past an informal buying meeting with Seaward & Stearn. In addition to eye-catching ties with flair and color, I spied a collection of scarves with as much fun woven into them as you would expect from this London based company. This week I noticed their arrival at The Foursome when I first came into work. I unfolded them and put them on display immediately. Seeing a folded pile of these beauties does not do them justice, varied weaves from front to back with reverse color and a mixtures of polka dots and stripes. They feel exquisite and look sophisticated. A truly special gift for yourself or someone important.

Seaward and Stern scarves

  – Words and Photos by Beth Dougherty, Inspiration and Display Coordinator at The Foursome