Simplifying a Traveling Consultant's Wardrobe -- Seeking OneNess with Foo

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Metlin, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    I travel quite a bit--though not every week. Trips are generally 3 to 4 days. My personal preference is to carry two sport jackets and or suits. I don't want to wear a jacket two days in a row. Same goes for shoes. I wear one pair and pack one pair (plus athletic shoes). I find it easier to add variety through shirts, ties, pocket squares than through multiple different pants--or more suits. I find the same suit or jacket looks very different with solid vs. patterned shirts, and the same is true for ties. If you're having difficulty, consider your packing. Take a look at this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...pack-suit.html . When I pack, I fold suit or sport jackets as shown here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWz6a...layer_embedded . They take up very little room.
    I agree with the shoes, more from a shoe longevity perspective, but not necessarily on the jacket. Personally, that is one of the reasons I favor the navy blazer more than anything else, since nobody thinks twice if you wear it every day. The point is, I travel every week, and most times to different places within a given week (the past month has been brutal -- 3-4 cities every week). Therefore, I do not want to overly complicate my wardrobe with patterns. I follow what you do right now, and it is really hard to maintain it every week (i.e. sooner or later, you end up wearing too many patterns or run into problems because you couldn't drop off the dry cleaning etc). To me, I would like to throw in a couple of blue and white shirts, a few gray trousers, black and brown shoes, and grab a jacket and a couple of ties that would work in any combination. Personally, I am hoping that the ties + trouser "shades" will add enough variety. I was hoping to see if folks here had other recommendations for different colors of trousers that would work seamlessly, but like gray is the only answer. And thank you for the FT/YouTube link -- I use something similar to one of the methods linked there for folding my suits.
     


  2. pwy95a

    pwy95a Senior member

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    Metlin, if you have a "FMNO," then PM me. I'm working on a pet project that you might find interesting...
     


  3. Mr. Pink

    Mr. Pink Senior member

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    I was hoping to see if folks here had other recommendations for different colors of trousers that would work seamlessly, but like gray is the only answer.


    If you're wearing a blue blazer, shades of brown from taupe gabardine through light to medium brown flannels, etc. will all work well, and you definitely won't look like a security guard.
     


  4. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    If you're wearing a blue blazer, shades of brown from taupe gabardine through light to medium brown flannels, etc. will all work well, and you definitely won't look like a security guard.

    Even with black shoes?
     


  5. Mr. Pink

    Mr. Pink Senior member

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    Even with black shoes?
    I'd skip the black shoes and just bring brown. Brown will go with both the grey and brown or taupe. Black only works with the grey slacks. Personally, I only wear black shoes with suits.
     


  6. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    I'd skip the black shoes and just bring brown. Brown will go with both the grey and brown or taupe. Black only works with the grey slacks. Personally, I only wear black shoes with suits.

    Yeah, that's what I figured -- and that's something I'm trying to avoid (i.e. "rules" with any of the combination). For instance, if I wore brown shoes the previous day, I will have to wear the same shoe two days in a row with brown or taupe slacks.

    I'm hoping that by simplifying, I wouldn't have to worry about such things (i.e. pick up a shirt, slacks, wear the shoes, and walk out).

    That said, I may consider brown or taupe for summer (past summer, I was unfortunate enough to travel to Orlando and South America -- one greasy hot with tourists and the other quite rather cool).
     


  7. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    If traveling for less than a week ... I make certain most everything coordinates (apart from formal wear). But fellows ... that's as far as I'm going. I'm NOT doing the one trouser ... thingie. That would require sending too much to charity. Moreover, I'd get VERY bored.
     


  8. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    If traveling for less than a week ... I make certain most everything coordinates (apart from formal wear). But fellows ... that's as far as I'm going. I'm NOT doing the one trouser ... thingie. That would require sending too much to charity.
    R. -- unfortunately, I'm pretty much traveling every day of the work week. I wouldn't do the OneTrouser thing, either. However, I would like to buy a few shades of the same color (i.e. gray). Maybe have a couple of light brown, taupe, and navy for variety.
    For my work week, I'd like to introduce variety through sport coats and ties. Funnily enough, the vast majority of my suits are also charcoal/gray. I only have a handful of navy suits.
     


  9. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    R. -- unfortunately, I'm pretty much traveling every day of the work week. I wouldn't do the OneTrouser thing, either. However, I would like to buy a few shades of
    If you are traveling that often ... I not only forgive the OneTrouser idea ... I endorse it.

    BTW, I find grey trousers the most useful. I prefer a medium grey ... but various shades -- from medium light to medium dark -- should work fairly well. Personally I'd avoid too light or too dark (charcoal). That said ... I have a pair of charcoal trousers I very much cotton to.
     


  10. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    If you are traveling that often ... I not only forgive the OneTrouser idea ... I endorse it.
    Hahahaha, why thank you.
    Agree on all counts. I usually stay away from the darker shades since my suits tend to be charcoal or dark gray. I'll probably buy a couple of weights as well, just to allow for some seasonal variation.
     


  11. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    I thought about this some more and I think I may have a good solution for you.

    Charcoal or dark gray trousers. However many pairs, weights, etc. you prefer.
    Blue,White, and Blue&White striped shirts
    1 Navy Sport Coat
    1 Light Gray Sport Coat, possibly with a pattern
    A reversible belt of black and dark brown (though I'm sure two seperate belts would be easy to carry)
    1 pair of black shoes
    1 pair of brown shoes.
    As many ties, socks, pocketsquares, etc. as you prefer.

    It's pretty boring and minimalistic, but it should serve your purposes well. You can always get different sportcoats of navy and light gray, with different patterns, weights, etc.
     


  12. OttoSkadelig

    OttoSkadelig Senior member

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    metlin, you are on the right track... lock down the pants (primarily) and the shirts (secondarily) as your base, and express your personality or give in to your sartorial flights of fancy via your sportcoats, ties, and shoes. it's simply too difficult to try and coordinate otherwise, especially if you are packing in one shot for 3-4 days. believe me, as someone who likes patterns and lives the same life as you do, i have found myself in very sticky situations before i decided to give in and rein in the complexity.

    i said shirts (secondarily) because you can still play around with different weaves and very subtle checks and stripes that give you a bit of variety without necessarily causing clashes. it doesn't have to be all solids. in addition to the blues and whites, also consider pale pink and (if you're feeling up to it) a lilac or two.

    for the pants, personally, i am a big fan of medium gray... on the lighter side of medium. it is, quite simply, the most versatile color and looks terrific with almost every hue of shirt and shoe. charcoal is a cliche and evokes thoughts of orphaned suit pants. i am also very partial to a dark, crisp navy, which is also extremely versatile... provided, as you have noted, you are not carrying around a blue blazer. which, as a person of style, you should not be anyway.
     


  13. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Senior member

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    Good advice, both on the shoes and the trousers.

    I have a couple of wrinkle-free gabardine ones that I wear for travel. I like BB's chinos, but they aren't what I'd wear to work.

    As far as the shoes are concerned, I prefer AE's rubber soled shoes -- they look exactly like leather soled ones, and are very well made.



    I will post some pictures -- perhaps that would be useful. I mostly wear a navy blazer, a couple of gentle herringbone and houndstooth patterns, or dark tweeds.


    Fair enough, wasn't sure if you were leaning enough towards the "casual" end of B/C to warrant cotton trousers.

    While AE isn't exactly my taste in shoes, I understand where you're coming from here too.

    I'd also like to add:

    If you will have more than one pair of nice shoes with you, I highly recommend one pair of slip-ons. You know better than most why you'll want these for the airport.

    Regarding the sport coat: If you're worried about the "security guard" look, don't get a plain navy blazer, get something a little more distinctive.

    While "Regent" is probably the wrong fit for you, something like this for colder months definitely won't have you confused for a rent-a-cop:

    http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=
     


  14. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    With the assortment I suggested you don't have to take a blue blazer. Take a tweed jacket one week, a plaid wool and silk blend the next , etc.

    I would stick with brown shoes.

    If you do take a Blue blazer, avoid black shoes, (avoid brass buttons too) make sure it is perfectly tailored, wear a pink or stripped shirt and a PS and you won't look like a security guard.

    I see many guys traveling a lot with a thrown together Blue blazer, black shoes and grey pant look and for middle aged guys it adds 10-15+ years to their look and makes most guys look very "middle management". Yet I also see guys with a sharply tailored blue jacket, spread collar stripped shirt, pocket square, grey pants and brown shoes looking like interesting people and very stylish. It is all about how you put it together.
     


  15. Metlin

    Metlin Senior member

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    I thought about this some more and I think I may have a good solution for you.

    Charcoal or dark gray trousers. However many pairs, weights, etc. you prefer.
    Blue,White, and Blue&White striped shirts
    1 Navy Sport Coat
    1 Light Gray Sport Coat, possibly with a pattern
    A reversible belt of black and dark brown (though I'm sure two seperate belts would be easy to carry)
    1 pair of black shoes
    1 pair of brown shoes.
    As many ties, socks, pocketsquares, etc. as you prefer.

    It's pretty boring and minimalistic, but it should serve your purposes well. You can always get different sportcoats of navy and light gray, with different patterns, weights, etc.


    Yup, I do some of this already -- and I'm with you on everything except the striped blue/white shirts. Given that at least half my sport coats have a pattern of some kind, I'd prefer the outfit to not look too busy.
     


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