What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts go so fast. Fashion is instant language. – Miuccia Prada
Travelling does not differ that much from normal life, we also interact with each other, we meet new people and are a part of a specific society. It is during travel when we represent not only ourselves but also the culture and the country we come from. Therefore it is important to give of ourselves what we have best. The first impression we make will impinge on how people would perceive us in the long run. And I suppose that everyone wants to be considered a well groomed, classy person that keeps up the good standards. So, if we are going to treat our journeys as just another part of our lives, why shouldn’t we look as good as on any other day?
It’s 21st century, so style does not exclude comfort. Everything is a matter of selection of a proper fabric, its breathing properties and the cut or shape.
It is my opinion that you can look awesome and stylish while travelling. Being clean and well groomed has nothing to do with the fact that we are driving through the Europe with a suitcase or visiting South-East Asia with a backpack. If you want to look well, you’ll always find a way.
Style and class consist of few elements, which are universal even on a trip. You should only take care of these few things and your looks would change. A lot.
- Take care of your luggage
Luggage is like your business card. Suitcases that are dirty, cracked and worn-out to the limits do not look good and definitely have nothing in common with travelling with class. Therefore you should get a decent, robust and simply pretty suitcase. The times when “robust” and “pretty” contradicted each other are over. Today you can have both. While choosing the right suitcase you should consider few aspects. First of all – the size. Choosing the right size of your suitcase depends on where and for how long you are going to be away. If it’s only a weekend or a few days out of the city, a medium size suitcase or so-called cabin suitcase should be enough. If you are aiming for a longer stay, I would choose a large luggage.
Another element you should focus on is the material, which the suitcase is made of. Usually the light, polycarbonate (PC) suitcases prove most useful, because they are very resistant to any shocks, cracks or scratches. Let’s not pull wool over our eyes – at the airport the luggage is thrown here and there, so if your suitcase is not really robust, you’d have to buy another one after your first flight. Or a few flights if you are lucky. Another advantage of the polycarbonate suitcases is their weight (especially important on flights as we have to deduct the weight of the suitcase from the luggage limit).
I do not recommend suitcases made of fabric, because they get dirty more quickly, they are not waterproof etc. Just to illustrate the difference – you only have to wipe the PC suitcase with a wet cloth and it looks like a brand new one.
We should additionally look for suitcases with retractable handle and wheels that rotate 360-degrees around, because it really makes moving and walking with it much easier, as we don’t have to pull it behind us (large luggage might get really bothersome after a while).
I always choose suitcases that have a combination lock. It definitely is a useful security measure and puts a spoke in the wheel of those who would want to ransack our stuff.
The color is very important too. If you fly often, so you often give your luggage away, I would really dissuade you from buying light-colored suitcases. While travelling by car or train you can supervise where your luggage is. At airports, on the contrary, you shall expect that your luggage would be transported on a dirty conveyor belt, cart or tossed by hands in dirty gloves. In brief, after only one flight your beautiful white suitcase would look more like an example of the darkest shade of despair.
I had to replace my set of suitcases before my autumn excursions and I chose the new autumn collection of WITTCHEN. They are elegant and in stylish colors of burgundy, navy blue or bottle-green. They are very resistant to dirt and in addition they look trendy and fashionable regardless of the style I choose for my trip.
- Classic bag that can replace your hand luggage
For shorter trips or weekend sallies you generally don’t need two pieces of luggage. I usually have one medium-sized registered piece of luggage. If I go somewhere in autumn or in winter, I simply cannot fit my stuff to smaller, so-called cabin, ones, because warm clothes, like sweaters, take much more space than, for example, summer dresses.
Apart from the suitcase I usually take only a handbag and usually I choose a larger and more capacious one, in which I could easily fit my: documents, vanity bag, wallet, ebook reader, bottle of water and sunglasses. Such handbag can easily become my hand luggage and it always looks good and classy. Not to mention that is also a trendy addition that completes even the simplest style. Moreover, it is easier to wander the airport with a handbag than to drag a small suitcase.
Logistics are also important. If we are planning flights around Europe, we usually choose affordable cheap airlines, which are usually crowded. And there is always a struggle, who would jam the suitcase in the overhead bin or under a seat first. I, on the other hand, don’t worry about this, as I just put my small handbag under the seat in front of me. Problem solved.
- Clean and neat look
Whether I go on a long travel or only on a short trip, I always take special care to wash my hair before, to wear clean shoes and clothes and that my nails and hands were well cared for. If make-up is a must (I often travel without a single drop of make-up) it shall be light, we don’t have to use tons of concealers or foundations or do a face contour. If we like ourselves in a make-up, let it emphasize our natural features, not hide our face, because after a few hours of sitting in an often cramped and closed space, the make-up would not look fresh. Not to mention the fact that our skin would suffer as well. So, we should just be beautifully groomed and cared for, because this is the base for style and class. Even the longest journey is not an excuse to let ourselves go. Remember that your appearance is like your business card and you can deduce lots about a person just from it.
- Choose classic clothes
Classic always proves well and there is no chance not to look stylish wearing classic clothes. While on travel I choose simple, comfortable cuts and breathable fabrics – cotton, wool and those clothes I know, that I would look good in and feel comfortable too. Usually I favor pants in dark colors, light colored tops and soft sweaters. Well, the classic combination of denim trousers and white T-shirt goes with everything. Depends on the type of the journey you can only add elegant or sport shoes and some additions like jewelry to change a simple set into a fashionable one. In autumn or winter I choose soft sweaters. If I take a coat with me, I always put it on, because it creases too much in the suitcase. If there is a luggage limit, for example when I’m flying, I put on the heaviest sweater and the heaviest shoes, like booties or jodhpur boots, so that my suitcase was lighter. I sometimes wear high heels on a business trip but always those that are comfortable! Just a small tip for the ladies travelling in high heels – on the plane I take them off and put soft socks on. It’s enough to look around during a long flight – almost no one has the shoes on, because a flight lasting many hours and altitude changes make the legs swell up, so it is better to remove your shoes for the flight.
- Perfumes – don’t overdo it, you’re not alone!
Definitely too many people put too much essence and forget that the means of transportation like planes or trains are closed spaces, so large concentration of perfumes might be bothersome for the people around. Let’s remember that we are not alone there and the key to the class is respect for others and giving it a thought if we are not troubling others with our presence. So if we overdo the perfumes or the cologne, this scent will last for hours and might be annoying for the passengers sitting next to us. Perfumes shall be used only to sweep someone sitting or standing close to us with an intriguing smell. “Less is more” proves right also in this situation. While travelling we should use a delicate body mist instead of heavy perfumes. It would be more subtle and less overwhelming for the others. Style is class and delicacy.
- Think about stylish accessories
I love gadgets and stylish additions, because they make the style alive and true. During travel there are a lot of possibilities to play with interesting additions that complete the travelling stylization. Let’s begin with spectacle cases – we shall choose those made of hard materials, to protect our favourite frames. Wallet and phone cases can be trendy and complement the rest of the clothes and additions too. If you’re not travelling with a backpack, like for example to India, where lots of travelers, in fear of a theft, sew inner money pockets in, I don’t see any problems to take a nice looking wallet with you. The rule is simple: in modern world you can fall prey to a theft anywhere, regardless of your destination, so you just have to be careful, watch your documents and never leave open bags or abandon your luggage. I’ve been travelling for 15 years, I’ve visited over 75 countries and nothing was NEVER stolen from me.
My most favorite gadget for autumn trips is document and credit card case, in a beautiful dark violet color with a trendy animal design (you can find it HERE). Such a small thing but it helps to keep order in the purse with class.
- Jewellery and watch that can change the whole style
Even while travelling you can jazz up your appearance with simple additions like jewelry or classy watch. I always travel wearing earrings, I also never take off my necklace (which I wear on the daily basis) or rings. I never part with my watch as well, because time is extremely important on any trip. Controlling if I am going to be in time for another flight or train is, at least, the key aspect ;) I’ve once heard a statement that it is pointless to wear jewelry on travel but let me just ask… why? I wear jewelry every day, it’s a part of my style, expression of my personality, so why shall I take it off for the trips? Moreover, if it’s expensive or has a lot of personal value to me, it is easier and much safer to put it on me than to keep it in a pouch in the main luggage, which can, for example, go missing.
- Pocket cosmetics – moistening & refreshment
All these years of travelling to various places have taught me one thing – less is more. Moreover, versatility is the key to doing trips in a stylish way. In the old days I carried lots of needless cosmetics, which I never used during my journeys but it seemed to me that I would need them for sure. Finally, I began eliminating them piece by piece and now, regardless of the destination and the mean of transport, I always have with me a proven set of mini cosmetics, that allow me to refresh on the road quickly and look well. I have two general principles: the travel cosmetics shall refresh and moisturize. I always throw mini toothpaste and a mini toothbrush to my vanity bag – these are inarguably the most important elements, but I add also a mini face cream but I use it as a hand cream as well. In planes and coaches, when the air conditioning is on, the air is very dry, so even a little bit of cream after a long journey can work miracles. I also have a moisturizing lip balm. And on the top of that – a mini body mist or in long flights – spray thermal water. With such a beauty kit I can easily and quickly neaten myself even after a long-lasting journey.
- Stuff in order
While travelling we always take something out, then put the stuff back in the bags, show them in customs and other checks, so if we just slapdash jam our things in our bag or backpack, we will torment ourselves every time while taking them out or putting them back. And we would also annoy the inspectors and other passengers, if while looking for passport or ID card, we blocked the line for a longer while. Chaos has nothing to do with class and the best way to avoid it is good organization. The most frequently used documents – passport, ID card or credit card – are best to be kept in a special document holder. This way we will be able to reach them any time we want. Headphones and phone charger like to get tangled, so those are the next things that shall be kept in a separate case or bag. I never put cosmetics unpacked to my purse or handbag, because there is always a risk that they will spill and stain other things. I always keep them in a small bag or, when flying, in a lockable plastic bag, which is obligatory, otherwise you would not be able to carry any of your liquid cosmetics in your hand luggage on board.
And what are your tricks for stylish travelling?