Always pack more shirts than you need. Dark solid-coloured
shirts can look sophisticated in shades of blue or brown but avoid
black unless you are planning on impressing the locals
with “Sweet Caroline” at the local karaoke
bar. Always pack a couple of sweaters, a fine gauge merino
crew as an underpinning piece to pair with a jacket and a cashmere
cable knit to wear over the shoulders.
Take a tie; a deep blue or mink grey silk-knitted tie will
complement all of your shirts and takes up next to no space. Ditto
for pocket squares. Avoid cravats, those pre-folded mini-scarves
that are worn by provincial antique dealers at village fetes, but
you could be lured by the romance of a proper neckerchief in fine
cotton. Who hasn’t watched To Catch a
Thief, envied Cary Grant’s red spotted scarf and been
tempted to emulate? But be warned, there is only a fine line
between Riviera chic and Howard’s Way.
If you need a suit, pack something that also works separately,
such as a glen check or a blue tropical worsted. Take the matching
waistcoat or be inspired by Anthony Eden’s summer wardrobe with a
contrasting white linen vest. Select cloths that either hold a good
shape or crumple elegantly. The better Italian mills have
introduced some excellent wool/silk/linen blends that are light in
weight but drape beautifully. Seersucker, the thin puckered fabric,
is a boon to the elegant traveller, especially in tonal shades of
dark blue. If you are tempted to indulge in the current vogue for a
wider-leg trouser, this is a good place to start. Try a pair in a
lightweight wool or heavy linen. If you are buying your linen
trousers off-the-peg, be sure to avoid the models that are lined;
they are harder to press and wear warm. Self-supporting trousers
with side-tabs avoid the need for a belt and are clean and
uncluttered, but if you need to pack a belt, consider neutral
coloured webbing that avoids matching issues with shoes.
The right shoes are important. An unlined loafer in reverse calf
will complement most looks and a pair of classic canvas tennis
shoes are a good casual choice. If you own a pair of
two-tone spectator shoes, now is the time to
wear them. But approach with caution and keep the outfit
Your wash bag is a private matter but I would suggest keeping
the following items in it for
travel; Sudocrem (yes, the nappy rash cream) is
a very effective anti-perspirant that can also be used on sunburn
and minor cuts. Clarin’s Eau Dynamisante is a
sophisticated unisex fragrance that can be worn in the sun and has
been reported to keep mosquitoes at bay.
A Janie dry-cleaning stick removes small stains.
And keep a pair of silk knot cufflinks for when you discover your
last clean shirt has double-cuffs.