The role of the suit is changing. Because the modern man’s job description has changed. From corporate honchos to creative agents to free-to-roam freelancers, white-collars are becoming less desk-bound and require tailoring that meets the needs of a transient lifestyle, balancing professionalism and playtime.
This is why suits that are flexible, functional and far from uniform are exploding onto the menswear market this season. You’ll know them as ‘commuter’ or ‘performance’ suits. But in essence, they’re travel suits: aesthetically suitable for work trips but with the comforts and style of leisure time.
Running straight from a plane to a meeting? Or into the boardroom for a presentation after a swift taxi commute? Having a suit that looks fresh – sans crease and crumple, is vital in the working world. Ironing out the crinkles, here are the 21 best travel suits for men this season.
What To Consider When Buying Travel Suits:
From traditional pure wool suits to wool-piqué blazers to wool-flannel two-pieces, natural fibres take on new meaning with the travel suit. But not everyone’s an all-natural performer. And with the rise in activewear, manmade fabric mixes offer provide certain travel comforts – a contemporary finish and superior stretch to help take the strain of commuting.
This looks like strong shine nylon suits with a part-mesh lining and zip pockets: a utility activeness playing up a boring business suit. And for summer, cotton-mix fabrics feature strongly breezing through in lightweight, airy construction.
Other big fabric mixes include wool-linen for a vintage feel, worsted high-twist wool mohair for a textural finish and high-performance, crease-resistant silk – for the gent who’s both luxurious and active at heart.
Being a work suit, the colour palette of the travel suit doesn’t shift much from neutrals: blue, black and grey. But the tone and shade (light and dark) of each colour does. Lighter colours – think pastels, tend to be more day-time and summer-appropriate, giving-off an easiness that rides well with the travel suit.
Navy and charcoal fit well with the pure wool and coarser hopsack cloth. The darker shades giving a formal finish to the hardy suit jacket and trouser, kept corporate office-ready or more creative with a thick chalk-stripe or a brazen windowpane check.
The fall back colour this season is the mid-to-dark blues – Prussian, inky, and duck-egg – creating standard masculine tones without crucifying contemporary corporate aesthetics.
The comfortable, unstructured elements of men’s suiting this season is served up strong. While corporate cues – tailored separates and minimal details – remain in place, the suit’s mechanics get played around with a bit for the travel suit
Cardigan-esque jackets that are soft in the shoulder (void of shoulder/chest padding) fit like a dream, over light wool trousers with front-creases and pleats, but with elasticated waist band for loungewear comfort. Far from ‘formal’, these suits give a tailored impression.
The other side of the spectrum, sturdier jackets in imperial double-breast cuts still have a place. The hopsack jacket – coarser weave of fabric, adds to hardiness of travel suits, but without too many structural mechanisms which take away the ease of crease-free separates.
Familiarity with dress-codes and sartorial expectations (be it, work or a private event) will help you navigate the ‘hard’ versus ‘soft’ suit options available in the travel suit market. And then apply the travel suit checklist – fabric, colour, fit – to the specific man-about-town that you are. It’s all about travelling easy, and well.