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.
Paul Smith London
Quintessentially British, Paul Smith London retains the hallmarks of sophistication with the Navy Soho Wool Suit. In pure wool, the two-piece is crease-resistant, no synthetic fabrics. It proved indestructible when Olympic gymnast Matt Whitlock performed a gruelling routine in London, suit and all, making it one of the best travel suits available.
A popping navy blue and business-slim fit make SH‘s travel suit a surefire win when it comes to travel suits. Did we mention it’s also anti-pilling and stretch-friendly? All thanks to a small percentage of elastane.
In fashionable smoke-grey, Officine Generale retains its minimalist ethos with a pared-back version of the travel suit. Cut in a slim shape – that still feels comfy due to lightweight wool-flannel fabric – it’s crease-resistant thanks to Loro Piana-sourced fibre.
A ‘new wool’ was made for the Boss Travel Line suit: superbly narrow and subtly mottled design, the buttons in a contrasting colour create fashion-guy accents. Function comes with a place inside the jacket for attaching smartphone earphones. This is one of the best travel suits on the market.
J. Crew‘s signature Ludlow jacket and trousers take on a specially woven three-ply wool from Italy’s Lanificio di Tollegno mill to make the Traveler suit. The yarns are highly twisted, giving them an elasticity that resists rumpling and creasing. And extra interior pockets give you a handy place to stow your travels odd-bits.
In true-Swedish style, Acne Studios‘ Jack Travel blazer is deregulated office-to-aeroplane tailoring. The unstructured cut is perfect for the modern traveller, made from flexible wool-piqué to stop wrinkles and creasing; on the body and in your carry on. Double win.
The Sterling suit is part of Burberry London‘s Travel Tailoring collection. Lightweight and modern, the suit canvassing and natural fabrics move with the body and minimise creasing. The subtle check adds an edge to a typical two-piece to this travel suit too.
Not foregoing any business suit refineries, the Saunders suit boasts a 2 button closure, front pocket flaps and pocket welt at the chest, as well as notch lapels and a lightly padded shoulder. Made from superfine merino wool, it’s crease-resistant and sturdy enough to hold form, without weighing the traveller down.
Equipped with stretchy, water-resistant fabric and reflective trims, The Commuter suit is ideal for busy days dashing to and from the office (and taxi cab). Crease-resistant, water-resistant, stretchy, and pure wool: practically stylish.
Named after the street where London’s Thom Sweeney is found, the Weighhouse three-piece suit – non‑crease navy tailoring – houses open‑weave high-twist wool milled by Vitale Barberis. Super luxe and definitely worth the cost.
Canali‘s travel suit boasts traditional detailing and a classic fit. Its pure wool constuction sees creases fall away before they form. But the colour – egg-blue – is very on-trend, lending you a luxury finish that’s seriously styling, on the plane and in the office. Talk about an impressive crease-resistant travel suit.