London is known as one of the fashion capitals in the world and it’s easy to see why, as most of the biggest fashion brands have a headquarters in the city. And, of course, who could forget London Fashion Week, one of the most prominent events in the city’s calendar?
This look of fashion is personified throughout the very people who thread their way across the city, dash on the tube and stalk in and out of buildings for important meetings. Of course it’s important to look smart and sophisticated when doing all of this, after all, there is a city’s reputation to uphold. But, it can be difficult to maintain this fashionable exterior in the midst of winter, when everything in your body is telling you to put on more layers.
Not only is the city known as being a one-stop attraction for a city break, but London is also a hub for short business trips. If you’re a man, this more than likely means that you’ll need to pack a suit, potentially two if your trip is going to be more than one day. So how best to pack for this, without looking bunchy but still being able to stay warm against the fierce cold temperatures?
First off, you might want to check if the hotel you’re staying in has a laundry service that will either press or steam your suit. If it doesn’t then you’ll also want to check if you can have an iron and ironing board sent to your room. You’re in luck with The Shaftesbury Paddington Hotel London as both facilities are available to you here, including a full laundry and dry cleaning service.
Travel clothes for the well-dressed man who’s on holiday
If you’re a man who takes pride in his appearance then it probably goes without saying that you’re excited about visiting London for two reasons: one, it’s a fashionable place, full of fashionable people and you think you’ll blend in well and two, there are a tonne of shops for you to get involved with some serious shopping.
However, before you get to London, you’re going to need to think seriously about what kind of clothes you’re going to bring with you that aren’t only fashionable but are functional too.
The first thing you’ll want to do is take care of the layers closest to your skin, Real Men Real Style recommends that you pick athletic base-layers for cold weather than are made from spandex material. A really good thing for you to buy are running leggings from Under Armour, they’re light, tight and you won’t be able to see them under your clothes.
You’ll want to look at Under Armour ColdGear, as in these ranges you can buy tops that are long-sleeved or short-sleeved and of course the leggings that we mentioned previously. These garments are more often used for working out or training, but they’ll be invaluable to you if you’re going to be spending all day outside in the cold – think open bus tour!
Long-sleeved shirts are great on top of these HeatGear garments (particularly if you put dark on top of dark and light on top of light) as the shirt will slide on over the Under Armour like a second skin.
To top off the look, a wool-knitted jumper is a timeless and stylish classic that you can wear just about anywhere from a museum to a restaurant, or a meeting to a cool bar. Don’t forget that wool, in general, is great to keep warm but it also looks good in winter. Try combining your jumper with a wool jacket or large coat and even some wool trousers to keep your look sharp but your body warm.
If you think you can pull it off, a tweed coat is a step above wool and it can look exceptionally smart if worn the right way. If worn the wrong way it can make you look like you’re going off on a hunt, so although you want to be warm, you don’t want to look ridiculous, approach tweed with caution.
Neither of these seeming like you? Barbour has an excellent range of men’s coats that are warm, waterproof and fashionable, they’re also potentially more accessible than wool or tweed.
And there you have it, very simply, effective layers that don’t make you look like a sausage roll when you’re traversing the fashionable streets of London.
Suitable clothes for the man who travels for work to London in winter
All of what has been mentioned above will work underneath a suit, the Under Armour tops and leggings will be great underneath shirts and light trousers and jackets. However, if you’re going to be travelling to and staying in an office with central heating all day, you might want to think about swapping the Under Armour for a heavier jacket and overcoat combination.
For wearing over a suit, try a double-breasted camel coat from AMI, this French brand knows how fashionable men need to look in the winter and it has the look as well as the functionality that you’ll need from a staple piece of your wardrobe this season.
If you’d like to go waterproof and wander off the beaten track of wardrobes then we recommend a Stutterheim Raincoat. This brand has become a stand out in the winter fashion world, blending a fisherman look with classic Mod style. They look great, feel warm and the best bit is they completely keep the rain off thanks to a hood. Interestingly, they come in a range of colours, depending on how brave you are you might prefer a charcoal grey or a sun-bright yellow.
When you’re travelling, a good waterproof or thick coat will seriously limit the amount of luggage you need to bring with you. Take care of that layer and your Under Armour layer and the rest of it will pretty much take care of itself.
Shoes and other accessories
Whether you’re going for a meeting or walking around for a weekend holiday, good, comfortable shoes are an absolute must, particularly in the winter.
You should plan to pack two pairs, one that you think you can wear the whole time and one just in case it all goes horribly wrong with the first pair and you need a spare. Try to find a good quality pair of brogues or leather boots, even if you’re going to be travelling for leisure and not for work. These kinds of shoes are literally built against the cold and a decent pair will look fashionable with just about anything.
Invest in a good hat, as we know, between 10 – 20 per cent of your body heat is lost through your head, make sure you insulate your natural furnace with a decent hat. Try something woolly, or if you’re feeling adventurous with your fashion we recommend a deerstalker or a faux-fur Ushanka, which is native to Russia. If it keeps a Russian’s head warm in winter then it can certainly do the same for you when you’re travelling around London.
Leather gloves are a great final touch to an outfit, they are sure to keep you warm the whole way to your fingertips, but they’re also a real touch of class when it comes to winter style. For an extra bit of oomph, pick up a pair of Dents gloves. The company has been making them since 1777 and even has a range of Fleming and James Bond gloves as seen in Spectre, the most recent James Bond film.
The brand’s range of gloves aren’t just impeccably stylish, they’re also useful as many pairs are marketed as driving gloves, which promotes safety at the wheel in case of an icy journey in and out of the city this winter.