FRIDAY FEATURE: Derek's Travel Guide
Don't worry guys, we haven't forgotten about you. I asked Derek, my husband and travel companion, to give his thoughts on European men's fashion and what you should not leave for any trip abroad without.
Derek mentioned that anytime you travel to Europe, you need to have a good power converter. You can purchase them once you arrive, but why not be prepared?
Another good tool Derek suggests to have abroad are translation books. For both French and Italian, we purchased small dictionaries as well as basic phrase books to help us get by. We'd study up a bit on plane rides between cities to try to get a grasp on a few key words and phrases.
A great travel tip for men that Derek realized while packing for this trip to not skimp on the shoes that you bring. He suggests to cover the four key elements of men's shoes: black, brown, slip-on, and comfy. Some shoes might be able to double-dip, but you'll want at least these bases covered.
Men's Fashion in Europe
Derek is a young professional that likes to look good, so when I asked him about trends he liked Europe, it's no wonder that he either already had something similar to many of these or purchased one while we where abroad. Early on, he noticed many men were cuffing their pants above the ankle rather than opting for shorts. It was just enough to keep cool, but still look very put-together. Derek also saw some great looking short-sleeved button-up shirts, solid color or a fun pattern (often striped). The key with these is definitely fit though because if you get them too large it can end up just looking sloppy. Band collar shirts were popular throughout Italy and France, and again, a slimmer fit was the way to go. Surprisingly, we saw a ton of slip-on shoes for men, which paired with slim, cuffed pants and a well-fitting shirt made a effortless looking put-together ensesmble.
1. Izola Shoe Horn. Derek loves shoe horns and has a small collection of them at our apartment. But this particular one is his favorite. Made of brass with a leather toggle, it holds up over for years and the small size makes it easy to pack. When he couldn't find it after reaching Venice, Derek got very worried it had been taken by pickpocket. Thankfully, it was just hidden away in a crevice of his luggage, safe and sound. I've never seen him so upset though...
2. J. Crew Cotton-Linen Chino Pant, slim fit. These are some of Derek's favorite pants and turned out to be great for travelling. Not only do they hold their fit, but they tended not to wrinkle too badly either. On warmer days, he could always opt to cuff them up a few times. They're casual enough to wear just about anywhere, yet with a tucked-in button-up could also work for a slightly dressier outing as well.
3. Venque Craft Co. Milano Grey Bag. Derek purchased this bag right before the trip to use as his carry-on and loved it. This bag is a great size for travel and has a very comfortable shoulder strap to make toting it around airports look as easy as the bag looks great. Just big enough for Derek's carry-on travel travel needs as well as my puzzle books, this was a win for the both of us.
4. Your Favorite Podcast. In Derek's case, its definitely got to be "Revoltions" by Mike Duncan. He's already listed to all of "The History of Rome" and even has the podcast's t-shirt, so I'd say he's quite the fan. But whether we'd be on a train, plane, or waterbus, it was nice to have his favorite podcast already downloaded, ready to go.
I think it goes without saying that probably the most important part of traveling is who you're traveling with, and I couldn't have found a better companion than Derek. Go to Europe with someone you love. Whether friend, family, or SO, everything is just better with someone you really love.
Thanks for reading our Travel Week Special Edition!