Winter travel is all about breaking up our long Canadian winter with a getaway somewhere warm, but even if Canadian Spring is still a long ways off the start of the spring season elsewhere in the world marks the beginning of the travel season. Many travellers use the spring to cash in some of those vacation days for April in Paris, Easter in Rome or a trip to NYC. Unlike vacations, travel is about finding new experiences and getting to know someplace new. Whether you’re a marathon museum visitor, wine taster, or amateur photographer, we’ve got some tips and products to help you enjoy your adventures while staying stylish.
Pro-tip #1: Sensible shoes
Wear shoes you know you’re going to be able to walk a lot in, even if you don’t expect to do a lot of walking. Remember, you CAN pack more than more pair of shoes, so don’t feel like you have to find one shoe that does EVERYTHING. Even if a tall black boot that’s warm but also good for hiking but also a sandal but also a high heel DOES exist, it will probably cost an arm and a leg. Sensible doesn’t have to be the opposite of stylish. Pick something simple and remember that the best look is the blister-free look.
For a good walking shoe, we like Josef Seibel’s Caspian shoe. It comes in a few fun colours as well as basic grey and black and has a removable cushioning insole, so if you wear orthotics (don’t even think about leaving them behind if you do) you can pop them in. the cushy insoles will help reduce fatigue while walking.
Remember, break your shoes in before you leave, or put band-aids on your heels before you get blisters and spare yourself some pain. Allow yourself time to rest between big walking days just like you would if you’d been hiking. Have yourself a cuppa. Smell the roses.
Pro-tip #2: Coordinate
You don’t have to choose one single colour to wear while you’re travelling, no matter how light you want to pack. Instead decide what item in your ensemble is the base–the item you plan all your other accessories around and probably wear more than one day a week, usually your jeans or trousers. So long as your tops match your base, it doesn’t matter if they match one-another. Jeans and neutral bottoms are great because they go with just about everything and so you don’t have to pack the same outfit seven times over. A black cardigan (like this one from Yest) goes with everything and can be layered under a jacket for comfort and warmth. Comfort goes a long ways, especially if you plan on driving or a train or plane on your adventure.
We like to choose a base colour to coordinate everything with, like choosing black or brown as our neutral and avoiding everything that doesn’t go well with it.
Pack a Tide-to-go pen or a spot remover and save yourself a trip to the laundromat after your first Currywurst experience lands some ketchup on your jeans.
Pro-tip #3: Skip the ironing
Ditch the wrinkles–or embrace them! You’re not going to want to spend a lot of time doing laundry or ironing dress shirts, so opt for something that’s going to wear well all day long. While your travel lifestyle probably won’t be too far off from what you normally get up to at home, you might be driving, riding, and walking more than usual under conditions you can’t control. All that adds up to increased pressure on your clothes.
Something soft and stretchy like our pre-creased David Cline collection are great for travel because they won’t show wear and are supremely comfortable. Since these pieces are supposed to be wrinkled you don’t have to worry about balling them up in your suitcase (though you should know you ought to roll your clothes) and wearing them all day and night. And why not, with such lush spring colours! From collared shirts to long-sleeved tees, David Cline is our travel favourite.
Pro-tip #4: Bring a scarf
You already knew that a scarf would be the perfect accessory to tie your outfit together and keep you warm. Scarves are one of the best accessories to have while travelling. When it gets too hot, just tie them to your purse, and you can even use your scarf as a blanket when huddling aboard an over-air conditioned train or plane or when that cool breeze starts coming off the Adriatic sea. Bring one. Buy one as a souvenir. You won’t regret it, especially when you master 25 Ways to Wear A Scarf (and invent one or two of your own).
Pro-tip #5: Don’t be afraid to bring your leather jacket
One of my biggest personal travel-regrets is forgetting to pack a stylish jacket for going out at night. You already packed a nice outfit and put on your dressy shoes, but there’s only so fancy you can get when the only jacket you packed is the super-sensible rain jacket that you’ve been hiking around in all week (preferably in slate-grey like mine for added dullness). A leather jacket or a blazer may not be practical for everyday wear on your travels, but you owe yourself the opportunity go look your best on a classy night out. You’re going to want ONE photo of you that isn’t in that rain jacket. Trust me.
This LaMarque blazer-style leather jacket is one of our faves. The goring in the sleeves even makes it comfortable enough to wear all day.
Pro-tip #6: Leave room for a souvenir
Often while you’re travelling you won’t want to do a lot of shopping, but every now and then you need to take a break from sightseeing to do a bit of shopping. Rather than a canvas bag or a hoodie with the name of whatever city you’re in on it, consider buying something unique from the region you’re in. If shopping is your goal, do some research before your trip and get to know the manufacturing techniques, materials, or brands that are the specialty of your destination. Make sure the items you pick up are authentic, too. It’s easy to buy the first authentic-looking item in the tourist districts, but ask some locals for tips about what’s cool or where to find the real deal. You wouldn’t want to come back from Italy with shoes made in China.
At Mountain Air, we try to stock as many Made in Canada brands as possible, like Canada Goose, Lisette, Parkhurst, Mackage, Lili & Cohoe, Oleanna Zylak, Ambler, and our souvenir line are all designed and manufactured in Canada. Not only does it give visitors a piece of Canada to take home with them, but it helps the economy!
Whether you’re a vacationer or a die-hard adventure-traveller, experience is the best teacher. Do you have any travel tips to share? Tell us in the comments!
Need help putting together some items our outfits for an upcoming trip? Come into the store! We’re getting new spring fashions in every day now, snow be damned!