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Dress for International Travel

I'm going to head overseas for some schools. My first trip lands in Amsterdam and involves some rail and will be about 24 hours getting there. Later trips to S. Korea.

I'm hoping some of the gentleman who travel can lend some tips to balance comfort and style. My company has no dress code but I don't want to present a sloppy appearance. I would think a jacket would be a requirement due cool temperatures and approach of winter.

I'll have nice size carry on with net-book, items to freshen up-deodorant and toothbrush/paste. Not sure about cologne, over doing cologne might bother others on an 8 hour flight.

Any other hints, tips and smart advice greatly appreciated. I'll be putting the DE blades in my check-in so no hassle there. I guess I'm basically asking "What do you guys do?"
I used to do that a LOT.

Base layers: Ex Officio, Smartwool, and/or Icebreaker. They all stay stink-free and can be washed in a sink if needed. 3 undies, 2 short sleeve T's, one long sleeve T, one pair long underwear, 3 pairs socks. That setup works year-round.

A thin merino wool sweater. It does get cold and damp both places.

A casual blazer. Style is up to you, but something rugged enough for travel and wrinkle-resistant. Have a scarf and thin pair of gloves in the pockets.

Have your itinerary and your hotel reservations PRINTED OUT. Have the hotel address printed out in the native language (usually easy to do from the webpage).

Watch for pickpockets and snatch and grabs. It is common for guys to grab briefcases and computer bags and jump off the train just as the doors are closing.

Have a ziplock with a set of undies, Tshirt, and socks in your carry-on. Good if you get a drink spilled on you during the flight, plus being able to change undies and socks does a LOT to make you feel better after a long flight.

No cologne, maybe aftershave (with minimal scent). A travel-pack of babywipes will give you a quick cleanup midtrip.
Um . . . what r-w said, great advice. I especially like the sport coat, thin/light sweater and scarf comments to help hold off the chill and still look professional.

I might add a nice pair of all leather loafers/slip ons. First they will go nicely with the sport coat and second, easy on and off with no metal at air ports. (throw a cheap shoe horn in your carry on).

These are fantastic suggestions.

Depending on how dressy/casual you can/want to be, a very nice, dressy-style pair of very dark jeans with a light grey blazer/suitcoat are an excellent way to look dressy, but comfortable and not wrinkly.

Traveling overseas in a suit is a nightmare and best avoided.

Light Merino/cashmere sweaters are a must.

The loafers/driving moccasins are also an excellent idea.

If you wear contacts make sure to bring an airport certified carry on size bottle of solution, a contact case, and at least one pair of extra contacts.
+ 1 on the Ex Officio, smartwool gear. Think small, if you can ball it up in your hand take it.

Layers are key.

gone down south

After 24 hours of travel, you're going to look and feel like butt. No-one is going to expect you to get off the train looking fresh and crisp. Wear comfortable slacks (no dress pants, nothing itchy) but nicer than just sweats. A comfortable collared shirt, a light jacket in your carry on bag. When you arrive, nap, shower, shave, brush your teeth (which is a luxury in and of itself at that point!) and then put something nice on.


Moderator Emeritus
Some brands make cotton sportsjackets/blazers that are pretty casual and can take a beating. Tilley makes a version, but you can probably find more stylish ones out there too. If it says "machine washable" then you know you are on the right track. You have something that you can cram in an overhead compartment, toss in the washing machine, iron in your hotel room, and wear to a cafe to meet that hot chick you met at the airport. :wink:
and wear to a cafe to meet that hot chick you met at the airport. :wink:
The eye of SWMBO is upon me, like in the "Lord of the Ring". haha Thanks for all the great tips guys, exactly the stuff I was looking for. :thumbup1:
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Great advice. I'm also going to suggest support socks. :eek:

Yeah, I know, but these things do wonders for me on long flights. I like the "off the shelf" Sigvaris brand.

Happy trails...

Thanks clubmanRob... lol
Since my original post, I received an updated itinerary. Amsterdam is only 2 hour layover, then on to Norway for schools.
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The Nid Hog

Moderator Emeritus
+1 on the babywipes--it's nice to wash up. For long travel, I take a field expedient shaving kit too--some proraso cream in a small sample jar, a disposable razor, a sample vial filled with aftershave, something to brush my teeth (brush ups, disposable toothbrush, etc.). Before landing I like to get cleaned up--regardless of how I look it makes me feel better and more alert. My main gear is in my checked bag and I can just toss this stuff if I feel like it.
When i leave home the last thing i do? My hat on!! It could serve you as an eye mask on planes!!Earplugs without eye mask=bad taste!!:lol:
But I am. Take a look at Rick Steve's website--while I don't follow his exact style on European trips, you will get some great ideas regarding the what to wear portion and packing. This may give you a few more tips on top of what everyone else has added. He has served me well through several European tours.