Summer is only moments away and the ice cold cocktails are calling, so we are diving into what to bring along on your summer trip this year. And who better to ask than style advisor Ricardo. A frequent visitor to the coves of Polignano a Mare and the seaside town Comporta just south of Lisbon, he is no stranger to turning on the natural laidback charm required for holiday dressing. The first piece of advice he shared with us when it comes to packing: “It’s important to keep the selection compact, so try to avoid packing a multicolor palette and too many patterns… It’s better to stick to natural colors because it’s very easy with a few staple pieces to create diversity in your looks”.
It seems choosing quality over quantity is the way to go, focusing on a selection you can easily mix and match together. It will give you a lighter suitcase with the same number of options. When deciding on fabrics, natural or easy-care materials are the best for minimal effort without sacrificing style. “You don’t want a headache on holiday thinking about your clothes or worrying about ironing. You want low maintenance materials. Something that is acceptable when it wrinkles like linen or with a little stretch to avoid creasing all together.”
We’ve put together a list of Ricardo’s favorite versatile styles for a sun-drenched holiday. Whether you plan on sunning yourself on the French riviera or relaxing on the beaches of Bali, these are the essentials to bring in that suitcase.
1. Neutral linen shirt
A complete 180 from business formal, a linen shirt is a must for when it’s time to clock off and head away. The linen gives a natural vibe that feels at home on holiday. This pure batiste fabric from Italian mill Canclini is perfect for places with high humidity because it’s thin, light, and an open woven fabric that allows the material to breathe. If you want to learn more about why this particular fabric is one of his favorites, check out our deep dive on linen. Ricardo has selected this sand color for its neutrality and easy pairability with everything from your favorite pair of chinos or jeans to Bermudas. You could even double up on the linen with some trousers.
“It’s light enough that you don’t need short sleeves. I think there is something a little more elegant about a rolled-up sleeve. I always recommend a shallow curve on your hem, so you have the option to wear it tucked or untucked for more options again. Untucked will give a more relaxed feel.”
2. Cotton-cashmere t-shirt knit
Hear us out. Light as air knitwear for summer is here and irreplaceable in your suitcase. With the more sophisticated drape and feel of a knit and a more refined shape than your average tee, it can take your holiday dressing to another level. As explained by Ricardo, “Because these have a longer sleeve compared to a normal t-shirt, a normal tee usually sits on the middle or up the biceps. This one is just above the elbow, so it’s more dressy, luxurious. A garment you can also wear if you go to a nice restaurant with some slacks or a nice trouser”. Ricardo has chosen the cotton-cashmere for its breathability, with the added bonus of feeling more soft and crease resistant than something pure cotton. In a single ply, this blend is a must-have for summer. You can read more about why he loves it here. Ricardo suggests creating your t-shirt without a pocket to keep it clean and a side split to sit relaxed on the hip. The simple neckline makes it ideal to wear it alone or pop it under an open linen shirt or your lightweight jacket.
“With a side split the knit has all the leisure and luxuriousness for a long weekend on Capri. This is the kind of garment you could pack a few to wear and it instantly gives you the appearance of another whole look. An off-white and some contrast colors like an olive green or navy blue which would go well with everything.”
3. Gray suede plain toe loafer
“I’m really in love with these because they make everything a bit smarter, but still casual. For me, the penny loafer is sometimes too formal with a linen-style trouser. And of course, it’s very convenient because we love to wear a shoe without laces. It saves time, it’s born relaxed. The informal linen shirt, the cotton-cashmere knit, it’s the same mood. Minimal effort but still refined”.
These got the vote from just about every advisor we spoke to – and for good reason. A loafer is always a nice choice for casual affairs, but the plain toe brings a different distinction, setting you apart from the masses. The style itself finds an ideal middle ground, where it is casual enough to sport on a terrace and still formal enough for an evening soiree. The 100% calfskin leather suede exudes luxury and has a water-resistant finish in case you find yourself near the sea too. In gray, they are likely to complement a good chunk of your existing wardrobe (and certainly the light summer neutrals that will find their way into your suitcase after reading this).
4. Beige stretch wool-lyocell trousers
Another piece picked for its performance in high temps and humidity, these trousers are very lightweight at only 225 grams making them a slightly more elegant alternative to the classic linen trouser. As a mostly natural mix, the 75% wool and 24% lyocell are very breathable, made even more so by the open weave. The final 1% is stretch, which creates smoothness and will keep those wrinkles at bay without much thought. The beige has the advantage of fitting perfectly in with the rest of this list (and most palettes). Ricardo’ll be wearing them with an off-white or navy blue cotton-cashmere knit. When it comes to choosing your options, he had this to say: “Preferably, I’d say a turn-up of 4cm. It will add just enough weight to the lower part of the trouser to position it perfectly on your shoe. We are often suggesting the single pleat. In the past, a trouser with a pleat and the turn up, people think of it more as a classic. But with a slim silhouette, the side adjusters (no belt of course because they will be custom made) it is more up to date, more considered”.
5. Stretch cotton-linen lightweight suit
If you plan on doing some sight-seeing and need a practical set, this lightweight suit is Ricardo’s pick. Crafted here as a utility jacket with drawstring trousers for that relaxed tailored style. The large pockets mean you can take everything you need with you too, no bag needed for the day. The fabric finds a beautiful balance for this kind of silhouette. Cotton and linen breathe well in the heat and give a natural look but with just a hint of stretch added, the suit will retain its shape and avoid it looking slouchy over the course of the day. Ricardo loves it with a t-shirt knit and sneakers.
“This is the kind of suit a guy could easily break up. Wear the trousers with a light knit one day. Or mix the jacket with some other trousers. With the zip, this one is especially nice as an outerwear piece. It would save you packing another for traveling on and off the plane”.
He has selected this almost-burnt-orange color, but there is an equally versatile navy blue available too. If the utility style is too progressive for your tastes, you could also go for a 3-button lightweight jacket with more understated pockets.
Get in touch with your style advisor to start creating your sophisticated travel wear today.