A Packing Guide for Families who like to eat
Some of you are frequent visitors to our site; for this we are thankful. For those of you who are here for the first time, welcome, and our gratitude in advance. In reading along, it’s obvious our website is about food and travel.
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We endeavor to share our experiences and dreams, in hopes that we can create a community of travel dreamers. We use our love of food as a vehicle. A vehicle, I personally, ride often.
My wife loves to take photographs and tries to share her best ones; but she often gets censored by me, as I am quite critical in the way I look in some photos. I often request that she posts older ones of me, when I was able to eat anything I wanted and the metabolism took care of it.
At the end, I was being unfair, as I limited the range in which my wife was able to show. So when you view the photos, as to not be confused, I’m the jovial one…
Careers in fashion Industry for 20 years.
Brenda and I both had careers in the fashion industry for 20 years, and being privy of trends and dressing “well” was a daily requirement. It will forever be part of our DNA. I’d like to think that I stay stylishly significant, but it gets hard with this ever expanding waistline of mine.
For a while, I went on exercise binges to help this problem, and it helped. But in reality I just vacillated from being able to button my suit jacket comfortably to having to breath in before doing so.
I figured, there must be many men, like myself, wanting to stay stylish while fighting the waistline war. There are also many men, again like myself, who are men of peace and don’t need to fight that war every day.
I am basically Gandhi when I have a steak in front of me. So as I embrace all people, cultures and foods; I also accept that it’s time to give away the pant I haven’t fit into in two years and find a more appropriate pair of pants for my lifestyle.
As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that staying healthy is very important nor should one’s health necessarily be equated to the waistline. With that said, I am about to give some tips on how I like to dress on the go, especially when traveling and eating. Further, these tips are inclusive of all men, not just the recently challenged.
Some style tips for travel and everyday life
I appreciate the fact that most of us don’t need to suit up every day anymore, nor be in traditional sportswear, so we opt for more “activewear” inspired clothing. Years ago, unless you were a fashion cognoscenti, you wouldn’t know that there were stylish “activewear” choices like the ones offered by Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. So many ended up looking like they were a pinky ring short of being part of a Martin Scorsese film.
Now, however, there are great options just about anywhere. My favorite go-to article of clothing these days is the J.Crew sideline pant or the “un-sweatpant”. It’s a hybrid of a traditional sweatpant and a trouser.
I purchase these models all the time, and I opt for a transitional fabric mostly, which are done in a cotton twill or jersey material. Because of the fabric finish, they read a lot dressier than what you work out in. They are also available in other materials from dyed cotton for the warmer months, to donegal wool for the colder months.
Last winter, I had to go to Las Vegas for business a few times within a couple months time; It was freezing in New York and I was conscious of the fact that there would be quite a weather transition. I’m pleased to report that these pants performed well. I was in comfort all flight long and the waistband expanded nicely as I piled up the eats and drinks.
From rollling the dice to eating rice
Best of all, I wasn’t baking in my clothing as I exited into the warmer climes. They also came in handy when my friend Li (another person who loves to eat and has an affinity for fashion) joined me for dinner after an evening of drinking and gambling. Let’s just say, this style pant transitions well from rolling dice to eating rice.
Staying with the jersey material, for something a little more high-end, Etro offers a line of menswear made exclusively of jersey material, from tuxedo jackets to coats. I like to pair my pants with some of the items from this collection, it dresses them up instantly. Jersey’s greatest asset is that they pack well. It naturally un-wrinkles in time and when wrinkled, it never looks too disheveled.
For those looking into the high fashion route
For those of you looking into the high fashion route; along with Etro, Balmain has some trouser offerings for this Fall, and Junya Watanabe has some cool ones for the Spring. For mid-range, there is Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto. Further down the line, J. Crew, and a great line called “Urban Sweats” by Japanese style-makers, Uniqlo. Whichever you choose, give this style a try and you’ll get hooked.
Brenda has had a “go to” article of clothing for years, which I think is genius and should be in every woman’s wardrobe and packing list. This article is: the Hanes Men’s 3-Pack tank tops. She prefers the men’s styles because of the length; the women’s models are usually too short and the ribbing is never as prominent and the armholes are too high (you want to show a bit). She usually doubles them up and wears them under her sports jackets and sweaters.
With a scarf, it’s automatically chic. On the plane, with the temperature never really controlled, she can layer up or down easily. Why not just a t-shirt you ask? Well there is nothing less sexy than a woman wearing a men’s regular tee, it just doesn’t have the same cachet, and women’s t-shirts that have any style value are way more expensive.
Brenda never has to feel bad if she stains the shirts when eating, or never has to feel like she has to get them sent out to get cleaned, you simply hand-wash them with regular soap and hang them in the shower.
No frills, no hassle, especially when traveling. Also, when doubled up, if the top layer gets stained; excuse yourself, go to the bathroom and remove it. You are stain free the rest of the night (hopefully).
If you want a bit more variety, if they are sold at a kiosk in one of the concerts or sporting events you go to, purchase one there. Numbers and lettering are great. Names of actual teams are good but no team logos per se; and definitely no faces on the shirts.
Sometimes, you can find a cool one in a Museum. Other than the three pack, her favorites are the one’s we picked up at a U2 Concert years back and at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL.
Bailey is 10, and starts looking ridiculous in clothes meant for kids. She doesn’t need a Teddy Bear on a sweater, or bows on every shoe. So about a year ago, when she was finally getting tall enough, we started to buy her clothing from the women’s department. Look for those double zeros, or XXS. There are also some shoe companies in which sizes begin at 5.
If the items are a bit big, don’t worry, they’ll fit them a couple of seasons. Most importantly, they will not look like all the other kids and they have a larger range to choose from to express their style.
The smallest sizes are usually left on the sale racks, because no real woman can really fit into them, and for us parents, they end up costing less than most children’s clothing.
It’s a market fact that the Children’s classification in clothing has the best conversion rate. Adults don’t mind spending top dollar on kids, hence very few sale items in comparison to adult clothing.
Bailey’s “go to” everyday item, especially for travel is the “schoolboy” blazer by J. Crew. We love it, because even after a day of playing in the playgrounds, having her blazer at the ready dresses her up for dinner instantly.
Other must pack items are: Scarves, scarves and scarves. And if traveling in the Autumn and Winter months, a knit cap.
So maybe your waist is expanding; maybe not. But when dressed correctly, it feels good. And when you look at the photos you only remember feeling good; which I do, hence less censorship for my wife to deal with.
How about you? What are your style must-haves for travel? Let us know, we’d love to know. See you on our next flight.
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