Vacation Style: 5 Ways Stylish Men Can Look Great While Traveling

For any guy with a penchant for style, crafting a smart, fashion-forward outfit on an average day is never easy. But when you’re confined to the apparel and accessories that are stowed away in your suitcase, that’s when the real struggles ensue. Sure, you may have an idyllic picture of yourself dressed as one of the most stylish men on your trip, but you find yourself looking like a total tourist with wrinkled shirts and your trusty sneakers. Luckily, traveling and looking stylish are not mutually exclusive. Read on for five fashion-forward tips to give you some serious vacation style.

1. Pack a portable steamer

Man packing his travel bag

Don’t put up with wrinkly clothes. | iStock.com

No matter how cleverly you roll and fold your clothes into your luggage, you may still find your garments slightly wrinkled once you unpack everything at your hotel. For lounging on the beach, a crinkle here or there won’t jeopardize your stylish jetsetter status. But those dress shirts and pants you were going to wear to museums and upscale dinners? A major fashion faux pas. Since packing wrinkle-able pieces is basically unavoidable, invest in a portable steamer. Available at your local convenience store at a bevy of price points, you’ll find this styling tool handy whether you’re on vacation or in the comfort of your own home.

If you’ve never tried your luck at steaming, not to worry: it’s easy. First, fill your steamer with water and either flip the switch or plug it into the nearest outlet (note: this may require an adaptor). After a few minutes, steam will begin to spout out from the mouth of the contraption. Once you fold the wrinkled garment along its natural seam, simply press and slide the steamer up and down the garment. And, presto: clothes that don’t look like they were stuffed into a suitcase.

2. Replace flip-flops and sneakers for espadrilles or loafers

Man wearing flip-flops with his vacation outfit

Ditch the flip-flops. | iStock.com

Going on vacation frees you from a lot of your daily obligations: work, chores around the house, and even the unbearable weather, to name a few. One of the things it doesn’t free you from? Stylish footwear. Yes, flip-flops and your tattered gym shoes may be the go-to pairs for most getaways, but they don’t scream stylish. Unless you’re hiking in a tropical rainforest your whole trip, add some fuss-free pairs of espadrilles or loafers into the mix. With a slew of colors, patterns, and materials to choose from, these kicks will give any off duty look a stylish twist, not to mention you’ll be able to walk all day in these without running the risk of a nasty blister. Added bonus? These will look just as good with your swim trucks at the beach as they will with a pair of wintry wool trousers during your ski weekend.

3. Shop locally

Man talking on mobile phone

Shop at the local market. | iStock.com/Rawpixel Ltd

Face it: You’re ecstatic when another tourist mistakes you for a local. Sure, you can’t help them locate that obscure pottery shop; however, it’s every traveler’s dream to seamlessly blend in with the hot-spot’s natives. Want to dress like a local? Shop like a local. Maybe it’s a rainy day or you’ve breezed through the city’s bevy of museums too quickly, but allowing a day to browse the nearby stores is a must for your wardrobe — and we’re not talking about the collection of souvenir stores or that European location of your favorite chain retailer at home. Take this time to add something unique to your wardrobe, whether it’s a masculine straw hat from Puerto Rico or a finely knit scarf from Belgium. Not only will these pieces have visitors mistaking you for a local, but they will double as a conversation piece and a one-of-a-kind trinket when you return home.

4. Add a jacket

Man wearing a jacket with a casual outfit

A nice jacket will add extra style to your outfit. | iStock.com

When your mind is occupied with checking off everything on your travel to-do list or remedying that painful sunburn, perfectly styling each ensemble is probably the last thing on your mind (especially during a beach vacation). And unless you’re on a business trip, you’ve probably left your selection of cuff-links and ties at home. One thing you can do that will add some much needed style to your outfits? Add a jacket. Be honest: On most vacations, your once thoughtfully-planned ensemble (not-so mysteriously) end up as a simple T-Shirt and a pair of shorts or pants depending on where you’re traveling. Simply incorporating a jacket to that basic ensemble dresses it up just enough without looking too stuffy for your trip. Translation? An easy way to look effortlessly cool. From light linen blazers to bulky leather jackets, there’s a wide range of options that will appeal to every type of getaway.

5. Forgo the neon hues

Man wearing a t-shirt and taking a selfie

Leave the neon shirt at home. | iStock.com

What says, “I look like I’m on spring break” more than clothes in boisterous neon colors? Not much. We get it; a whirlwind trip to a tropical island has you eagerly sifting through your drawers for that Hawaiian shirt you bought at a vintage store last Halloween. But trust us, it’s a don’t. “Stick with conservative hues like navy, blue, tan and, grey,” writes IndependentTraveler.com. “You want to blend in, not draw unwanted attention to yourself (and nothing does that better than a neon green tank top).”

While deep neutrals like brown and black are great for a cooler climate, try lighter hues like tan, white, and light blue for a warmer destination. If you simply cannot leave your brights and prints out of your suitcase, hope is not entirely lost. Instead, tone down these looks with neutral separates. For example, your trusty Hawaiian shirt will look more polished with a pair of cream pants while those bright green shorts can be styled with a navy polo.

Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs