The Abroad-robe

Esquire fash­ion direc­tor NICK SUL­LI­VAN has some ad­vice on what to wear when you’re SOME­WHERE else

Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE -

Travel has al­ways been fash­ion in­spi­ra­tion for me, start­ing with my teenage hol­i­days in the South of France. Was it the tasty food, the chic va­ca­tion­ers, or the en­demic top­less sun­bathing that drew me most to that im­mor­tal coast? I won­der. What­ever the cause, it put the lust in my wan­der­lust and con­vinced me that travel should broaden my wardrobe as much as my mind.

I call it the Abroad-robe. You see it in the tra­di­tional passeg­giata in Italy, where the pop­u­la­tion pea­cocks pub­licly ev­ery evening. The sense of ris­ing col­lec­tively to the oc­ca­sion is pal­pa­ble. It’s not just an Ital­ian thing, ei­ther. It’s all over the Mediter­ranean. I don’t know the Al­ba­nian word for passeg­giata, but I bet they have one.

Ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion abroad, how­ever, is some­thing at which Amer­i­cans (and we Brits) his­tor­i­cally do not shine. When we travel, we ei­ther adopt a hum­drum, global preppy look—polo shirt, chi­nos, sneak­ers—or, even

worse, we wear the clothes we’d nor­mally wear on the sofa. Ugly Amer­i­cans in­deed. We can do bet­ter. I don’t want to dress like a French­man or a Spa­niard, but pa­tri­o­tism de­mands I raise my game on for­eign soil.

For­tu­nately, fash­ion is in an es­capist mood. Pat­tern is ev­ery­where, in eth­nic prints, styl­ized camo, and nau­ti­cal stripes. Bright, bright col­ors are on the rise: There are sat­u­rated spice tones, elec­tric yel­lows, and deep Neapoli­tan blues. And pat­tern and color re­ally de­fine the Abroad-robe. If you won’t wear it at home, you can al­ways take it with you. Kean Etro’s ikat­print linen pants (left) from his cur­rent col­lec­tion are so badass, I’d book two weeks in Tran­coso just so I could wear them. I wouldn’t wear a light­col­ored suit to work, but look at Dries Van Noten’s dou­ble-breasted ver­sion or the Lost Ex­plorer’s three­piece in dusty pink (right). I’d wear ei­ther of them with­out bat­ting a lash in Naples, Italy (but not in Naples, Florida, where I would feel like Don John­son). The trick is to dress for the des­ti­na­tion.

Sum­mer clothes give you li­cense to cut loose wher­ever you may end up, a de­lib­er­ate va­ca­tion from your reg­u­lar mind-set. You may not look like a lo­cal, but you can damn well try. For all they know, a blush­col­ored blazer could be your trade­mark.

T-shirt, trousers, and san­dals by Etro; braided bracelet and Tiger’s Eye bracelet by Esquire Men’s Jew­elry. LO­CAL COLOR BRIGHT, MUL­TI­COL­ORED LINEN PANTS LIKE THESE WON’T FLY IN THE CON­CRETE JUN­GLE— BUT THEY’RE A PER­FECT FIT FOR THE TROPICS.

WHEN IN NAPLES IT TAKES A LOT OF SWAG­GER TO PULL OFF A CREAM-COLORED DOU­BLE-BREASTED SUIT—UN­LESS YOU’RE IN THE CITY THAT PRAC­TI­CALLY IN­VENTED IT. Top: Jacket and trousers by Dries Van Noten; shirt by Nau­tica. Right: Jacket and trousers by the Lost Ex­plorer; shoes by O’Ke­effe.


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