Sand & sun: Packing for a Florida Christmas

Editor’s note: For more travel style posts, fly this way.

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol
Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Going from a place where the past weekend called for a sweater to a locale where temps are in the 80s is a style conundrum that I haven’t faced too often, especially at Christmas. But such is the situation I find myself in as I prepare to head to Florida today for what should be a lovely and relaxing Christmas weekend. Don’t get me wrong — I love the sun and sand. But I’m an especially big fan of fall and winter style — layering, a great fall or winter jacket, a nice henley — it’s all fair game once the temperature drops. So since my parents moved full-time to Florida about two-and-a-half years ago, it’s been different than the chilly Michigan winters of Christmas’ past — a welcome change of pace, but still different. I know I’m definitely lucky to escape to some warm weather, and I always welcome the chance to change things up style-wise. So with that in mind, I’ve set to work crafting a carry-on that’ll help me fly in style and beat the heat.

A new piece of luggage from the responsible hands of United By Blue.
A durable carry-on for this trip from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

I’m taking along a new piece of luggage, a sturdy and functional United By Blue duffle bag made from solid waxed canvas. The Moss color is just different enough from my Navali Stowaway Weekender, so it’s a nice addition to my everyday travel carry. And as I’ll also be on the road in the coming weeks, it’ll certainly get a lot of use (look for a full review in February). At $188, the price is well within range for a durable weekender. The centerpieces of my bag will be some summer style essentials I’d put away for the time being. As far as casual style goes, it’s hard to beat a trim polo in a nice material, like my trusty Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo from this year’s line, plus a soft Grayers slub nep jersey polo and my ever-reliable Esquina oxford from Saturdays Surf NYC. To me, having pieces that can work with shorts or chinos alike while keeping you cool is a pretty big key when traveling to warm locales — I tried to follow the same packing method when heading to Italy earlier this summer, in fact.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.
Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

That means it’ll also be time for me to break out some solid T-shirts — I love a great henley, especially a rugged short-sleeve henley from the likes of Pistol Lake, a Style Guide favorite. The brand’s V-neck tee (as seen in another warm-weather trip to Los Angeles) will also be in my bag, as will my trusty Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts. And it wouldn’t be a comfortable, casual Christmas if I didn’t get to test out a new pocket tee from Tommy John, a basics maker that’s gained steam as of late in the online community for its well-crafted knitwear So the Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey should definitely be a laidback yet not-sloppy option for the warm weather. I’m going to complement those shirt and polo offerings with an always-versatile chambray shirt or two. And I’ll be breaking out some crisp khaki shorts from Banana Republic. That being said, I do love a great pair of Mott & Bow dark denim, so I’ll likely be bringing that pair along for travel wear. I’ve found that among other pant options, my olive Bonobos chinos have fared well in everything from oppressive heat to blistering cold, so they’ll make their way into my bag, too.
Ben Sherman US
Outerwear will definitely be on the lighter side for this trip, and will hopefully stay in my bag once I take off from NYC!But a baseball jacket lined in chambray like the Russel Jacket from Grayers is likely going to be my best bet for travel; removable, easygoing layers like that can also lend some polish to your travel look, and a baseball or bomber jacket can even be worn over a collared shirt like a blue Oxford-cloth buttondown. If I could, I would also bring along a trusty denim jacket, as it can be styled with slim tan chinos or lightwash denim with ease — sadly, there won’t be room this time around! Rounding off warm-weather style isn’t complete without some solid sneakers and another pair of versatile shoes, though.

The shoes I'm bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.
The shoes I’m bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

After putting them away for the fall, I’m looking forward to busting out my white GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers, and I’ll also be bringing along my navy Rosen runners from the brand. Heck, I might even pack my Leather Wooster slip-ons (shocker, also from GREATS) if my luggage allows. When you travel, I’d look to pack similarly versatile and comfortable shoes — a pair of brown suede chukkas from Thursday Boot Company, fit for both formal and dressed-down style, will be on my feet as I hit the road. It’s equally to your advantage that these days, a nice leather sneaker or chukka can work in nearly any situation — even with a blazer and chinos if needed (make sure those kicks are clean and free of logos — look here for more ways to style classic sneakers).

The trusty toiletries kit I'll be taking with me -- including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, "soap-on-a-rope" and some Richer Poorer socks.
The trusty toiletries kit I’ll be taking with me — including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, “soap-on-a-rope” and some Richer Poorer socks.

As my bag will be pretty full, I’ll be keeping it simple on the watch front — I like to rely on one-to-two watches on trips like these, usually a great leather watch like the Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol and my always-solid Invicta 8926 Pro Diver. Either can be worn with everything from a tee and shorts to a polo and chinos — and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Great style can even extend to your toiletries and other stylish travel accessories. With that sentiment in mind, I’m definitely excited to make use of a sweet BYRD x Richer Poorer Dopp Kit — the California haircare brand teamed up with one of my favorite sock makers on a sturdy nylon tote filled with a nice pomade, a flexible comb and the cleverly-named “Soap on a Rope.” No trip would be complete without a few last finishing touches, including some crisp Woodbuds headphones, a nice Issara leather laptop sleeve and a brass money clip via my friends at Owen & Fred.

Of course, although I always look forward to hitting the road in style, I’m particularly looking forward this time around to getting some rest and relaxation with my family. The sunshine certainly won’t hurt, either! Have a great Christmas, and if you fancy, swing through this way on Friday for a Christmas edition of the Friday Read and a Saturday Style Pick.

Stay stylish!

-Beau
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