This vacation style guide for men will fill your bags with all the right moves.
Nobody wants to be that guy when he goes on vacation. You know, the tourist who sticks out because he’s all pale and weighed down by cameras or, worse, breaks some kind of coolness code that keeps him — but not his significant other — from getting into a swanky nightclub.
But did you know even details as subtle as the bright plaid board shorts you bought a few years ago could brand you as an outsider on a California beach? Oh, and if you were thinking about wearing a howling wolf T-shirt to go camping in the Rocky Mountains, pfft. Even the wildlife will be mocking you.
From the laid-back swagger popular in coastal towns to the style-savvy trendsetting mentality on the streets of New York, unwritten fashion codes help decipher who is local and who is — how do we say this gently? — a tourist dork.
Because the travel guidebook you checked out probably doesn’t offer fashion tips, we asked trend and style insiders from major vacation destinations to reveal what’s hot — and what’s not — in their cities.
The Big Apple is all about big style.
“People really make an effort here,” said Julie Rath, founder of New York-based men’s image consulting and personal styling firm Rath & Co. “They’re not afraid to try new trends and looks, which makes the city quite interesting visually.”
And, yes, the cliché is true: The chic people of New York wear a lot of black, too.
Bomber jackets are trending big this season, she said, offering a trimmer, more modern take on the traditional cut of a varsity jacket. “I especially like them in sumptuous fabrics like suede and soft leather,” she said.
Indigo is an “it” color this season. Rath describes it as a “next-level navy” and says it looks terrific in a linen or hopsack blazer or in the form of a chambray dress shirt.
Her style tips for nightclubs and restaurants: crisp dark jeans and a sport coat. Extra points for a pocket square.
“For an informal setting, try a henley under your sport coat instead of the expected button-up shirt,” she said.
Some New York-style no-nos: fanny packs, no matter how convenient they might be; socks pulled up to your calves; socks with sandals, and wearing athletic sneakers for non-athletic activities.
Southern California style is all about channeling a cool, laid-back look without seeming like you tried too hard. Which, actually, seems kinda hard. That’s why we’ve called in help from Beau Flemister, managing editor of Surfing magazine.
Tourists flocking to the Golden State start at a bit of a disadvantage if they’re without a golden glow.