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The Best Travel Clothes for Men for Every Single Trip

No matter the weather, we’ve got you covered.

In This Article

In This Article

Best Travel Clothes for Men

Travel + Leisure / David Hattan

So many trips, so little time. That’s why it’s more important than ever to invest in a travel capsule wardrobe so that you can mix and match clothing item staples and save minutes (and space!) while packing.

As someone who travels quite extensively for work and play, these are the pieces that excel in not only timeless style, but also function, offering comfort and versatility for practically any destination, activity, and occasion.

If you’re looking to spend your hard-earned cash on basics that lend themselves to international flights, multi-hour walking tours, and even arduous hikes, check out these tried and true gems that will more than exceed your garment expectations. Read on to find the best travel clothes for men for every type of trip.

Why We Love It
  • The company offers variety packs to save money and diversify your color options.

What to Consider
  • These shirts tend to run small and will shrink after washing, so we recommend sizing up.

It may be the most basic article of clothing on this list, but it’s also the most important. A good T-shirt is a travel necessity. It must fit properly, be thin enough to layer, and stand up to the elements of sweating, temperamental climates, and anything an overnight flight, walking tour, or dining al fresco may throw your way.

This True Classic crewneck, which boasts a comfortable soft tag and cotton-jersey blend, was also designed with style in mind by incorporating a side seam for a slimmer look. I also love how the arm and shoulder stitching accentuates my muscles (which need all the help they can get) while not feeling too restrictive for everyday activities like hailing a taxi, lifting my suitcase, or spooning literal pounds of pasta into my mouth. Consider it the foundation for any outfit, though it certainly looks effortlessly chic on its own with a pair of jeans and loafers.

The Details: S to XXXXL | 60 percent combed ringspun cotton, 40 percent polyester jersey

Why We Love It
  • The versatility in design and comfort allows for these to be dressed up or down at a moment’s notice.

What to Consider
  • The back pockets are somewhat stiff and difficult to use.

Sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and made with four-way stretch, these versatile pants can be worn on the plane and then straight to any event. In fact, I just flew to Chicago for an event where I swapped my True Classics tee for the chambray button-down below, but kept on these chinos because they easily transitioned into a more polished nighttime ensemble.

When worn during the day, an invisible zipper pocket holds a wallet or hotel key to give you peace of mind as you explore more crowded tourist areas, while an elastic interior waistband allows you the movement to chase down a criminal, should they be able to run off with said wallet or hotel key.

The Details: 28- to 40-inch waist, 28- and 30-inch length | 94 percent cotton, 6 percent elastane

Why We Love It
  • High-quality fabric and construction will guarantee that this garment lasts for decades to come.

What to Consider
  • The classic fit runs quite large, as it’s meant to be baggy. Opt for slim if you’re looking for something more tailored.

A chambray button-down is a timeless staple in any wardrobe. And the longer you wear it, the more character it develops with natural fading and inevitable stains. This is good news for travelers like me who practically destroy their wardrobe after a single trip. Not only does this look snazzy tucked into a pleated chino, but it can also be worn over shorts, linen pants, or even a bathing suit for an elevated look on a yacht or at a summer beach party. Best of all, J.Crew has made a commitment to source only organic cotton without the use of toxic chemicals or soil-damaging GMOs, so it’s a purchase you can feel extra good about.

The Details: XS to XXL (Classic, Slim, Slim Untucked, Tall, Relaxed) | 100 percent organic cotton

Why We Love It
  • There are over 50 color offerings with the option to monogram.

What to Consider
  • It’s a bit pricey.

When a clothing company’s logo is literally a polo horse, you can assume it more than delivers in manufacturing a superior polo shirt. And that’s precisely what Ralph Lauren does with its classic slim fit mesh polo, available in an overwhelming number of colors to match any wardrobe or outfit.

The beauty of a polo is that it can be worn casually, untucked, or ultra-preppy when paired with seersucker pants and dress shoes. Pop the collar for a vintage feel, but also enjoy the highly breathable cotton mesh that lends itself well to hotter days when a tee or tank isn’t dressy enough.

The Details: XS to XXL (classic, custom slim, slim) | 100 percent cotton

Why We Love It
  • The polyester and elastane fabric hybrid is both comfortable and flexible.

What to Consider
  • There are only two color options.

Whether you’re searching for something a little more comfortable to wear on the plane or literally jogging to catch a departing flight, these Black Mesa Knit Joggers from Columbia are a travel day game changer. They also make a wonderful top layer over athletic shorts, should you prefer something to warm up in while heading to the gym. Thanks to the joggers’ Omni-Wick technology that pulls moisture from the fabric, these are ideal for hiking, white water rafting, or even rock climbing. I recently wore them through a rainforest trek in Patagonia and emerged completely dry, thanks to the material and intelligently designed features like a drawcord adjustable waist and zip-closed security pocket that warded off raindrops and mist.

The Details: XS to XXL | 88 percent polyester, 12 percent elastane

Why We Love It
  • Made with partially recycled plastic bottles, the company has also made a commitment to sustainability.

What to Consider
  • The lighter colors can look a bit sheer.

You can bank on the Banks Short when it comes to the perfect athletic bottom for lifting, running, or meandering through museums. Featuring four-way stretch and anti-odor fabric, Vuori built these with the active traveler in mind, who may go from a morning bike session to lunch in a popular city square.

They also fit like a dream with a scalloped leg and vintage-looking white piping that nods to the retro gym shorts of days past. The breathability is its biggest highlight — you can walk great distances and not feel like your legs are chafing or getting overheated, which is important if you’re going multiple hours without the ability to change outfits.

The Details: XS to XXL |  45 percent recycled polyester, 45 percent polyester, 10 percent elastane

Why We Love It
  • There are many trendy patterns to choose from and the overall design is flattering for practically any body shape.

What to Consider
  • A full mesh lining may be a deterrent to some customers.

I own and continue to wear a Parke & Ronen bathing suit that I purchased in 2010. It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to quality and durability and their Catalonia line is no exception. These boast side and back pockets, as well as built-in stretch so you can play that pick-up game of beach volleyball without worrying about damaging the garment (and your man parts). They’re also available in varying lengths, depending on how much leg you want to show off, as well as girlfriend-approved designs that range from pastel florals to eye-catching geometrics.

The Details: 28 to 36 | 100 percent polyester

Why We Love It
  • The quality of Bonobos’ products guarantees that they will stand up for many years to come.

What to Consider
  • Side pockets have snaps and not zippers, which means items are less secure.

When it comes to travel jackets, you want something that is thick enough to keep you warm on cold flights, but thin enough to appear effortlessly chic. Enter the bomber: a men’s wardrobe must-have. Aside from looking “cool” (hello, Tom Cruise in “Top Gun”), a bomber always accentuates (and doesn’t distract from) an outfit with its naturally clean lines and lack of oversized collar.

Plus, you’re going to want a sturdier cotton, like the one used here, to potentially use as an in-flight pillow or blanket. It’s also water-repellent if you’re caught in a sudden storm or are prone to spills.

The Details: XS to XXL | 92 percent cotton, 8 percent spandex

Why We Love It
  • At under $100, this 100 percent cashmere sweater is priced affordably.

What to Consider
  • The fabric is a bit thin, making it more susceptible to holes and pilling.

A lightweight sweater is not just a necessity for warmth and comfort, but also to layer over a button-down or polo for a more formal look. Sourced from Mongolia and available in limited edition hues such as apricot, merlot, and nectar, owning high-quality cashmere isn’t out of reach since this garment famously retails for only $98. When not in use, tie it around your shoulders or waist and you’ll simply forget it’s there.

The Details: XXS to XXL | 100 percent cashmere

Why We Love It
  • Sizes and styles are unisex, so you can easily share it with a partner.

What to Consider
  • Due to the brand’s surge in popularity, the most attractive color combinations are often sold out.

Aviator Nation has emerged as an athleisure frontrunner with its extensive line of colorful hoodies. Perhaps its most iconic offering is the 5 Stripe Hoodie, available in its signature rainbow palette. But there are a handful of neutral options that can match practically whatever you’re donning underneath, as well. Comfort also reigns supreme — these were designed to keep you warm and cozy on planes, but they won’t overheat you if worn on a sunny day after a surfing lesson or casual boardwalk stroll.

The Details: XS to XXL | 50 percent polyester, 38 percent cotton, 12 percent rayon

Why We Love It
  • There is an impressively wide size range.

What to Consider
  • The shoe fits more narrow at the toe and may not be great for those with wide feet.

Transitioning from day to night can be difficult with most sneakers, but these Wolf & Shepherd Crossover Victory Trainers get the job done with a classic, yet trendy style. Though they’re available in six shades, my favorite is the white on white with pops of camel, khaki, and navy. They match every article of clothing on this list and are constructed so flawlessly that nobody would ever know they’re tailored to mold to the shape of your feet over time, much like a typically ugly orthopedic shoe.

The Details: 6 to 15 | 100 percent leather, textile and synthetic upper/textile and leather lining/rubber sole

Why We Love It
  • The design is fashion-forward, unique, and makes it appear like you put extra effort into your appearance.

What to Consider
  • These are not the ones to wear after getting out of the pool or beach. Sea and/or chlorinated water can easily damage the leather.

In the great sandal debate, many people have a preference for either thongs or slides. Now you can have the best of both worlds with this Todd Snyder hybrid, manufactured with buttery Italian leather for an even dressier look than most foam and polyester varieties. As a Floridian, I can’t begin to tell you how many compliments I receive while sporting these around my sunny hometown of Naples.

I’ve worn them to outdoor soirees, backyard barbecues, fancy restaurants with al fresco dining, and practically anywhere my feet may need a bit of breathing room — and they surpass my expectations every time. Easy to pack, sturdy, and backed by the quality you’d expect from Todd Snyder, it’s a purchase you won’t regret.

The Details: 7 to 13 | 100 percent leather

Tips for Buying Men’s Travel Clothes

Create a travel capsule wardrobe

A travel capsule wardrobe is composed of basic clothing items that can be mixed, matched, and repurposed to style multiple outfits during a trip. The goal is to create more space in your suitcase so you can travel lighter and avoid exorbitant excess baggage fees, especially on international flights.

When putting together a travel capsule wardrobe, consider more neutral colors so they’re easier to pair with other pieces.

Choose the right materials

Keep material in mind, as well. Many pants and shorts are constructed to double as athletic and casual wear, which can also help limit what you pack. Some fabrics, like cotton and wrinkle-resistant polyester, are easier to clean and maintain, though fabrics like wool are naturally moisture-wicking and can last for multiple wears before requiring a wash. Ultimately, the climate and activities should dictate the type of clothing you pack.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What should men wear on a plane?

    Comfort should take precedence, especially during long-haul trips where mobility is limited. You’ll want to wear an outfit with layers to accommodate sudden shifts in temperature. You’ll still want to look relatively put-together, so think: a pair of tapered joggers or jeans with a neutral-colored T-shirt and a lightweight jacket.

  • What’s the best way to pack clothes for travel?

    There are plenty of tips and tricks for conserving precious luggage space. When it comes to folding, the rolling technique has yielded successful results, though you can, of course, invest in packing cubes (choose some with compression) to stay more organized. Consider a mini steamer, as well, to flatten any wrinkles upon arrival at your destination. And don’t underestimate a good garment bag, which will also protect your more expensive clothes from damage like exploding toiletry bottles.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Joey Skladany is an avid traveler and adventurer who also has a passion for men’s fashion. Aside from owning a majority of these items himself, he combed through numerous reviews and products to find the best of the best from an unsurprisingly robust number of offerings.

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Edited by
Sophie Mendel
Editor Sophie Mendel at a restaurant
Sophie Mendel is a Commerce Editor at Travel + Leisure with Dotdash Meredith where she assigns, edits and publishes the product reviews and recommendations that help guide travelers toward the best shoes, apparel and accessories for their needs. Sophie has traveled to 50 countries and has lived in five, and is bilingual in English and Spanish. She has more than five years of experience as a writer, editor and copywriter.

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