Over the last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy and attend Pitti Uomo 84. So, what’s Pitti Uomo? It’s a biannual menswear trade show that is held in Florence Italy (June & January). During the June installment, brands from all over the world showcase their Spring/Summer lines for the next year. You’ve probably seen pictures of well dressed dudes, crushing cups of gelato and sitting (or standing) next the to infamous “Pitti Wall” in attempts to get photographed (I did it too!).
Since this was my first trip to the #menswear Mecca, I packed light to easily navigate the city of Florence. The crew from Bally reached out to Men’s Style Pro to see what I would store in my carry-on bag using their new Striped Weekender.
Bally Leather Striped Weekend Bag (Bally.com)
One of the key components of a highly functional carry-on bag is its size. Of course, you want a bag that is sizable enough to pack full of your essentials, however; you don’t want a bag that’s too large to carry-on. This weekender from Bally is just large enough to store all fo the items below without being overstuffed. As an added bonus, this weekender is stylish enough to not only be seen as a piece of luggage, but, more like an accessory that will complement your style.
Something that’s often taken for granted is the ability for your bag to squish down to a more compact size, especially when you need to cram it in an overhead compartment. The extremely supple leather isn’t just beautiful to look at, it’s more flexible than other fabrics. So when you’re cramming that bag up there, you don’t have to worry about it not fitting or getting damaged.
I would considered these things as my “official documents”. Since I don’t speak Italian, I picked up a copy of Italian Phrases For Dummies. Not that this book will turn me into Amerigo Vespucci overnight (look him up), it will at least show the Italian natives that I put in the effort to learn their most common and polite phrases. Of course my passport, money to be changed into euros and a map of Florence will get me around the city. Even though most guys come to Pitti Uomo just to “peacock” (it’s the only venue in the world where men will get the most dapper just for kudos from other dudes), you should still bring business cards to network with people.
Being a huge believer in taking notes, I brought along my Bally leather notebook. Like everyone else in the world, I’m super addicted to using my iPhone for everything, however; the quickest way to jot down or even draw something is to use good ol’ fashion pen and paper.
It’s always smart to carry a small amount of toiletries in your carry-on bag. In the unfortunate case that your checked luggage is re-routed and you’re without your main bag for a day or two, you’ll at least be able to clean yourself up with the products you prefer. One of my newest rules of thumb is to “Carry Bar Soap” instead of gel body wash when you travel. Yes, I’ve been a victim of exploding body wash in my Dopp Kit and it’s really no fun. Old Spice Fiji bar soap has a super refreshing smell, passes the security 2 oz liquid test (because it’s not a liquid) and has a funny ass campaign launched for it. Since I don’t carry cologne in my carry-on, a fresh and fragrant soap is like the Fiji bar from Old Spice is the next best thing.
Marvis toothpaste first got on my radar while watching a GQ video series and I was able to try it out via my Bespoke Post May Dopp Kitt. If you’re looking for a purely refreshing oral experience (yeah, I said that) while scrubbing your pearly whites, give Marvis a try.
Macbook Air Laptop by Apple | Wooden “Bowerys” Earbud Headphones by LSTN | Laptop Sleeve via 5below
Since running Men’s Style Pro doesn’t halt, even when traveling abroad, I have to pack my “mobile office”. Just over a month ago, I stumbled upon LSTN Bowerys wooden earbuds and I haven’t put them down. Each pair is made from reclaimed wood, so no two pair are the same. With the acoustic quality of a wooden speaker, the sound from these little buds are unmatched and are great for drowning out the crying kid next to you on the train (this was truly happening on the train from Rome to Venice). With the purchase of a pair of headphones from LSTN, the brand helps to restore hearing to a child in need. A dope pair of wooden earbuds and helping kids restore their hearing is a win-win!
During a trip back from Mexico, I learned the hard way, not to pack certain valuables in your checked luggage. During the trip, I carried two watches, however; the one I packed away was my more valuable watch. During my layover at the Atlanta airport, I reached into my luggage where I had placed my watch and it was gone. Since that incident, all watches are stored in my carry-on bag.
For your viewing pleasure, check out the Bally Weekender Stripe Bag in ACTION!
Disclosure: Old Spice provided product for this feature.
Founder & Creative Director of Men's Style Pro, Sabir has a deep passion for menswear and all things manly. Selected as one of the "5 Best Dressed Men In America" by Esquire Magazine in 2010 & as #GQFall 2013 Best Dressed Man. As of 2014, Sabir serves as a freelance brand ambassador & executive stylist for GQ Magazine & GQ Report. Outside of that partnership, Sabir serves as an independent brand consultant as well. Reach me directly at SABIR@MENSSTYLEPRO.COM