Everyone’s worst nightmare is receiving an invitation with a dress code labelled simply as ‘smart-casual’, so imagine the pain of having to pack for a working holiday that mixes business with pleasure. With that being said, however, this should not leave you in a cold sweat as with the right mixture of clothing styles and accessories, you can boss the boardroom and the dancefloor without too much adjustment.
When you want to impress your boss or client, as well as your significant other and friends away from professional duties. Wherever you are in the world, you should pack for the weather – for example, you don’t want to be sporting a thick jumper in Barcelona during the middle of summer. Dress smartly, appropriately and comfortably (yes, you can achieve all three in the same outfit), without ramming the entirety of your wardrobe into a single suitcase.
To help guide you in the right direction, below we have compiled our list of must-have accessories to take with you on your working holiday.
Wearing a smart-casual leather bracelet says a lot about you as a person. It says that while you are a man of stature and is successful in your field, you also like to keep things casual and laid-back. On a working holiday, when you can dress it down a touch from the standard office wear, it’s good to promote the smart-casual look.
Polo shirts play nicely into the dress code and tower bracelets work fantastically well with them. Keep your polos plain and simple with no loud designs, as you want to keep it looking professional – think along the lines of a Ralph Lauren polo shirt. As with anything, don’t overplay the look; that means put a cap on the number of bracelets you are wearing at once.
What does incorporating a trouser chain as part of your ensemble say about you? Is it that you are fashion conscious and you keep up with the latest trends? Does it say that you hold yourself seriously in the corporate world? Perhaps it points to the fact that you know how to have fun outside of the office setting? How about all of the above? With the correct design, trouser chains are smart and fun, being just enough to be noticeable but subtle enough not to dominate your appearance.
Trouser chains can also be used as a functional accessory, as opposed to just being a piece of luxury jewellery to wear on your person. Chains can be attached either to a pocket watch or to a wallet, making for a handy piece if you would like an added layer of security to your belongings. If you are planning a late evening with colleagues or friends, you might just be happy that your outfit comes with a chain.
A collar stiffener is a useful piece of jewellery that, while it isn’t actually designed to be seen, it does exactly what it says on the tin by keeping your collar crease-free. This, for the travelling worker, is ideal as it means you’re not giving off the wrong vibe even if you cannot locate an iron in which to straighten out the collars on your shirt. Knowing that shirt looks sharp breeds confidence, which can only help your performance.
Collar stiffeners don’t have to cost the earth because, after all, no one is going to see them, so don’t worry about paying out for loud designs. Get a set that does the job and can be used for all occasions from the boardroom, meeting clients and for social situations.
When you feel that trousers are just a little too formal, but you don’t quite want to plump for the full-on casual pair of jeans, chinos are the middle-ground your wardrobe is longing for. Smart enough to look the part but light enough to keep you cool and comfortable, in even the warmest of climates, there is a reason why chinos are a popular alternative trouser choice. Available in a wide range of pastel colours, you can easily invest in a pair or two to build your outfit around.
Chinos are also ideal if you plan on heading straight out after finalising business, leaving you with little to no time to change into something else. When you are working in the sun, no one is expecting you to don a full-on suit and tie combination, as long as you look presentable you are good.
Mix up your look with your favourite accessories without wearing more luxury jewellery than a peak 1980s Mr T. Keep it simple and, ultimately, have fun with your sense of fashion, but also remember to keep it practical. If you are going to be out for a long period, you will want somewhere to store your phone and wallet safely, especially if there is a high chance of drinks flowing long into the night.