Style Masterclass

The Man's Guide To Packing Well

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Unsurprisingly, there aren’t exactly a raft of qualifications available in packing or stylish travelling, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who know a great deal about it.

Clive Darby, for instance, founder of clothing label Rake, and a former menswear buyer, has spent much of his life living out of a suitcase, flying from trade shows to fashion weeks and back again. In his business, appearance matters, regardless of where you’ve just come in from.

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“Travelling and looking great when you do is very much what Rake is about,” says Darby. And according to him, packing well starts long before you pull your suitcase out of the loft.

“It’s about investing in good quality, versatile separates,” he says. “Blazers, pique shirts, cashmere jumpers, things that are comfortable and will travel well. And in colours that work – navy, grey, black.” Once you’ve got that, the rest is simple.

“You can use one or two accessories to great effect. A tie can easily transform a casual shirt into an outfit for the evening.” But there’s a bit more to it than that, especially if you take the time to pack properly. Heavy items at the bottom, naturally, but Darby also suggests “folding everything with tissue paper”. Decadent, yes, “but it really makes a difference if you want to pull a shirt out of a bag with as few creases as possible.” Fine, we’re persuaded.

In the meantime, Darby demonstrates how best to fold a blazer if you’re packing it. “I’m not averse to cheating, either. You can hang a garment in the shower and let the creases steam out but there’s a better trick I use.”

This article first appeared in Esquire Weekly, our iPad-only edition. Containing 100 per cent new and original content, it’s published every Thursday on the Apple Newsstand.

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