Archetypes of Travel, What to Wear – A Tale of Modern Britain

An Ape to Gentleman partnership with London Heathrow

Whether it’s a summer getaway, weekend city break or business trip, our flights, often from and to London Heathrow, usually represent the beginning and the end of an epic journey. Everyone wants to travel in comfort, and look great in the process. Whether it’s for the eager anticipation of the outbound journey, or the familiarity of returning home, it’s always important to travel in style. For this reason, we put together our guide on traveling in elegance, no matter the occasion.

Of course, if you’re heading to warmer climes, it’s vital to use layering to your advantage. You might need your warmest sweater on the tarmac at Heathrow pre-sunrise, but not when you arrive in the mediterranean that afternoon. For this reason, wear a few layers rather than one really warm coat, and remove as needed as the day grows warmer. Conversely, it’s also important to remember that just because you’ve reached the Heathrow departures lounge doesn’t mean you’re on holiday quite yet, so leave any bright, striking colours, board shorts and other ultra-summery holiday attire in your case for now. Also keeping in mind that while looking good is the aim, comfort should always be considered equally important when it comes to travel. With this in mind, keep your outfit simple and free from items that might hinder your movement on a plane as the hours roll by.


For many, choosing outfits for travel can be something of a minefield. You don’t want to look scruffy, but you don’t want to compromise on comfort either, especially on a long-haul flight. While a business trip may require a smart appearance straight off the flight, suits can often appear creased or dishevelled after spending half a day in the seat of a jet airliner. When travelling for pleasure rather than for business, formality isn’t required, but practicality is paramount, and you’ll be all the more likely to take even greater enjoyment from your travels if you feel confident, comfortable and well-presented along the way. For this reason, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite outfits for travel whatever the circumstances – suitably worn at Heathrow, aboard a Boeing 747 and at your final destination.

On Business


Paul Smith – A Suit To Travel In in Navy, £730

Eton – Signature Twill Shirt in White, £120

Tricker’s – Belgrave Town Shoe in Espresso Burnished, £375

Tumi – International 4 Wheeled Office Carry On in Black, £730

Made specifically for travel, this smart navy travel suit from Paul Smith is made from materials which spring back into shape under stress, meaning it is almost impossible to crease, and therefore ideal for business trips which demand you look your best. Pair it with a classic white shirt from Eton, which uses a versatile design to ensure it stays crisp during long periods of wear. A stylish Oxford Brogue by Tricker’s adds a refined finishing touch, while Tumi’s carry-on case features a laptop compartment for easy access during flights, meetings and pre-boarding at Heathrow.

City Break



Aspesi – Thermore Jacket New Field in Beige, £445

Sunspel – Short Sleeve Rack Stitch Polo in Off White, £175

Arket – Slim Rinsed Indigo Jeans in Dark Blue, £59

Common Projects – Original Achilles Leather Sneakers in White, £290

Carl Friedrik – Hanbury Grained Leather Weekend Bag, £445

Form and function are needed in equal measure for the city break, as demonstrated by Aspesi’s military style field jacket, which uses a waterproofed coating and Thermore padding to keep the body at its natural temperature, perfect for unpredictable urban weather. Sunspel’s knitted polo shirt paired with classic slim-fitting jeans from Arket and the smart Original Achilles sneakers by Common Projects give a decidedly stylish yet understated look. Carl Friedrik’s weekend bag is compact enough to allow for effortless travel, whilst still being spacious enough to carry everything needed for a few nights away.



Sunspel – Cotton Loopback Sweatshirt in Grey Melange, £95

Sunspel – Riviera T-Shirt in White, £70

Sunspel – Tapered Brushed Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatpants in Black, £105

North 89 – No-1 in Black, £173

Away – The Large in Black, £214

When it comes to traveling long-haul, it’s all about comfort. In order to achieve this, turn to Sunspel’s cotton sweatshirt and sweatpants, a classic athleisure duo renowned for its comfort. The white Riviera t-shirt forms a solid base layer, while North 89’s No-1 sneakers in black provide a lightweight, no-nonsense footwear option. If you’re undertaking a long-haul flight, chances are you’re staying for a while. For this reason, take Away’s The Large suitcase with you for a luggage choice capable of bringing half your house on your travels. This has to be the ultimate in comfort-wear for travel and equally impressive, it’s smart enough to wander the shops and bars of Heathrow without looking too casual.

In Partnership

We wrote this piece of content in partnership with London Heathrow, firstly because we believe you’ll enjoy what’s to follow and secondly, for those of you who travel frequently like we do- there’s no better airport. Heathrow is the UK’s hub airport, home to more than 80 airlines connecting to more than 180 destinations. And the numbers get even more impressive with Heathrow welcoming over 78 million passengers every year with a commitment to ‘making every journey better’. Following an investment of more than £11 billion over the past 10 years, you the passengers have voted Heathrow the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’, ‘Best Airport Terminal’ for Terminal 5 and ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ 8 years in a row. It’s hard to argue.

Caleb Femi wears a zipped knit graphic sun print socks by Paul Smith, a chestnut tone belt and wool blend trousers by Hugo Boss, and a pair of orange and blue trainers by Kurt Geiger. All purchased via the Heathrow Personal Shopping service (more information here).

To celebrate the airports’ undoubted success, Heathrow has teamed up with the Young People’s Laureate for London and critically-acclaimed spoken word artist Caleb Femi (pictured above), himself a stylish gentleman, to create a contemporary poem titled A Tale of Modern Britain that celebrates British culture against the backdrop of arrivals and departures through the gateway to the UK. Welcome home.

A Tale of Modern Britain by Caleb Femi

You arrive at the end of the horizon
standing at the tarmac mouth of home
lighter if you left it all behind -heavier if you brought all with you.
Come, before you step out into the open air
sit down here, in-between the brief pause
of children’s laughter and a tannoy announcement.
In the small kingdom of faces -some moving with 
the grace of falling snow
others like laser beams bouncing off a disco ball.

Not too long ago you were at departures 
when leaving was a sweet song bitter in the throat to sing.
Do you remember the faces who were leaving for work,
 or for the spring holidays, 
to say goodbye at a family funeral 
or for the laughter of a hen do?
Those who were answering the call to adventure 
with an open ticket in hand and in the other a phone
full of friends who will follow them each step of the way.

Now you’ve arrived at the other side of that adventure
in the warmness of home
shed the hue of ‘tourist’ 
you’re back in your endz now 
one of the locals
you know the right trains to catch
know the best breakfast spot.

This country is not a place of good weather but of good people.
What do you want to know about the country? You might learn it here
in this marketplace of modern British culture.
Take a crash course in the local lingo
teach your ears the different accents 
we don’t all sound like Downton Abbey 
not all Northerns sound like Wayne Rooney
some of us man do get hot
we’re not all about tea and crumpets -well some of us are.

Imagine a terminal as a portal to a new version of yourself
a new light pouring over a new sunrise 
remember that as you 
depart at the start of the horizon
standing at the tarmac mouth of the world.


Malin+Goetz Grooming Kit, £32 | Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Hémisphères Watch | TUMI Zip-Around Organizer, £245

Of course, a few accessories never go amiss to aid your travels, but ensure you keep it simple so as not to overcomplicate things. The Malin+Goetz Grooming Kit is carry-on approved and perfect for frequent flyers while Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda Hémisphères watch allows the time zones of any two locations to be paired to the nearest minute. Tumi’s Zip-around Organiser keeps your passport, currencies and cards in check at all times.

Jack Lenton

Jack is Ape's Online Editorial Associate, with a passion for Men's Style, Cars, and Technology.