Style Scenario: The Late Summer Road Trip

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What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. In the midst of international travel bans and sketchy sanitation in airports and airplanes, the great American road trip is seeing a revival like none other. Hit the road this summer to escape the cabin fever. Make smart choices with your lodging, and take proper precautions. Safety first. Pack lots of masks. But when in the car, keeping comfortable yet alert is paramount. Stay ready for whatever the road brings with a single outfit to last you 4-8 hours in the car, plus snacks, beverages, and entertainment. And whatever you do, don’t be in a rush. Be safe to yourself and everyone else on the road. You’ll get there eventually – enjoy the ride.

Style Scenario Summer Road Trip 2020

The Shirt: Flint & Tinder Made in the USA Supima Air Knit Polo in Black – $58.  A polo shirt keeps you ready for just about any stop you might make along your journey. Dressing better improves your mood, too, and a long day in a car calls for a mood booster. With some studies showing darker colors are optimal to wear in the summer (wait… what?), opt for this flattering athletic-fit Flint & Tinder polo in black. 100% supima cotton in a “baby jersey” knit. Soft feel with a  a vintage-look. Not super slick or polished, so it keeps things casual for a day in the car, but just enough extra style for those impromptu stops. Made in the USA to boot; perfect for the great American road trip.

The Shorts: Bonobos Stretch Lightweight Chino Short in Nickel – $78. Think Bonobos lightweight chino pants but…short. Mind-blowing. Right? Same superb fit and finish, with all of the sizing options available in their longer-legged brethren. Spendy, but worth the price if Bonobos is your best fit. Keep your bottom half cool and comfortable with these lightweight shorts in a neutral color like “Nickel.” And, when paired with a properly fitted black polo, you have a trim masculine look.

The Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sutton in Walnut Tortoise – $95. Retro cool in a modern interpretation, built with quality materials at a proper price. This is what Warby Parker does. Keyhole bridge and a whiskey tortoise acetate frame give your outfit some much needed pop. In a brighter ensemble, this pair might push you over the top. But, for this more reserved look, these are an ideal splash of color. Polarized frames help keep your eyes comfortable behind the wheel all day long.

The Watch: Seiko 5 Automatic Black Dial on Black Canvas Strap – $80. A simple, clean combo of the reliable Seiko caliber 7S26 automatic movement on a canvas strap keeps your wrist light and airy while staying stylish and always on time. Phenomenal bang for your buck at $80 through Jomashop.

For Drinking: HydroFlask 40 oz in Cobalt – $50.  Fifty bucks for a water bottle was a tough sell on me, but when you’re trying to keep water cold during a long day out, it’s worth the cost of admission. Having a bottle that actually keeps your water cold offers a refreshing jolt when you do take a sip to whet your whistle on the road. 40 ounces is plenty even for longer rides. You don’t want to be stopping every 2 hours to water the plants.

The Belt: Amazon Essentials Stretch Woven Belt in Black – $18. Flexible and easily adjustable. I prefer woven belts for road trips because they’re much lighter than their leather counterparts. And when sitting in a car all day, the potential monotony of endless driving can be exhausting. Anything you can do to feel brighter and lighter is advised.

The Shoes: Adidas Continental 80 in White and Black/Gold Stripe – $50. A steal for this well-built leather sneaker. Just enough cushion for the (pedal) pushin’ without feeling overly soft. As with the sunglasses, the bright white sneakers bring a dash of summer flair to your overall look. Full review available here.

The Socks:  Adidas Superlite No-Show Sock in White – 6 pairs for $20. For a sneaker like this, with shorts, the best sock is a moderately cushioned no-show sock. Breathability is key for long jaunts in the car. While merino wool is preferred to keep your feet cool, this multi-pack of polyester athletic socks will serve you well at a great price.

The Snack: think! High Protein Bar – 5ct for $5.99. Road trip snacks should fill two roles: easy to eat, and satisfying. The optimal snack prevents you from making a pit-stop just for food, while also having minimal risk of making a mess. These protein bars from Think are delicious, have 0g sugar (beware if you’re sensitive to “sugar alcohols”), and are filling. Choose from creamy or crunchy peanut butter, lemon delight, brownie fudge, chocolate mint and more.

For Listening:  Motley Fool Money Podcast. This can be a bit nerdy, but I’ve been loving the Motley Fool Money podcast during these “unprecedented times.” Through the market bottom in March and the insanity and hyper-valuation of the rise back up since then, this podcast has done a great job of helping people wade through a lot of confusing and contradictory info in a fun and digestible way. If you’re wise, you can put a lot of the teachings and tips to task and make some coin, too.

The Luggage: Samsonite Lift 2 21″ Spinner – $100. With spinner-wheels that allow movement in any direction, and a lightweight design using a thick ripstop style fabric, this is a perfect carry-on bag for the airport, or multi-day road trip. (Or, for blocking a license plate in a style scenario header image.) Internal straps and pockets keep everything locked down, while external pockets on the front provide quick access to items you need on the go. This bag has enough space – if you know how to pack accordingly- for a 5 day trip. Of course, your results may vary. Admittedly, not the most dappered of choices. For something with a bit more polish, but less space, check out this weekender from Peak Design, via Huckberry.

About the Author: Jason P. spends his days working in the creative marketing department of a big telecom company. He also does a bit of real estate investing on the side. He believes in curating a timeless, classic wardrobe with subtle modern touches for today. He and his wife love hiking with their dog and shopping at local small businesses and antique stores when they travel. Jason is a practitioner of muay thai and traditional boxing, and his favorite drink is a hoppy New England IPA.