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November 4th, 2013

Here’s a situation for you: If you found out on Monday that you’d be leaving on Thursday for a weekend in Venice what would you pack? That’s the set of circumstances I found myself in a couple weeks ago when I was invited to attend the Atelier Persol launch event. Having to quickly decide what to pack for the trip got me thinking about the concept of the go bag—not so much in the survival sense, but more in terms of that if this kind of opportunity arises again, having a blueprint beforehand isn’t such a bad idea as it can definitely help relieve a lot of pre-travel stress. Here’s one look that made it into my Venice go bag.

Venice - He Spoke Style

Part of knowing what to pack for a trip—even if it’s just a quick one—is knowing what kind of events you’ll be attending and the level (or lack) of formality that those events require you to be dressed for. In Venice, I knew that I would be attending a day-long launch function with Persol as well as a couple dinners and cocktail parties with brand representatives, artists, and editors from a few other publications. And hopefully I’d also be able to squeeze in a little time to just walk around and take in the amazing sights.

Venice - He Spoke Style

Venice - He Spoke Style

Because I didn’t have a precise idea about the dress code for my obligations, I decided to take a “ready for anything” approach. And since I like to travel as light as possible, I filled up a single garment bag and leather carry on with some great basics and essentials, like my favorite navy blazer (as well as my double-breasted navy blazer), my leather jacket, a navy suit, jeans, chinos, button down and french cuff shirts, a couple sweaters, as well as casual, cool, in-between, and formal shoes. Okay, so I brought a lot of shoes.

One area that I didn’t impose a limit on myself—besides shoes—was accessories. While I can easily map out basic outfits for a trip, I rarely know what tie or pair of socks I’m going to wear until 10 minutes before I walk out the door. It’s all about how I’m feeling that day. So, as a result, I took a healthy cross section of ties from my collection as well as many pocket squares and pairs of socks. Ties and pocket squares take up little to no room and the socks were good to stuff in my shoes in place of heavy shoe tress.

Venezia - He Spoke Style

Venezia - He Spoke Style

Venezia - He Spoke Style

This Look: Navy blazer c/o Reiss (more options here) – Tan fair isle v-neck sweater by Brooks Brothers (old, similar) – White button down shirt by J.Crew – Brown chinos by Gap – Burgundy belt c/o ASOS – Pocket square by The Tie Bar (similar) – Watch with brown leather strap by Timex – Sunglasses by Ray-Ban (Clubmaster) – Burgundy wingtip shoes c/o Johnston & Murphy

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to pack quickly for a trip, overseas or otherwise? What did you take? Or what did you not take but wished you had? Share your stories and experiences in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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