"I’m moving to London for 6 months for work. What suits should I bring with me?”
Well, as fate would have it, I have recently had to face the same problem myself! As some of you may know, I recently obtained my Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Business Administration degrees. Rather than go down the traditional route of starting residency specialty training immediately, I had planned to have a year for some much needed R & R whilst putting energy into growing the Maison Leporem brand. As is always the case however, things have not gone to plan! I was recently presented with an incredible opportunity to work on a global health project in Geneva, Switzerland. So there I was, with the same dilemma as my Bostonian investment banker heading to London – what suits do I take for my 3-month stint in Geneva?
Without further ado, here are the selected 4 suits & 1 sports coat that came with me on my Swiss adventure.The Classic Navy
This was a no-brainer. A simple blue/navy suit is as essential to a gentleman as water and whiskey. This is the suit you wear on the first day at the new office. It is classic, understated, and yet elegant. A major benefit of this suit is that the jacket can be used as a blazer, paired with grey pants for example, or even with denim on a casual evening out on the town. This is the suit that you would probably make the most use of during your work trip. This is the suit that you must bring with you.
A Hopsack Suit in Light Grey
This is another classic, albeit slightly less versatile than the blue suit. In the warmer months, a lightweight fabric like this REDA hopsack (only weighs 245g/m) is a godsend. Although, the colour is on the lighter side, you would not look out of place in the office, as people tend to wear lighter colours in the summer. However, if you work in a very conservative environment, you might want to opt for a shade darker grey. This suit’s additional benefit is that the pants are perfect for use with separate jackets (for example, “the classic blue” jacket). Remember, you have a 23lbs limit for the weight of your luggage, so you need options that offer versatility!
A Double Breasted Suit
You walk into a room in a double-breasted suit and heads will turn (if it is fitted properly, that is). In other words, this suit gets you noticed – for the right reasons. This is a great option to have for your work trip. Admittedly, it would not be used as much as say the classic blue suit; but if you keep your shirts and accessories simple, you can get a decent amount of use out of it. Also, bear in mind that there will always be days when a little slice of panache is needed, regardless of how conservative the environment is. A double-breasted suit is made for such days.
A Lightweight Cotton Suit in Brown
This suit made the cut for a couple of reasons. First, the jacket is often my favoured choice for flying, because of its relaxed structure and patch pockets. Since I was going to be wearing the jacket anyways, it made sense to bring the pants along, as they would not add much weight to my luggage.
This jacket, given its lack of structure, is perfect for use as a sports jacket, to be paired with the pants of the light grey suit, the “classic blue” pants, the birdseye pants, or with denim pants as I did for the flight. The full suit is also a fantastic option for less serious days at the office (Fridays, anyone?)
The pants of this suit are also great for use with separate jacket – particularly the sports coat (see below), the classic blue jacket, and the double-breasted jacket.
A Blazer/Sports Jacket
I believe a gentleman should always travel with a sports coat – a jacket that is unstructured, comfortable, and of course with patch pockets. For my chosen sports coat on this trip, I decided to go with one in a heavier fabric, considering the latter part of my trip would coincide with the autumn. My thinking was while the weather was warm at the beginning of the trip, the jacket of the cotton suit would be my de facto sports coat, and then as it got cooler, I would transition to this REDA heavier wool jacket.
I would pair this jacket with the brown flannel pants I brought along, for a day at the office. In the evening or on the weekends, I would wear it with denim pants, a white T-shirt and sneakers. Easy.
I hope this article has helped you in figuring out what to pack for that big work trip coming up! Feel free to send us any questions you may have regarding style - either via email, Facebook Messenger or Instagram Direct Messaging. You can also follow my personal account (@dr.collinsoghor) and the brand’s (@maisonleporem) to see how I make the most out of my 4 suits over the next 3 months.