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How to Pack a Dude's Suitcase

During a meeting of the minds last week, one of my colleagues shared the story of how her boyfriend found himself in a spin class wearing a bathing suit. Why would he wear a bathing suit to a spin class? Their impromptu trip left him with little time to pack, that's why. (Also, I couldn't help but think, "Who goes to a spin class on vacation?")

So, if you don't want to be the girl who brings the dude in swim trunks to couples yoga, just follow this guide. It's based on a quarter-lifetime of travel experience and covers all the basics. When packing, keep an eye out for the things he wears all the time. Comfort and familiarity is key. Remember that and you'll pack him up right-nice.

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So your suitcase is all set—great! Click through for some tips on packing your man's.


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First of all, let's make sure he's got a great bag to start with. Avoid rolling ones. A rolling suitcase tells the world, "I am lazy and you have to deal with it."
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Do not leave your man hanging without his grooming supplies. Throw everything he uses daily or semi-daily into a dopp kit. This includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, etc. You want bonus points? Throw in a clean set of razor blades.


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Shoes take up a ton of room in a suitcase. Pack something that can be compacted down. Canvas sneakers look good with almost everything (even a suit) and can be folded up a bit. If you run out of room in the suitcase, tie them to the hook on the outside of the bag.
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Classic polos are perfect for travel. The pique cotton holds up well if you're sitting in a car or on a plane for a few hours and they can be made casual with denim, kind-of-casual with pants or more refined with a jacket.
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Faded denim is an easy, relaxed alternative to the darker washes popular during fall and winter. And, like the polo, it won't get wrinkled or look messy after a few hours of travel.
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Let's assume that he's going to want to be able to walk around town, the boardwalk or wherever else you're heading in comfort. Throw in a pair of chinos and he'll be set. They'll match pretty much anything he owns.
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A chambray or denim shirt is a great piece to travel with. It's light, comfortable and wears well on virtually any skin tone. Plus, it's a good option for wearing with swim trunks. It'll give him an elevated poolside look.

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A deconstructed sport coat packs easily and has less of a chance of coming out of the bag wrinkled. If you're planning on going to a fancy dinner, a country club or any place where a jacket is required, he can throw this on over his polo or denim shirt. Done and done.
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If you plan to go swimming on this trip, make sure you pack a swimsuit. Duh. Also, make sure it's this one because it's the best men's bathing suit in the universe.
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A pair of pajama pants goes a long way—especially for that early-morning room service. Nobody wants to put on real pants for that.
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A few t-shirts are always welcome. In the event you've packed some things that he prefers not to wear, you can always rely on a t-shirt. Good for the beach, hanging out and of course, lounging.
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