Borrowed From the Boys: Linen Shirt (Or: Why Every Guy Should Shop on Vacation)

    15th July 2013
    I’m back – finally! Hello! How have you been? What is all this heat about?!

    Last night I arrived home in New York after a whirlwind few weeks of exhausting but totally fun (funxhausting?) travels. The jet lag’s not actually too bad, though I have a feeling I’ll be absentmindedly responding “Grazia mille!” to whoever sells me my iced coffee for the rest of the week.



    {Borrowed from the Boys: Gutteridge hi-vis linen}

    While unpacking (yep, I’m a “Let’s get this stuff put away right now” kinda gal..what’s your unpacking m.o.?), I got to revisit the cities I visited through the shopping I did, like this linen shirt from a menswear store in Italy called Gutterridge.

    Last week, Intern Gabi got all up in your spot about living in linen this summer. I’m not sure which of you ran out and bought yourself some of the warm weather material, but it certainly convinced me that I needed more of the summer staple in my life.

    At the shop I stopped into in Florence (one of a chain, think Ralph Lauren, but less expensive and more polished rather than preppy), this linen shirt came in several prints and some subtle shades, but I had to go bright. This hi-vis yellow has been catching my eye lately – sure, mostly in my running attire, but it’s still a fun, unexpected hue that works well anytime.


    Personally, I love buying clothes as mementos from a trip.

    A shot glass you’ll lose or break – and also, c’mon, we’re not fifteen here. A commemorative key ring will wind up storing your spare set of house keys. But a dress shirt from High Street in London? Or a shetland wool sweater from Dublin? Dub monks from some tiny leather shop in Milan? Those you’ll have forever. You’ll get fuzzy warm feelings when you pull that piece on and remember what fun you had on the trip when you bought it. Not to mention, you’ll have a good story on hand anytime someone compliments you on that particular item (“Oh this old thing? I picked it up while on safari in Kenya..”). 

    Tell me:

    How much shopping do you do on vacation? Do you research ahead of time the stores you want to hit up, or do you just wander in and out of whatever looks like the most shopping-heavy area?

    Also! I’ve been thinking about putting together some guides to my favorite places – hotels I like, restaurants, and of course, the best guys’ shopping in town. Would you use that? I have some ideas about cities, but is there anywhere in particular you’d like to know more about?

    • Tod C

      Certainly it is a really good way to stand out from the other people in town, especially if it is a town with a shortage of choices.

      This is actually a debate right now – we are looking at a trip to the UK in the fall and my style is decidedly English so I am looking into some choices when I am there. With a fashion conscious daughter and a shop hating son with us we will need to plan well so she gets something good and he doesn’t wreck it for her.

      I have soccer jerseys that I wear as bike shirts all of the time but not much else right now mostly as I don’t travel much. But I certainly look into what a place I am visiting is good at (raincoats in a rainy place for instance) and hit the shops for those items when I am there.

      • average joe

        check out the charles tyrwhitt store

        • Tom Allan

          I would agree with that but have a look at all the stores on Jermyn Street. Have a look at Old Hat which is this awesome vintage store and tailor over Fulham way in London.

    • Enrique Ollero

      I always shop on vacation. I get it from my parents – world travelers who always come back with more than they left with. Pashminas from Istanbul, coats from Germany, shoes from Italy, and art prints from everywhere – they love to shop. That’s where I get it. I usually don’t research it, I just go around and if I see something I like I’ll stop in. I’m heading to Hawaii in a few weeks and thought about getting some items with a tropical flare for my vacation, but getting them here in Pittsburgh rather than waiting to get them in Hawaii just feels wrong.

      As for unpacking, I’m more of a “wait-until-you-can’t-stand-it” unpacker. I usually won’t start until I’ve stubbed my toe on my luggage. I’ll unpack certain things quickly like blazers, suits, and anything I plan on wearing soon after. But the rest of it will sit in my luggage until my luggage says “enough.”

      And I for one would love guides. The “Go local in” piece you did for apartment number 9 really made me want to go to Madison. I’d love your takes on other cities.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Cool! Thank you for the feedback Enrique

    • TJ

      I always buy things to remember my trips by. I did a study abroad in Europe in college and got a couple things to remember the trip by. I got some loafers in Venice, a german national team soccer jersey in Munich, and a glass stein from one of the beer halls in Munich as well. As for the unpacking, it all just goes in the laundry when I get home and then I put it away after. Except for the stuff that can’t of course, that gets put up right away.
      You look great in that shirt. I don’t know if I could pull off yellow, but you definitely are.

      • Style Girlfriend

        I always make an exception on alcohol glassware for German beer steins. Way better than a shot glass :)

        • average joe

          i have a shot glass from san diego and one from cozumel….I have never been to either place and i have no idea where i got them

          • average joe

            some things just end up in your possession

        • Tom Allan

          I have a few of the stoneware steins knocking around from vaious Oktoberfest parties I have been to and they are awesome for drinking at a barbeque. Also have an odd one I picked up on my travels with the crest of the US embassy in Afghanistan.

          • TJ

            I had one of those but it broke. Now I’ve just got the glass stein.

        • Jim Alrutz

          German shot glasses are tiny anyway. Even a double is still smaller than a U.S. single.

          I don’t care much for U.S. beer but I bought a stoneware stein in Munich because it seemed appropriate. I also discovered that one of my favorite German beers (Augustiner Edelstoff, for the curious) as available in the States.

          • Style Girlfriend

            Really? There are a lot of smaller US breweries that I think are great, like Stone in San Diego, and Ale Asylum in Madison (gotta rep Wisconsin!)

            • Jim Alrutz

              Still a minor in the U.S. so it takes more effort to lay hands on good quality beer. Not that I would ever think of drinking before the legal age of 21, of course. ;)

    • Dan

      I can’t say I’m a big shopper while on vacation. Usually, I just budget for the trip and the various activities. I don’t leave much for souvenirs or clothes.

      While on my recent honeymoon, we took a cruise in Europe. We didn’t bring a lot things back, but we did come across a new cologne the both of us liked a lot. I didn’t want to buy the huge bottle on board (although the price wasn’t bad, I just don’t use THAT much cologne before it turns), so I bought a smaller bottle when we got back. Although I didn’t buy it on vacation, the smell still reminds us of our honeymoon.

      Unpacking… Prior to wife, it usually took about a week to unpack. With wife, it’s done right away. Actually, coming back from our honeymoon she got up around 4.15 (jetlag of course) and had everything unpacked before I woke up at 8 the next morning.

    • Justin Lim

      I love to shop while on vacation! I’ll usually pick up the standard t-shirt, magnet, mug/shot glass and some chocolate as gifts for loved ones. This last trip (and almost every time I’ve been) to Europe, I made it a must to stop by a Uniqlo. Also, checking out other streetwear shops/boutiques are on my itinerary. Nike stores and sneaker shops across Europe also have a great selection on highly sought-after sneakers like Jordans which cost a fortune thanks to the reselling market over here. Shopping during vaycay can be both good and bad, but it’s great when you do find something that you know you won’t be able to find back home!

      PS – Love your FlyKnits!

      • Style Girlfriend

        Thanks Justin! I’m totally obsessed with my FlyKnits, though I’m thinking I might need to get a new pair soon. What colorway should I get for my next pair?

    • scott

      I always pack an extra empty duffle bag to pack with dirty laundry, using the free space in the main bag for clean and new clothes. The only problem with shopping overseas is finding a brand you love and then being unable to get it stateside. Even if you can translate the website, not all of them have a store and you have to locate a store, which are all overseas. I guess it’s an excuse to return again!

      • Style Girlfriend

        Totally! I had trouble even finding the Gutteridge website to link to in the post! And here I thought we were a fully globalized society…. :)

    • Brian Lee

      Gutterridge!!! Megan, that’s the exact store I visited when I was in Florence. I bought a blue cotton blazer from Gutterridge. For an Italian blazer it was reasonably priced, and nicely fitted. I also visited a store in Rome, named Franceschini, and bought a navy linen blazer with elbow patches. I figured Italy is known for their fabrics, so I bought clothes (particular blazers and shoes) as my souvenirs while i was there. (Their H&M is even better over there).

      • Style Girlfriend

        Yes! Their Zara is better too. Funny, right?

    • Jim Alrutz

      I’m currently about halfway through a study abroad summer in Europe (most of the time is in Berlin, but I’m currently in Vienna and about to head for Munich). While clothes over here are nice, I’ve been enjoying thrifting/secondhand stores over here too. My student budget doesn’t allow for European prices on new clothes, especially not boutiques where even a small item costs hundreds of Euro.

      That said, I found a fantastic leather bomber jacket (with removable additional lining and fur collar) that looks great, and for a price that’s much better than any leather jacket in the states. Some of my friends thought I was crazy for spending any more than a few euro on used clothing, but it looks great, I’ll wear it to death in Chicago winters, and it’ll feel very slick to say, “Oh, I picked it up in a thrift shop in Berlin”.

      • Style Girlfriend

        Totally! That kind of name drop is almost better than the item itself :)

    • brianmo95

      Oh that’s the first thing I do is unpack everything and try to get back to my normal routine. I don’t want to be scrambling for things when I actually need them like toothbrush, deodorant, etc.. And I don’t want anything I didn’t wear to get all funky haha. Plus I usually bring my favorites with me, so I usually want to wash those as soon as I get home so they’re ready to go if something pops up ;)

      • Style Girlfriend

        Yes! Gotta separate the clean from the unclean – that’s why I love my Flight001 Spacepak; there’s two different zippered compartments, so nothing gets mingled :)

    • Mark

      Thanks for this post. That linen shirt looks quite all right on you! I am just like you, might as well make clothing as your souvenirs. Even better when you get little accessories for the ladies, and they can say, that a dear friend (or the guy that got away) got this for me from his travels in (fill in the blank). Enjoy reading your site!

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