As a fellow frequent traveler, Anthony Bourdain's new show "The Layover" hits close to home. The sight seeing haste, enjoying random restaurants and meeting locals is something that is unique to those roaming the globe. Experiencing different cultures in this manner is just mesmerizing to the soul; to glance out into the world and see the richness of humanity. In each corner of the planet, a different delicacy, language, custom and life. Not many can say they have embarked on such a journey and for those that are yet to do it and have the means with which to do it, why aren't you on a plane today?
But I digress from the topic at hand with my rather brief trip into the philosophies of intangible wealth. Let's focus on what we are here to do, talk about style and flair for the most part with the occasional deep thinking quips as experienced above. With traveling often, as is the case with the ever so unsubtle and uniquely arrogant Bourdain, a trait which comes so natural to him that it defines his very being and on air persona; a certain je ne c'est quois his show could not afford to do without, certain clothes quickly become your favorites.
A favorite shirt to wear while on the plane; a specific shoe, pair of pants or whatever the item may be. Ergo, we will call this the layover uniform. We all have it, cherish it and swear by it.
Let's analyze Bourdain's good sense of style and mobility. Watching his episodes in Miami, Montreal and Hong Kong you see a pattern develop. He is wearing a button up shirt with rolled up sleeves; what appears to be Desert Boots or Chukkas, a pair of sunglasses with a lot of pizzazz and a good old reliable pair of jeans (A bow to the Germanic-American denim God, Levi Strauss [1829-1902]).
A few shots of Bourdain will confirm my aforementioned description and further boost my keen sense of style which so many would benefit from...
In Hong Kong
It is safe to say Bourdain possesses not only the essential gene to turn his arrogance into charm, the culinary skills obtained through years of experience as well as a fine tuned (whether he is aware of it or not) sense of style. A combination not found on many TV show hosts, making his shows a niche that is appreciated by many who share much of the same qualities and live vicariously through his traveling repertoire.
Onto the clothing:
Button Ups are easy to find and purchase. My recommendation would be either a nicely fit and comfortable, yet affordable J. Crew shirt (I find that plaids or checkered patterns are the most flexible). Perhaps a more expensive and durable shirt which will weather the storms of covering a torso that has slept in closed quarters surrounded by fuselage for several hours, sweating while waiting for a taxi in a hot day outside an airport's arrivals area during high summer in humid Asia and has gone through many more ordeals much like Indiana Jones' Hat.
The pants need no other suggestion than some good old Made in the USA Levi's; specifically some 501's. They are durable, made with great materials and beautiful. These can be found anywhere, here's a quick link at Brooks Brothers.
The boots are the very foundation from which this solid uniform is built. Two options present themselves here. A Clark's relatively affordable pair of Desert Boots:
Or even a more expensive option such as a Hannah from Grenson (UK):
Finally for the pièce de résistance, the Sunglasses. Tom Ford is a damn good option in my book, specifically the Campbell model. Is this hitting close to Bourdain's taste (pick up on the pun yet?) in travel wear? Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. It's fairly close enough though.
The watch will be omitted, since this is a highly critical piece that is of particularly unique taste to each individual. A sensitive subject that deserves its own blog post at a later date.
This is it for now. As a closing message; do yourself a favor and watch Bourdain's new show "The Layover" on the Travel Channel in HD. It's a gem.
I have a plane to catch. Gotta go.