Sartorial Doctrine: Menswear shopping in Tokyo, Japan.


It’s been about a month since I returned from Tokyo, much due to my wonderful readers I was able to visit some great stores. So I thought it would be nice to write a post about the stores that I enjoyed the most. To summarize it you cannot visit Tokyo without going home with overfilled luggage. Tokyo is truly a sartorial paradise where you can find price worthy Japanese products and also clothing from exclusive Italian brands known in the western market. Anyway, here we go…


Business travel realizations

I never had to really worry about the things most business travelers worry about, because at my old job I drove when I had to travel.

This meant I could take as many of my suits in a garment bag as I wanted with me. I could bring a decent travel iron for my shirts. I could pack multiple shoes into a tote bag. I could have more than one piece of luggage plus a briefcase.

But this whole flying thing means a whole new set of restrictions I never really thought about. At most, I can maybe stuff an unconstructed blazer into my duffle. I have to wear my suit while I fly, unless I want it to be bunched up. I need to actually buy non-iron shirting so I don’t have to deal with creases. A dopp kit is pointless because you just have to ziplock all your toiletries anyway for the scanner. And I really need a go-to shoe that’ll work for at least three days — ranging from formal to casual.

So, I guess I’ll have to relent to non-iron shirts and perhaps a larger carry-on duffle bag that can at least squeeze in another pair of shoes.


A few of your replies:

nealryan said: Shouldn’t any respectable hotel provide an iron and ironing board in your room?

allenluo said: dunno your exact situation, but most of my consultant friends live by the irons provided by almost all standard hotel rooms!

I used to use hotel irons, except I had a bad experience once where the innards of a hotel iron had long-ago rusted and stained my shirt with rustwater. Bad looks. I don’t trust hotel irons anymore.

docbound said: I don’t do business travel, but I’ve kept a similar wardrobe when flying. There are detailed ways explained online on how to fold a suit. It’s worked for me well. Plane attire: shawl collar cardigan, dark jeans, oxford, desert boots/sneakers

I actually don’t mind flying in a suit. I like having the pockets for my EDC and other items I need on-hand.

stylepoints said: I know it’s bulky, but I always fly with a travel steamer. It’s of little use on shirts, but does wonders on wool trousers and unstructured sportcoats. For toilitries, I carry samples from the Kiels counter.They take up zero space. Use the hotel iron

I typically hang my stuff in the shower and turn the hot water on to steam clothing the moment I get into a hotel room. Usually does the trick. 

minimalmusings said: Check out the Redoxx air boss. Fits on any airplane overhead (even regional jets), with bundle packing techniques you can fit a suit (or two) and there is enough room for a week’s worth of clothes and 2 pairs of shoes no prob.

Thanks for the luggage recommendation. 

paulhabeeb: I highly recommend using the OneBag method for packing, if you aren’t already. It’s compact and, if you do it correctly, almost nothing gets wrinkled.

Hadn’t heard of that method before. In order for it to work though, I’ll need a new piece of carry-on luggage with slightly more room. What I’m using now is definitely more of an overnight bag. FWIW, I do travel insanely light. 

badscene said: I find that some decent loafers will go a long way. Easy slip-off, easy slip-on. Also, it may be worth asking Phat Guido his opinion on the matter — he seems to travel ALOT.

Given how long it takes to get through TSA already, I don’t mind wearing lace-up shoes. I have plenty of time to take them off and put them back on. Plus, I don’t like wearing loafers with suits. I think PG packs a whole lot more than I do and probably checks luggage. No way in hell am I going to check a bag if I don’t have to do so.

sashu said: I hear they don’t allow you to wear shoes on Air Force 1 because of George W. Bush

That’s just gross. 

Also, funkypresident added a few things to a post of his own, including getting a reusable toiletry pouch, which is probably a good idea. 

Do you own so much Brunello Cucinelli gear that you just don’t know where you’d put it all when you travel? Well, look no further: a Cucinelli cashmere travel garment bag. 

Do you own so much Brunello Cucinelli gear that you just don’t know where you’d put it all when you travel? Well, look no further: a Cucinelli cashmere travel garment bag


What I pack for a 3-night, 4-day stay

I travel quite a bit for my job (by car) and thought I’d show you what I pack for an average trip.

For suits, a navy, a dark grey and I wear my grey tweed. Also, my black/white herringbone tweed blazer and a brown donegal tweed waistcoat.

For shirts, one pink, one blue, one white dress shirt for wearing with the suits. For casual wear, one red university stripe oxford and one blue gingham button down.

Accessories: red, green and navy silk knit ties (for the suits) and a navy with red/white stripe silk tie (for casual). Also, various pocket squares. I also pack one black and one brown leather belt as well as one tan web belt.

I only pack my 501s for extra pants, but if it gets warmer, I’ll maybe swap that with a pair of chinos. And obviously, undergarments and socks.

Not pictured: shoes, which include one pair black and one pair brown leather as well as a pair of tan bucks. Also, a trench coat.

I pack this all up in a rolling luggage (overhead size) and put the suits and blazer in a Hartmann tweed suit garment bag.


Travel insurance

Given that almost every week now I’m on the road, my dress shirts get wrinkled when I pack them and require ironing. I’ve never really had an issue with this, because the rooms have irons and it doesn’t take much time.

But last night the iron — being an old thing — put some rust stains on my shirt. Instantly, I broke out my Tide Pen and started working at the stains. Not sure if they came out (had to get going, switched to another shirt), but this got me thinking about the importance of being prepared and having a backup plan.

I’ve long thought about this, but never acted on it. After this experience, however, I’m definitely going to implement a few things:

Keep a spare, non-iron white dress shirt that’s been pre-ironed in my car and in both of my offices.

Keep a spare necktie in my car and both of my offices. (I may just opt to keep one in my briefcase, as I can’t imagine a situation where I’d need a necktie and not have my briefcase with me.)

Bring my own travel iron with me.

Fortunately, this time around I have an oxford shirt, which I typically wear casually, that I can use for work, but I figure it can’t hurt to keep some spares around.

Does anyone else do something like this?

About The Silentist

A menswear blog on finding your personal style, written by Kiyoshi Martinez.

I work at Khaki's of Carmel and live in the Monterey Bay area. Formerly from Chicago.

E-mail me, I'm fairly nice: thesilentist@gmail.com

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