The Wrinkle-Free Travel Suit We Made Just for You
Whether traveling across town, from coast to coast or to another country, the eternal question for the commuter is, “How do I arrive at my destination looking crisp and polished?” Our designers were tasked with reinventing the classic suit for the man on the move, taking their cues from the small army of Nordstrom employees who routinely fly to L.A. and New York, even Europe and Asia. (It goes without saying that you can’t show up to Pitti Uomo looking like a slob.)
The result is a next-generation travel suit that’s lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, breathable and, yes, stylish. Lead designer Ryan Guinn took a few minutes away from the European leg of Men’s Fashion Week to talk us through the highlights and features of his favorite new suit.
What was your process when designing a classic suit with next-century materials?
When designing anything new, my philosophy is always to start with the raw material. In the case of Tech-Smart, form follows function, so stretch was the easiest place to begin. We took a super 110’s wool and integrated 3% stretch, just enough to add performance and recovery—but not weight.
Then we turned to the details. What does a traveler or commuter need? Function, performance and ease.
Are there any hidden treasures in this suit, details someone might not notice until he put it on?
So many! Rubberized buttons give a tech touch, and are also more resistant to falling off. The trouser has a comfort-stretch waistband, which is ideal for 12-plus-hour days or red-eye flights.
But my favorite feature is the pockets. The sport coat features 11 pockets while maintaining a clean line and a crisp look. Some pockets are mesh lined, some have concealed zips, and all are designed to accommodate your gear without looking like a cargo jacket. We incorporated a concealed zip pocket in the trousers, on the side seam, to protect your valuables while you’re in an airline seat or a busy subway.
Tech-Smart fabric is showing up in dress shirts, suits, even socks and underwear. What’s so special about TechSmart fabric, in general?
Incorporating performance fabric into things like dress shirts and socks and underwear felt like an organic expansion. All our fabrics have integrated performance properties: wrinkle recovery, moisture wicking, 4-way stretch, quick dry and breathability. We worked hard to avoid adding topical treatments to the fabrics. Those can feel scratchy or uncomfortable, and tend to lose performance with wash and wear. Our new dress shirts (and other Tech-Smart items) feel good to the touch, and are built to perform over the long haul.
You travel a LOT and you have to look good while you do. What advice would you give your younger self as you prepared to go on your first big business trip?
You never know who you are going to see or meet on an airplane or train station. Always look your best! And if you can be comfortable while doing so, then you truly are expressing yourself in the best way.
SHOP: Tech-Smart travel suit