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Rubber galoshes, a real clothes brush, kneelength socks....things a travelling man never ought to be without.

The Bare Necessities | Travel Accessories Guide

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A good friend of mine has to travel frequently at such short notice so he always has a bag packed with the same set of clothes waiting in his closet. I don’t travel that often (and perhaps am not so organized or well prepared for an instant trip) but there are some things that I always carry with me in my luggage. I never leave home without the following:

A nightgown of lightweight cotton, pajamas and some travel slippers. I don’t like the slippers and bathrobes made of toweling that you find in every hotel in the world. I know that many men prefer boxershorts and a tee as their nightdress while they travel but I like the old fashioned way. What can I say? I’m a traditionalist.

A clothes brush made of real bristles for my suits and a piece a piece of linen which has been washed several times. The purpose of the brush is obvious. Many hotels don’t provide proper clothes brushes in the rooms. I hate these sticky things that you can roll over your suit because some of the sticky stuff will stay on the fabric. I use the cloth to press suits if the iron in the room is not a steam iron. least in Europe one frequently finds no steam irons in the rooms. In this case I wet the cloth and press the suit thoroughly…it’s a tried and tested method that tailors have used for centuries.

Some spare pairs of my kneelength socks. It has happened to me several times that a sock tore at the heel when I pulled it up in a rush. There is almost nothing as annoying as having to find socks of the type you like in smaller towns after the shops have closed. I even carry spare socks on daytrips in my briefcase.

Rubber galoshes…and not only in fall and winter. I have encountered heavy rainfalls in Italy in June or July. Always be prepared. Wet and soppy is never professional, and while hotels almost always have an umbrella for a guest they have nothing to protect the shoes.

A shoe horn. Better hotels will offer one but sometimes they have stolen and not yet replaced, or are just lesser quality. Of course there is the old trick to use your belt as a shoe horn…but my suits are made with side straps. Yours ought to be too.

About Bernhard Roetzel

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Bernhard Roetzel, 45, is an expert fashion writer from Berlin, Germany. The first edition of his book 'Gentleman. A Timeless Fashion' has been translated in 18 more languages since 1999. 2009 saw the launch of the revised edition of this book which has since been translated in more than a dozen languages. He currently works on a new book on menswear which will be published in English in Spring 2012.

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