I travel quite regularly, but never for one single reason. It’s usually a mix of visiting family and friends, mostly casual, with a bit of business mixed in.
My biggest issue usually is: Do I take a suit, or do I just hope to not need one?
When you’re a pure business traveler, bringing suits aren’t a question, and you build your travel wardrobe around it. You probably even have special garment bags to carry your suits and minimize wrinkling.
But for those of us traveling for pleasure, while we don’t always need to pack a suit, there are times when events pop up on the calendar that we need to clean up for.
And so you end up asking yourself the tough questions when it comes time to pack:
- Can I get by without a suit?
- If I do take one, is it even worth it?
- What are the chances I’ll actually wear it?
There were plenty of trips where a suit was packed, yet remained unused.
And vice versa! I’ve been on a few trips where I wish I had just brought the suit I was planning on taking all along, yet decided to leave out last minute.
The folks at Ministry of Supply really understand my dilemma. So they created a suit that I’ll never have to think twice about packing, or even wearing while traveling.
The opposite of traditional
The Aviator II looks like a normal suit; its silhouette is trim without being too tight. You may need to make adjustments at your tailor, but that’s to be expected with any suit. In my case, I just took the pants up at the hem.
That’s where the similarities seem to end, however.
The Aviator II is the opposite of traditional, at least when it comes to the materials and design details.
What it’s made of
The suit itself is made from a warp-knitted breathable poly, which is a fancy way to say that it is flexible yet still resistant to becoming misshapen.
The material convinces you you’re wearing a well-tailored track suit, or your favorite performance workout shirt… yet you’re wearing a suit.
Speaking of performance
…the Aviator II was built for it.
Not saying you have to run laps in the suit, but if you’re hopping conference rooms like a madman, or have back-to-back meetings on the opposite sides of town, your suit won’t hinder you and you’ll still look sharp.
If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ll have no qualms about tossing this (neatly) into your carry-on for a quick trip.
Don’t worry, the wrinkles don’t stand a chance, so long as you don’t ball it up and jam it into the smallest pocket in your suitcase.
And as much as I love wearing a suit or sport coat when flying, I have to admit, it’s really uncomfortable.
I’m not flying coast to coast in first class. I’m on the other side of the curtain, where there are three to a row, and you fight for every square centimeter of comfort you can find.
It’s not a competition—OK, it’s kind of a competition—but if you wear this on the plane, you have a shot at holding the titles for “best dressed passenger” and “most comfortable passenger” simultaneously, which is an impressive accomplishment.
The beauty is in the details
What I like about this suit are the little things that aren’t very obvious at first glance. It feels like they took every element into consideration.
The warp knit fabric. The slide-lock and snap closures on the jacket instead of traditional buttons. The simple split center vent. The taped seams.
The strategic pocket placement is also really effective: There are interior pockets, pockets built into the back seams of the pants, even a hidden lapel pocket so you’re never at a loss for where to store your travel essentials.
Everything seems specially chosen to keep the jacket flexible, lightweight, and unintrusive.
I love that.
But like I mentioned earlier, if you’re looking for a traditional suit, this isn’t it.
It might not be your first suit, nor your only suit. It might not be taking the place of your traditional wool two-button workhorse.
At the same time, I wouldn’t say it’s meant to.
If you have room in the closet and the budget for something unique, and enjoy the comfort and flexibility of garments built for performance and movement, The Aviator II could be perfect for you.
Over To You
Is the Aviator something you’d want to try? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.