Now I’m sorry to tell you, and all the men in the near vicinity will sigh in indignation when they hear this – but I buy my luggage because it looks cute, not so much on the practicality. Travelling is an art, and too many people these days are happy to get on a flight in trackies with a rubbish bag full of their belongings. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. The only time you’re allowed to wear a tracksuit on a flight is if it’s over 12 hours – and it better be either cashmere or Pangaia.
Once upon a time, women used to wear heels on flights. It was an event – a real adventure! Now, I understand if you don’t want to wear heels on your 45-minute flight to Nice, but you should have nice luggage. It just makes a real difference you know? I always admire those who look so put together in the airport – they look like Angelina Jolie in a sea of Amy Schumer’s.
But shopping for luggage can be hard. Often it’s expensive, and there’s a lot of ugly ones out there. Sometimes they’re really heavy, and you end up paying the excess luggage fee every time because your suitcase was 10 kilos before you even put your undies in.
Now, if you don’t care about any of that, do I have the suitcases for you! Some of them have great inner pockets, but are really heavy; some are very light-weight, but the inner system is not the best. Some of these are also really expensive, I’m not going to lie – but I’ve also added in some super chic ones that aren’t going to spend your holiday budget before you even start packing for said holiday.
The truth is, I can’t count on the practicality of all of these, but they do look great – and for me, that’s kind of the main thing. Form over function, one might say.
We start off with the brand that evvvvverybody knows… Influencers have got ‘em, your fave celeb has got ‘em, even your best friend Dave has got ‘em, but they’ve got ‘em for a reason – they’re chic as hell.
I have to say, I do look on in admiration when I see someone arriving at the terminal with a fleet of Rimowa bags. They kind of look like the trunks used to cart around musical equipment, so you look like you’re a Rockstar flying around the world on tour. Kind of what I want to look like in my complete dream wardrobe collection of Saint Laurent!
Even though the metal ones look the coolest, I prefer the nicely coloured polycarbonate ones instead. Sure, if you’re flying private or excess baggage costs is no bother – I would go for the metal Dior collab one. Otherwise, the Essential range has a similar look, but it’s lighter. Instead of starting out writing off 7 kilos of your very important luggage space (that strikes out two pairs of Dior sneakers you could’ve packed), the large check-in from Essential range is only a measly 4 kilos. Functional and lightweight, my favourite colours are Bamboo Green or Mango Orange for a little pizzazz.
Emulating the 70’s when the chosen mode of transport was a skateboard, Floyd suitcases are an ode to Venice Beach in California, when skating, surfing, and long hair flowing in the marijuana tainted breeze was the zeitgeist of the moment.
If you’ve got a boring old Samsonite – throw it away! (Actually, give it to a second-hand shop – less landfill waste.) Replace it with something with more style, mood… more character!
Floyd’s suitcases not only come in cool Cadillac colours like metallic Pacific Blue and Magic Purple, they also have retro skateboard wheels so you can skate your suitcase of packed designer clothing around the airport. They come with the classic red wheels, but you can also buy different colour sets if you want to customize, so you can stand out in the skate bowl.
A classic beloved by Hollywood icons past, the Louis Vuitton trunk is the ultimate show-stopper to make others say, “Hey! In the age where machines throw your luggage around like a lotto ball in one of those little cage things, this person has so much disposable income, that they don’t even care that their 60,000 dollar luxury leather trunk is being thrown around like a really hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven, baked potato!” Well, that probably doesn’t happen anymore. Those are times past, my friend. No longer do we fly in the Concord with Louis Vuitton trunks. Instead, we have a cute, updated version, called the Horizon 55. A rolling carry-on, it comes in the distinct LV monogram – a nod at the old glamourous trunks. Boxy but with cool rounded edges coated by a leather patch, the new suitcases are built for modern-day travel. If you’re not too keen on the showy monogram, it also comes in block colours, or the LV Canvas check. If you’re feeling extra brave, they make it in a natural tan leather – but know that if you even think about getting a panini from Pret before your flight, a dark spot will appear on the leather surface, never ever to be removed…
These suitcases burst onto the scene in 2015 with the revolutionary idea of putting a portable charger built into the suitcase. Perfect for those of us who work 9-5 and 5-9, i.e. work non-stop, the built-in charger is a life saver, as you can charge your phone while walking and talking. No more hunching over a free plug in the middle of the airport corridor like a little gremlin, now we can look chic and ambitious, just like Elle Woods. For the extra Legally Blond factor, get it in baby pink.
It’s also got a hidden laundry bag built into the bag – you no longer have to bunch up your dirty socks into the corner, or pack the plastic laundry bag from the hotel! Winner!
Another great thing about Away bags is that they fit into each other. Going to Milan and know you’re going to have to buy a new suitcase to fit all your goodies? Why not just pack the smaller size into a larger size and check it in as one bag? You can save space, have a whole new suitcase at the ready, and have matching luggage on the way home. Pretty cute!
A direct competitor to Louis Vuitton, Goyard is actually older than LV by one year. A specialist in leather goods with a focus on leather trunks – Goyard brings back the glory days of travelling with large trunks, when you needed at least two porters to carry one of your suitcases (one to hold the handle at either end). Fabulous for packing, it never gets flipped upside down or tipped to one side, so unlike those of us who travel with modern suitcases (ugh, gross), you’ll never open your trunk to find that your shoes are now on the other side of the trunk that you originally packed them on, or that your fake tan has exploded all over your Zimmermann white summer dresses because it’s been shaken around so much. They even have a trunk with a curved bottom, so it fits perfectly in the boot of your vintage Rolls Royce (!!!).
Unlike Louis Vuitton, Goyard is not afraid to be loud with its colours. My favourite is the bright mustard yellow, although the royal blue and the mandarin orange also really get me going. If (like the rest of us unglamourous people) travelling with trunk and two porters to carry it is too impractical for you, I quite like the steamer bag. Originally made to keep dirty laundry separate from the clean while travelling on steam liners – now it’s a great addition to your weekend travel bags that you can throw in your vanity bags, and loose items like sunnies and a couple of pairs of shoes you couldn’t fit in your large duffle bag! If you’re really boujie, you could put your dirty laundry in there too (that’s a ridiculously expensive laundry bag if you ask me… but you do you!)
Finally, chic luggage with a sustainable focus! Paravel emulates that beautiful vintage luggage look, but with fresh canvas and supple leather straps. The check-in suitcase, named The Aviator, is made out of recycled plastic bottles for its lining; the polycarbonate shell is also made from recycled plastic, along with the zippers, and a recycled aluminium handle. As well as offsetting the carbon footprint used to create this suitcase, they also offset an additional 0.33 tons of carbon which will amount to roughly the same amount that you will use for your first trip abroad with a Paravel suitcase. Forward thinking, I know.
If I were you, I’d also get one of the canvas Main Line Duffle bags, which you can customize with your initials in your favourite colour – hand-painted or embroidered, you choose. All I have to say is: there’s nothing chicer than matching luggage – and an environmentally-friendly set at that.