Packing for Italy: Parker Dusseau Travel and Style Review

San Francisco cycling fixture, sneaker addict and fashion maven Byron Anson (@byron505) went to Italy. Unprompted, he wrote a story about what and how he packed. Unedited and unscripted. 


Quality, versatility, and style are the criteria that I use when searching for new goods - whether is clothing, bike parts, electronics, etc.. If any one of these take a hit, I move on knowing that I can find something in its place worth spending time and money on.

Here is what I chose to bring on a 10 day honeymoon to Florence and Paris that involved everything from 50-85 degree weather in both wet and dry, morning runs, to day time on-foot exploration, and Michelin rated dining in the Palais-Royal: 2 running outfits (shorts/shirts), 3 tees (white/gray/black), 1 pair of khakis, 1 pair of PD all round charcoal shorts, and 1 PD linen/cotton work shirt.

In a world of price dictating quality, and an online market where we make our buying choices, we are losing out on that initial tactile touch impression. You know that feeling of when you pick something up and you think, "Wow. This feels like quality"? Yeah, that one of immediate impressiveness. Clothes are, first and foremost, made of material and that cornerstone is where Vaughn and team have made sure to only source the best. The Japanese organic linen cotton feels light to the touch and remains flexible through a range that I found comfortable on this trip from 50-80 degrees. In a quiver of Parker Dusseau shirts, I would rank this as the lightest, followed by five day wool being a solid medium weight, and the oxford work shirt feeling the heaviest, or most robust.

Quality also comes in another facet: fit. The shirts are tailored to a good form fit that hits a happy medium between looking like a 'movement restricting extreme slim cut' and 'boxy-one-size-fits-all'. The shirt just fits comfortable and contours a bit. The pattern on the back shows thoughtful taking in of the material around the body and the action back venting stays hidden like a secret weapon ready to be deployed when you need to hunch your arms forward (riding a bike, reaching high/low, crawling through catacombs, etc...) destroying any tugging that a standard button up would. The easiest way to describe this feature is that it remains tucked away and when I lunge my arms forward causing the back to stretch - I simply don't even notice the shirt. No more tightening of material across your upper back and shoulders. 

The fit is also where the all round shorts shine. I've had a hell of a time finding a short that features a decent slim cut that isn't too short. I'm not looking for mid-thigh or knee length, and at 9.25" for the inseam, it hits that perfect medium. The material is also stand out - its a great active stretch material that doesn't stand out looking like (or sounding like - 'swoosh' 'swoosh' sounds anyone?) its made of the same material as a 90s Starter Jacket. Quick drying, i wasn't worried a bit when caught in random Parisian rainstorms. The front pockets feature some clever built in, internal compartments and the zippered side pocket really does stay hidden. If i could tell there was a side pocket in the least bit, especially zipper: immediate deal breaker. Not the case. Bonus points: Because of the lightweight, flexible material in the shorts, these took up almost no room in my single backpack that was taken overseas.

Versatility. When deciding to pack for a 10 day trip using one backpack, I had to go with clothes that could be worn in multiple different ways. God forbid I decide to revisit honeymoon pictures and it looks like I've worn the same outfit. The organic linen/cotton shirt looks great dressed casually unbuttoned and buttoned up paired with the shorts/sneakers and also performs comfortably at home dressed up a little more with some pants/shoes.
Style? Well I can keep this short - you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't concerned about this. Modern fit and features in great classic colorways are what brings us to the site. Color palette has been scrutinized for you by Vaughn already so feel free to go nuts with the PD catalog as most of it will pair nicely with the other pieces. Style can be lumped partly in with the other two points, but doesn't quite capture how everything is brought together in one, cohesive piece. Tons of little hidden details keep me smiling. I am a huge fan of the little touches that anyone not wearing the clothes wouldn't notice (shatterproof buttons, action back, reflective touches) and I can't imagine re-embarking on my trip without my PD essentials.