What to pack for a city break (and why I hope we’ll be wearing track pants forever)

— by Alyson Walsh

The perfect travel outfit. Photos: Claire Pepper

Perversely, I didn’t really wear track pants during lockdown but I am enjoying them now. Everyone else can’t wait to get dressed up, but when I’m running around town, going to informal business meetings ( yep, I can go to work in go faster stripes) and travelling –  I like to feel comfortable and chic.  As I’m in trainers or flat shoes all of the time, posh track pants are a no-brainer. One of those pull-on-and-go items of clothing that make getting dressed easier. Upgrade the look with a blazer or keep the outfit relaxed with a utility jacket.

For a recent trip to Paris, I chucked the more functional cotton drill jacket (below) into my rucksack with my passport and book. The Toast pyjama-style top (in the first photo) perks the outfit up, while longer-line shirts with an insouciant French Tuck work well with track pants, too. The side stripe joggers, in my favourite green and blue tones, are this season’s Me+Em. Warning: they are polyester. If you’re looking for cotton or cotton-rich; try Thought Clothing, Boden and M&S has some cracking side stripe trousers this summer.

Like most, I’ve hardly seen my family over the last two-and-a-bit years, so when Manhattan Brother scheduled a trip to Paris for a business conference, we headed across on Eurostar with my 89-year-old mum and older brother. In my carry-on case for a four-night city break, I packed a favourite pair of indigo jeans and two nice tops for evenings out, my white Birkenstock Arizonas and a navy jumpsuit. Plus, beauty essentials and underwear. That’s all.

On holiday, I always end up wearing the same items on repeat and for a city break there’s no need for special clothes. Effortless style and comfort are the name of the game, and I knew I’d nailed the perfect travel outfit when Corinne a lovely TNMA reader complimented me at the Gare du Nord (on the return leg of the journey). She lives in Paris and was heading back to the UK to celebrate her father’s 95th birthday. It is so good to be able to see family and friends of That’s Not My Age, again.

Oh and always wear your age with pride and take a sweatshirt when you’re travelling.


Don’t forget your That’s Not My Age sweatshirt


The Ally Capellino ‘Hank Packable’ bag was a lovely gift, to a long-term fan. Every time I use it (which is quite often) someone asks me where it’s from. The new Packable collection is designed to fold up into a pouch and be carried around. It can be worn as a rucksack, slung over the shoulder and carried as a tote. Multitalented. The main body and straps are made from recycled materials, the leather trim on the handles is vegetable tan and it’s super-lightweight. Pretty handy when you’re on the go.


Style Notes.

The cotton shirt is old Toast. Side stripe track pants are from Me+ Em. Suede sneakers were a lovely gift from Grenson. The Hank Packable bag was a gift from Ally Cappellino. All my own jewellery.


More go-faster pants, below – and we’ve added lots of lovely, style updates to the shop, HERE :



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