If you’re suffering from a White Lotus-sized gap in your soul, you’re not alone. It was a glorious escape into a tropical Eden that made us realise how lucky we were to have access to the great big wide world. Personally, what really hit the mark was how much it made me miss the unique sense of style that comes from being on holiday.
White Lotus was an acerbic character essay that any of us who have ever had the blessing and the curse to work in hospitality have encountered. But even as we cringed at the likes of man-baby bro Shane, lol’d at the toxic wokeness of Olivia and her frenemy Paula and grimaced during THAT SCENE with the tragically camp Armond.
But part of the show’s inescapable lure – aside from feeding our internal, secret love of the chaotic – was the nostalgia for travel. Or personally, the packing of outfits for travelling.
One thing that became apparent as the show progressed was that, while the likes of Rachel and Tanya and in fact most of the women, were able to nail even the most basic resort attire the men were left behind. It was bad boardshorts and washed out polo shirts with a college logo cap for the gents. Not at all the kind of five star aspirational fashion you’d hope for.
It’s a consistent flaw in TV – the trope that men are incapable of any expression of style beyond whatever is the most nondescript outfit.
Not in 2021. Menswear is more than polos and boardshorts.
There’s been a growing number of shows tapping into this ennui for exploration. The visually gorgeous if somewhat cheese-cloth heavy and Twin Peaks-derivative storyline that was Eden and set in Byron Bay; the most recent Byron Bay-based story, Nine Perfect Strangers. And each one in their own way has let the men down by being so unrealistic it’s unrelatable or being so hyper-realistic that it becomes parody. Michael Shannon deserves better than a pair of hideous hiking sandals.
There’s an art to packing for a holiday, whether it’s for a week at the mythical White Lotus, Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. Or even just enjoy the flavour of a well made Aperol spritz in your own backyard.
It should be relaxed, obviously, but with an element of tailoring. Even the most relaxed resorts such as Lang Walker’s Kokomo in Fiji which has a barefoot policy, can sometimes need a more elevated style than clean boardshorts. Linen shirts are ideal here, and the crop of camp collar shirting that has flooded the market means you’re spoiled for choice.
It’s easy to overpack for an island. You may tell yourself you’re preparing for anything but really, you’re kidding yourself if you think you’ll be wearing anything more than three outfits at most: swimwear, an evening look and something to wear by the bar during the day.
All you need to relive your best White Lotus life, at home, is below.
Leather Izmir sandal. Price: $1090 from Hèrmes.
Gabardine Bermuda shorts. Price: $820 by Armani.
Deuce Knit Tee. Price: Approx. $650 from Casablanca.
Linen trousers Price: $140 from Venroy.
Gucci paper-effect crinkle shirt. Price: $1307 from MR PORTER.
Onia+Liberty London print swimshorts. Approx. $290. From MR PORTER.
JWA tote. Price: $1050 from Moncler.