An athlete’s existence is often one of sacrifice. You must monitor your diet, train at ungodly hours, and rarely enjoy the benefits of the many countries you visit.
Ask former Olympic swimmer Jack Burnell. “As an athlete, I barely got to go away on holiday,” recalls Burnall. “I travelled the world but I didn't really see a lot of it. For me, travelling the world consisted of an airport, a swimming pool and back into the airport again.”
No wonder Burnell is excited for his forthcoming holiday to Ibiza. He’s already picked out the necessary garments from his wardrobe. “I'll be wearing lots of pattern shirts, lots of nice smart jackets,” says Burnell. With a pattern shirt, you put on a smart jacket and you go from ‘on the beach’ to walking into the restaurant.”
Another hallmark of an athlete: you tend to be methodical in your preparation. As you’ll see when you discover Burnell’s nightly clothes routine…
On Ted Baker
Ted Baker is right on the money for me. It's not too out there in a fashion sense. The styles are very simple but clean and look really smart, whether it’s for the weekend or for work. So they span both elements. What I'm wearing today is just perfect for me. That combination between the suit and the ‘out there’ shirt. The colour is perfect. It's very summery, very now – and super, super comfortable.
On his sense of style
Style is super important to me. When I go out to Ibiza, I'll be wearing lots of pattern shirts, lots of nice smart jackets. With a pattern shirt, you put on a smart jacket and you go from ‘on the beach’ to walking into the restaurant. It's a perfect combination for me. I love the pattern shirts for my weekend looks; at work I wear a shirt and a suit. So they can combine but be made slightly smarter for the workwear.
On his nightly routine
I'm the sort of guy that, before he goes to bed, will lay all his clothes out. When I used to train, I had to get up really early in the morning and I hated having to find clothes – so I do all that stuff the night before. You don't even have to think about it. I always plan my outfit the night before so when I get up, everything's in the same place. I'm ready to go.
On paternal influence
My dad is probably the biggest influence of anyone in my life. He got me into swimming. There were numerous times where I wanted to stop, but my dad was always the guy that stepped in and said, ‘look, you know, if you wanna achieve something great, you've gotta stick to it. Cuz these are the times that most people give up.’ So my dad undoubtedly had a huge influence on my life. Not just in my sporting career but in my career outside of sport.
On his upcoming holiday to Ibiza
As an athlete, I barely got to go away on holiday. I travelled the world but I didn't really see a lot of it. For me, travelling the world consisted of an airport, a swimming pool and back into the airport again. Ibiza will be amazing. We're gonna go on a load of boat trips, a load of lovely nights out with friends. My partner's coming and it's gonna be a really special time.
On his style essentials
One would be a watch – I think that's super, super important. I think a good pair of socks, because you never know when you're gonna cross your legs and those socks are gonna pop out. And I'd also say a nice pattern shirt. Whatever that shirt suits your style, I think you need something like that.
On his most cherished gift from his dad
My dad has not yet handed me down a watch. I've had to buy my own. He says, if you work hard, they're the things that you look after. But the one thing my dad did get made for me is this Olympic ring. This is something he gave me post the Rio 2016 Olympic games. And yeah, this is something that I'll definitely cherish.