THE BLOG
02/14/2014 11:06 am ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

Should Travelers Have a Dress Code? (POLL)

It's getting to be that time of year.

Temperatures are slowly rising -- and so are hemlines -- and a predictable conflict is, um, revealing itself across the travel industry.

I'm talking about proper attire, of course. Or, more to the point, a lack of proper attire.

And as things heat up, some travelers are ready to bare all.

It can be shocking to see so much exposed flesh crammed into less than 18 inches of seat width.

Girl in raincoat. ©Getty Images

The first few flight-attendant-versus-passenger stories start appearing around spring break, inevitably, and increase with frequency as spring sweeps into summer.

By the time August rolls around, it seems as if a week doesn't go by without a breathless report about passengers being kicked off flights or being ridiculed by flight attendants for skimpy, tight, revealing attire deemed unacceptable in such restrictive quarters and in mixed company. If you can't find any, just Google "breastfeeding" and "plane" for best results.

But amid the predictable stories that are sure to cover these incidents (take a bow, Kyla Ebbert) one question will almost certainly go unasked: Should there be a dress code when you travel?

There is no easy answer. There probably is no right answer. Only opinion.

Personally, if you show up looking like you thought Flight 123 to Orlando is a costume party for Disney princesses only, I think that's hilarious. Get down with your bad self!

But if you're dressed like an extra in a Miley Cyrus or Rhianna video, I hope you're sitting in first class so my very impressionable seven-year-old daughter won't see you.

To be clear, I don't mind anybody playing dress-up, as long as the character costume is rated PG-13 or younger and it is appropriate for the expected audience of other passengers.

I'll admit, there's a double standard.

Is it me, or are most of these clothing conflicts the result of a misunderstanding between an "more established" female flight attendant and an immature, skimpily-clad passenger on her way to spring break?

Maybe it's the fact that I just turned 29 -- and if you say otherwise, I'm blocking you from commenting on this story -- or maybe it's that when I was in the military, they required that we wear underpants at all times, but on this argument I side with those senior flight attendants.

By golly, moms should teach their daughters what's appropriate to wear. And if they don't, then their flight attendants should hand them a blanket and force them to cover up.

What is this, France?

Why is it that you never hear about men with beer bellies being forced to cover up their protrusions by other male flight attendants?

The only comparable situation I can think of is when they require the boys to put on a suit and tie when they're eating at the hotel restaurant in Bermuda. My better half got around that rule by ordering room service. Chicken.

The only takeaway from this internal debate -- internally titillating, that is -- is that when you travel, you want to dress up. If you want to expose yourself, get a job at a strip club. Leave it to the flight crew to be the dominatrix.

Oh, I know. I'm going to get indignant comments from the young ladies telling me that their short skirts make them feel sexy, and that they're entitled to wear them wherever and whenever they please.

To them, I say: you're already overexposed so cover up, ladies, before someone makes you.

[Photo credit: Getty Images]