Remember the golden days of flying when women would get all dressed up and carry a surreal vanity case, and men would put on a suit and match it with a leather briefcase?
Traveling was considered a luxury and passengers got dressed for the occasion.
Technology, economy, democracy transformed this luxurious experience into an affordable one to any passport holder with a valid visa (yes some of us need visas) and credit card.
With time, lots of our fabulous and less fabulous habits have ceased to exist -- like smoking (not complaining), being courteous to other passengers (I do miss the days when men used to help ladies store their hand luggage), dressing the appropriate way (no people, Juicy track pants don't fall in that category nor do cropped tops or low waisted trousers or Khakis with humongous utility pockets).
Though in my humble opinion, it doesn't take a lot to travel with style and comfort. Here are some (hopefully) inspiring tips for both genders.
- Keep your look simple: Wearing mostly black or off-white is an easy option. You don't have to think about coordinating colors. Just throw on a complimentary color to your monochrome look, such as red or burgundy, for a touch of flair.
- Layer up: Wear your most comfortable pair of jeans or leggings -- preferably in a dark color. Top off your look with a simple tee and a cozy cardigan and/or relaxed blazer. Finally, twist on a scarf to ward off that chilly plane air.
- Simplicity is key: Forget anything strappy or full of buckles. It's easier at airport security and much more comfortable once you are on a plane for long hours.
- Flats are in: Avoid uncomfortable heels. Flats are the "it" shoe of the moment. Why not start this sartorial exercise while flying?
- Minimize your jewelry: Instead of piling your wrists with watches and bracelets, keep your accessories to a minimum.
- Jacket: When traveling for work, pack your navy suit pants but wear your jacket. Hang it up when you board and it'll still be fresh when you land.
- Wear: Adopt two simple swaps -- slip-on (and off) loafers and tab-closure pants that don't require a belt.
- Casual wear: If you're off to a laid back vacation, then a well-cut denim with a polo, T-shirt or white shirt and a cashmere cardigan will secure you a stylish and comfortable look for the trip.
- Style extends to the carry-on too. Make it a neutral-toned wheelie with a front pocket and an adjustable handle that comfortably cradles your briefcase.
- Avoid screaming logos on anything you wear or carry!
As public space, especially in airports and on airplanes, has become a sort of personal and intimate territory, it is highly recommended to apply elegance and style not only to your looks, but also to your behavior and your respect for other passengers.
Have you noticed how each seat on the plane is like a private room with people crashing and deploying an arsenal of magazines, books, smartphones and tablets to impose their private conversations on other passengers?
Being stylish extends to elegant manners, too.