Every since I was a little girl going on packages holidays to Greece with my family I made a point of picking out my ‘travel outfit’. My whole approach to packing, a practise I adopted from my organised mother who had to oversee what 4 children and a husband threw in their cases, has always been rather anal. I’m one of those people who takes joy in deciding what exact outfits will be worn on what nights of the trip (white dress for the end of the trip when the tan is on point, obvs) and then packs only what she needs.
Once all the co-ordinating outfits have been placed neatly in the suitcase, the ‘travel outfit’ will be picked. This invariably consists of my favourite pair of comfy bottoms, a silky, soft top, a smart jacket (yes, I wore blazers to Greece aged 14), ballet flats, an animal print pashmina (Zara, I love you) and a statement piece of jewellery that sets off the scanning machines.
For the last 15 odd years this has always been the case. No matter where I’m flying or what end of the plane I’m in. My statement jewellery has gone a little more upmarket and my matching travel bag is no longer from Primarck, but essentially my travel style has stayed the same.
Contrary to what you might think, I don’t dress up for flights in the hopes of getting an upgrade. (There really was no such thing as an upgrade on Thomas Cook flights to Corfu.) In all my years of travel I’ve never been upgraded just for making an effort with my wardrobe. (Although wouldn’t that be lovely.) Frequent flyers will tell you there are many factors that effect whether you get upgraded – from your airline status to seat availability and how nice you are to the person in charge of boarding passes – what you wear is probably one of the least important bits.
The truth is I dress up to fly because, for me, it is an occasion.
I still get a kick each time I enter an airport. I genuinely look forward to the flying experience. (Although admittedly a little bit less when I’m flying economy because I have seen a couple of times how the other half do it and once you go business, man, is it hard to go back.) Whether I’m flying first class or cattle, heading off for a conference, holiday or wedding, I still delight in picking a semi-smart and (I’d like to think) chic outfit because it makes me feel good to wear it. Stepping into the airport signifies the start of my next stylish adventure, so I want my outward appearance to match my inward excitement.
As long as air travel doesn’t lose its shine for me, you won’t find me flying in trainers and a hoodie.*
What’s your travel style? Do you dress up or down when you fly?
*That one time I tried to be a ‘backpacker’ is the exception.