I have strong opinions regarding travel and how to dress for travel. I don't care how someone dresses if they're in their own vehicle, but for corn's sake, if you're on a plane or even a train, at least try not to look like you just rolled out of bed.
I understand that traveling by air has lost the allure it was once commanded. Travel used to be an event and people dressed and acted appropriately. I'm going to take this a step further and say that if you're in a nice hotel you should dress appropriately.
Okay, I get it, the airlines have made travel unattractive, but why cater to the lowest common denominator?
Hotels: A few years back, my wife and I were in New York City and stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria for one night. We went down to the lobby and ate a light dinner at the restaurant inside the hotel that provides a great view of the entire lobby area. Now, most people were dressed casual, but neat casual. I have no problem with that, but what I do have a problem with is people coming into a nice hotel and restaurant wearing football jerseys and long shorts (you know the kind of shorts I'm talking about: the type heavier set (okay, fat, there I said it) guys wear that go almost all the way down their legs and might as well just be pants).
Well, these two clowns come into a nice restaurant wearing their jerseys and shorts and high top sneakers. Classy. I was not expecting that at the Waldorf-Astoria, and I have to say, both my wife and I were disappointed by that. There really are times when a dress code should be enforced. You want to go to McDonald's or a sports bar wearing that crap be my guest, but don't do it at nice restaurant in a nice hotel.
Air travel: First off, I believe in dressing comfortably for travel, but so many people look like hobos on the plane that it feels like I'm in that movie with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, what was it, Emperor of the North? ***I know that was a movie with trains, but it doesn't change the point I'm making: hobos.
The plane is not your bedroom or living room or bathroom. Don't act like you own the place and you can kick back. Have some pride in your appearance and in the way you carry yourself. Don't sit in the seat and let your legs flop open. No one wants to see your crotch display.
Here is what not to wear on the plane:
- track suit
- sweat pants
- anything that has the word "juicy" on the backside
- stained t-shirts
- spandex (or any variation of stretchy material)
- halter top, bikini top, etc. (I don't care if you have a rockin' body and can pull it off--by the way, you're probably not pulling it off)
- belly shirt (see above)
- a shirt that is too small that creeps up and displays a hairy midsection with a giant belly button in the middle that may or may not have a lint inhabitant ( just plain gross)
- open-toed shoes (women yes, men NO). **guys: no one, and I mean no one wants to see your hairy, disgusting feet with jagged, yellow toe nails (again--gross)
- sneakers that smell like you've run ten marathons without socks. I've nearly succumbed to the toxic fumes from some jackwagon that decided to take off his nasty running shoes on a long flight to wiggle his toes and rub them into the plane's bacteria-ridden carpeting adding athlete's foot to the mix
There are probably more exmples of what not to wear on the plane, but you get the idea.
Now, what should you wear?
I'm not a fan of jeans on a plane. Why? Well, it has nothing to do with how they look, but if they're ratty looking, or have more holes and rips than fabric, well, don't wear them on the plane. I don't like wearing jeans on the plane because they are restrictive and not at all forgiving. Go ahead and wear them, but you can make jeans look nice with the right shirt and shoes.
I believe in dressing like I belong in Business or First Class. You don't need to wear a suit to achieve this, but there is an art to dressing for travel. For men: think about how Cary Grant would dress to get on a plane. Too much of a stretch for you? Then consider how someone like George Clooney would attire himself for air travel. For women: think of Grace Kelly, and if you can't imagine that, well, try Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, or Jennifer Aniston. If you're younger maybe look to Emma Watson. I'm pretty sure they know how to dress appropriately.
I wear trousers and dress shirts. Why? Because they fit in all the right ways. The trousers provide room in the legs and overall breathability. With the dress shirt you don't have to wear a tie, and underneath the dress shirt you wear a t-shirt. Why? The t-shirt acts as a barrier for your nice shirt so you don't stain it with sweat. Who doesn't sweat a little either trying to get through security and then just trying to get to the gate? And then on the plane it can get warm and then cold, and then hot, and cold. Wear a t-shirt under the dress shirt. One other bonus for everyone else if you wear a t-shirt beneath: we can't see all that matted body hair of yours.
For shoes I'd recommend loafers. They're comfortable--but you better be wearing socks or I'll beat you with that once nice loafer turned rancid from your sockless feet.
This is all simple stuff here. It isn't rocket science, but so many people hop on a plane and become twice as gross and rude as they normally are.
And don't just hop out of bed and then roll onto the plane. Take a shower. Use deodorant. Brush your teeth. Carry breath mints. Don't just dump cologne or perfume on your fuming body thinking that'll do the trick--all that does is dump a layer of a nice scent on top of a body odor scent that we can still smell. Yes we can.
I could go on and on, but it's really easy to travel in style. I'm not asking you to be a supermodel or Cary Grant, but attempt some decorum. Don't be like all the others. Don't be a lemming. Be polite and have a sense of personal space and stay within it. And don't you want to look nice while traveling?
Air travel used to be an event, why not help in taking that back? For crying out loud people used to dress in nice clothing to go to a ballgame back in the day. We can't manage it to get on an airplane?