Travel In Style

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
  • slippers
  • pajamas
  • 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? 

 

Bloody Irritated

No, I'm not bloody irritated--though I've been known to embrace bloody irritation once neck deep in administrative folderol and pointless meetings. Ahem. No, I'm talking about your face. It's likely bloody at times, and often irritated. Why? Because you're dragging a dull razor across your ill-prepared face!

I'm about to open your eyes and change your life if you indulge me on the topic of shaving. And what better day to discuss shaving than Friday when you're about to go out on the town?

A few questions:

  1. Do you suffer from razor burn?
  2. Do ingrown hairs dot your face? Chin? Neck?
  3. Do you nick yourself often while shaving? 
  4. Do you have sensitive skin? 
  5. Does your significant other complain about your stubble and how kissing you irritates their face? 
  6. Do you dread shaving? 

If you answered 'yes' to any of the above then you need to keep reading. And ladies, the products I'm going to recommend also make a great gift and should provide you the benefit of saving your face when you smooch your significant other.

A Little Background:  

About five years ago, my wife bought me a complete shaving kit, and while I still don't enjoy shaving, I certainly no longer dread the process. I used to have a stray ingrown hair and occasional razor burn, as well as pretty dry skin on my face, but if you follow what I recommend below, your shaving woes will be a thing of the past.

 The Products You'll Need: 

  • pre-shave oil
  • shaving cream
  • badger-hair shaving brush
  • razor (I don't care which brand or type you use--but you probably don't need one of those 5 blade monstrosities).

Below are the products I use--all from the Art of Shaving (and I haven't even contemplated returning to the old way of shaving since I began using them): 

Step by step shaving:

  1. First, you have to soften up that steel wool facial hair of yours. So, take a hot shower, or wash your face with soap and hot water. Get in there and saturate the hair. This step is important! You can't just go into shaving with a dry face and iron facial hair.
  2. Once your face is clean and the hair is softened from hot water, dump a small puddle of pre-shave oil in the palm of one hand and then rub your hands together. Rub the oil on your face and neck--work it in there.
  3. Get the badger-hair brush saturated with hot water and push a small dab of the shaving cream down inside the brush. You'll be amazed at how little shaving cream you need to use during this step. Lather up your face, the brush will lift the facial and neck hairs and further soften them.
  4. Glide the razor down your face, going with the grain. Don't put downward pressure on your face. If you've softened up the hairs properly, the razor should get most of the hair with two strokes. Allow the razor to do the work. 
  5. If you want a real close shave, rinse your face, and re-lather (you'll likely have enough still in the brush for this), and this time shave against the grain. But go gentle! Don't apply pressure on the razor! 
  6. Rinse your face with cold water and apply the after-shave balm.

And there you have it! The process doesn't really take much longer than your old routine, but with much better results and a lot less discomfort.  Trust me, your significant other will thank you. 

So, the price of all this? At first it seems steep, but the products last so much longer than your standard can of shaving cream. Seriously. A kit is available  for $115.00, which includes a badger-hair brush (normally around $60.00 by itself).  The brush is a one-time purchase, obviously. After, you can purchase the products as you need them. I tend to only need to purchase the after-shave balm every third time of purchasing the oil and cream.

I use the sandalwood variety--I love the scent and it works with my skin.  They have other options such as lavender, lemon, and unscented. Each of them provides benefits for specific skin types. If you're skeptical, you can try a travel kit for $25.00, which includes a small badger-hair brush. 

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Give it a try! Your face and your significant other will thank you.