I’m going to beg forgiveness of my friend KevBo (@FieldSix) as I take a little nostalgic trip. I’m old enough to remember the “golden” era of air travel. I remember my sister and I dressing up for our flight. We wore dresses, hats and gloves (and carried an extra pair in our purses). I remember when our cousins came to see us off in New York City when we moved to England that they even dressed up for the occasion.
Now you won’t see me wearing a hat and gloves these days, but I do tend to dress a bit more formally (but comfortably) than others I see on my flights. You had to do this as an airline employees (back when I was in the airline business, forget about wearing jeans). My dad always said you need to look the part, and I can’t tell you how many upgrades I’ve received in the past 10 years because of my attire (and my always pleasant attitude).
One of my favorite blogs to read is Air Transparency. Jesse, an airline employee, gives us all the behind-the-scenes skinny on how carriers work. He recently did a post on airline attire, spurred by the recent incident of a man wearing nothing but women’s undergarments on a US Airways flight. He offers some great tips on what to wear, and I’m going to add to his list.
- Wear a dark, neutral color. My color of choice is black. It hides stains and looks professional.
- Wear closed-toe shoes. When I worked for the airlines, a pilot friend told me he always had his family wear them in case of an emergency. You may be stepping into things that are better suited to closed shoes.
- Bring a jacket or wrap. On this point, I digress from Jesse. On planes, you never know if you’re going to get the overly high air conditioning, and you don’t want to freeze, especially on a long flight.
- Lighten up on the perfume/cologne. You may love to wear it, but the other 149 passengers don’t want to smell it.
So I put the question on you — what do you recommend for proper airline attire?