Maybe you're a fan of the weekend escape, or maybe you’re a business road warrior. No matter what causes you to rack up those frequent flier miles, there’s always an opportunity to inject a little bit of style--and a whole lot of utility--into the way you fly the friendly skies. It’s not that hard to inject a bit of style and comfort, all while making the trip from check-in to take off far more efficient.
Find A Balance
These days, you’re bound to see some pretty horrendous “style” at the airport. For some reason, people seem to have forgotten that even though they want comfort when they have to sit in a confined space for long periods of time, that shouldn't give them license to dress like they just rolled out of bed at 2 pm after a 48 hour Jack Daniels bender. So, unless that is the exact case (if so and you're getting on a flight, good for you), you're better than that. Look, we’re not one of those unrealistic outfits that are endorsing the ridiculous and impractical notion that men should “dress up to fly like the good old days”. While it may seem “cool” to pretend you’re more important than you are and wear a suit to sit in what amounts to a thinly padded child’s desk chair for 5 hours, it’s pretty uncomfortable. But, that doesn't mean your Transformers pajama pants, Ugg slippers, and 8-year-old Packers Super Bowl t-shirt are appropriate either. It’s all about balance and style and comfort don't have to be mutually exclusive. Dressing stylishly, functionally, and comfortably can all be achieved, trust us.
Give 'Em The Slip
A practical piece of advice, as if it were ripped straight from the TSA handbook, is slip on shoes are definitely the footwear move of choice. We know that wearing your most comfortable lace-ups is probably your go-to, but when the lines are congested, and you’re ten minutes from potentially missing your flight, being able to slip off, slip on and sprint is clutch. Style-wise, you can go dressy with a versatile loafer or driver, or keep it casual with a pair of Vans slip-ons. Both styles can do multiple levels of formality and are an easy way to go, whether you’re traveling for business or fun.
Your flight may have started in sunny South Beach, but now you’ve landed in blustery Chicago. It’s hard to switch modes when you’ve packed for one location and not the other. This is why you should always pack an all-purpose wardrobe that works in nearly any climate. Throw a breathable military jacket or a light zip-up jacket over your short sleeves, or switch out those versatile loafers we talked about for a casual (but still versatile) canvas sneaker. A relaxed blazer can always do double duty and is one of the easiest items to dress up or dress down. No matter the combination, you’ll be set for both departure and arrival.
Stretch It Out
In addition to creating sweet VR experiences, Pokemon Go, and scary-as-hell robots, technology is helping us stay stylish woke while we get more and more comfortable below the waist. From chinos and denim to technical wool suits, stretch fabrics were made to travel and will keep you comfortable (and relatively wrinkle-free) whether you're sprinting to the gate or cramming in a window seat. So while we're not opposed to a stylish pair of joggers with the right finishing touches (a button-up or sweater instead of a t-shirt) consider what stretch fabrics can do to elevate both your style and comfort when you're in the skies.
Roll One Up
If you’re traveling somewhere that will require you to be more formal, like a wedding or business meeting, try rolling your suit jackets, especially if you don’t have a garment bag. Start by folding the jacket at the shoulder seams, one over the other. Then roll the shoulders down the length of the hem to make a tube. It’ll save space and reduce wrinkles. The rolling method can also be a space saver for other garments as well. T-shirts, shorts, denim, and chinos can all take a roll up well, and stay relatively wrinkle-free to boot.
Keep It Cool
For some people, the idea of sitting in a metal tube, while speeding hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet above solid ground, is a walk in the park. For others, it causes some unwanted perspiration. Combined with constant moving around, small spaces and then a switch to frigid, icebox conditions, keeping your temperatures regulated can be tough. So, you’ll want to think in light, comfortable layers. As we mentioned, an easy on/off light jacket or sweater is always a great travel companion and being able to adjust your temps as needed can be a lifesaver. Those stretch/technical wool suiting options we mentioned earlier? Also great for keeping you cool and comfortable if you're headed right to meetings from the airport.
See? There’s not much to it. You’re not required to look like you just arrived from a trip to Monte Carlo every time you disembark, but it does help to have a sartorial plan in your back pocket to help you transition seamlessly from one adventure to the next.