Gone is the Golden Era of air travel, when a journey through the air was treated as a formal and privileged experience, met with well-dressed and respectable passengers paying diligence where it was due, to the amazing feat that is air travel. Nowadays, you are far more likely to see passengers flying in pj’s worn from the night before with Ugg boots on and an entitled behaviour pattern to boot than you are to see a man dressed in a suit and tie who’s courteous and gentlemanly.
But you can be trendsetting whilst you’re jet-setting, and it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Here are a few simple tips for men (and women) to travel with style and with comfort. You never know who you’re going to meet at an airport, so it’s important you always look your best.
Because you never know who you’re going to run into. When you know you’re looking your best, that offsets any discomfort you may feel in comparison to classic comfortable clothing.
You don’t have to go overboard, but if you’re flying domestically, chinos and a plain tee or polo would suffice. Throw on a light coat if weather permits, and you’re set to impress, whether your journey is uneventful, or if you happen to strike up a conversation with someone significant.
If it’s a longer international trip, donning a collared shirt and dress shoes isn’t out of the question, particularly if you have business to attend on the end of the journey. A well made collared shirt from WoodyRoo, for example, is extremely comfortable and versatile and will be far more impressive than a hoodie over a tee.
Little things make big differences, and you won’t be uncomfortable. Nothing is comfortable enough to outdo how you feel when you’re looking smart.
Simple to do, not done enough. A little product goes a long way and will be helpful when straightening out bed hair from sleeping with your head against a window.
Have a drink but don’t overdo it. Nothing is less stylish than being drunk on a plane. If you were to overdo it you’ll regret it once you disembark, particularly after a long haul flight when you end up as dehydrated as a pack of raisins. I can picture it now, approaching a US customs officer, shaky and weak with dehydration, disorientated and the breath of a greyhound. Next thing you know you’re being detained for further questioning and it becomes an international incident. You don’t want that. We don’t want that. Australia doesn’t want that.
If beer is your beverage of choice, just be wary. Yeast and hops fermenting at 35,000 feet isn’t desirable.
Ditch the standard country road duffle and buy yourself a well-made leather travel bag. A good leather bag will last decades and patina well with each use, and it’s a piece that you will use again and again. Even a modestly priced leather bag that I’ve used over the years will earn compliments and questions from passengers and airport staff. It’s a simple conversation opener and airports are fantastic places to meet interesting people whom you may never meet at any other location. With bags, you’ll find a strong correlation with quality and practicality to price. A well made and useful bag costs more, but it pays itself back with years of service. Plus, with all the little bits and pieces you need to be carrying, a practical bag will be handier than you think.
A nice bag is one of the few accessories men have the chance to splurge on. The other is a nice watch.
If you have one, a simple analogue watch can make an outfit. You don’t need to wear your G-Shock whilst flying unless you decide you wish to pilot the aircraft at some stage, which I advise against.
When handling passports and boarding passes, keep yourself organised. Get a simple leather organiser to keep all your gear together, so you’re not fumbling at the gate.
You don’t need to stink, and you don’t have to worry about cologne being confiscated. Nowadays, we have access to solid cologne, which is perfect for any form of travelling.