Lifestyle

Forget traveling in tracksuits – “It’s time to ditch the stretchy pants and get ready for your next flight”

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We know that travel isn’t as glamorous as it used to be.

It’s striking to watch old movies where passengers are served a decent cocktail while looking like they’re really enjoying themselves. We look longingly at photos of Cary Grant or Ingrid Bergman stepping out of a plane with a small, tasteful suitcase. They had a good thing going.

Those days are over. Where Concorde once was, security guards are now yelling at us to empty our pockets. Champagne is served by the glass if you’re paying a small fortune for a prime seat, but more often than not it’s brutal white wine in a plastic cup.

Yes, the good travel days are behind us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our part. That means making an effort to add some dignity to the journey, even when everything around us feels more depraved.

By that I mean: dress your best. Well, if not your best, then at least a little better than you.

Traveling may be like running the gauntlet, but it wouldn’t hurt any of us to dress up. Why is that? Because you’ll let your fellow travelers know you’re trying — a good habit to do when you’re out in public. When I see someone in disguise, I know they’re trying instead of doing the bare minimum.

It helps to keep a few things in mind: An airplane isn’t a gym, so don’t dress like you’re going to work out. If your clothes have elastics, then those clothes don’t belong in a place where other people aren’t intentionally breathing heavily.

Likewise, an airport isn’t a park, so why spread it out on the ground like you’re having a picnic? And is the airport floor really a place where you want to have extended contact while eating?

My personal travel wardrobe isn’t complicated: a blazer, tie (if I’m going to a big city) and fabrics that can take a beating without wrinkling, like oxford shirts and corduroys. And loafers – easy on, easy off. Consider the editor of a British literary magazine with a declining readership.

If the flight is long, I loosen my tie. If the flight is really long, I take off my coat. It’s true that I can’t relax unless I’m overdressed, but there’s nothing about clothing that compromises comfort.

Yes, flights are long, delays make them longer, but a little effort goes a long way. For the gate agents and flight attendants – they do it all in suits, by the way – and for fellow passengers, it’s refreshing to look good. Greet people with eye contact, a smile and a kind word.

Now I imagine you saying, “Get with the modern, informal world, man!” I realize this is a losing fight, but it’s still a good fight. If a tracksuit is your truth, then all I can say is that no one in the history of the world has looked good in a tracksuit.

But if that doesn’t affect you, consider this: An article a few years ago revealed that an airline told its gate agents that they could upgrade attractively dressed people.

I don’t know if that’s really true, but even the mere possibility should inspire you to dress above the fray.

– David Coggins is the author of Men and Style. His current book is The Optimist: A Case for the Fly Fishing Life.

©Washington Post

https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-talk/forget-travelling-in-tracksuits-its-time-to-ditch-the-elastic-pants-and-dress-up-for-your-next-flight-41584508.html Forget traveling in tracksuits – “It’s time to ditch the stretchy pants and get ready for your next flight”

Fry Electronics Team

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