Travel in Style

Over the last decade I’ve noticed a worrying trend – dressing down to travel.

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t get to travel enough and it’s always a treat.

Whether it’s for work or pleasure, the way you dress affects how you feel and how you’re treated. I get that you’d like to feel comfortable, but there’s no reason why casual clothes have to be as ugly and unflattering as tracksuits or pyjamas, items which are best kept for private spaces, not public ones.

An article in Slate by J. Bryan Lowder called “Take a One-Way Trip From Tatty to Natty” has the following to say:

When we dress well for travel, we are not only making ourselves look good; we’re also signaling that we are invested in making this shared experience pleasant for everyone around us. Think of it as a kind of sartorial social contract: Honor it and your minor efforts make transit a more pleasing activity; break it, and reveal your misanthropic narcissism to, quite literally, the world. What else to call putting one’s own base comforts above the comfort of all?

Here’s some inspiration from Mad Men – now wouldn’t it brighten your day to arrive at the airport to be greeted with fellow travellers dressed so boldly? Sit me next to any of those people please.

Made Men, season seven

Back in the real world, let’s look at what Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg wore for a flight in 1968.

Gainsbourg Birkin 68

Jane looks relaxed in a short, knit dress with over the knee socks and a long coat over the top. Gold hoop ear rings and simple and fresh hair and make up – her grooming is good, her style comfortable and yet smart, showing off her best feature (thighs to die for). I’m sure she has stylish low-heeled shoes, just out of frame.

Not to be outdone, Serge has a loose suit, open necked shirt and is that a cravat I see? Lace up oxford style brogues are vastly superior to sneakers and look infinitely better whilst not relinquishing much comfort.

They’re both dressed in quality clothes that are versatile as well as photogenic. Upon arrival, they could head straight to an art gallery or cocktail bar. This is an easy look for all of us with a little thought. This look, although from almost fifty years ago still looks pretty good don’t you think?

Similar techniques are favoured in these celebrity photos from the ’50s to the ’70s – comfortable but smart clothes, lowish heels, a jacket, coat or cardigan for warmth in air conditioned cabins and good grooming and accessories.

Vadim Fonda 65
Roger Vadim and Jane Fonda in 1965. No wonder he fancies her.

Bardot 66
Brigitte Bardot in 1966. Knits are perfect for travel – I’d have my camera out too if more travellers dressed like BB.

Burton Taylor 66
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in 1966. Luxury glamour – Liz could have anything under that fur coat, even a tracksuit but somehow I doubt it.

Deneuve 61
Catherine Deneuve in 1961 – scarves are the ultimate in travel accessories, versatile and fold up in your bag.

Dunaway 67
Faye Dunaway in 1967. Product placement, vintage style.

Grace Kelly 50
Grace Kelly in 1950. The perfect coat for travelling, could double as a blanket on cold flights.

Jackie 66
Jackie Kennedy in 1966. Elegant white alaskine (silk and wool) coatdress with bracelet length sleeves.

Jagger Faithfull 69
Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull in 1969. I love her faux-Victorian style button boots.

Jerry Hall 79
Jerry Hall in 1979 in hand-knitted cardigan and high waisted jeans. A concord flight tag makes a good lux accessory on her overnight bag.

Shrimnpton 66
Jean Shrimpton in 1966 – just beautiful. Surely someone will offer to carry her suitcase?

All photos by Getty – image source here, where you will find more glamour airport fashion.

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