Travel Rant: It's Time to Start Dressing Up For Flights Again
"Mad Men’s" Don Draper knew how to dress for a flight (Source: AMC)
Certain elements of plane travel — like being able to smoke on board — are best left in the past. But there’s one old-school flying tradition which I’d like to re-introduce: dressing up for flights. For years, I’ve been trying to uphold that tradition single-handedly. Like young Manny from “Modern Family,” who also gets decked out for flights, I’m also “just a kid trying to bring class back to travel.”
It’s not like I board flights wearing tuxedos, nor do I habitually suit up Don Draper-style (although that does happen sometimes). My usual flying attire consists of jeans, a button-up shirt, and a suit jacket — the latter mainly because I hate how wrinkled jackets can get when you pack them.
But even in my business-casual flying attire, I often end up feeling overdressed, as many of my fellow passengers look as if they just rolled out of bed: old shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops, yoga pants. Not that I have a problem with any of those particular items of clothing; I sometimes sport them myself (except for the yoga pants; I’ve been told I can’t quite pull them off). It’s just that I long for the time in the not-too-distant past when flying was considered a special, glamorous occasion and people dressed accordingly. You see it on “Mad Men,” where Don looks his Dapper Draper-best whenever he takes to the skies.
Back when flying was a glamorous occasion (Photo: Getty Images)
I wasn’t around during the “Mad Men” era, but my parents were. And when I was a kid, they made us dress nicely whenever we flew. They never explained why (they’re also from the era when a child’s “Why?” was answered with “Because I said so!”). But I suspect they felt that if we kids dressed better, we’d feel and act better. And considering how nicely I remember the adults dressing for flights back then, a lot of others agreed.
Today: More casual flight attire is the norm (Photo: Getty Images)