Do you travel in a uniform?
When I am travelling I unintentionally adopt a uniform of sorts. Clothing for comfort, practicality and temperature is the focus when I am headed for the airport. With my “cherry blossom” trip about here, what I wear on the plane is foremost in my mind. London to Tokyo is a million miles away so I want to not only look decent but also feel comfortable.
I won’t be dressing as they did back in the day but neither do I want to travel looking as if I just woke up and left the house without time to dress myself properly. There is athleisure wear and then there is athleisure wear, if you see what I mean. Comfort does not have to equate to poor dressing.
The uniform idea works particularly well when travelling.
After all the miles I have flown I should have it down by now and I think I do. There are some parts of travelling I try and de-stress and by that I mean time on the ground. Too much carry on is a pain in the back, the wrong footwear is annoying and a handbag that doesn’t do what I need it to is downright annoying. We need to make the schlepping part as easy as possible to make sure we arrive in the best state possible.
The airplane uniform is simple.
*Comfortable tracksuit style pants and by that I mean loose black pants that look the part but allow me to breathe.
*A long sleeve tee shirt, in a neutral shade and that means black, cream or most likely charcoal grey for me. One spare in case of accidents is always in the carry-on.
*A cashmere or merino wool sweater usually tied around my shoulders or in my handbag that smartens everything up when I arrive and keeps me warm in the air. Cabin temperature is always unpredictable; it is either arctic chill or epic heat wave. Cabin temperature is always unpredictable; it is either arctic chill or epic heat wave.
*The jacket is the key. In particular I wear an army jacket with pockets and the season will determine the weight. This is the best style of jacket ever invented for travelling; the pockets work for mobile phones, passport and wallet; or whatever it is that needs to be kept close by. These days, I like it better than the trench in terms of practicality.
*The one piece I never leave home without is the cashmere shawl. Depending on where I am headed will determine the weight and style of the throw. Tokyo will be cool so a large wrap will be in my carry on for this trip. This shawl doubles as a blanket for not only warmth but also comfort. The blankets given by airlines are usually treated and cleaned with products I would prefer to leave alone.
Then there is the footwear.
As much as I would like to tell you I am strutting through Heathrow in go-go boots or blocked heels, it is nowhere near the truth. Sneakers and trainers are such an item that I have given up every other shoe in favour of these for travelling. I add an extra pair of warm socks to my carry-on to wander around in and also keep my feet warm. For a long flight such as this one I will wear those not-so-pretty support socks; they work so I will.
This uniform might not be the snappiest or the most memorable but most importantly it is a tried and proven formula. With the right combination of accessories it is easy to look smart enough.
Can’t wait to start packing; this will be a way more complicated job. xv
The Airplane Uniform: 5 Easy Pieces
images, ellen unwerth for vogue