Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I received an interesting question over on my fan page on "The Facebook" as my dad calls it. Someone asked about what to wear while traveling. I'm going with airline traveling here because I recently went on a four-day road trip because my husband and I purchased a boat from a nice old man in San Diego. I wore the same shorts the entire time. That's how much I care about what you wear when on a road trip.
But air travel, that's a whole 'nother story. If you know anything about me, or you follow my self-absorbed facebook postings, you know that I live roughly 2,500 miles from my family. I grew up in Toronto, Canada and currently reside in Utah. (Yeah, you can thank my husband for that one.) Because of this, I end up traveling. A LOT. I try to get back home at the very least twice a year, and I've been able to do some traveling sans children as well. But most of the time I've got the kidlets with me, juggling their gear while still trying to look composed.
I put a lot of thought into what I wear when we travel, for a couple of reasons. The first will sound deplorably shallow, but I truly believe that I am treated better by airline employees and immigration officers when I look nice. When I shlump around the airport in a hoodie and sweats, people mistake me for a teenage mom and give me the stinkeye. When I look like a respectable human being, I get bumped to first class and fly through customs. NO JOKE. Actually, I think that the two times I was bumped to first class had more to do with my charming four year old, but she was dressed pretty snappily too. The other reason I put thought into my clothes is that I'm looking for two things: comfort and speed. There is nothing worse than having to take off your belt in customs while some scary Helga-lady pats you down, am I right. Then, I get on the plane and for some reason my body can't regulate it's temperature and I go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds. SECONDS.
So, instead of doing the velour tracksuit thing, which by the way is not okay unless you're a septuagenarian from Jersey, try a few outfit ideas for function and comfort, while still looking hot.
Rhinestone Trim Open-Toe Flats, $35
Macy's | Juniors Crossbody Handbags, Juniors Crossbody Bags, Juniors..., $48
ASOS Sequin and Crystal Embellished Satin Cuff, $20
Solid Pashmina, $18
I know that some of you who are old school will balk at the idea of wearing a dress while flying, but in the summer months, I SO love it. First, there's no belt. Nothing to set off the metal detector. It's on piece, and as long as you choose a smart fabric like a knit, doesn't look as wrinkly and sodden on the other side. I like the idea of something knee length with a scarf in case the a/c is too high. A flat is ideal, along with jewelry that is easy on and easy off. Finally, choose a bag big enough to double as a diaper bag when traveling with kids, or risk getting eye daggers from people like me who get annoyed with people who bring MORE than their allowed allotted amount o carry ons. Seriously. So annoying.
Old Navy Womens Twist-Neck Racerback Tanks, $5
Double Button Bootcut Jean - Women's Clothing and Apparel - Chic..., $10
Gap Knee-high suede boot, $50
Worn Large Leatherette Tote, $33
RJ Graziano Long Beaded Layer Necklace, $34
This is literally an exact replica of what I wore flying home in May. I love to wear my Frye's when I travel because they are super soft, worn in and come off super easily for security. My drape cardigan saved my butt when it would get suddenly cold and suddenly hot. I just wrapped the extra fabric around me. It also served as a blanket for my one year old lap child. I don't suggest wearing white while traveling unless you have something to wear over it. You will spill something and look like a dork wandering around the airport terminal.
Old Navy Womens Perfect Khaki Pencil Skirts, $25
adidas Originals Women's Superstar 2 Sneaker, $47
Georgia Hobo, $25
I LOVE the idea of wearing hyper comfy shoes and socks on your flight. Taking off your shoes and padding through security barefoot is admittedly gross, so I lean towards shoes I can wear socks with for both me and my kids. Old Navy flip flops are for the beach, not for traveling. If you've ever been through either of the Chicago airports, or through Atlanta or Toronto, you know that the terminals are MASSIVE and require a lot of walking. Adidas Superstars are a staple shoe in my wardrobe, I have them in pink, yellow and blue. I KNOW. How cute is it done with a denim skirt (choose blue if you're klutzy or carry a Tide pen!) and a plaid shirt. Totally breezy and cool while still being comfortable. Give the customs agent a little wink and you are through my friend.
Libertine Waistcoat, 22 GBP
Old Navy Womens The Dreamer Embroidered-Pocket Trouser Jeans, $35
Washed Small Cross Body Bag, $36
Lee Angel Biker chain necklace, $45
Michael Antonio Women's Piero Flat, $22
Another staple traveling outfit for me, I wore one like this when I jetted off to see my best friend in Western Canada for a few days. Instead of a sweatsuit, opt for an uber-comfy pair of wide leg jeans. I totally live in mine. To make sure your jeans look polished instead of sloppy, a cute topper like a vest or jacket gives the look structure without reducing comfort. In my experience, the security people don't make you take off superficial vests and jackets, just big, puffy, dangerous looking ones. Another big bag and some bright shoes finish an otherwise bland looking outfit. Also, I always travel with a chain and pendant with my stillborn son's footprints on it. If you want to wear jewelry, just choose something without clasps that you can pull off and put back on quickly so you're not holding up the security line. Although I find that a few properly placed "sorry" smiles get me a lot of assistance from the cranky business man directly behind me as I juggle my two kids, the stroller, three pairs of shoes and a laptop from the security line.
Another good tip for traveling? I start with super minimal makeup and carry my bare necessities with me; we're talking bronzer, eyeliner and mascara. I then freshen up when the pilot calls for descent so when I arrive at my destination without looking haggard and as if I made the journey via old timey steamship. I also ALWAYS start with my hair dried and down. That way, if it does get in the way, I can pull it into a ponytail without it looking messy, greasy or tired.
Of course, there was one time I flew home at Christmas, was detained in immigration and the airline lost my luggage. Looking good while flying won't make it problem-free, but at least you won't have to avoid yourself in the airport bathroom mirrors.