Sunday, 9 January 2011

flying with style

It has come to that point where I have to leave New Zealand behind and fly back to London - two lots of 12-hour flights and a three hour stop over in Hong Kong is waiting. Ouch.

Victoria Beckham and family at Heathrow
Image by Zimbio
So what exactly should you wear whilst flying? Your outfit on the plane depends on who you are traveling with, where you are traveling to - and for some people - who is meeting you at the other end.
If you are traveling with a young family, then unfortunately (unless you're Victoria Beckham) practicality comes before fashion. Although, that doesn’t mean you should look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards when you, finally, put your feet on solid ground.

The key here is being comfortable but presentable - many frequent flyers say that you should wear your best outfit when flying, to increase your chances of being bumped-up to Business Class. This is most likely to happen when you travel alone (although I am about to depart on my twelfth NZ/UK flight and i'm yet to be up graded... Cough, cough, hint, hint Cathay Pacific...)
Some people prefer wearing a comfortable outfit than worry about what they look like, (especially if you're traveling in 'cattle' class). Whatever you prefer, make sure you wear an outfit that is not too tight, allowing you to be more relaxed when on the plane.

I like to take a spare change of clothes when traveling long haul, after 12 hours of sitting in the same outfit, it's nice to put something fresh on for the second leg. I also like to go via Singapore airport so I can have a shower (and if it's the right time of day/weather, a swim on the roof top pool too!) 
I have noticed that some people even take their PJs to change into as soon as they get on the plane; if this works for you, go for it. I however, would feel a bit strange sitting on a plane in my PJs, whilst eating my dinner. And let's face it, if you're anything like me, you're going to spill some sort of food or drink down your front whilst traveling - you don't want to stroll around airports and airplanes for 27 hours with a massive stain down your front!

Leggings on the plane are a big plus for me and they're not too slobby. Plus, you can dress them up a bit and still get into many comfortable positions on the plane (without losing your dignity - don't wear a skirt). However,  if you're aiming to get upgraded to Business Class and don't want to wear leggings, a sleek pair of trousers would be perfect. 
Shoe-wise, I would steer clear of wearing heels - a cute pair of pumps do the trick. You can slide them on and off easily and they won't take up much space under your seat (it's not like you have all the space in the world now, is it?) Another important factor is making sure you bring your own pair of cotton socks. Most airlines hand out free socks before you take off, but they are nylon and don't let your feet breathe. Nice.

Finally, your top half. Always wear something to cover your shoulders, the air conditioning in the airplane can be quite harsh. A pashmina shawl keeps your arms warm and doubles as a blanket, if this is too chic for you, a light cardigan will do fine as it's easy to take on and off. If you're still a bit chilly the flight attendants supply you with a blanket anyway. (I have been known to 'accidently' take these home with me, they make great picnic blankets...)

So that's it, you're left to enjoy the flight, watch as many new films as you can squeeze in, eat delicious meals without having to worry about the washing up, drink as much booze as you want (my brother has been known to have a beer with his breakfast, blaming it on his 'messed up time zones') and don't forget to don a pair of enormous sunglasses as you walk through arrivals; you never know who is going to pap you.

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