We’ve all seen those photos of the early days of flying.
Men in suits, the ladies in glam frocks with high heels and immaculate hairdos. I’m not sure how they managed it, but back then flying was an unthinkable luxury for most, so only the rich could afford it.
But how do we stay comfortable in the present-day conditions of cramped seats and dodgy food? Well, your first step is to dress appropriately, and for that I mean comfort.
Here’s our guide to dressing well on a flight.
Check the weather conditions for your destination.
Sure, you may be heading to a tropical paradise, but that often comes with a regular afternoon shower, so you may need a lightweight rain jacket for when you disembark, especially if your transfers to your accommodation aren’t seamless.
Make it easy on yourself and do an online search, there will always be plenty of recommendations about what to wear.
Cabin temperatures can change dramatically and your own temperature can also fluctuate, so wearing a few layers of clothes means you can dress up or down depending on the circumstances.
My travelling outfit is a cotton T-shirt, pull-on loose jacket without buttons, a wrap which can double as a lightweight blanket, pants with an elastic waist – yes, I have reached ‘that’ age – and easy slip-on shoes.
It sounds kind of daggy, but the jacket is velvet and the wrap is a beautiful soft wool so I feel like I am at least trying.
Sock it to ’em
It’s always a good idea to pack a pair of travelling socks and your choice can be vitally important, especially on long-haul flights.
There are two main schools of thought; keeping warm or staying healthy.
Keeping warm doesn’t need too much explanation, just buy some warm ones, but maybe try them out first. Socks with a high percentage of synthetic fibres may make you overheat and no-one wants to smell your sweaty feet on a plane.
To stay healthy, you will need a pair of compression socks.
Compression socks are a good idea on long flights as they promote blood circulation in the lower half of your body, help prevent swelling and guard against deep vein thrombosis by putting pressure on leg muscles and increasing blood flow.
Banish the image of your nanna’s flesh-coloured hose from your mind. They come in all colours and patterns these days, so you can look a bit fancy and less like an invalid on your next flight.
You can also buy compression tights that can easily be worn under other clothing.
Choose your fabric
Breathable fabric is your friend while flying.
Air circulation isn’t great in a sealed metal tube travelling at hundreds of kilometres an hour, so when choosing a flying wardrobe try and go for natural fabrics such as cotton or linen or ‘wicking’ fabrics that don’t hold in sweat.
We love pockets
A jacket with a bazillion or so pockets is ideal for flying, especially if you are travelling with a family.
Tuck away your tickets, secrete your snacks, veil your visa … pockets are great for keeping your hands free to negotiate tricky luggage, fractious children, or airline food in inappropriate containers and drinks with foil lids.
At the very least pockets will keep your hands warm. Do you have an airline ‘outfit’? What makes it work for you? Why not share your tips in the comments section below?