Ace airport style

There’s a famous picture of Frank Sinatra getting off a plane in an immaculate Savile Row suit with a grin as wide as Cheshire cat. Doesn’t he look marvelous? But don’t go getting any ideas. You are not a jet-set icon. You are a put-upon modern traveler trying to get from A to B with some semblance of dignity. Thankfully travel clothing has come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years, and it is now possible to look elegant and chic without sacrificing comfort and practicality. Here’s how:

Dress Soft

Look for clothes that are soft and have a bit of stretch in them. Italian designers excel at this type of clothing. Many brands now offer the kind of softly tailored separates that come into their own for modern business travel. Avoid selvedge denim jeans and other items of tough workwear. You’ll also want to give fully canvassed suits and slim-cut shirts a pass too. Anything too stiff and done up will be uncomfortable.

Think in Layers

The temperature can vary greatly when you’re on the road. One minute you’re running for the departure gate, the next you’re on a plane with the air conditioning turned down to freezing. So think in terms of loose layers that you can slip into or shed easily. A zip-up cashmere jumper (mid layer) with a sea-island cotton T-shirt (base layer) is the kind of luxurious combination that is almost as nice as a first-class upgrade.


Choose shoes that can be taken on and off easily, such as Chelsea boots, slip-on sneakers, loafers or boat shoes. There is now a slip-on shoe for almost every occasion, so you won’t need to sacrifice style for convenience, which is especially important if you’re travelling for business. Wear your heaviest shoes for the journey to save on luggage weight.


Avoid anything with metal (belts and buckles) and trousers in stiff, hard-wearing fabrics such as jeans. Many chinos and flannel trousers now come with elasticated waists and drawstring fastenings for an elegant but still comfortable look, which is ideal for business travel. If you don’t need to head into a boardroom straight from the plane, sweatpants are now perfectly acceptable for flights. As well as being comfortable and soft, the drawstring has the added benefit of not requiring a belt. If you’re not quite ready to go down the drawstring route, consider trousers with a small percentage of elastane mixed into the fabric.

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