Having been around more than 50 airports, I have been observing style in a variety of departure lounges for quite a while. From typical European hubs like Frankfurt and London, to far-off and massive terminals, such as those in the US and Asia, it can be noted that airport style is as varied and vivid as it gets. One will come across myriad styles: from relaxed, beach-ready clothing to stiffer, corporate and business attire. Some will prefer comfort over fashion, while others compromise comfort for style. Here are some ideas that will attempt to merge both comfort and style, while matching the climate and spirit of the place one is travelling to.
Travelling to Sunny Los Angeles or San Francisco’s microclimate
A typical ensemble would be a leather jacket thrown over a pair of jeans. Such outerwear keeps you warm but not too hot. Choose a pair of jeans with stretch for comfortable movement, and avoid stiff denim. For an interesting twist, wear a vintage-style tee and an animal print ankle boots à la Chelsea so that passing through security is a breeze.
Travelling to Milan, or the city of the aperitivo
Why not go from airport to happy hour? With this outfit it is doable – a colourful daring floral blazer can be your standout piece against a more laid-back pair of ripped jeans. Slip on a pair of heels or to keep it hip and leisurely, opt for some trainers. Change up your normal converse with a fresh new pair with colours that incidentally match the blazer.
Travelling to a seaside spot like Greece or Bali
There is nothing more stifling than landing in a humid place dressed in thick clothing. Swap your sweatpants for a breathable dress like this vintage piece that will take you straight to dinner on the Grecian seafront or in one of the resorts in Bali. Balance the feminine aspect in your look with a pair of grungy ballet flats which you can then replace with slides once you land.
Travelling for Business
Travelling for business should not take away from the pleasure of getting dressed. If anything, it is a perfect excuse to dress up and show up. This summer, cropped pants are your new friend and you will find them in many iterations. For summer work conferences or business meetings abroad, slip on a pair and keep the rest crisp and minimal by means of a white shirt. Add drama in the form of a bell-sleeved blazer. Do not shy away from some height in the feet with a comfortable pair of block heels. To finish off the look, a functional city bag keeps things sleek and formal.
Pack Like a Pro
- In your hand luggage, try packing a spare outfit and extra pair of shoes that you can change into. This will help if you are in a hurry to go out once you land and do not have time to open up your bigger suitcase.
- Try to avoid too much bling or anything that can cause issues with security controls; lace-up shoes are also best avoided.
- Wear an extra layer under or over to make more space for shopping and to keep the luggage weight low.
- Pack crease-free clothing if possible or check if your hotel can provide an ironing board in your room.
- Always pack a swimsuit – you never know if you will get an opportunity to swim, even if it is in the hotel pool.
- For far-off destinations, check if there is a visa waiver (Malta qualifies for visa waivers in many countries) or apply where necessary for a visa.
- For long flights make sure you pack anything that can make your journey comfortable: say hello to noise-cancelling headphones, an eye-patch, and elastic-free flight socks, and take with you any medicines or products that you might not find in a non-EU country – do not forget to pack a strong insect repellent!
Finally, be comfortable, be stylish, and bon voyage!