I grew up watching “The Shanghai Express”. As a result I’ve always felt that travel outfits should have a bit of flair. Perhaps one does not need to decorate one’s hats with feathers the way Marlene Dietrich did, but some pizzaz makes the whole tedious process more fun. Once on my way to Paris I saw a woman in first class wearing a tight red suit, 3″ stilettos, and one of those elegant shawls French women always seem to have thrown about their shoulders. She’s inspired me ever since. Although my outfit is much more comfortable than her’s, it is still pretty sharp, especially when you compare it to the velour sweat suits that many travelers wear.
A few tips on looking great while flying
- Bring a pashmina. A big, warm scarf can be spread over you like a blanket if you get cold. When not needed it can be folded and placed in your purse.
- Wear a lightweight jacket or sweater – No matter how warm it is when you depart it can get cold on the airplane.
- If you’re female consider wearing a skirt – I always find that pants ride up and become uncomfortable after sitting for a long time. My stretch corduroy pencil skirt is just as cozy as sweats.
- Choose a chic piece of carry-on luggage - The red ones I’m toting around in the photos actually belong to my neighbor, but as soon as I can afford my own I’m going to look for something similar. The bright color is fun and you won’t mistake your luggage for someone else’s.
- Look fabulous! Nothing says you have to look awful while traveling. I promise my skirt, t-shirt and leather jacket were comfortable and practical on the flight.
A few tips on getting through airport security without anxiety
- Wear shoes that are easy to get on and off. My zip-up boots were perfect for this. Anything with laces, including sneakers, will make you crazy trying to get through security.
- Wear socks. Yes, them make you take off your shoes. Do you REALLY want to walk through security with bare feet?
- Consider NOT wearing jewelry. I wore earrings, a watch, and two bracelets. All had to be removed before I could be scanned. (Interestingly, I was allowed to keep my gold wedding band on.)
- Pack small toiletries. According to the TSA advisory full-sized shampoos can be packing in luggage that is checked, but only small, 4.5 ounce bottles can be carried onto the plane. Thankfully there are lots of trial sized options out there. Put them in a large clear plastic zip lock bag in an outside pocket of your carry-on. This will make your life easier, I promise.
- Be prepared. Read the article “How to Get Through the Line Faster” for more helpful packing, dressing and behavior tips.
So what’s in the bag?
I packed for sightseeing in the cool, foggy weather I love so much. On our first day out I wore the simple black jersey dress that I bring on all my trips because it’s easy to wear, always looks great, and doesn’t wrinkle. I was planning on throwing the off-white jacket you see above over the outfit below, but the sun followed me to Northern California and the day was too warm for layers.
I paired the dress with my favorite leopard Nine West flats for easy walking. The small, black, “Baggallini”, cross-over purse has been worn many times before on this blog. Although it’s not quite big enough to carry all my essentials, it’s still great when I’m on foot most of the day. On this day sightseeing and lunching took place in the charming town of Petaluma north of San Francisco.
The next day we went into “The City” (That’s what the locals call San Francisco.) for a couple of hours before heading to the airport.
I wore pretty much the same thing I had on our flight up to San Francisco: an off-white “leather” jacket, black t-shirt, grey corduroy skirt and black boots.
The boots are new. I’ve been looking for a knee-high black boot with a bit of a heel to wear with skirts for a while. These are taller than my other boots and oh so classic. The chunky heel means they’re easy to walk in as well, making them a good choice for travel.
- Jacket – Giacca
- Pashmina – a gift
- T-shirt – The Gap
- Skirt – Garnet Hill
- Purse – Baggallini
- Boots – Ellen Tracy
- Black Jersey Dress – Rachel Roy
- Leopard flats – Nine West
- Sunglasses – Gucci
What do you wear when you travel? Do you have any favorite pieces?