Fashion notes: Perfecting laid-back travel looks
I don’t think travel-wear used to ever be a “thing,” until it became a prime opportunity for members of the paparazzi to photograph celebrities landing or taking off at various airports around the world. Snaps taken at the airport give a raw, unfiltered view of these celebrities, and for the most part, are void of sequinned stage-wear; rare occasions where celebrities are somewhat humanised.
Seeing them in their casuals, sweats and tracksuits also somehow makes them seem more relatable. We may not be able to afford, let alone track down, the latex gown Beyoncé recently wore at the Met Gala, but when she dons jeans and a white T-shirt or a loose white jumpsuit and printed kimono while travelling, it’s suddenly easier to imitate her style.
Because celebrity fashion is so sensationalised, it has provided a different outlet for us to get inspired by. Today, travel-wear is a topic in its own right. A recent newsletter sent out by online retail giant Net-a-Porter was titled “Miranda Kerr’s travel checklist”, and sent subscribers to a web page full of travel looks seemingly curated, or at least inspired by, the Australian model. Ribbed jersey pyjama sets by brands such as Eberjey and Calvin Klein underwear topped the list, which was given the fitting title “the travel uniform”.
I’m quite happy to say that comfortable loungewear and athleisure-style attire is now the norm for in-flight fashion. Perhaps it always was. But previously, there was a certain stigma to showing up to the airport in, essentially, your pyjamas. But celebrities and fashion icons alike have put their stamp of approval on the style, and it has now shed its taboo, hobo-fashion stigmas.
It's important to remember, however, that appearances can be deceiving. No matter how many images you see of stiletto-heeled singers and actresses exiting LAX airport, please don't follow in their sore footsteps. Often, they just pack a pair of heels for show for the paparazzi as they enter or exit the crowd-laden airport, then a set of trainers for the rest of the journey. Selena Gomez proved this to be true in March when she styled her red Vetements trackies with white-heeled sandals in Los Angeles, only to arrive in Paris having traded her heels for relaxed white trainers.
Current airport street style consists largely of solid shades – blacks, greys, whites and the occasional reds, such as in the cases of Gomez and Kendall Jenner. Regardless of the colours you choose, comfort should take priority when determining what to wear while travelling – especially if you’re in for a long-haul flight. If you’re going to be tottering around the airport in Louboutins, you have either had numbing procedures or surgery on your feet, or are simply out of your mind. If you’re dressed in comfortable clothing and footwear, I assure you, your journey will be more enjoyable. Envision this: your overnight flight is practically empty, and you have a row of four seats to yourself. It’s far easier to stretch out and curl up into a comfortable position when wearing jersey joggers, rather than, say, a skirt or tight leather trousers.
I jumped on the athleisure bandwagon a long time ago, and am over the moon that the trend translates so well into travel-wear. Tracksuits, sweatpants, joggers, hoodies – especially in matching sets – make up my ideal travel outfit. A pair of trainers and a big leather tote completes the practical-but-stylish look. By all means, channel your favourite celebrity while passing through duty free, but don’t take it too far. That means leave the dark glasses packed up in your suitcase.