We all love the idea of living a jet-set lifestyle. After all, hopping around the globe from one event to the next, chasing the sun, parties and cameras is ultra-glam. However, being able to pull of a life of long-haul flights with style and panache is no easy feat. Thankfully I know a thing or two about jetting around the world and being mile-high style icon. You know, not to be conceited or anything.
For the ninety-nine percent, globe-trotting does not involve a private jet. It involves being in the middle seat on a cramped flight, barely able to catch a couple of hours of intermittent sleep. Consequently, life in a congested cabin is hardly a recipe for looking good. In fact, most people’s travel outfits consist of sock-slippers, pyjamas, an eye mask and a tracksuit with the words Juicy written somewhere suggestive. In-flight style has died a death of a thousand sins. It literally makes me cringe.
I’m not saying that you need to look fifty shades of Bridget Bardot and wear six-inch stilettos on every flight from this day forward, but there is a happy middle ground between Terminal Style and Departure Lounging. So, here are some outfit inspirations that will turn you into a mile-high style icon.
The Basics of Being a Mile-High Style Icon
Big city life in the Big Apple
A staple diet of any long-haul flight needs to be a pair of distressed, skinny jeans. They embrace the comfort of leggings without lowering your style standards. As for which style to adopt when landing in a major city like New York, go for a darker colour and have them stop just above the ankle. Then pair them with a cool but understated t-shirt—something loose and comfy.
Now that you have the foundation in place, you need to spruce it up a tad so that you can walk off the plane feeling like Carrie Bradshaw. That means a pair of leopard print sneakers, a camel-colored blazer or overcoat (weather dependent) and a piece of statement jewelry, preferably a pendant necklace, in gold. That’s how to leave the terminal and be big city ready without having to pit stop at a hotel—or restaurant bathroom—first.
Landing In London
If you’re going to embrace the globe-trotter life, then London is calling. Maybe not right now but it will be soon enough, and so you will need to be ready. However, the longer the flight the more comfortable you need to be, and that is the balancing act you need perfect. So, let’s start with your footwear. You need them to be comfy when worn, easy to slip off and eye-catching on arrival. My go-to pair are chic ankle-booties. The colour is up to you, but a royal or neutral colour should work wonders, especially if you wear a pair of matching socks.
As for your actual attire, you should pull on a sweater dress and rock some delicate bohemian jewelry with it to make it more, well, stylish. Of course, jeans are a no-go on this occasion, which means wearing tights instead. Top it off with a wool wrap, or maybe something cashmere, and you are ready to hit the hotspots of England’s capital.
Pit stop in Paris
Every so often, you will catch a flight where a change is scheduled. Sometimes it is just an hour or so, but occasionally it can mean an overnight stop. If that happens to be in Paris then your tracksuit won’t cut it. That is why I’d recommend you have a comfy little black dress you can fall back on. For example, a bodycon dress or tank dress that fits well. Not only will this keep you comfortable, all the pressure falls onto your accessories, which makes life a little easier.
Have a cardigan sweater or a knitted poncho in the overhead storage, rock a pair of sneakers or leather ankle boots, slip a low-hanging pendant necklace around your neck and add some bangles to your arms. Then finish off your look with an oversized wool hat and clutch bag! Looking like this, you can hail a cab outside the airport and go straight to dinner in Montmartre.
The “anything over twelve” rule
Anything over twelve hours on a flight means you have to prioritize your comfort over style. That doesn’t mean live on the extremes, but you need to lean more toward comfort. Luckily for you, we live in a day and age where comfort can be cool. The perfect example of this is baggy slouch pants that somehow manage to look tailored. Pair this with a long sleeve crew neck shirt, a long wool overcoat and an oversized plaid scarf and you’re in business. You will be as snug as a bug in a rug and stylish enough to enjoy a little in-flight flirting should the opportunity arise.