What To Wear To The Airport – Tips & Tricks For Traveling

What To Wear To The Airport – Tips & Tricks For Traveling

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In today’s video, we discuss what to wear
to the airport or when traveling by plane. Back in the day, traveling used to be a special
occasion that people dressed up for. My mother-in-law worked for Northwest Airlines
and so whenever their family would fly, they would all be dressed up to the tee. These days, anything goes! When you’re waiting at the airport, maybe
at a TSA line, you’ll see a lot of people wear everything from maybe a regular business
suit all the way to a hoodie with sweatpants. So the big question is, what should you wear
to the airport and why should you do it? Obviously, dirty sneakers, shirts with holes,
and sweatpants are acceptable and if that’s what you want to wear, go for it, however
I like to say luck favors the prepared and if you’re dressed up at the airport, it can
still have a number of advantages. Let me start with a story. A few years back, I was on a plane in coach,
our business was much smaller and we wanted to extend our credit line. I was dressed well and the guy next to started
a conversation and it turned out, he was a manager for my local bank. So when I told him what our plan was and had
a hard time getting more credit, he was like “Well, wait a second” and he gave me his email
address, I followed up with him and I got an increase for my credit line. My banker was so impressed that he called
me for the first time ever and wanted to get together with me for a coffee and he was like
“By the way, how did you get your credit line increase?”. So the only reason that whole thing started
was because I was well-dressed and trustworthy. If I would have worn a t-shirt with ice cream
stains, I probably would have not gotten that offer from the gentleman. In general, clothes send powerful signals
to others and that also applies to the plane. Now the easy thing is because everyone else
is so dressed down, you can just get a rather casual ensemble that makes you immediately
stand out from the crowd. The other reason you want to dress up when
you fly is that your luggage can get lost. That happened to me just last year on the
way to my best friend’s wedding where I was the best man. If I had not worn a nice pair of pants that
would actually fit me, I would not have been able to attend that wedding without looking
like a complete douchebag. So what are the specific pieces you should
wear when traveling? I would say find a compromise between comfort,
functionality, and stylishness. First, let’s start with the jacket. I always wear a jacket when I travel because
I can easily take it off, maybe use it as a blanket, or just have an additional layer
to keep me warm because you never know how hot or cold it’s going to be on a plane. I like a very unstructured jacket that is
extremely comfortable, no shoulder padding at all, and something that you can just throw
into the corner that doesn’t wrinkle easily. Ideally, it has enough pockets because between
your passport, your phone, your tickets, and other stuff that you need, you want to have
enough storage space. During the warmer months of the year, I often
travel in my Safari jacket which has really big pockets, it’s a nice casual jacket and
it just is perfect for traveling because of that. Ideally, you want a jacket that is dark so
it doesn’t pick up stains or something with a pattern such as this one. Alternatively, I think a navy blazer in a
soft material such as cashmere, a cashmere wool blend, is ideal. Next up is the shirt. I try to go with a dress shirt, in this case,
I am wearing a button-down collar shirt because it doesn’t require a necktie and it is made
out of a fabric that is very hard-wearing. to learn more about the Oxford cloth button-down
shirt please check out this video here. You definitely always want long sleeves but
avoid French cuffs because the metal may set off the metal detector, you may have to go
through stuff again and it’s just annoying. Another really great option for air travel
is a long sleeve polo shirt, specifically, a white one. It’s what I wore when my luggage got lost
and I could wear it for the wedding, it was white, it looked like a regular white shirt
but because of the mesh knit fabric, it is very flexible, very comfortable, and if you
reach for something in your carry-on luggage, no seam is gonna rip accidentally. Now if I go on a longer trip, I always either
wear a tie because my luggage can get lost or I try to wear a bow tie or keep one in
my pocket because that can be a lifesaver if I need to go to a more formal occasion
later on. I always travel with a pocket square but I
skipped the boutonniere because when I fold a jacket and put it somewhere, the flower
would likely be squished, however, the pocket square instantly upgrades my outfit and makes
me stand out from the rest on the plane. In an ideal world, you skip the belt as well
as suspenders and just go with side adjusters, however, that doesn’t always work and so a
belt that comes off easily is the best way to go. In terms of shoes, of course, I go with a
leather that matches the belt but in the airport travel case, I usually opt for a loafer. It could either be a penny loafer it could
be a Gucci loafer and to learn whether it’s worth and in general please check out this
guide here. Alternatively, you can also go with a monk
strap shoe but opt for something that comes off easily and quickly so no laced derbies
or Oxfords. For pants, I like something that is easily
washable so usually, I don’t opt for wool dress pants instead, I go with cotton chinos
and khaki because they are very neutral, can be combined with a lot, and they can be easily
washed if I stain them along the way. Alternatively, during the warmer months of
the year, I really like seersucker because it’s very lightweight, it’s comfortable to
travel in yet it doesn’t wrinkle very easily and always looks neat. If you’re on really long flights, I suggest
you invest in a pair of over the calf compression socks because it compresses your veins and
makes sure the blood keeps flowing and you don’t end up with a blood clot that might
be lethal. That’s especially true if you’re an older
gentleman; if you’re younger and you don’t worry about it, I still suggest wearing some
nice over the calf socks I particularly like the shadow striped socks from Fort Belvedere
because they’re easy to combine, they’re always stylish, and provide a nice contrast between
your pants and your shoes. Personally, I always take three aspirins before
I fly because it keeps my blood thin and that way, I prevent blood clotting but I also have
a history of blood clots in my family. In terms of a carry-on, I usually bring a
computer bag which also contains my camera and all the stuff I need and if I don’t check
luggage, I bring a carry-on with really good wheels that is stable enough so I can put
my bag on top of it and just maneuver the airport and the cities I am in very easily. If you’re a watch guy, of course, you want
to get a wristwatch. Personally, I try to bring it along in my
luggage because I don’t want to take it off put it back on it’s just one more step when
going through security and I simply try to avoid it. Of course, to me, time is money so I invested
in TSA Pre and so I waste as little time as possible waiting at the airport. so in today’s video I am wearing a typical
travel outfit it is an unlined blazer with no shoulder padding that’s very comfortable
it’s made of a soft woolen cloth with a cashmere blend and my shirt is a light blue Oxford
cloth button-down shirt that is really hard wearing it doesn’t have any cuff links just
regular button cuffs and my pants are chinos in a typical kind of khaki stone color I’m
wearing it with a belt that matches the color of my brown penny loafers and it picks up
the brown tones of my jacket for my socks I went with some contrasting brown and beige
socks that pick up the tone of the pants as well as a jacket and a broad contrast between
the pants and the shoes I also skipped any kind of pinky ring or wristwatch because I
don’t want to set off the metal detector the same is true for collar stays I once had a
security agent look through my jewelry for 10 minutes because I didn’t know what the
collar stays were and collar clips and I just want to avoid that kind of hassle altogether
my pocket square is from Fort Belvedere it’s a silk wool blend that picks up the orange
reddish color in my jacket as well as the blue tones and you can find it in our shop
just like our socks here if you enjoyed this video make sure to also watch how to pack
a suitcase and what to put into your suitcase in those videos here.

100 Replies to “What To Wear To The Airport – Tips & Tricks For Traveling”

  1. 'You don't get a second chance to make a first impression' is the old expression, well articulated informative video and your travel attire is perfect for any gentleman.

  2. Hi, I’m from Brasil… BAHIA, Salvador… here is so hot, scorching… it’s impossible to dress properly like a gentleman… and, me in specialty, need to move by motorcycle… I’d be glad to see a video from you target on my situation… I’m an engineer and work in a nom formal environment… and work as a professor too…

  3. Also, Suede shoes work really nicely for traveling because they do not scratch if you hit something in restricted space. I usually wear well-fitting Suede Oxfords or Loafers. Not much extra effort to lace a five-eyelet shoe. Would still avoid high boots though. 😉 I really like a layering with a cardigan over a dress shirt as well to accommodate for change of temperature in the cabin while still allowing to stow it within the portfolio bag without consuming much space.

  4. Great tips, Sven!! Personally, I try hard to look stylish when I travel (which is very frequently) which helps with upgrades! Well, status also helps BUT I have been upgraded before because of my look/dress.

  5. This is a terrific video to which all of us can relate. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. To this day, however, I still fly well dressed.

  6. Once when I was waiting in the security line in München, I saw a well-dressed gentleman who was ordered to remove his shoes. Most probably the metal shank in his shoes triggered the detector. When he removed his shoes, his socks were full of holes, you could see his toes far away. This was a really unpleasant situation. Poor guy.

    So good socks are important because normally you should never take off your shoes, but this is an exceptional situation. On some airports, the metal detector equipment is very sensitive, so you have either remove your shoes and put it next to your other stuff, or be screened by security (which is a good option if you want a fast free feet massage). I heard, some shoe company make shoes with wooden shanks (they broke with time), or even better, with carbon fiber. These are good options for frequent travelers. I think Chelsea boots are the best travel shoes. They look great, work with both casual and formal clothing. They are also loose fitting so you can wear them for a long time without killing your foot. You can also run in them if you have to.

  7. Personally, I have had good experiences with carrying things like watches, rings, keys, spare change, and anything else that you might want to carry with you, but would have to remove at security, into Ziploc bags, which can be quickly and easily removed from pockets and are an essential tool for travelling by plane, anyway, due to liquid regulations. This way, your essential valuables you simply feel you cannot be without can pass through security easily and quickly, aren't lost with the luggage, and can potentially be put on in the time between security check and boarding.

  8. I don't think I have ever worn sweatpants before. Even back when I constantly dressed like total garbage, I never did put on a pair of sweatpants. Can someone describe the appeal? They seem… well, sweaty (and sloppy).

  9. When traveling with a suit and multiple dress shirts, do you fold them delicately into your rolling luggage? Or do you opt for a garment bag in addition to roller luggage and a beefier briefcase?

  10. What are your thoughts on “travel blazers” when on a plane? One that can be folded without creasing or wrinkling the jacket with ample pocket space and made of a waterproof material? I know they’re generally a fashion faux pas but they seem so functional and useful that it might be a safe bet as far as a standard jacket to have on a plane.

  11. Natural fibers are the ONLY clothes that will save you in a plane crash. Everything else will melt on you and give you terrible burns.
    Good video.

  12. Wow. The only thing i get from this video and comments is.. if you want a chance to get a free upgrade to business class..wear nice clothes…sheesh…how cheap can you get…

  13. side adjusters always work for travelling, before you go through the metal detectors at the airport you are always required to remove your belt.

  14. The really rich people do wear T-shirts and jeans 😂 especially the ones from IT companies. Those people who wear suits and jackets constantly are working for those guys and gals 😁 So … New area now … You do notice those Africans who come to study in the West constantly dress up, right? So …

  15. Don't forget to also bring and wear a Daniel Wellington…

    Lol can't wait for my watch community argument bait to start working

  16. A am into street wear (track suits n sneakers ect ) but I like to have the knowledge of sharp dressing for when I do dress up

  17. Good advise.

    I always dress smart casual: long sleeve button down shirt + chino/technical jeans. Shoe is either leather boots or high rise converse shoe.

    I always fly long haul (13 hours minimum or more when having connect flights) so my aim is wear smart and yet comfortable. So no suit.

  18. I wear tapered leg dark denim jeans, sude chucka boots, slim fit polo shirt usually in pale blue or grey and a lightweight zip up jacket with a laptop bag to carry my travel essentials. Super smart casual and comfortable to wear 👍

  19. Also helpful for scoring upgrades or lounge access. Just recently I was returning from a funeral overseas with my two sisters, one is a frequent flyer and has lounge access for herself and one guest. Thankfully because I was dressed well they allowed us all into the lounge.

  20. I think Raphael is the type of guy who would wear a suit before entering the bathroom for a shower and then take it off inside 🙂

  21. They make specific clothing for travelling. Who could be bothered with a sports jacket nowadays which you and up putting into the overhead storage. This guy is so impractical for international travel by air.

  22. I bought a travel blazer a couple of years ago and it has been incredibly useful while travelling. It’s lightweight, doesn’t crease and has large front pockets which are perfect for storing travel documents while moving around the airport.

  23. I wear dark jeans with stretch i the denim, oxford cloth in light blue, V-neck sweater usually blue in thin cotton (easily washable), thin wool or mostly wool blend with some nylon knee length socks, and roomy oxford shoes for when my feet swell on the flight I untie them. A merino wool beanie (not itchie and warm) in my carry on for when it is colder where I am going or colder at home (best warmth for weight and size). A 3/4 length thin cotton overcoat is alsk great to have (roll up and put in storage bin). 1 baby aspirin and try to drink water prior to flight.

  24. Just wear comfortable clothing. The only thing that will get you an upgrade is high frequent flyer status, and these days it has to be very high. A navy or marine corps uniform on a 5:30am flight out of San Diego sometimes works.

  25. That large check sports coat is very nice but I don't think it is well tailored for you. It does not hang smoothly at the back behind your armpits.

  26. Literally the most ridiculous, unrealistic video EVER! No one is dresses like this to the airport. I don’t even believe you dress like this.

  27. @1:56 Awesome to see a three button jacket, I personally love them (if done correctly of course), great video as always Sven!

  28. 0:57 is that a Carl Friedrik Palissy 25 Hour in chocolate brown??
    I bought that same briefcase two months ago. And it is great!

  29. Sven I'm not sure if taking 3 aspirins is good enough to prevent a dvt on a long flight. My advice to you would be to get up and walk every hour. The contraction of muscles around the veins stimulates circulation. Hope you have better luck with your luggage on future flights

  30. Could you please make a video regarding the differences between nubuck and suede as well as how to tell how high of the quality the suede/nubuck is, and thank you very much.

  31. I find some of these videos good for advice and checking what you should wear and how to pull it off.
    But this is a bit of a weird one.
    If you are really worried about your bag going missing and not having the clothes for a particular event when you arrive, put it in your carry on. Simple.
    I never get people who dress very down at airports, to be comfortable. Come on how uncomfortable are your normal clothes?! Wear stuff that fits properly and you're away.

    side point, that is straight up not how you get your credit line increased. what sort of half baked financial assessment is started by the way a guy is dressed on an airplane?

  32. His comment about getting stopped for collar stays made me paranoid. I personally do not own any button-collared oxfords because I prefer the look of collars with stays, but now I am thinking I need a couple button-collared oxfords, especially with some business travel coming up.

    BTW, hopsack is a GREAT fabric for a travel jacket.

  33. I would love to see the face of the teacher when Raphael comes in to the class with his quality suit, at a parent's night. XD "oh, oh…. Sir, this a parent's night, I think you are at the wrong building…"

  34. I recently went on a round the world flight with 2 main stopovers. My first leg was in business class on Lufthansa 747-400 upper deck. Quite a few Germans changed into pyjamas during the flight which I thought made sense. I can't see myself dressing up for long haul flights even in business class. Flying is extremely uncomfortable for me so I like to be casual but with a clean and neat appearance. I like BR traveler pants with a nice cotton t-shirt and a fine cotton zipper jacket/sweater. I wore a nice grey suede sneakers for foot comfort even though I will take them off and use the supplied slippers during the flight. This works for me at least. I also wore an ArcTeryx Delta LT sweater jacket, as it is like fleece but looks like a sweater. It's great since it can get pretty cold in the plane and it doesn't look too sporty or outdoorsy. The warmth to weight ratio for Arcteryx is great.

  35. Small tip… If you ever go to Delhi airport, don't bring your Ronson lighter/other expensive lighters. They will take it away from you in custom, even if it's in your suitcase. India is the only country I have vist, where it's not allowed to bring one lighter in your pocket.

  36. Hey Sven, great video as always. I completely agree with you on dressing well even to travel. Once, I was wearing a button down shirt with jeans and I caught the interest of a lady sitting next to me, we talked the entire flight and when we landed, I received a kiss. Luck does favor the prepared.

  37. Drei Aspirin vor dem Flug, doch nicht auf einmal, oder? Ich hatte mal gelesen niedrig dosiertes Aspirin über eine Dauer von 24h vor dem Flug zu nehmen wäre der Stand der Dinge.

  38. Please don’t wear an M65 combat jacket or lookalike safari jacket on a flight, unless it’s a gunship going up the Delta or you are photographing wildlife in the PNG highlands.

    Wannabes and snotty nose kids wear safari jackets, or grandad pulling out his wardrobe from 1978, or Sgt Deadeye on his way to a reunion.

    No one wants to look like that.

  39. watching this in the full knowledge that the next time i'm on a flight i'll be wearing leggings and a fanny pack

  40. If you get the WSJ, check out today's Off Duty section. Whole article on how to dress better for air travel. You scooped them!

  41. I ALWAYS dress up when traveling by plane. I once was offered an empty first-class seat for being particularly nice to my Flight Attendant. I am sure I wouldn't have been offered the seat if I had been dressed down.

  42. Good advice, but white shirts are not the best choice for a possibly turbulent flight. Darker colors are preferable.

  43. I usually wear jeans and a button up or polo shirt. If I am bringing a jacket to wear I am going, I wear the jacket as that saves room in my luggage. For shoes, I usually wear a pair of slip-on vans because all of my shoes nicer than that have laces and I don't like having to spend time tying and untying my shoes (Loafers are on my list for my next shoe purchase). I usually just deal with the fact that I have to take off my belt and watch, so I usually wear my nicer ones of them as I am not going to not wear a belt (I don't like side adjusters) and I am not going to leave my watch in the carry-on bag that I have. I also have TSA pre-check, but I will never pay for it again after it expires: I always apply my known passenger number to my flight, but I have only gotten it twice out of the last twelve flights that I have been on since getting it, definitely not worth the money that I spend for it.

  44. I am a British Asian and our elders only wore a suit whenever they flew. We laugh about it now, but it really was a luxury for them, a special occasion, and they would make friends they would keep for life on those flights

  45. Still, to this day, people underestimate the value of dressing-up when at the airport. No matter where you are from in the world, you will be treated nice. In some instances, you may even be mistaken for boarding first class, and be put in the faster line!

  46. Hi Sven, can you do a video on the difference between pants, slacks and trousers. (I always thought that women wore slacks, boys wore pants and men wore trousers).

  47. This is a very important topic. Even though it is a priority to wear comfortable shoes and clothing some consideration has to be put into the projected image. Note to myself. Sigh…

  48. Spot on for flying, you and I have a 95% overlap. Loafers, OTC socks, cotton pants, button-down shirt, jacket. Most of my flying is between the US South and Ecuador, so I frequently wear a pastel cotton jacket.

  49. I like to dress to travel for the sake of first impressions alone, especially when I’m traveling out of the country. Besides, it makes you look more worldly and you’ll blend in better.

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