SCL Philosophy: Dress up to Travel


The author awaiting the train in Austria

The author awaiting the train in Austria.

For years and years, when Americans traveled, we put on our Sunday best. It was a privilege to travel (whether via train, bus or airplane), so naturally one wanted to dress and act like you’d been there before. Somehow between then and now, it’s unfortunately become customary to dress down when you travel. These days, dumpy business casual wear, and even worse, the college student pajama-and-pillow look has become all too common. Despite comfy temptations, we find dressing in classic duds provide numerous benefits when traveling in public:

1.      It shows respect for others. (No one wants to sit next to a slob.)

2.      It opens up doors of possibility. (You never know who might sit next to you.)

3.      Looking like you belong in first class tends to help in upgrade situations.

You don’t have to look like you’re about to attend a black tie affair … but showing respect for yourself and your traveling companions by looking presentable isn’t just classic, it’s the right thing to do.



Filed under Philosophy, Travel

6 responses to “SCL Philosophy: Dress up to Travel

  1. Some good points made for sure. I myself have often thought about how people don’t dress up for travel like they used to when I was a kid.

    The other side of it, of course, is that now we face circumstances that travelers never faced before. Flight cancellations, which lead to being stuck in an airport for hours on end and worse being stuck on a plane for long periods of time before it even takes off. So, I can see why lots of people try to dress more comfortably.

  2. Very true. I can attest to #3 above. Delta at one time forbade first class upgrades to be given to those in jeans.

  3. Sarah-Ann

    Couldn’t agree with you more. What’s funny is people don’t realize there are rules in place about this by airlines in certain situations – for example, if you’re flying Delta on a buddy pass, one of the rules for doing so is you must dress appropriately e.g. business look and feel, no flip flops, t-shirts, etc. – too bad that doesn’t apply overall!

  4. craftymeerkat

    For the ladies, I would settle for a ban on tights worn as pants, sweatpants and Uggs. For the men, a restriction on anything you wore in college unless you are actually in college.

  5. Kandice

    Hear,Hear! My Husband travels alot and has commented on this very thing. It’s not a matter of being better than anyone else but being responsible for who you are. Care of one’s self goes along way in the perception of those you’re around, ie plane passengers, flight attendants, desk people. They feel as if you will treat them with respect if you’ve started with yourself.

  6. Tom Rogers

    You are on the money. Paying a premium price to sit next to someone in a tank-top is awful. Enjoy “Simple Classic Living” very much.

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