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What To Wear For An Upgrade

Forget the red carpet, celebrities are now hiring stylists to hone their airport looks. And while the A-list are probably automatically flying business (or even private jet), it’s worth giving your check-in look some extra consideration.

Your jet-set style can be an instant ticket to first class, thanks to the elusive world of upgrades. Whether it’s flight or 5*hotel, there are occasionally opportunities to go up a class – if you look the part…

The premise is simple(ish): upgrade your outfit and you might just bag that upgrade. We’ve enlisted the help of stylists who love to travel to reveal exactly what you should be wearing.

Check out our five rules to first class (disclaimer: maybe) and what to wear for an upgrade…

Upgrade your luggage game

THE STYLIST HACK: “To really look like a seasoned and stylish traveller, your luggage is a big part of your overall look. A chic travel bag and coordinating beauty bag will not only hold all of your airport essentials (and duty free indulgences), but it also show that you are first class material. Plus, it’s one of the first things that the check-in desk will see.”

Keep it effortless

THE STYLIST HACK: “Understated luxury is key if you want to bag an upgrade – you never want to look like you’re trying too hard. Going super-glam for a long-haul flight is unnecessary and can be uncomfortable. Keep things simple and chic with premium fabrics, like cashmere. Looking polished but relaxed is far more likely to get you noticed at the check-in desk.”

Do the outfit double

THE STYLIST HACK: “Don’t forget, you can always change on board. Today’s ‘smart’ is all about portraying that less-is-more cool feel. Try luxe silky joggers, palazzo pants or a silky trouser suit with a pair of block mid-heeled sandals. Polished fashion trainers are acceptable, and lots of business travellers will now ‘dress down’, but just think, if you wouldn’t wear them to impress at a business meeting, don’t wear them to impress for business class.”


Details, details (and more details)

THE STYLIST HACK: “It’s always the small details that make the biggest impact at departures. Get a manicure before you fly – I always like shellac so I feel chic, prepared and chip-free. Add a printed scarf, big sunnies and a bright lipstick to pep up your pre-flying face at the check-in desk – ideal if you’ve got a super-early flight or long connection ahead.”

Let your shoes dictate

THE STYLIST HACK: “I think the most important thing you can do that makes an immediate difference is to make sure your pant length and your shoes agree. If you find a pair of trousers you love and you’re a person who wears both flats and heels, you should buy two pairs of plane pants and have one for heels and one for flats. The length of the trouser dictates whether or not it looks cool.”


Balance comfort and style to rack up jet-set chic points at the check-in desk. Here’s what to wear to ace your airport look.

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