Getting dressed for the airport is a complex art form, requiring a careful balancing act of comfort and glamour.
Just as we begin to unfurl ourselves from our sofas and start to return to airports, glossy US publisher, Rizzoli has provided us with the ultimate fashion inspiration for our future escapades – Come Fly With Me: Flying In Style. The new photography book celebrates the history of celebrity airport dressing over the past 50 years. Curated by esteemed Photo Editor, Jodi Peckman, it shows a glittering collection of icons who made the airport their runway. Dolly Parton is pictured jumping into arrivals with a beaming smile, whilst Joan Collins is captured in a quieter moment, flanked by a tower of Louis Vuitton holdalls. Turn the page and you’ll spot Cindy Crawford arriving at LAX in 1991, donning a chic black leather blazer and straight jeans – a firm fixture on many a Fashion Editor’s moodboards to this day. Further along, Kim Kardashian is snapped sporting a pink Juicy Couture – early 00’s catnip.
Charting key changes in travel and celebrity culture, Come Fly With Me: Flying In Style serves as a sartorial reminder to treat travel itself as an occasion. With that said, this is how to do style in transit according to CF…
Marchioness Serena Bute’s eponymous label is home to the sleekest of track pants. Rendered in decadent fabrics, like velvet and silk, in colour-pop hues, these are pants you want to be seen in – both in the airport lounge and as you’re whisked away by your chauffeur upon landing. Pair with an oversized silk shirt to complement the track pant's signature stripe and complete the look. It's a magical combination: as comfy as your favourite pyjamas, but infinitely chicer.
It’s almost as if Rosie Assouline had airport dressing conundrums in mind when she designed her genius 'Thousand-In-One Ways' sweater. We’re calling it the ultimate hero knit as it can be worn, as the name suggests, a few different ways: traditionally, off the shoulder, or knotted around the neck or hem. The chunky, wool-cotton fabrication will ensure you stay warm when the chilly air-con kicks in.
Preparing your airport look should be as simple as possible. You don’t want the extra stress of finding co-ordinating separates on top of ensuring you haven’t forgotten something crucial, which is why a jumpsuit is a one-hit clever choice to looking effortlessly polished. We love the elevated utilitarian details and gold buttons on this Holland Cooper khaki jumpsuit. Plus, the lightweight fabric and relaxed silhouette will be ludicrously comfortable in transit.
You want the most cavernous of bags at the airport to hold a multitude of in-flight beauty essentials, reading materials, your MacBook, snacks… I could go on. Thankfully, the NEOUS Saturn tote holds all of this and more, whilst also looking beautiful (note: it's artfully crafted in Italian dual-tone leather, with statement tassel details).
A backless clog, is not only the unofficial shoe of SS21, but it also makes slipping off your shoes, the minute you get into your seat, infinitely easier. We love the playful rainbow chain details on this Kurt Geiger London pair to instantly put you in a holiday state of mind, and the shape literally hugs your feet for ultimate comfort.
The allure of a classic button-up shirt is never ending. The androgynous, oversized fit of this Citizens Of Humanity shirt ensures a fashion-forward look, whilst also being super practical on the flight. Rendered in 100% cotton, you’ll stay cool, calm, and collected, even if your luggage is the last to arrive at baggage reclaim. A hardworking piece for your holiday wardrobe, it can also be worn undone over your favourite swimsuit.
A pair of oversized sunglasses hark back to the golden age of travel, adding a touch of glamour, whilst handily covering any tell-tale dark circles from an early morning alarm. If ever there was a sartorial signifier you are off to sunnier climes, it’s these dramatic Dior frames.
Arriving straight to a business meeting? This chic two piece from elevated loungewear label Asceno is perfect; the linen won’t crease and the separates can easily be dressed up or down.
The best airport style has an effortless insouciance, like this dress from JOSEPH's SS21 drop. The silhouette is modern, cut in an oversized diaphonous shape, so it doesn't look too dressed-up for travelling. We love the elegant step hem and balloon sleeves, and the soft-blue hue will (hopefully) manifest blue skies upon touch down.
Tracksuits for the airport were definitely acceptable pre-pandemic, but never before had the sportswear attire been considered the epitome of fashion. Lockdown living allowed the tracksuit to rise up the echelons of the fashion scale, and got serious Instagram airtime from the fashion crowd. If you are yet to invest in a tracksuit – frankly, what were you wearing the past twelve months?– may we suggest a decadent silk-cashmere two piece from Olivia Von Halle. Available in an array of neutral shades, it's the only outfit we want to be wearing for a long-haul flight.
Come Fly With Me: Flying in Style by Jodi Peckman is published by Rizzoli; £22.50.
Image credit:Dolly Parton, London Heathrow, 1976, Bettmann