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Image / Fashion

Why is everyone so obsessed with airport fashion?


by Erin Lindsay
29th May 2018
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I like to think of myself as a fairly fashionable person. I love clothes, I love creating outfits and I like to look put-together (most days). And I work at an actual fashion magazine, so must be doing something right. But there is one place where my sartorial skills never stretch to, and it just so happens to be a place that everyone seems to obsess over when it comes to fashion. And that, my friends, is the airport.

Just this week, four newsletters arrived to my inbox where articles about celebrity airport style were featured, and two others that advised readers on how to look great while travelling. They advised on everything from cabin pressure-resistant makeup to how to look ‘put-together’ during your flight. And evidently, people listen. Pictures of the airport fashion choices of models and Instagram cool-girls have become fashion currency as valuable as street style shots. Everyone seems invested in how they can look their best stylistically when it comes to air travel.

I don’t think I have ever looked even remotely good in an airport. When I normally travel, it’s either early morning or later in the evening; either way, pretty much any time I’m in the airport, I’d rather be in bed. Which means an unbrushed mane of hair, leggings (yes, I know, IMAGE should fire me now) and some sort of oversized, blanket-resembling garment covering my top half.

Any other time, I would be horrified at this attempt at dressing acceptably in front of the general public. But in airports, the general rules just do not apply. Airports are simply a means to an end; they’re a pitstop on the way to your final destination. Why on earth should I be under pressure to look good in a pitstop? I wouldn’t dress up to go to the petrol station. So I’m definitely not doing it to be stuck in a cramped seat for a few hours.

Comfort should always be a priority when it comes to fashion, but with fashion for travelling purposes, comfort should be the only priority. Maybe your flight is only 40 minutes, or maybe it’s a transatlantic slog that takes place overnight; either way, if you’re sitting in a structured blazer and leather skirt, the sweat, chaffing and inability to curl up and sleep is going to grate pretty quickly. Early morning/late night flights are awful at the best of times; you don’t need to be arriving more irritated than usual, due to your desire to look cute for your Instagram post.

My wish for holiday season 2018 is for everyone to chill out on the airport style. I want to see my air-bound sisters clad in tracksuit bottoms and neck pillows. Save the social media for after a shower and a change at your hotel; palm trees always get more likes anyway.