The No-Flip-Flop Guide To Dressing For The Airport

How to keep your style when all about you are losing theirs

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If you visit Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal any time in the next, well, decade, you’re likely to find yourself confronted with some pretty spectacular style shockers.

It’s particularly bad at the moment, as the entire population of the South East of England ships out in search of warmer climes, having totally forgotten how to dress for the heat.

The key to a good airport get-up is to a) not dress as if you’ve already arrived on holiday (this means no shorts, no hats and for the love of Michael O’leary, no vests). B) To layer up intelligently so you can add layers as it gets cold on the plane and remove them once you land, and c) to focus on comfortable classics which won’t crease and/or leave you feeling constricted in cattle class.

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Here, to help you get it right, (and to help you bag that ever elusive upgrade) is our guide to the ultimate airport outfit.


1 | The Jacket

A jacket with in-built crease-free technology and a bit of stretch is perfect for flying. This light outerlayer from Z Zegna, the sportier branch of Italian Tailoring House Ermenegildo Zegna, is an ideal option and thanks to its minimal construction will work as perfectly in the heat as it will on the plane.

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Navy Stretch Cotton Shirt Jacket by Z Zegna, £670;

2 | The Trousers

Much like the aforementioned jacket, these trousers from Emporio Armani have a slight stretch and plenty of room for movement thanks to the on-trend pleat. With a slight taper and hint of seersucker they’re both smart and breathable too.

Trousers in Wool and Seersucker blend by Emporio Armani, £168;

3 | The Sneakers

The sneakers of the moment, these. Best worn with smarter outfits, Adidas’ classic Stan Smiths are comfortable, adaptable and as perfect for holiday wear as they are for kicking about on the plane.

Adidas Stan Smiths in white leather, £62;

4 | The T-Shirt

An incredibly soft handle and minimized creasability (one of the key benefits of jersey), makes this T-shirt perfect for flying. The soft white fleck of the slub fabric will also look great beneath the solid blue of your jacket.

Slub Cotton Jersey Tee by J Crew, £40;

5 | The layer

Just in case you get cold en route to the airport or, indeed, on the plane, it’s worth having an extra layer to hand, which you can wear over your T-shirt and beneath your jacket. This light virgin wool gilet from British tailors Thom Sweeney is a great shout – and won’t give you unsightly sweat patches if things heat up quickly.

Virgin Wool Gilet by Thom Sweeney; 

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