Do You Have To “Dress The Part” In First Class?

Do You Have To “Dress The Part” In First Class?

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It’s always fun to discuss travel etiquette on the blog, as it generates some interesting conversations, with differing perspectives. I often get asked if there’s a dress code when flying in first class (whether domestic or international), and if one should dress up when sitting in the pointy end of the plane. In this post I wanted to share my thoughts, and I look forward to hearing how OMAAT readers feel.

What you should and shouldn’t wear on a plane

Personally I think the same clothing “etiquette” rules should apply in economy, business, and first class. I’m pretty easy going, so I think:

  • You should wear clean and non-smelly clothes (and even beyond the clothes, make sure you don’t smell bad)
  • You should cover everything that needs to be covered (people have vastly differing opinions of what that entails, but at an absolute minimum, cover your private parts)
  • You should follow cultural norms for the place you’re flying to & from; for example, Saudia has at least historically required women to cover their arms and legs, and has prohibited men from wearing shorts
  • Ideally wear close-toed shoes, but if you choose not to, please make sure your feet don’t smell and aren’t unpleasant to look at (self-selection is tricky here, because presumably people who don’t take care of their feet don’t realize how off putting that can be to others, but I digress)

I’d say these are half rules and half etiquette tips, and they should apply regardless of the class of service you’re traveling in. I think the trickiest of the above is the one about covering everything that needs to be covered. That’s roughly in line with the dress code most airlines have, but it’s often used subjectively to kick people off planes, and it’s also disproportionately used against curvier women.

Saudia is one of the few airlines to historically have a dress code

Why you shouldn’t have to “dress up” to fly first class

A lot of people choose to dress up when they fly in premium cabins. I totally respect that and see why they do it. I also hope that they respect when other people choose not to.

Let me make the simple case for why you shouldn’t feel like you need to dress up to fly. If you’re expected to “dress the part” in first class, why do airlines distribute pajamas and slippers, and encourage you to change into them before takeoff? For those who believe you should have to dress up to fly, do you oppose changing into them?

Emirates first class pajamas
Emirates first class slippers

A lot of people like to draw parallels to dining in top restaurants, etc., though last I checked, most restaurants don’t give you pajamas and slippers to change into before your meal. I’ll take it a step further — where else in the world can you change into pajamas, enjoy some caviar, and then walk to a bar, all at 35,000 feet?! It’s pretty flippin’ awesome, isn’t it?

Some people like to reference the “good old days” of flying, where people dressed up. I don’t know how many decades we’re going back with that argument, but if we’re going to go back several decades, then it’s important to recognize that flying was a completely different mode of transportation then.

50 years ago airplanes weren’t sleeping quarters, but rather they were restaurants, social clubs, and cigar bars. Flying also wasn’t something that many people did weekly, but rather something that was rarer, and inflation adjusted, significantly more expensive. Every aspect of the flying experience — from first class to economy — is different than back in the “good old days.” In some cases it’s for the better (hello Emirates A380 first class shower!) and in some cases it’s for the worse (hello US-based airlines!).

What’s not to love about visiting a bar in pajamas?!

What do I wear when flying?

I’m by no means suggesting that anyone should take fashion advice from me (well, at least not most people), but for anyone curious, I generally wear athleisure-type clothes when I fly. I usually wear sweats that could look like dress pants if you don’t look closely, a comfortable sweater, a workout shirt, and dressier shoes.

I don’t care whether I’m flying Spirit’s Big Front Seat or Emirates first class, that’s my go-to. It’s incredibly versatile, regardless of the temperature, whether I want to sleep or sit up, and it doesn’t wrinkle.

Why don’t I wear dressier clothes on planes? I’m usually traveling with just a carry-on, and I want to preserve the nicer clothes for when I’m actually on the ground. Nothing wrinkles clothes quite like wearing them on a plane, and then add in the risk of spills, and it’s a bad combination.

Bottom line

I respect everyone’s right to dress how they want on a plane, whether that’s in a suit or (clean) casual clothes. Personally I don’t follow the logic of those who are horrified by people dressing down for a long flight, when many airlines encourage passengers to change into pajamas and slippers once they’re onboard.

What’s your approach to dressing when flying? Do you dress up when flying in a premium cabin?

Conversations (91)
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  1. Ken Hughes Guest

    The manner of dress on an airplane is about respect for self and others whether in an airplane, restaurant, church, etc. I can't imagine not wanting to be nicely and appropriately dressed regardless of the cabin of service in which one is seated. The pajamas are for sleeping but, fortunately, are a vast improvement over some passengers' travel attire.

  2. Ken Hughes Guest

    The manner of dress on an airplane is about respect for self and others... whether in an airplane, restaurant, church, etc. I can't imagine not wanting to be dressed appropriately regardless of the aircraft cabin. The pajamas are for sleeping but often are a vast improvement over some passengers' normal travel attire.

  3. Sean Sloan Guest

    It's either my money or my miles putting me in that seat. I'll wear whatever I'm personally comfortable in or happy with. I'm there for my own comfort, not to impress those around me.

  4. Metrocello Guest

    I tend to dress nicely for any flight I take, no matter the class or the distance. Certainly, one can find appropriate attire that is comfortable and travels well that does not look like gym attire or pyjamas. Clean sneakers aren't out of the question. I was once passed-by numerous times by the party collecting me in Tegucigalpa because I was eating a sport coat and didn't look like I was about to go hiking....

    I tend to dress nicely for any flight I take, no matter the class or the distance. Certainly, one can find appropriate attire that is comfortable and travels well that does not look like gym attire or pyjamas. Clean sneakers aren't out of the question. I was once passed-by numerous times by the party collecting me in Tegucigalpa because I was eating a sport coat and didn't look like I was about to go hiking. They told me this after a multi-year stint there. I'll never forget the Delta domestic first class flight where the two women, wearing sweat suits in 1A and B opened cans of tuna fish. Too much! Please be considerate and appropriate on the plane!

  5. Nic Guest

    I always found that people in 1st class are more casually dressed than in in business class. My experience is the first look is relaxed smart casual. In business it’s rumpled suits or really casual. I tend to dress the same in both, going for a relaxed, casual look that remains smart i.e. not sweat pants and a hoodie. I agree though as long as one meets the basic minimums described in the article, there is no need to dress up

    1. BigTee Guest

      I have found that legacy airline 1st class passengers are attired about the same as LCC and ULCC cattle class tiktok passengers. Covid basement dwellers accelerated this race to the bottom. The Golden Age of travel truly and regrettably is long gone. Best wishes and good luck.

  6. Mapp&Lucia Guest

    I'm a bloke and I opt for looser clothing for comfort. Loose drawstring trousers and shirts in soft linen or cotton. And a smart cardigan and scarf that I can put on upon arrival if my destination is more temperate in weather. There's no danger of my linen outfit being overly crumpled because I will have changed into my pajamas to sleep in.

    Whatever clothes other passengers choose to wear, I just do not...

    I'm a bloke and I opt for looser clothing for comfort. Loose drawstring trousers and shirts in soft linen or cotton. And a smart cardigan and scarf that I can put on upon arrival if my destination is more temperate in weather. There's no danger of my linen outfit being overly crumpled because I will have changed into my pajamas to sleep in.

    Whatever clothes other passengers choose to wear, I just do not wish to see a man or woman's hairy armpits exposed in public. Julia Roberts may have been photographed once with unshaven armpits, as is her right, but it's not a trend that should be followed. It's not empowerment. It's DISGUSTING.

  7. Will Guest

    On international long haul I do like to try the dress up thing with a sport coat, nice shirt, good trousers and my best shoes. Then inflight something comfortable before reversing again on arrival. International arrivals dressed well is great. It definitely affects your mood. But alas it's not about class, of which I have little to none. Because I hit the domestic flight in the states and it's straight to jeans and a sweatshirt....

    On international long haul I do like to try the dress up thing with a sport coat, nice shirt, good trousers and my best shoes. Then inflight something comfortable before reversing again on arrival. International arrivals dressed well is great. It definitely affects your mood. But alas it's not about class, of which I have little to none. Because I hit the domestic flight in the states and it's straight to jeans and a sweatshirt. For me it's all about posing, though only for myself. No one else notices or cares. Still, sometimes I do send the obligatory selfie to my friends to get the eye roll and the why did you dress up question.

  8. Dana Guest

    I like to look my best while traveling just in case I run into an old boyfriend;)

    1. Will Guest

      That's awesome and inspiring. I bet when and if you do, the look on their faces will be worth it. What's the point if you can't get people at least a bit jealous. Nicely done.

  9. TheBestBlackBrent Diamond

    Athleisure should not be allowed on planes

  10. Kevan Guest

    All my business/first class travel is done in track suits and sneakers. I just want to be as comfortable as possible on the flight and when I arrive at my destination. I often look at those travelling in suits and wonder how comfortable they are, but I get it when maybe they leave the plane and go straight to meetings etc.

  11. dee Guest

    I always wear Black-- A longer black dress/black leggings and shoes.And a long sweater.

  12. Robert Fahr Guest

    Flip flops are gross anywhere but the beach. On a plane, as if they are not comfortable enough, next thing you see are just bare feet plopped on the floor, seat backs or the bulkhead. Ewww.

  13. GBOAC Diamond

    @Ben: Given the several folks in this thread who felt compelled to post comments about typos in other posts, I would urge you to add an edit post feature so those of us who discover our inadvertent misspellings/autocorrect after we have hit the post button, could rectify our posts and avoid snarky comments from others who have nothing more useful to contribute.

  14. Carrie Gold

    I have a slightly different view than most who have provided comment on this issue. Given the pilots and flight attendants are required to wear (usually) classic and stylish uniforms, and out of respect for this, I enjoy wearing elegant but comfortable attire when flying. Maybe it is easier for those who wear dresses to find such attire but Mr Carrie assures me that tailored jeans and a light blazer are appropriate for both a...

    I have a slightly different view than most who have provided comment on this issue. Given the pilots and flight attendants are required to wear (usually) classic and stylish uniforms, and out of respect for this, I enjoy wearing elegant but comfortable attire when flying. Maybe it is easier for those who wear dresses to find such attire but Mr Carrie assures me that tailored jeans and a light blazer are appropriate for both a Lounge and boarding, and after after a quick change into pyjamas for the duration of the flight, the outfit remains appropriate for arrival or onward travel.

    As an aside, I have loved reading the various and generally entertaining responses to Ben's question.

    1. John Guest

      I'm with you on this one, Carrie. Mr Carrie sounds like a mirror image of what I typically wear, with a button-down or dress shirt. Occasionally, I might even don a tie! And I can tell you from experience in many non-western countries, that being well dressed inflight/at the airport is noticed and appreciated, and can open doors, even if you're ALREADY a premium cabin pax. One example: arriving into AUH on a business class...

      I'm with you on this one, Carrie. Mr Carrie sounds like a mirror image of what I typically wear, with a button-down or dress shirt. Occasionally, I might even don a tie! And I can tell you from experience in many non-western countries, that being well dressed inflight/at the airport is noticed and appreciated, and can open doors, even if you're ALREADY a premium cabin pax. One example: arriving into AUH on a business class tkt, transfering to another flight also in business class. My fellow business class pax all are dressed extremely casually; I being the only one wearing blazer and crisp non-iron dress shirt. Everyone, economy and business pax all line up in one massive line hundreds deep for clearance (which will take ages). A smiling airline manager approaches me and invites me to use the First Class line which is completely empty. I reply that I'm flying business, not first. She says that's perfectly fine and compliments my appearance(!). I'm done clearing in under two minutes. At the lounge, I notice several business class pax on my first flight slowly amble in, after about one hour or longer...enough said. I can recount many similar tales from Asia and the Middle East, but you get my drift.

  15. James Guest

    I fly a lot of domestic first class. I usually wear a "golf shirt" and slacks/dockers and nice shoes. The spill issue is always there.
    On international flights, I usually dress coat and slacks, but change into athletic wear for the flight. This is both the spill issue and comfort for sleeping. I also usually try to do a "sink bath" before landing and change back to my better clothes. It is always better at passport control to be wearing professional clothes.

  16. Brian Guest

    I travel business class and first class on Emirates and I enjoy having a shower at 38000ft and I wear whatever I wish. This idea of dressing up fo flying first class isjust another Amercan way of trying to assume culture which is non existent in USA.

    1. CK- Guest

      Get over yourself already. American culture is seen throughout the world. Maybe not historical but still important.

  17. John Guest

    @Eskimo = Poor Man's @Yin Dao Yan

  18. Cwyfan Guest

    Why so much based on pyjamas?

    Most people flying First do not need nor wish to wear them to fly.

    Even when they do, they look smarter than some others who dressed in order to pretend that they are a celebrity!

    Anything goes anywhere just does not fly with me.

    1. ORDnHKG Guest

      "most people fly first do not need nor wish to wear them to fly", where is this assumption base on ? I don't believe you have flown intl long haul F much, as thru the years, I saw my seatmates in F all changed to PJ no matter AA, UA, CX, SQ, NH, TG, BR, OZ, LH, LX, you seriously want wear your own clothes on a 15 hours ORD/JFK-HKG and when you sleep on the seat that recline horizontally ?

  19. Joe Guest

    You simply have to ask yourself how important is service TO you. Dress to that level. There are folks like some commenters here whose sole purpose in life is to be combative and provoke so they're going to wear their ratty torn t-shirt. It's the same for a job interview. You can argue all day long that you should be hired for your skills and not your interview attire but we all know that's not...

    You simply have to ask yourself how important is service TO you. Dress to that level. There are folks like some commenters here whose sole purpose in life is to be combative and provoke so they're going to wear their ratty torn t-shirt. It's the same for a job interview. You can argue all day long that you should be hired for your skills and not your interview attire but we all know that's not how it works. I interviewed a dude who came in wearing jeans and t-shirt (which is more common than you think in IT). If he was brilliant with a resume to match I might be ok with his attire unless he's arrogant about it because who wants to work with someone like that. But his resume was a dime a dozen so I spent less than 15 minutes on him. Conversely, I used to wear suits to interviews as a engineer when I was younger. But in the last 10 years I had a lot of comments about why I felt I needed to wear a suit. I'm sure I lost some offers because of that but I didn't care because I didn't want to work in a super young, whateve attitude environment. I wanted a little starch not that I put on a tie for work. So depending on where I'm flying and with whom or dining or visiting people I don't know well I dress accordingly. That's just common sense life choice.

  20. Stan Guest

    I wear shorts and t-shirt in first and if you don't like that I'm CK b**** write to the complaint department.

  21. AJ Guest

    There's a bit of a geographic schism here, isn't there?

    Go to the Park Hyatt Paris and look around the breakfast room at Les Orchidées. The Parisians, and more generally, Europeans, are well-dressed, polite and conform to what a well-bred (in the European sense, educated) person should look like, without being "maniérés" (affected).

    But who are the wealthiest people in the salon? Very often (post-Hyatt FFN), the Americans, who show up in athleisure...

    There's a bit of a geographic schism here, isn't there?

    Go to the Park Hyatt Paris and look around the breakfast room at Les Orchidées. The Parisians, and more generally, Europeans, are well-dressed, polite and conform to what a well-bred (in the European sense, educated) person should look like, without being "maniérés" (affected).

    But who are the wealthiest people in the salon? Very often (post-Hyatt FFN), the Americans, who show up in athleisure (e.g., Nike shoes and shorts), completely dispensing with decorum. In fact, the more the Americans feel free to deviate from social codes, the more status they probably have. The hotel staff knows this, too. It's the same thing everywhere, including international first class, just like inside an American Fortune 500, bank, large law firm, consultancy.

    In short, in America, the more comfortably (and often, shabbily) you are dressed in a establishment, the higher your status; in Europe, it's the opposite. Ben's response doesn't surprise me, though I would imagine he code-switches quite a bit.

    1. Yehuda Kovesh Guest

      For the past twenty years i have been lucky to spend time in different parts of the world and have noticed the distinct forms of North American manners. Plus the fact that Yanks have an obesity problem, such sartorial inelegance adds to the aesthetic problem. Bulging body parts may be offensive to some, so please be considerate to cover the extra anatomical real estate!

    2. BBK Diamond

      @Yehuda as 'North American manners' who are you referring to? Mexicans, Americans or Canadians? Because any sensible non-inferiority complex against Americans knows exactly to what Demonym AJ was referring to. Nevermind the rest of your most makes so much more evident your not-so-closeted hate against Americans. I'm Venezuelan and so happy to now live in the USA, and i've seen so many expressing like you, especially those with envy for the true statement written by...

      @Yehuda as 'North American manners' who are you referring to? Mexicans, Americans or Canadians? Because any sensible non-inferiority complex against Americans knows exactly to what Demonym AJ was referring to. Nevermind the rest of your most makes so much more evident your not-so-closeted hate against Americans. I'm Venezuelan and so happy to now live in the USA, and i've seen so many expressing like you, especially those with envy for the true statement written by the OP: 'But who are the wealthiest people in the salon? Very often (post-Hyatt FFN), the Americans'.

    3. BBK Diamond

      'Universidad de la Habana', that was expected LOL

    4. Julia Guest

      "But who are the wealthiest people in the salon? Very often (post-Hyatt FFN), the Americans, who show up in athleisure (e.g., Nike shoes and shorts), completely dispensing with decorum."

      Nah, those are the posers and wannabes.

  22. Taiter MC Guest

    What you mean I shouldnt be in first class while wearing my winnie da pooh pajamas?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      As long as you're wearing a 'winnie da pooh' pajamas and not wearing like 'winnie da pooh', i.e. pants off.

  23. Pete Guest

    We tend to arrive at the airport looking smart; we're out in public, after all; then change into what we call "schleppin' gear", be it the airline PJs or a track suit, after the seatbelt light is extinguished.

    That way the smart outfit is still in good condition for the arrival/entry formalities.

  24. Stephanie Guest

    I I object to people coming into the
    Lounge as if they are dressed for bed. I dress smart casual and bring something to change into on the flight

  25. Eskimo Guest

    If airlines want you to dress the part, they would have enforced a dress code.

    1. Dana Guest

      Are you kidding? Think of how hard it was for FA's to enforce mask protocol? It's a shame how people dress these days. What is with the shower shoes?!!!!! A plain old t-shirt and gym shorts with flip flops? I started taking pictures at the airport of the well-dressed and the gross and laughable. You can look nice in a cute jogging suit with nice sneakers, or you can look fab in jeans too. But...

      Are you kidding? Think of how hard it was for FA's to enforce mask protocol? It's a shame how people dress these days. What is with the shower shoes?!!!!! A plain old t-shirt and gym shorts with flip flops? I started taking pictures at the airport of the well-dressed and the gross and laughable. You can look nice in a cute jogging suit with nice sneakers, or you can look fab in jeans too. But cover your big stinky sweaty feet please, and don't spread your legs if you are wearing shorts, people!

  26. Frank s. Guest

    First class flyer all the time,l found a nice black adidas track suit with zippered pockets it's the most comfortable outfit lve ever worn and will always wear its good for local and long haul flights, and of course a little deodorant will help

    1. FatLip Guest

      The Russian mobster look is timeless no matter if youre 12 or 65.

  27. Brian L. Guest

    Unless I'm at work, a job interview, a religious service, or a funeral, I'm wearing shorts/sweats, a t-shirt, and sneakers. I'm paying the airline, so I'll wear what I want. Anyone who has a problem with that isn't worth me paying any attention to them.

    1. Pete Guest

      Not sure about the shorts, only because I don't like the idea of going down a canvas emergency slide with bare skin on my legs. I feel like there might be some friction there.

    2. Samo Guest

      I've done evacuation on a simulator in shorts and this wasn't a problem. Even on the large 747 upper deck slide.

  28. yepnope Guest

    Clean clothes and don't stink please, thanks. I would greatly prefer it if people didn't wear flip flops or any other open toe footwear exposing their nasty bare feet.

  29. AndyN Guest

    I learned way back that most planes have only two temperature settings: too hot and too cold. So unless I'll be heading straight to a meeting when we land, I always wear trainers, comfortable trousers, and a short sleeve shirt. And I bring a light jacket or sweater in case it gets cold. And everything clean!

  30. Tyler D Guest

    Pretty much agree. I fly domestic F rarely but only in J/F for international flights. If I’m sleeping for most of the flight I want to be comfortable. I wear slip on sneakers, golf pants (expandable waist for comfort) or travel pants (dressy sweats basically) and either a loose fitting button down or a nice t-shirt.

    Like, whatever you wear is going to be rumpled and gross by the time you land 10+ hours...

    Pretty much agree. I fly domestic F rarely but only in J/F for international flights. If I’m sleeping for most of the flight I want to be comfortable. I wear slip on sneakers, golf pants (expandable waist for comfort) or travel pants (dressy sweats basically) and either a loose fitting button down or a nice t-shirt.

    Like, whatever you wear is going to be rumpled and gross by the time you land 10+ hours later anyway, only an idiot judges you based on appearance post landing. My first destination is always a shower and clothes change after landing from a long haul anyhow.

  31. AndrewP Guest

    For me it's almost always jeans, cotton sweater with shirt or t-shirt under and leather shoes or Chelsea boots whether flying first class with a legacy airline or on a no frills budget airline because that's what I wear. On business day trips I am sometimes suited and booted because it's easier than taking a change of clothes.

    In summary wear what you want as long as it's clean and inoffensive

  32. Antonio Guest

    Well, I prefer beautiful and cute people to ugly, disgusting, sweaty , with fat legs, faces, and hands ... Dont give a sxxt about their clothes. Old ones should stop also flying with their wasted bodies and their lack of strength to put their luggage Up... ( This post is just to show irony of let people express how others should dress)

  33. Lee Guest

    I'm a regular long-haul F traveler and consistently wear Lowa boots, Dickies pants, a WalMart polo shirt, and an incredibly well-worn leather jacket that exudes character. I think Ben's general guidance is correct: clean, without odor, and non-offensive given local norms. "Conduct and attire shall be consistent with the intended use of this facility."

  34. Randy Diamond

    For Security reasons, most corporate travel officers recommend casual clothes when traveling for business and to maintain a low profile. You want to blend in with others - so you don't stand out.

  35. Bob Guest

    The only people that advocate for dressing up are old boomers, or those sad folk who have to fly for work, and end up flying in a suit.
    If they are uncomfortable they want everyone else to be.

    You can spot an OPM flyer by outfit. People who can actually afford first/business and dont need their corporate bossman paying for their tickets, wear whatever they feel like on a plane.

  36. PaulZ Guest

    No! Please please please show some respect for your crew and fellow passengers. It’s about respect. I am indeed one who remembers when air travel was a privilege and treated as such. Mom dressed us up in our best clothes and we were excited to have the wonderful experience of flying in an airplane.
    At some point the mutual respect between airlines and passengers broke down. Airlines treat passengers like cattle and passengers treat...

    No! Please please please show some respect for your crew and fellow passengers. It’s about respect. I am indeed one who remembers when air travel was a privilege and treated as such. Mom dressed us up in our best clothes and we were excited to have the wonderful experience of flying in an airplane.
    At some point the mutual respect between airlines and passengers broke down. Airlines treat passengers like cattle and passengers treat crew like aisle clerks a Dollar General. And travelling coach is like riding the subway.
    HOWEVER, Business Class is the last bastion of mutual respect in air travel. Can we have a place where people still respect one another??? Is it really that hard to wear pants and a button down shits??? Ugh, have some class and show some respect to your crew and fellow passengers.
    I DONT WANT TO SEE YOUR BARE FEEt EVEN IF YOU THINK THEYRE CLEAN!!!

    1. Antonio Guest

      I love button down "shits" to fly J

    2. Eskimo Guest

      When air travel was a privilege and treated as such.
      Today air travel isn't a privilege and treated accordingly, even bare feet.

      Mutual respect
      Mind you own business while I mind mine. I can't smell you, and you can't smell me.
      I never ask or put my bare feet in your face or seat, so leave my feet alone.

      While I don't travel with bare feet, I keep my opinion of other...

      When air travel was a privilege and treated as such.
      Today air travel isn't a privilege and treated accordingly, even bare feet.

      Mutual respect
      Mind you own business while I mind mine. I can't smell you, and you can't smell me.
      I never ask or put my bare feet in your face or seat, so leave my feet alone.

      While I don't travel with bare feet, I keep my opinion of other people's appearance to myself even if sometimes it does annoy me. And this is not limited to outfit, ESA, or parents who don't control their children.
      Different people define respect differently.

      There is always something you will disagree but you have to maintain the current politically correctness standard. I can't judge you even if you 'shit out buttons', it's not politically correct.
      Like it or not, that's the world we live in today.

  37. Toni Guest

    White American men are the worst-dressed people on the planet. Even the ones who “try” often wear poorly-fitted clothes, or pair them with comically wrong shoes.

  38. Simon Guest

    IMI shorts are never ever acceptable on anything other than a holiday charter flight (which I'd not fly on).

    If you want to expose acres of skin and indulge in a science experiment to see what bacteria you can exchange with the existing bacterial gene pool on the seat squab please hire a private jet.

    For the same reason T shirts are not great, but at least you can use a sanitizing wipe on the arm rest.

  39. Marko Guest

    I like to dress up for restaurants, luxury hotels and similar. But when I fly, I couldn’t care less. Even when I flew Singapore Airlines in First Class, I was dressed in a plain t-shirt, sweatpants and trainers. I am paying for the ticket, I am not trying to impress anybody, and I couldn’t care less what anyone else in the cabin thinks.

    1. Bob Guest

      So why dress up for a restaurant. You're also paying them by your own logic. So shouldn't you care less about that as well? Are you saying you're actively trying to impress your waiter at that Michelin * eatery? And you're saying you care what other patrons at the restaurant thinks of you?

  40. Tom Guest

    Not sure where you get your info on Saudia and shorts but I can tell you with 100% confidence that I have boarded SV in shorts with no issues…

    1. Austin Guest

      Well he said "women" have been historically told to cover legs and arms, not men.

    2. Dan Guest

      Glad your mileage varied as it were, but I have personally witnessed a gentleman be asked to change from shorts prior to boarding SV at IAD. That same flight, I was asked to roll my sleeves down (I had planned to anyway, but forgot since it was warm in the terminal) to cover my tattoos (the ones on my forearms are actually travel-related funnily enough).

      Now, once on the plane, I changed to my usual...

      Glad your mileage varied as it were, but I have personally witnessed a gentleman be asked to change from shorts prior to boarding SV at IAD. That same flight, I was asked to roll my sleeves down (I had planned to anyway, but forgot since it was warm in the terminal) to cover my tattoos (the ones on my forearms are actually travel-related funnily enough).

      Now, once on the plane, I changed to my usual plain T-shirt and lounge trousers with no issue from the flight crew or other pax in business. I changed back to my button-down shirt and jeans after finishing my meal just prior to arrival in RUH like I always do on any other long flight.

  41. Andy Diamond

    I dress comfortably, but decent. I think I generally observe you hints. Even when not flying Saudia, shorts are really the exception and so are sandals (but if I wear sandals, obviously without socks, sandals with socks are a no go).

  42. Airfarer Diamond

    My business casual clothes are comfortable, why would they not be? Slacks and a shirt. So that's generally what I'm wearing wherever I go. This is the FA's equivalent of an office. Act accordingly.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Your comfortable maybe slacks and a shirt, others maybe flipflop and shorts.

      But the FA's equivalent of an office, LOL. That's a first.
      So if you're in a politicians office, you should just take a dump on their desk?
      Many of them are full of shit. Act accordingly? Pelosi thought otherwise.

      By any chance you have part in the capital riots?

    2. John Guest

      @Eskimoo

      By any chance you have part in school for good English writings to learns?

  43. Nelson Diamond

    Fully agree. You wear what you feel comfortable with. Can't imagine flying for over 10hrs with a tie, but you have them. You pay for your seat, so unless you are not naked it's ok for me. As long as I can't smell them for me it's perfect. Politeness is for me the most important part, and not only on a plane.

  44. digital_notmad Diamond

    Pardon my prying, Ben, but when you say you wear "dressier shoes," do you mean like loafers or something? With sweats?? ;)

  45. Never In Doubt Guest

    Betteridge's law of headlines is an adage that states: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

    - Wikipedia

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Eskimo's law of clickbait states: "Clickbait needs to get attention. No it didn't it get your attention, why are you here?"

      - Eskimo

  46. Kevin Guest

    I am with you Ben. I like it warm, but in most European cabins it’s just to warm for me. So I wear comfortable clothes and I know that people have different opinions on what is comfortable and what not. But there’s a lot on the market that looks good and even dressy like your sweatpants. Often I change the shirt if I am having an appointment afterwards.

  47. Rock Bobster Guest

    Sweatpants and t-shirt (sometimes hoodie) = you're the boss. no billionaire dresses up for flights.
    Collared shirt or suit jacket = you work for someone. you don't believe in remote working. you're a boomer.

    1. Bob Guest

      Exactly! Only sad work flyers dress up.

    2. John Guest

      No billionaire flies commercial either. And if every hoodie wearer is a billionaire then I just encountered 30+ billionaires at McDonalds (I think the $4.95 special was what they mostly ordered..just saying.

  48. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Business travel I have already checked out of the hotel but have to go to the office so I end up wearing a suit to travel in but I change into my own PJ’s irrespective of a long haul day or night flight then change back into my suit and hope my destination has an arrivals lounge with pressing services. For non business travel depends on the route and time of day but usually nice jeans collared shirt and blazer.

  49. George Romey Guest

    Flying is not suits and ties anymore. That being said the number of passengers that look like they haven't bathed in awhile, wear unlaundered clothes and often ill fitting (if your 300 pounds a tight tee shirt is not going to turn fat into muscle) astonishes me. But it's all part of our dumb down society. My parents never dressed up when they flew but they didn't look like they came in from working on the lawn all day in summer either.

    1. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could spell? Guest

      Does ‘dumb down’ extend to not knowing the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, the latter being correct in your snarky jab at overweight people?

    2. Azamaraal Diamond

      Sadly spell check on my phone changes the spelling and I don't edit it carefully. Have been guilty of looking illiterate with the your/you're unannounced switch.
      Ya gotta love technology.

  50. Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

    Domestically I’ll wear slacks and a collared shirt. Internationally I’ll do slacks and a button down. It’s my own standard and I don’t expect it on others (and in most cases I don’t notice what others are wearing). If I need a sports coat at my destination I’ll usually wear it in the plane (and hang it possible) just because I don’t like folding into luggage. Once in a great while I’ll wear shorts on...

    Domestically I’ll wear slacks and a collared shirt. Internationally I’ll do slacks and a button down. It’s my own standard and I don’t expect it on others (and in most cases I don’t notice what others are wearing). If I need a sports coat at my destination I’ll usually wear it in the plane (and hang it possible) just because I don’t like folding into luggage. Once in a great while I’ll wear shorts on a short domestic flight between warm cities (San Diego to Phoenix) in summer for instance.

  51. Dan @ Points With a Crew Guest

    I just wrote about this the other day as well because I got some comments on one of my business class review posts about what I was wearing. I agree with your take - wear whatever you want as long as it covers all the important parts. I usually wear shorts and a T-shirt when flying.

    Someone on one of my posts commented that you get worse service in premium cabins if you are dressed down. I have personally not found that to be true.

    1. James L New Member

      I have never been treated any differently in business or first either dressed in a suit or in a t shirt. And never noticed a difference if I’m flying with my kids or on points vs a cash ticket.

  52. D3kingg Guest

    Business casual jeans and a sport jacket in domestic first or international first / business. Change into pajamas on the international flights. In main cabin or premium economy sweat pants and t shirts. I wear the decompression socks found in amenity kits as it helps with blood circulation.

    Other passengers ; no socks bare feet in first class is poor etiquette. Tips if you go that route don’t wear socks twice , wash your...

    Business casual jeans and a sport jacket in domestic first or international first / business. Change into pajamas on the international flights. In main cabin or premium economy sweat pants and t shirts. I wear the decompression socks found in amenity kits as it helps with blood circulation.

    Other passengers ; no socks bare feet in first class is poor etiquette. Tips if you go that route don’t wear socks twice , wash your feet with soap when you shower , and use Dr shoels powder in your shoes.

  53. Bill n DC Diamond

    I have two concerns when flying. Safety and comfort.

    Safety - I wear all natural fibers for almost worst case scenario - no melted plastic fabrics. And I keep my closed toe shoes, either runners or my cool new ‘Trek Trendy’ Tims on until after reaching crewsing altitude

    Comfort. For most of my Round the World trips I’ll wear cargo shorts, a Boeing plane T-shirt appropriate for the flight and a button down...

    I have two concerns when flying. Safety and comfort.

    Safety - I wear all natural fibers for almost worst case scenario - no melted plastic fabrics. And I keep my closed toe shoes, either runners or my cool new ‘Trek Trendy’ Tims on until after reaching crewsing altitude

    Comfort. For most of my Round the World trips I’ll wear cargo shorts, a Boeing plane T-shirt appropriate for the flight and a button down short shirt. I have a pile vest and hoodie for cooler times or spaces. I prefer my own heavy cotton gym shorts and the T-shirt over the PJ to sleep in

    Safe and enjoyable landings to all

    1. JRG Guest

      Good point about the shoes - I always leave mine on until in the air. If there was a reason to have to deplane quickly I want my shoes on......

  54. atcsundevil Guest

    I've never understood dressing up for F. I've flown in long haul F more times than I deserve.. My first few times, I did the whole "business casual" thing because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. Then I realized that it's stupid. I'm not there to impress anyone, I'm there to sit in a metal tube for hours just like everyone else. May as well be comfortable. Clean clothes and shoes yes,...

    I've never understood dressing up for F. I've flown in long haul F more times than I deserve.. My first few times, I did the whole "business casual" thing because that's what I thought I was supposed to do. Then I realized that it's stupid. I'm not there to impress anyone, I'm there to sit in a metal tube for hours just like everyone else. May as well be comfortable. Clean clothes and shoes yes, but if my clean clothes are a t-shirt, shorts, and Pumas, then they're just going to have to live with it.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @atcsundevil

      I dress “business casual” every day anyways. On domestic first you never know who your seatmate will be and may want to leave a good impression if you end up networking or keep in touch. A long haul flight in economy I’m not changing into pajamas so then I wear sweats for the flight.

    2. atcsundevil Guest

      I could care less about networking. I'm just fine if nobody cares who I am or why I'm there. If I'm going to spend cash or miles on AF La Première, I'm going to be comfortable while I drink their fancy bubbles.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @atcsundevil

      "I could care less about networking. I'm just fine if nobody cares who I am or why I'm there."
      Now that's what a person in position of power or wealth responds.

      @D3kingg

      And you will literally be covered by your own sweat flying KE or JL. Especially without the air nozzles.

    4. Mangiafiga Guest

      It's couldn't care less. I have no idea who started the trend of saying it your way but I would hang them by their ankles and whip them with barbed wire till my arms ached I really would.

    5. atcsundevil Guest

      Or maybe it was a typo and you should definitely be more dramatic about it. It's good to hear that you have so few problems in life as to put so much thought into such a ridiculous thing. Do you need a hug or something??

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Jimmy’s Travel Report Diamond

Domestically I’ll wear slacks and a collared shirt. Internationally I’ll do slacks and a button down. It’s my own standard and I don’t expect it on others (and in most cases I don’t notice what others are wearing). If I need a sports coat at my destination I’ll usually wear it in the plane (and hang it possible) just because I don’t like folding into luggage. Once in a great while I’ll wear shorts on a short domestic flight between warm cities (San Diego to Phoenix) in summer for instance.

3
Airfarer Diamond

My business casual clothes are comfortable, why would they not be? Slacks and a shirt. So that's generally what I'm wearing wherever I go. This is the FA's equivalent of an office. Act accordingly.

2
JRG Guest

Good point about the shoes - I always leave mine on until in the air. If there was a reason to have to deplane quickly I want my shoes on......

2
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