Okay…so maybe you don’t have to dance in front of 11 million viewers like I had to do on Dancing With the Stars. But wherever you go, you’re going to have an audience…especially when you’re traveling.
Though it’s tempting to go in serious comfort mode when on the road, do yourselves a huge favor and ramp it up a bit. Look your best and don’t fall victim to the tendency to compromise style for comfort. I’m not saying you have to go dress like you’re about to go on stage. I’m just saying give it some thought, people. A little chic-ness can go a long way.
• Do consider your carry-on a fashion statement. It seems everyone is taking the biggest carry-on they can possibly manage these days. I get it. Nobody want to pay fees for checking baggage and risk losing their luggage. But nothing makes you look frumpier than dragging around a bag that’s too heavy and cumbersome.
But how do you squeeze everything you want into a reasonably sized bag? For me, this involves thinking it all through in advance and making tough choices. Every item in the bag has to earn its place whether it’s a sweater or an old People magazine you’ve been meaning to flip through.
• Do take socks in your carry-on. If you’re wearing sandals or open-toe shoes of any kind, have a pair of socks you can easily throw on to go through security. Otherwise, you have to join the throngs of barefoot travelers. Ew. Socks can serve double duty, too. If your feet swell on planes, your shoes can get tight.
• Do wear dark colors. Dark colors hide inevitable travel stains, from spilled Starbucks drinks to greasy smudges from suitcase wheels.
• Do layer. You may be travelling from a cold to hot climate or may just be suffering from the schizophrenic temperature changes on the actual plane. For men, a crisp white T-shirt or collared shirt with a lightweight sweater--cashmere is the best--will do the trick. For ladies, I recommend taking a silk blend wrap, some sort of pashmina. This can look chic and hide wrinkled clothes when "de-planing", which I don’t think is even a word, but flight attendants seem to think it is. The wrap can also be used as a blanket when the cabin gets a bit nippy.
• Do choose the right shoes. This is where a lot of people compromise style. Some justify it by saying it’s easier to wear jogging shoes or hiking boots than to try to fit them into a bag. Don’t go that route. Traveling shoes need to be chic, neutral and comfortable. Anything that slips on and off easily is much better than something complicated. A nice loafer or driving shoe in patent leather or suede is always nice. These work for the ladies and the gents.
• Do dress for the destination. While you may be leaving New York in a blizzard, you’re going to be getting off the plane in Barbados. Forget the winter coat, the UGGs, the furry hat you wear all the time. If you need those for the return, edit it down to the bare essentials and pack them in your checked luggage.
• Don't wear a belt. It’s going to take more time going through security.
• Don’t overindulge in alcohol on planes. While you may be nervous about flying and looking to take the edge off, alcohol dehydrates your skin and makes you look older.
• Don’t drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Like alcohol, these can have a dehydrating affect. More importantly, however, is that they keep you up. To look fresh and chic, a cat-nap is a better choice.
• Don’t wear jeans. Although they are the uniform for most of our non-working lives, denim doesn’t really stretch or breathe enough to be comfortable on a long flight. A pair of slacks with some--note I said "some"--spandex will wrinkle less, stretch and be quite comfortable on a long journey.
• Don't draw attention to yourself. As far as I’m concerned, time on the plane is time out. A chance to rest, get my thoughts together. As much as I loved wearing the pirate's costume on Dancing With the Stars, I’m happy to remain anonymous when traveling from point A to point B.
Pay attention to these Dos and Don'ts, and take it from Carson, you'll look great people!