This story was written for Man Repeller. Photos by Julia Zierer
In the sixties, flying was an occasion people dressed up for. After all, you never knew if you were going to bump into some movie star while crossing the Sahara. I’m thankful flying has become a lot more democratic since then. I wouldn’t be able to visit my sister if it weren’t. And of course, I understand the human desire to prioritize comfort while crammed into a poorly ventilated sardine can next to 300 other people all fighting for elbow room.
But why can’t comfort be elegant? Wouldn’t it be great to make flying a special occasion again simply by dressing up for it? Something I have always loved about clothes is that great outfits have the power to enhance experiences. Going to the opera feels more special when you’ve showered and dressed up for it. A Sunday afternoon walk in the park is more fun with a straw hat on. The ritual of self-styling prepares your mind for the escapes from your daily routine. Why can’t the same work for flying? To sit above the clouds and cross the ocean in half a day remains one of the most incredible things I can think of. That feeling when the plane takes off? It’s pure wizardry, which alone calls for a dramatic outfit.
For the pictures in this story, we drove to Berlin’s favorite airport, Tegel, which hasn’t been properly renovated since the sixties (so Berlin!). And although we weren’t flying anywhere, I could smell the excitement of departure and spirit of optimism that’s so distinct to airports. Flying, I was reminded, truly is so much more thrilling than just another subway ride. Why not dress like it? Below, three fancy flying outfits to consider.
Eve Denim overalls, Alexa Chung crochet top, Meeyye sunglasses, Amelie Pichard shoes, Soeur Paris bag
Remember Harry Potter’s giant friend Hagrid the park ranger and his moleskin overcoat with the hundred pockets stuffed with handy tools? That particular piece is unfortunately not on sale, but these denim overalls are, and they work quite similarly. The breast pocket can be used to store sunglasses and a toothbrush, the trouser pockets for your passport and phone. The straw bag fits your laptop, the sunglasses shield your red eyes. Now lean back and enjoy the flight; you’re prepared for anything.
Take That, Sweatpants!
Khaite top, Missoni skirt, Sophie Anderson hat, Amelie Pichard shoes
This could become your new airplane default outfit, here’s why: 1) It comes with zero metal parts, which means everyone in line at the security check will fall in love with you. 2) Why wear sweatpants when you can have a knit skirt that feels like an actual blanket instead? 3) Ever wondered what to do with that giant straw hat you haven’t worn since you bought it two years ago because it doesn’t fit into any suitcase? Just put it on! Your seatmates won’t hate you because you won them over earlier with your speedy security strategy.
Extra Leg Room Included
Vintage trenchcoat — another here, Three Graces London trousers, Topshop faux fur bag, Topshop bucket hat — similar here, Aquazzura shoes
Pajamas for an overseas-flight makes sense. However, in the name of dressing up, why not try an outfit that feels like pajamas but looks like so much more? And mind the accessories: a bucket hat can help you avoid eye contact with all too talkative seatmates. The fake fur bag makes for the fluffiest neck cushion in aviation history. The extra roomy trousers come in handy in case you’ve accidentally had chicken and pasta and a bag full of snacks.
Besides, knowing that your outfit is primed for landing should help you sleep through turbulence like a baby.