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With the big summer scramble to get away here, our own Liam Farren takes a look at flying in style. 

To depart from any British airport in this day and age is to evidently depart from any effort to fly in style. The days of George Harrison and Patti Boyd rolling up at Heathrow in fur coats, flares and fedoras have flown by. Those sitings of Elton John, all big shades and straw boater, boarding a Learjet have gone. And even Keith Richards (below - surely the King of outré airline attire) has - with a nod to deep vein thrombosis, no doubt - decided to dress down and dump the Jack Daniels.

Keith Richards

We have exchanged the finery of fur coats and fedoras for snoods and travel pillows, and bottles of spirits for a 6am pint of Guinness in the departure lounge 'Spoons. Now, I am more than aware that attempting to lead a peak-Keith Richards lifestyle is not the healthiest thing you can do. And, of course, that traveling in comfort is a must. But, all the same, wouldn’t it be nice if we still looked on flying as an occasion and made the effort to dress up a bit for it?  A fur coat and three-piece on the 10:15 flight out to Malaga this summer might be too much, but what choices are available if you do feel inspired to channel some old-school glam into jetting away?

If traveling for business – and especially if traveling straight from the airport to a meeting - a great choice is a suit made of a high-twist wool (like our current-season double-breasted Hepworth in papaya, which is is pictured below) in an open weave. High-twist or fresco fabrics, as they are also known, are woven from highly twisted fibres that impart spring and bounce, a memory foam-effect of sorts, and regain their shape beautifully. And, in addition to that, an open weave also offers a subtle cooling quality due to its less compact weave, which is something to consider if you want to arrive at your destination unruffled.

Papaya double-breasted suit

Summer holidays, however, are another matter. And they have a habit of starting with a freezing early morning journey to the airport. The best way to conquer this dilemma is to layer your clothing, so you can add or remove pieces at your leisure. Go for items on the looser side, and in climate-appropriate cloths such as linen, cotton, or seersucker. And make sure you’ve got something that’s suitable for slightly smarter soirees and the like. A pleated trouser is a practical choice as well as an aesthetic one as pleats increase comfort and allow easier movement as well as more airflow. 

Richard James pleated chinos

 A separates look (contrasting trousers and blazer) is a great way to stay sharp while not appearing to have tried too hard. Try pairing those pleated trousers or chinos (above) with a contrasting blazer, such as our airy indigo wool, silk and linen blend basketweave option (below). A crisp white shirt or tee will work nicely with it. And it is always good to keep a light cotton or linen knit to hand to take the chill off over-air-conditioned cabins and summer evenings.

Richard James indigo basketweave blazer

Unlined loafers (like our Waltons, below) that you can comfortably slip on or off are another travellers’ boon, and are perfect for smarter work commitments as well as more relaxed downtime summer dining. 

Richard James Walton loafers

Of course, each air-bound excursion is different, and this is only a rough idea to give you a few ideas. It’s a matter of balancing comfort and style. And we each have our own ideas about the latter. Enjoy your flight, however you dress for it. And happy holidays!



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