I fly about once a year, sometimes more on a busy year. I LOVE to fly â€“ the pulse of the airplane, the variety in every airport, the simple joy of talking to strangers because thatâ€™s what you do when you travel â€“ although hopefully not with the stranger in the airplane seat next to you. I also do have to face the usual amount of fat prejudice when flying, and for that reason alone, I will never under any circumstances fly Southwest airlines. Yes, I know there are people that love them. I wonder how those individuals might do after an â€œauditâ€ by the Church of Scientology, too â€“ just because someone is nice enough to you does not mean theyâ€™re a good person, and Southwest airlines, as long as corporate personhood exists, is that creepy political jerk thatâ€™s nice to your face and then steals your credit cards while talking about how fat your ass looks in those pants.
I have another flight coming up soon. Iâ€™ll be meeting some friends for a vacation. Iâ€™ve already learned the ins and outs of the ariline and I put down a little extra money for the â€œeconomy plusâ€ seats â€“ more for their location than for the â€œgenerousâ€ 3 inches of space they provide. But there are other considerations.
So far, Iâ€™ve only ever needed a seatbelt extender twice. I was about 15 pounds heavier last year when I went to Paris, and I only needed the extender once, in a weird corner seat thing on the Iceland Air flight. Of course, international flight seats tend to be a bit larger â€“ because you already feel like a sardine, so why make it worse?
The other time was on a tiny plane with the word Canada on the side of the plane â€“ which is usually a warning that there will be no space for luggage let alone a human being. The woman next to me was super sweet and let me stash some luggage in her space â€“ as it was, it was small enough I was tempted to offer to just grip the top of the plane as we wentâ€¦ but really, my grip is just not that good.
As I prepare for the next round of flights, Iâ€™m already thinking ahead to what to wear on my vacation. The trickiest part for me? What I wear while flying.
My standards for air travel clothing:
- Shoes that come off for the inevitable search
- A place to stash my ID on my physical person where a pick-pocket would lose a hand trying to snatch it
- Preferably clothing that does not set off metal detectors or encourage a strip search
- Stuff I can sleep in, without getting marks on my body from pressure
The shoes are easy â€“ Crocs. Nearly all are designed to slip off easily, and nowadays they actually make them look stylish. Also, if I step in a mud puddle on the way out of the airport, itâ€™s no big deal. I realize some might wonder how they pair with compression hose, but most of the time thatâ€™s not an issue for me â€“ I get up, stretch, fly, all that stuff.
The other clothing is a bit more complicated. I do have to factor things like time of month, etc.
A few years ago Just My Size made some compression pants that are insanely comfortable and have a gorgeous flow to them. They donâ€™t look like sweats â€“ theyâ€™re actually really classy and gorgeous. The down side? No pockets. But I can comfortably wear them with a tank top and a sturdy bra, and I end up feeling pretty good.
But the pocket-free thing can create something of a problem, especially on airlines that make a great deal of money restricting what you can carry with you on board. While I can just stuff a passport and a little cash in my bra, it raises two problems: first, change does NOT work well in any bra, and two, thereâ€™s other stuff I need to carry, like lip balm.
My workaround is a photographerâ€™s vest type thing.
How stylish the vest is depends on how confidently you wear it. Itâ€™s also excellent for storing all the things I keep in my purse. Of course, I actually keep a camera and camera peripherals in my purse so perhaps for me itâ€™s not the transition it might be for someone else. Also, because itâ€™s designed for travel, no one really thinks twice about what I might be wearing beneath it unless itâ€™s a ridiculous ball gown.
If I donâ€™t do the whole â€œpantsâ€ thing, I think this is actually a great opportunity to wear a maxi dress â€“ preferably one with sleeves. Itâ€™s comfortable, you can sleep in it, and you can just change shoes when you land if you need to look a little bit fancy at a dinner or a â€œletâ€™s network straight from the airport!â€ moment.
My keys for travel: comfort, ease, and security. Itâ€™s my favorite combination.