Here Are 4 Good Reasons To Dress Up When You Fly

Back in the day, people dressed up to fly. (They dressed up to go out to McDonalds, too.) Why? It was new. It was exclusive. So you naturally wanted the “right” look—or as they used to say, “you wanted to look smart.”

Flying was pretty fancy back then. Look at the food service they rolled out! This has to be first class. As the Boston Globe noted, “It was like a cocktail party on wings.”


However, times change. Flying is old hat. But that doesn’t mean you should dress like an old hat, either. There are strategic advantages to dressing up your flying look a bit.

1. You Might Score A Seat Upgrade

As it says on Business Insider, a gate agent is more likely to upgrade you if you are wearing nice, neat clothes as opposed to cut-offs and Crocs (not that there is anything wrong with Crocs).

2. It’s A Space Saver

This is rather weather-specific. But think of it like this: If you wear a sweater and boots on the plane, besides looking spiffy, you don’t have to pack such bulky items, right? More room for other items. A win-win.

3. You’ll Have A Better Self-Image

This is a bit of an intangible. Self-image is a very personal thing. But on the off-chance that you’re a James Bond fan, flying into Heathrow in London… and who should be on the plane but Daniel Craig? Look cool for the selfie. You’ll thank yourself later.

4. The Flight Staff Will Appreciate It

They don’t want to be around grubby people anymore than you do. And, if everyone dressed up a bit more, it would give the cabin an air of retro-sophistication, right? Of course, you won’t run into Carey Grant or Audrey Hepburn. But one can dream.

Check out this clip from Smithsonian’s “I Was A Jet Set Stewardess” for glimpse into what airplane food was like back in the day: