Who Says It’s Old-Fashioned To Dress Up for a Flight?

Wear this wrinkle-free blazer from Orvis and you might even get an upgrade to first class.

Photograph: Courtesy Orvis

These days at the airport, you still have to take off your shoes, and unless you’re into a good groping by a stranger in a uniform (who’s to say?). Then you have to step into the cylinder, strike the (sort of) YMCA pose and let them x-ray your innards.

But, as yet, there’s no TSA regulations that say you can’t wear your Crocs and cargo shorts and your “I hate annoying people” T-Shirt—so you’ve still got the ability to be comfortable, even sloppy to the point you cause fellow travelers to cringe.

Listen, I get it: Who wants to noose on a tie and squeeze into a suit coat that’s going to make you sweat until they get your air bus chugging? And yet, I’m still of the belief that looking sharp at the airport is not just some throwback to the days when taking a flight really was a special event. Even today, what’s wrong with looking good on a flight? You never know who your seat mate might be.

On this point, travel agencies bear me out: On virtually every travel agency hint list on how to get an upgrade, being nattily dressed is in the top 10. Given that, the question becomes: How do you balance comfort in coach with first-class style?

Orvis chairman Leigh H. Perkins bridged the gap long ago by commissioning his company’s own Traveler’s Hopsack Blazer.

Wrinkle-free, stain-resistant, and handsome, it’s a garment you can wear on a six-hour flight, shove in the overhead, or use as a throw blanket and still de-plane looking great. As a bonus, the hopsack’s interior features the “Orvis File System,” which includes a button-tab pocket, a zippered security pocket, and two utility pockets for passport, plane tickets, or documents.

Sartorially speaking, the polyester/wool blend blazer is fully lined with Orvis’s unique buttons and looks great over everything from chinos to dress trousers to jeans.

So yes, the guy next to you may still have on an “I’m with Stupid” T-shirt, but you’ll look like a genius. 

 $295 at Orvis, 142 E. Ontario St., or at orvis.com 

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