Everyone has their airport routines – the normal things you wear and do every time you fly. I’m a consultant, so I fly more than most (pretty much every Monday and Thursday). This has given me the opportunity to try out different things and fine-tune my routine more than most, not to mention observing others along the way. I am a people watcher and I frequently position myself to get the best possible views of traffic flowing through the terminal – call it a hobby.
Over the past year I have frequented some of the busiest airports in the US (ATL, LGA, DFW) dozens of times, which have given me plenty of material for this post.
Before I get started, let me make a disclaimer. I am by no means an expert on fashion, and I am not trying to be OVERLY judgmental (see my last blog entry on tattoos for some background on how my words can be blown out of proportion or taken the wrong way). The purpose of this post is to be entertaining and somewhat informative, from the point of view of just another guy. So chill out, don’t take things so seriously, and leave a comment. And if you see some interesting fashion in the airport that you would like to share with us all, link it in your comment or contact us and we might have a follow-up blog about it.
What to carry
Since I fly all the time, I chose luggage that is neutrally colored, moderately priced and very durable. I’ve had my luggage for a year and a half, and I will probably have to replace my roller board after only 3 or so years of use. Why splurge?
Some people make fashion statements with their luggage. Despite how nice it looks, I still shake my head when I see people dragging matching Louis Vuitton bags, totaling the worth of many people’s monthly income. I mean, have you seen how the baggage handlers treat bags? They’re not nicknamed ‘throwers’ for nothing. If you don’t fly very much, why waste so much? If you fly a lot, your nice bag is going to get torn up. It just doesn’t seem practical to me.
As far as carry-ons go, I’ve never understood the transition from traditional computer bags and satchels to backpacks. I see a lot of businessmen in professional attire and sometimes full suits, walking through the airport with a backpack. I realize these are upgraded from the backpacks you’re used to seeing back in school, but a backpack is a backpack. Yes it’s more comfortable, but I’m sorry, it looks juvenile. Check out Tumi for some stylish and functional alternatives.
Also, ladies: you get two carry-ons. Not your purse, your overnight bag, your shopping bag of items too delicate to pack, and your roller board suitcase. Do us all a favor when we’re behind you in the security line and when we’re boarding and consolidate your bags. They won’t let you board with more than two carry-ons. And to the lady that carried on a huge industrial kitchen faucet covered in bubble wrap a few weeks ago, let’s go ahead and FedEx that to your final destination, K?When comfort borders ridiculousness
Have you ever seen those U-shaped pillows that people carry around the terminal? I don’t care how sleepy I am, I will never use one. I don’t care if I’m nodding off and in the most uncomfortable state of almost sleep, it will never, ever happen. Not only are they bulky to carry around, they just look plain silly. Yes, I know they make some that are inflatable, which can help you disguise your lack of dignity to your fellow passenger. Regardless, unless I’ve just been in a car accident or received some other traumatic injury, I’ll never wear anything of the like.
Another trend I have seen recently is the prevalence of surgical masks. The mass pandemic known as swine flu has gotten to some people more than others. Do me a favor, Mr. Hypochondriac. Visit this website to see if you have swine flu, then worry about a mask after you’re done freaking out.
Speaking of ridiculous, Crocs are never a good idea, no matter where you are. I don’t care how comfortable they are. While I am not the biggest fan of Brüno’s movie, I have to agree with him on his view on Crocs: “Never wear anything you can buy at an airport.” Not only that, a few kids have been injured on airport escalators when wearing the shoes.
This leads my directly into other recommendations for your feet. What you walk around on is very important when you fly, not only for comfort (and style of course, especially for you ladies), but also to get you through the TSA security line as fast as possible.
I used my sleuthing skills to snap a picture of this guy was wearing sandals with a suit on one of my flights. If you’ve got the time to change from shoes to sandals, how about changing the rest of the outfit? You look like an idiot.
I sometimes envy people that can wear sweats and hoodies through the airport. You’ll find me in the consultant’s ‘uniform’, wearing slacks and a button down shirt. I’m either flying to or from work, so I have to keep it business casual. I like Banana Republic and J. Crew’s lines of wrinkle-free shirts and comortable flat-front slacks. When I’m traveling for leisure (which doesn’t happen as often as I would like considering the amount of frequent flyer miles I accumulate every week), you’ll find me in a broken in pair of jeans, casual shoes and a t-shirt. It doesn’t look like I’m going to a slumber party, yet I still feel relaxed.
There are some clothes that you shouldn’t wear no matter how comfortable they are. This is a public service announcement to those people that feel it necessary to wear clothes from their vacation destination. You are not there anymore. No one cares that you were there. Are you really going to wear that Spring Break 2009 shirt a month from now? This especially goes out to the guys in the Hawaiian shirts. It is only acceptable to wear Hawaiian shirts in Hawaii (and you must be older than 50). You will (hopefully) not wear them in your day-to-day life (except at a theme party), so let’s go ahead and prepare that pineapple shirt for the back hanger in the closet by folding it away in your suitcase.
I consider Bluetooth headset wearers right up there with my disdain for the types of people that appreciate the ‘stylings’ of Ed Hardy and boots with fur in temperate climates. Yes, you are an important and busy businessman, I get it. You’re making that very clear to us all. But is it too much to ask to take the Bluetooth out of your ear for the two hour plane ride? Unless you didn’t follow Deltalina’s instructions, you’re not going to get any calls. I don’t understand why people leave those things in their ear all day long. If you’re on a two hour phone conversation, yes, it makes sense. But why leave it there when it’s not in use the other 95% of your day. Imagine if I planned to swim some laps in the pool after work, but I decided to wear my goggles around the office all day. Sounds pretty dumb, doesn’t it?
Another thing… I think it goes without saying that you should make sure your personal hygiene is up to par before you fly. The following story is completely true. A few months ago I could distinctly smell the pungent odor of a man the spots ahead of me in the TSA line. When he made it through the metal detector, collected his bags and left, the scent lingered as if it were cologne. A TSA agent started spraying disinfectant in the air to try to dissipate the smell as she complained and assured me that it was not her who caused such a stink. To my horror, there he sat when I arrived at my gate. Luckily, the story ends there as our seats were 20+ rows apart. I feel sorry for those sitting within a 3 row radius though, because it was a stomach turning smell. I know everyone has their issues, but clean up a bit before you leave for everyone’s sake.
Crying kids on airplanes also really get to me. I know this is not related to the general subject of this blog, but I’m going to include it here anyway as a final gripe. Every time I’ve seen a kid throwing a temper tantrum on a plane, the situation is always ameliorated when the flight attendant comes over to give the kid a cookie. Presto, problem solved. Parents, let your kids have their way on whatever it is they’re crying about while they’re on the plane. Lose the battle, win the war in the privacy of your home. Also, carry airplane cookies wherever you go, because they will make your child stop crying. You’ll be doing the rest of us a favor.
I hope this post has been somewhat informative and hopefully entertaining. I’d like to leave you with a few pictures that I couldn’t work into the writing, but I don’t feel like I could leave them out either.
I have been with my fiance now for almost 7 years. Our first date, he wore a short white t-shirt (as if he just took his work shirt off and kept his undershirt on), washed out jeans that were way too big in proportion to his tiny shirt, and bulky black Etnies (FYI: he is not a skater). I fell in love anyways. However, I would like to point out that I will never ever forget his hideous outfit. Thank God he has a personality because his looks alone wasn't going to get him anywhere. Seven years later, I am happy to say that the black Etnies are no longer in the house. Thus, making us a much happier and more stylish couple. I mean, have you guys ever seen a size 13 pair of Etnies? It's pretty ridiculous. It's like 2 black ships on the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Anyhoo, I am addressing this because I felt that even though he was very charming on the date, I didn't consider it an official date because of the way he dressed. I did follow him home from work (no I am not a stalker, at least not on the first date. We worked together.) and we went out to dinner immediately afterwards. Maybe he was nervous and forgot to lay out an outfit, maybe he forgot to do laundry, or maybe he just didn't have a clue. Whatever the case was, I did not let him live it down. And I'm not the only one that has experienced odd fashion choices by guys on the first date. Let's review 3 cases:
Case#1: Bolo Tie Man
"After doing some heavy flirting for months with this guy I worked with, he finally asked me out on a date. I was so excited! We planned to go to a dinner and a movie and I spent hours in the bathroom getting ready. Eight o'clock rolls around and I hear a knocking at my door. My heart was pounding and I was nervous and giddy all at the same time. I reach for the doorknob and slowly open the door thinking, "what am I going to say? How big should I be smiling?" Before I could decide on what to do, I opened the door to a bolo tie staring back at me. Confused and extremely curious what the rest of the ensemble could possibly look like, I did a scan from head to toe. A darker small striped button up shirt, the bolo tie, tight black jeans, and cowboy boots. What in the world?! After working with this guy for 3 years, he had no mention that he was a closet cowboy. Turns out he isn't a cowboy at all. He just had no clue on how to dress. I ended up marrying him but not before I took years to perfect his style. But I will never forget the first date because of the outfit."
Dear Mrs. Bolo Tie,
You are a great woman. I don't know how my reaction would be if I had a bolo tie staring back at me. Seriously though, who wears those? It's like a tie/necklace and it needs to be banned. However, I do appreciate his coordination, as his outfit was very themed. Thank goodness you were forward enough and he was open enough to let you redo his style. All I have to say is, it must be love if there was a bolo tie.
Case#2: Anime Cartoon Character
"I knew this guy through some friends and we thought lets hang out on a first date. Something with not a lot of pressure so we ended up going to the park and having a picnic. I understand the casual occasion, but what was presented to me was incredibly interesting. He showed up with a horrendous anime shirt (he was about 27 years old at the time) and floral board shorts with coordinating colors. I was speechless and a little repulsed. Because he was a gentlemen on the date, I gave the relationship a go for 2 years and found that an anime shirt also came with Bruce Lee posters and other baggage so it ended. We honestly got into a lot of disagreements and he just wouldn't put away the anime shirts. I knew it was time."
Dear Sailor Moon,
Wow....I did not know what an anime shirt was. I wonder why they make these in adult sizes. I think it's only ok for kids to wear it to sport their favorite cartoons. However, for a 27 year old man...I'm glad you got out. Unless you were an anime fanatic yourself, what would you talk about? You wouldn't be able to hear him over his loud shirt. It's almost forgivable if he didn't try to pair it with floral board shorts. That is amazing. Congratulations, you dodged being Mrs. Sailor Moon.
Case#3: Sideshow Bob
"I knew this guy through mutual friends and we had only started talking online. After months and months of talking, we finally decided to have our first date at the museum. Boy was I in for a treat. The fashion, not that bad. He was into vintage almost garage sale clothes and it was not good, but it wasn't horrendous. It was the hair! He showed up at my door with an afro of dirty unwashed hair. I gagged a little. Then I was confused. Did he not know we were going to the museum? This is a perfect way for us to get kicked out! Anyway, I dated him for about a month or two and finally had to end it because he was a huge asshole. I should've known. All of the signs were right there on his head."
Dear 1month Afro Lover,
So you were hypnotized by the hair. It has happened to me before. And funny enough, mine was a complete a-hole too! So, rule of thumb: If your first date is sporting the fro, run for your lives! It is no longer the 70s and I don't think the fro is coming back in style. Put it away. Also, If you have dirty unwashed afro hair, you need an AMAZING personality. Or a haircut before you get off treating people badly. Did the hair stink? Ugh, nothing worse than smelly bad hair or smelly anything for that matter. You were smart to get out soon. I hear your boyfriend now is an absolutely hotty! Congratulations!
So there it is...Guys, let's put some effort into our outfits shall we? You want to dress like you, but a little better. If girls are spending 2 hours in the bathroom getting ready for her date, I say you should put in the same effort. Let the girl know that you want to impress her with how you groom and style yourself. It's hot!
Girls are insecure about being fat and guys are insecure about being skinny. But with a little bit of self confidence and some tricks to creating an illusion of a heavier frame, you should get over this insecurity in no time. Here are some tips to adding 10lbs to your figure and giving you the swagga you need.
Skinny Rocker Look
Are you skinny AND a rocker? If so, you're in heaven. Rockers usually have a smaller frame (perhaps it's easier to jump around on stage without all that extra weight and muscle) and girls love it! For this style, you must be skinny and proud so show off your figure. Wear smaller shirts, fitted jeans, and a light jacket. Accessories are your friends. Wear colored and/or studded belts, leather bracelets, maybe a hat, and layer on different types of accessories. Side note: if you go this route with your style, you may have to get tattoos and piercings to be more legitimate, thus attracting types of the girls mentioned in our tattoos post.
Skinny Urban Look
Layers honey! Layers layers and even more layers. Use light jackets and coats to your advantage. I recommend only going one size up on t-shirts. Of course that depends on the manufacturer, but I notice that skinny guys who go for humungo t-shirts end up looking like they're drowning in their clothes. One to two (that's really pushing it) sizes up is enough because once you layer your shirts, it will look bulkier and you will fill into that one size up better. And as for jeans, go for a slightly baggier fit, but don't mess around with going with sizes too big. Baggy jeans are already very wide and big and if you go too many sizes up, it will look like you're wearing parachute pants. Needless to say, you'll spend the whole day pulling your pants up and unless you're a rebel teenager, that's not cool anymore. Please do not unflatter yourself on purpose. Oh and I must address the bling. If you're wrists are too small, go for a medium size face on your watch. Nothing worse than having a huge watch spin around on your wrist all day. Uncomfortable and unsightly. As for the chains: Do not wear a super thick one. It'll look too heavy on your body frame and weigh you down. Go for dog tags and a beady chain. That way it gives the illusion of something thicker, but still doesn't overpower you.
Skinny Preppy Look
The preppy look is very beneficial because you have the button up shirts and the sweaters and vests to bulk up your frame. The best way to cheat is by going for thicker materials or layering 2 or 3 different types of shirts. For example: undershirt, button up, pullover and or sweater. Rock the trench coat and layer on a scarf during the winter (or a lighter scarf during hotter seasons). For pants, go for a relaxed or straight fit. Remember, no pleats! On a skinny guy, the pleats are even more apparent. You can always wear a slightly thicker ring for more girth, or even leather bracelets, but that would be enough. Sport the man bag for school or work!
Alright nerds, you know I love ya. For this look, thick plastic framed glasses, cuffed jeans, button up shirt, bow tie, sweater cardigan, a scarf, a man bag, and top it off with a hat. Did you remember how skinny you were just now? Of course not, as there's a lot of coordination going on. I love this look because it's so themed and you can definitely have a lot of fun with it. Commit to the look and embrace your inner nerd -- it's hot right now.
Ok guys, I hope that you get the idea of adding on weight to you frame. The trick is to layer and use thicker materials, and divert the attention by utilizing more accessories. If I didn't cover your specific style, leave me a comment and let me know! I may dedicate a whole post just to help you out. And of course, like everything else, confidence is the key to every style!
Men have been sporting hats way before women. It was first used as protective headgear, then as a status symbol, and now more importantly as a fashion accessory. I love this because I don't think guys have enough accessories to choose from like women do. So I'm glad that a lot of guys are sporting the baseball hats regularly. But what if you want to venture into some cooler hats to top off your look? Well, lucky for you there are so many styles to choose from. Here are 5 of my favorites.
1. The Newsboy Cap
If a beret and a baseball hat had a baby, their love child would be a newsboy cap (also known as a Gatsby Cap.). This hat does not discriminate against age as it looks good on guys of all ages. Ashton Kutcher is looking very well put together here and I'm glad we're not seeing him with his usual trucker hats. His angular features offsets the roundness of the top of the hat and it compliments him perfectly. Go with a more dressed up look like Ashton did, or pair a newsboy cap with a casual t-shirt and jeans situation. It works with almost anything and everything.
2. The Flat Cap
The flat cap is very similar to the newsboy cap, but it's cleaner and more structured. It's as if someone couldn't figure out how to wear the beret, so they added a stiff brim to hold it in place. I am one of those people who find that berets can be annoying to fiddle around with, so I'm glad they came out with the flat hat that has more rhyme and reason to it. I love this style because it trends up any outfit and it is flattering on most face shapes. Brad Pitt is no exception. He looks very stylish wearing this flat cap, paired with a simple black tee and jacket. But what doesn't look good on Brad?
3. The Cowboy Hat
Some girls really like the John Wayne cowboy look. For me, a cowboy hat only looks hot without the cowboy boots and tight jeans. I know I use David Beckham a lot as an example, but he's just really good at this stuff isn't he? Anyhoo, I love the simple white tank and baggy jeans. I'm even liking the sling pack or murse he's wearing. The result: a very relaxed and effortless look. So if you feel like going for a more casual look, consider cowboy hats like these to complete your ensemble.
4. The Fedora Hat
I love the fedora hat when worn with just a t-shirt and jeans. If you were to wear it with a dressier outfit, it might look too much like a costume. With a simple t-shirt, jeans and some appropriate necklaces or leather bracelets, give yourself a more rocker look, as Johnny Depp so successfully shows off here. You should definitely add a fedora hat like this to your collection if you want to have more rustic and edgy style. It's the perfect accessory!
5. The Beanie
T.I. is looking very tough sporting the beanie in this pic. It's funny how the beanie started off as a dorky hat, made with felt and a propeller on top. It's now worn as a street look and the results are hot. Now I have seen the beanie worn on the red carpet by rockers and musicians, but they are the exception. I think this look is better paired with everyday wear. Note: Do not pull the beanie too low over your eyes as a driving precaution. Plus it just looks stupid.