Why you should always dress up on a plane

Mad men, drinking on plane
Sure, they had more legroom, but looking put together never hurt anyone. AMC/Mad Men

These days dressing up for a flight doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get an upgrade (too many loyalty programs; the frequency of overbooking), but that’s no excuse for dressing like a college kid late for their Monday morning class.

I get it, flights are long, seats are uncomfortable. You want to wear something flexible, and not sit on jeans buttons for eight hours.

But there’s a difference between looking sloppy and rocking leisurewear.

You can look put together in less than 10 minutes, if you just have your outfit planned and ready before an early morning flight.

Here are 4 reasons you should dress up a flight:

You may get an upgrade

These days, most flights are overbooked. But in the rare instance that they aren’t, being better dressed than all the other schlubs will give you an edge.

When Airfarewatchdog.com founder George Hobica asked a gate agent directly whether they’d be more likely to upgrade someone who was dressed well, the answer was “Yes, the better dressed you are, the more likely you are to nab that seat. I am not going to put someone wearing flip flops up front with our best customers.”

You’ll save space in your suitcase

If you’re bringing sweats and schlubby clothes that you don’t plan on wearing again on your trip you’re wasting precious suitcase space.

Wearing heavier items like boots and a sweater is not only a space saver, but practical: you can plan other outfits around those items, and thus have more ensembles while packing fewer clothes.

You’ll feel better about yourself

Besides never knowing who you might meet on a plane, you’ll feel better about yourself once you land (ever landed in Europe wearing Crocs?). You’re also taking a step towards making flying a special occasion again — and you can’t tell me that travel isn’t a cause for celebration.

You’ll make work more pleasant for the flight attendant

Planes are their workplace. No one wants to wait on someone in basketball shorts and dirty flip flops.

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