Why I’ve (Mostly) Stopped Wearing Pajamas On Planes

For years I’ve had the same pattern for longhaul flights in first & business class. I board wearing jeans and a button down or collared shirt, and once I settle into my seat I change into something more comfortable.

If the airline provides pajamas, that’s what I change into. If the airline doesn’t provide pajamas, I either bring my own, or otherwise change into athletic shorts and a t-shirt. This isn’t just about being comfortable, but for me is also about keeping clothes “neat.”

British-Airways-First-Class - 20

Since I live out of a carry-on I have a limited wardrobe, and I certainly don’t want to mess up the clothes I wear outside by wearing them on a plane. To me a plane is like home, and I wouldn’t sleep or sit on a couch for hours in jeans and a button down, so a plane shouldn’t be any different.

Bag

At times I’ve gotten a bit lazy and have forgotten to take off my pajamas, which has led to some interesting situations. Back when I lived in Bellevue, Washington, I got so used to wearing pajamas that I’d sometimes to go to Starbucks in them. Oops.

Anyway, I’ve recently changed what I wear when I travel, and I’m finding the whole travel experience more comfortable as a result. I’ve started boarding longhaul flights in sweatpants. For those who are concerned, they’re at least “nice” sweatpants, from Rag & Bone (I can’t believe how much they sell for nowadays, though at least I had an Amex Offer for it!).

In theory they’re okay to wear in public, so that way I can wear them without having to change into something else on the plane. And as a germaphobe I sort of appreciate that, since the process of changing in a tiny lav with “liquid” all over the floor can be an art form at times.

I’m not terribly concerned what people think of sweatpants, but at the same time I don’t want to be that person. I suspect whether or not sweatpants are appropriate is a function of the market, to some degree. In LA you see people go to restaurants in them all the time, and they’re even considered to be “in.”

I couldn’t care less about wearing something which is “in,” but rather I just want to be comfortable without horrifying people. Over time I’ve found myself simplifying the way I travel, so for me this is a natural progression. It’s appropriate to wear pajamas in first & business class, and I think most would agree that nice sweatpants are a step up from that. So why not eliminate the wardrobe change and just wear sweats throughout the travel experience?

Does anyone else wear sweatpants when traveling? Are they appropriate to wear?

Comments

  1. This is where being a woman is so helpful! It’s entirely appropriate to wear leggings, or a cotton maxi dress, on planes. Of course, when I’m wearing a business skirt and button down for work I am very very jealous of the businessmen in khakis and polos.

  2. I get stares all the time, typically being the only female, and under 40, on a commuter/frequent business flight, in my pajamas (or yoga pants) and fit flops. Wear it proudly. Beats the suits and heels any day. If I have to be on a 515 am flight, I might as well be comfortable. And I have just as much right to be sitting in first class, as the middle age men in suits.

  3. I see people all the time at my local Walmart wearing sweat pants and even Pajamas all the time so why not, I guess.
    I like wearing the airline PJ’s on long hauls but for shorter flights it’s not worth it. I have read a lot of trip reviews where people will board the plane and change into PJ’s right away before take off. I think that is a mistake in the event of a plane swap or even worse an emergency situation.

  4. I think behavior is much more important than appearance. (to a certain extent. not suggesting to fly intl business or first dressed like Mama June) always change into sweats in the lounge before boarding and love the ritual. Speaking of sweats, you paid 300 dollars for track pants?! Are they magic?

  5. @ Ben — I have been wearing athletic shorts and t-shirt in international F/J for years. It is much more comfortable given the temperature on some international flights. Plus, the pajamas often don’t really fit me too well (although I have lost 25 pounds, maybe after 25 more…).

  6. The airplane is not your living room. You’re still in public and should dress as such. I dress comfortably and casually when I travel, and cotton is key to that (and safer if a fire should happen), however there is a huge difference between public casual and at home casual.

  7. Given the nature of turbulence I’m glad to change into provided pyjamas let I arrive to my destination with pumpkin soup down the front of my dress shirt.

  8. Debating whether to wear pajamas or sweatpants in public? My hell!

    A nice pair of wool dress slacks will be breathable and comfortable for a very long flight. They should also hold up well and look nice despite the “rigors” of air travel. If you would pay $300 for a pair of sweat pants, you can certainly afford a pair of nice pants that will wear well through a transoceanic flight and beyond.

    Wear your sweatpants to Walmart, if you must. But when travelling on the most exquisite forms of transportation known in human history? Show a little self respect, please.

  9. @omgstfualready

    Following the line of thinking, then, would it be appropriate to lay down *in public* and sleep as if you were in your bedroom? Because that’s what you would end up doing in First&Business, right? :p

  10. I usually wear leggings with a sweater dress and a scarf and while it probably fall in the “sweat” category I don’t think it looks that way. With the whole “athleisure” movement going on, there are a lot of options for people who want to be comfortable without looking like they’re on their way to the gym.

  11. Whenever I travel I wear the same camo pants and sweatshirt it works out well but, it feels nice to change out of it

  12. Well in all honesty I cannot sleep in public so I don’t have to face that potential hypocrisy issue (I also don’t do my make up and hair in public either). I have become less tolerant as I’ve seen people travel get more sloppy. When I was in Palm Beach and a woman had a full set of hair curlers still in her hair I died inside.

  13. If I’m traveling for leisure, I’ll wear track suit pants if I’m on a mid-con redeye or any kind of transcon. It’s been years since I had to travel overseas for work, but when I did I would wear something similar on the plane and carry my change of clothes in a 1-suiter garment cover (back when they had closets even for coach passengers on many planes).

  14. Even in a demi-cabin, I gave up on pajamas after the first experience of having to change in the bathroom. Living in a post pajama world, I wear comfortable jeans and always some form of long sleeve shirt when traveling. After witnessing some of the behaviors of fellow travelers, comfortable/safe coverage is desired.

  15. I don’t care what anyone wears. Sweat pants are perfectly appropriate even if they aren’t outrageously overpriced as yours seem to be. If anyone has a problem with you wearing sweatpants on a plane, then that is on them and not you. Unless your business falls out of them or something. Then it’s on you

  16. I always wear a nice comfortable unicorn shirt and don’t even change in or out of it. Too many drab and boring self-important people sitting up front, always nice to be the change of color. I’m proud to be the smiling happy guy up front 🙂

    http://i.imgur.com/0PBj5fD.jpg

    Funny enough, I usually make good friends with most FA’s and I’m remembered by the airports I’m frequently at.

  17. I have been wearing lulu lemon/athleisure wear since I’ve started traveling more on longer flights. I have NO problem sleeping in them and they’re still somewhat trendy. There are a lot of women that wear scarves and maxi dresses and heels which i give them props for, but I’m just not as comfortable sleeping in them. I like my cotton & knits.. There’s enough other airplane regimine that i wouldn’t want to add more too.. i.e. washing face, extra sleeping mask moisturizer before sleeping then before landing routine to freshen up, hair, and makeup application.

  18. Lucky, check out Balmain sweat pants think Dsquared styling. Love them and they only cost $700. 😉

  19. In the US, anything seems to be ok these days. In many places outside the US, people tend to dress up more in public and wearing sweat pants might affect the level of service you get, including from customs and immigration officials.
    On long-haul flights, I started wearing Betabrand dress pant sweat pants, cut like dress pants or jeans, made from sweat pants material. They are comfy and look a little more dressed up, around $100. They don’t wrinkle and are easy to laundry.
    https://www.betabrand.com/mens/pants.html

  20. I change into sweatpants in the lav right after boarding, and change back into jeans before landing. Have been doing this for 20+ years in J/F and it has never raised an eyebrow. Longhaul and domestic redeye only though.

  21. My new clothing item for medium and longer hauls is Columbia’s Professional Fishing Gear Pants. They are pretty comfortable, look pretty decent, and are easy to sleep in. You can go TO the airport in them…

  22. last week i walked from a 787 to the first class lounge in AUH wearing EY PJs – didn’t bother to change out of them on the plane since I was connecting to another flight. So yes, sweatpants are totally acceptable (and welcomed) in my book.

  23. I would still be hesitant to wear airline-provided pajamas because who knows if they’ve washed them before they give them to you?? I would much rather change in my old clothes be it pajamas or something comfier.

  24. Another nail in the coffin of air travel civility.

    Sweatpants are appropriate for the gym, yoga studio and the privacy of one’s own home. Wearing sweats (there’s no such thing as “nice” sweatpants) in an airline’s premium cabin is never acceptable. I do, though, understand those in economy desiring to dress as comfortably as possible.

    The behavior of our fellow travelers is what has killed the romance and glamour of long haul air travel. The “I’ve paid for this seat and I’m going to do whatever the hell I want” crowd is the absolute worse. Lucky’s transgression is mild in comparison to their antics.

  25. 1. “To me a plane is like home, and I wouldn’t sleep or sit on a couch for hours in jeans and a button down, so a plane shouldn’t be any different.”
    Except your home is your home and it’s private property, and a plane is public transport. Just that minor difference.

    2. Agree with @Imperator.

  26. Ben, buy some linen pants. As comfy as sweat pants and they look much nicer than sweat pants IMHO.

  27. Not to be a shill…but Lululemon pants for men have some stretch fabric in them…and can be worn with sneakers and dress shoes in a pinch…easy to sleep in…and they make any shirt/sweater/sweatshirt look good…ditch the sweatpants

  28. The timing is too good. I just turned on Modern Family. They are traveling on train and Manny says it’s “really the last bastion of respectable travel now that every airport has become a sweatpants convention”.

  29. I wear a set of REI “travel pants” along with an Arcteryx polo style shirt. It is so comfortable and appropriate for a business traveler..at least for a university professor. With that said, when I was with the government I wore wool dress pants and a Ralph Lauren sport coat and was generally comfortable even on long haul flights to the middle-east. My vote..wear what is appropriate for your position AND what is comfortable.

  30. I’m a dude and I only wear Lululemon head to toe when I travel. I either wear their kung fu sweats or their ABC pants.

    Hoodie, t-shirt, underwear, socks, and pants,

    In fact, I just got off an EY F flight and am sitting in my Lulu’s right now.

  31. What exactly do “nice” sweatpants look like? Being female is definitely an advantage here. My long-haul/red eye uniform is black leggings, long wool or cashmere sweater (not necessarily sweater dress, but definitely long enough to cover the backside), ballet flats, and a large scarf that I can use to cover up if I’m cold and in coach. Looks completely respectable off the plane, doesn’t wrinkle, and I don’t have a waistband digging in so I can curl up and sleep comfortably on the plane.

  32. $300 for sweatpants? That’s gross. Seriously – pointsguy much? Besides, that seems a little trashy even if you spent that much.

    Myself – I board and deplane in jeans and button up, and on board I wear gym shorts and a t-shirt. The pajamas provided are generally pants and long sleeves and I need something less warm.

  33. I did the exact same thing for the first time last month. Entered the Cathay business lounge in MEL in chinos and a shirt, then changed into Uniqlo pyjamas (which look like thin grey sweatpants, not classic pyjamas), a hoodie and sneakers in the lounge just before boarding. Much easier than changing in the tiny lavatory the plane. I was a bit worried about getting looks in the lounge, but it was a midnight departure, we’re all tired, it’s not like I’m going to see anyone I know, so forgive me for looking a little casual.

  34. You ARE that guy, prototypical ugly American.

    @imperator is correct.

    P.S. what do your parents think? And I loved the pics of your dad in Emirated F — he looked like he belonged.

  35. I have what I call my Traveling Drag. Kakies/Levi, button down shirt, 787/777 T-Shirt, sensible shoes – all natural fabrics. I don’t change into cotton gym shorts until after we’re in the air for safety reason. at home sleeping in just a T-shirt. however lately I have been sleeping in Eithad’s PJ – incredibly comfortable 🙂

  36. Sweatpants are fine. I am not a sweatpants person, but i will wear a nice pair of gym shorts and a t shirt up in front. Being presentable to most people is very subjective.Id wear the same thing if i was going to wal mart or if i was going to Saks…

  37. It is smart to travel in comfortable, loose fitting clothing. IMHO it is not smart to rely on airline pjs, which frequently are too hot, too thin, poorly fitted or similar. So sweat pants are fine by me. But –sorry– it is stupid to pay more than $50 for sweat pants (actually paying more than $35 could be a sign of more money than sense.)

  38. Lol at the self important people that believe they should get to decide what you or I wear. Ooooooh civilization is ending because some peasant wore sweats in my first class cabin woe is me. Bunch of dillholes

  39. I dropped the PJs for the sweatpants a long time ago. As Ben said, they are as comfortable as the PJs and you do not have to be changing clothes all the time. PJs on flights are a thing of the past, the new cool is sweatpants.

  40. i know you are trying to sound snobby by saying the plane is like your home, but frankly it is not.

    just like the bus is not a home, a taxi is not a home, a train is not a home.

    get real.

  41. I’m a fat guy. But I own my own company and frequently pay for premium cabin travel. It’s either light weight nylon and spandex stretchy cargo pants in black or the same thing in a shorts version. The extra pockets are good for having ready access to my passport, kindle and Bose earbuds. The fabric is light weight and cool.

    I’ve been judged my entire life. My self respect comes from actual success and making a positive impact in the world, not by dressing nicely for others. It’s an airplane, a place to sit for 9 hours while reading or watching movies, not a nightclub.

  42. As a man is tough to pull off leggings , so go for next best thing
    Lululemon ABC pants .

    Comfortable and can be worn day or not as they have a jeans cut

    Pricey at $125 , but worth it for frequent traveler

  43. From a safety standpoint I always wear regular street shoes on an aircraft, removing them once in flight. You never know when an emergency might occur especially at takeoff and landing. Second, dressing down has been all the fad for decades, but it never ceases to amaze when flying just how much lower it can go. And one wonders why the cabin crew might appear ‘demoralized’ having to serve in such an atmosphere – especially first class. Google some pictures of the flying public in the 1940s – through at least the mid-60s when people dressed up as adults. A professional, mutual atmosphere and decorum exhibited by both passengers and cabin crew. People are no longer like that now. Now we read, seemingly daily, of loutish and boorish behavior, including ‘over sensitive’ cabin crew quick to push a panic button to have a passenger thrown off the plane. My first commercial flight was in 1961 so I’ve seen the changes.

  44. I do this most of the time that I’m traveling, it can look stylish and still comfortable.

    And the fashion community calls the in-style sweatpants as joggers.

  45. Guess you can do what you want but I saw a girl in sweats in the lounge before a flight and she really stood out and not in a good way. Its one thing to change on the plane, but its a bit different to walk around outside the plane dressed that way. Not something I would do but to each their own.

  46. I’m always surprised how many people confuse professionalism and civility with a dress code. I’m sure most flight attendants would rather be treated respectfully by a guy in a muscle shirt than sneered at by someone in “professional” clothing. Clothing snobbery is a poor substitute for real professionalism, respect, and success.

  47. @imperator snobbish opinions articulated with poor grammar are the “absolute worse”.

  48. I feel like you really really want people to think you’re a dick. Get some self respect and dress normally.

  49. How does someone wearing sweatpants affect others in the cabin in any way? It would be one thing if someone was dressed nearly naked, or with a swastika on them or something, but wearing sweatpants and a comfortable shirt on a mode of transportation where you have to sit in one spot for many hours is far from glamorous no matter how you’re doing it.

  50. I guess that in United States you can pretty much dress anyway you want. But everytime I go to Europe I feel that people dress in a “poshier” way.

  51. I always wear sweatpants and a hoodie when I fly. It makes going through security 1000x easier and it’s comfy whether I’m in coach or in F/J.

    I’m from LA though so I never thought of this as a big deal at all.

  52. I’m also a germaphobe and I don’t want to breathe the toxic cabin air, so I always wear my level A hazmat suit. Hey, as long as I am comfortable…

  53. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area and I’m an old school nerd. Many of the top researchers here dress down. My ex-boss, a brilliant chemist, spent 3 months in Nepal and as far as I can tell, he got his entire wardrobe from street vendors there. I’m sure he’s worn some of that in airport lounges around the world.

    It’s interesting, most of the scientists I know tend to look down upon dress-up “professionalism.” And all of this is entirely missing the point, that airplanes are transportation. You eat, you sleep, you watch movies. It’s not some exclusive nightclub.

  54. I generally wear sweatpants when in J (the airline pjs never fit me, large pax here). For Y longhauls, I am somehow more hesitant to put on sweatpants…what do you wear in Y?

  55. The one thing when its nice to be a women, I usually change into leggings and a comfy shirt, cardigan before boarding (or earlier if I don’t use public transport and its an early flight) and wear a pair of “Duchess Kate” Sebago Ballerinas – easy to take off and on during the flight or security check.

  56. Love dressing way down when flying F on business: I line up early and before boarding, and more often than not I have business class PAX in suits elbow their way past me (“excuse me…”) assuming I am trying to board early when I shouldn’t… Or I have J passengers blatantly ask me ” are you business class?” To which I somberly answer, “No….” and just before they “reprimand me” I continue ” … I am in first”. People are so prejudice… !!!

  57. The best part of this post: “Back when I lived in Bellevue, Washington”.. ‘nuf said..

  58. Growing up in England, one was suppose to dress appropriately when in public. After moving to America where most dress as slobs, I slacked off big time. I’ll never forget the first time I exchanged designer clothing for sweatpants on a VS flight in Upper Class around the year 2000. The FA made a snarky comment…I put her in her place quick time.

    Since then, I dress how I like. It’s no one’s business, and I care not what others think. I do my best to make sure I am fully covered at all times, and we are all good.

    Sometimes changing into and out of PJ’s can be a hassle. But for sure if I so desire to wear them through the airport (mostly Heathrow) I will, and then change in the arrivals lounge…again, I do not care what others think…and quite frankly what I see slobbering through US airport is far far worse than a pair of pj’s that actually cover my “business”

  59. @Gene (Gibbs I presume) +1

    short sleeve shirt & shorts for me as well (even in winter months)

    always too warm in the airport and too warm on the plane – can add layers upon arrival

  60. I guess I must be one of the few who doesn’t feel uncomfortable sleeping in a pair of jeans and a button down shirt in F or J. I would feel more uncomfortable wearing sweats on a business flight.

  61. For those who really care if a passenger wears sweats or whatever probably believe serve any sort of real function except be stupid and a pain. Seriously, who cares what they are wearing as long as it isn’t offensive in the most strictest of definitions. There are way more important things in life to care about then to be the fashion police in a metal tube.

  62. So why don’t Pilots and FA’s just wear sweatpants?

    Would you go to a 5 star place to eat that has a dress code in sweats? Could you argue they should let you in?

    I’m old school dress nice and look nice. I do change on the plane but I show up looking damn good.

    Different generation I guess.

  63. Airline personnel dress up because they are being paid to be there. As customers, we are paying (or using points) valued between 3000 and 20000 dollars to be there. That’s the point – I hate dressing up and if I am spending 5000 on a ticket, I won’t.

    Who is everyone who dresses nicely for a flight trying to impress? Probably me, since I’m the one actually paying for my tickets.

  64. Traveling aboard the Venice-Simplon Orient Express a few years ago, my fellow passengers and I had changed for dinner. The men were wearing black tie (or at least a dark suit) and the women were wearing cocktail dresses. Except for one American woman, who appeared in the dining car wearing pink sweatpants and a matching sweatshirt. She appeared supremely confident. She also looked like an ass.

  65. Sorry In my mind, wearing sweat pants is only acceptable on the way to or from the gym. In Sweden it is considered tacky/trashy to wear sweatpants in public.

  66. Plenty of options when it comes to joggers which are cut/look like regular khakis/chinos, down to the zip fly – a lot better looking than regular sweatpants.

  67. Using your analogy is that a plane is just like your home, so you’ll dress like you do at home, it begs the question…

    Are the other passengers your roommates, or guests in your home? I would use that as a gauge as to what would be suitable to wear at home.

    To me, flying will always be special, even after 50+ years, so I still make an effort to look decent, which usually means nice jeans, button down shirt, and loafers. My one concession to comfort is a nice sweater, because planes are usually too cold (but then, I’m used to traveling in Y).

  68. Looks like CX may be with you on this. This was in a survey from them I have just received:

    We are also considering to incorporate the concept of “athleisure” in the future sleep suit design. Here is a brief description of athleisure:

    Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for athletic workouts at a gymnasium is worn outside of the gym to go to the office or shopping or other social occasions. To the same logic, airline sleep suits are moving towards being able to be comfortably worn to sleep, and worn directly off the flight.

    Do you think Cathay Pacific should explore this direction further?

    🙂

  69. Reading through these comments I found myself torn on the issue, but then I considered my own travel habits. A couple readers pointed out that air travel used to be glamorous and people dressed the part; thus, that is a reason to do it now. Additionally, people have suggested that there is a race to the bottom because of the trend to dress down. There is a race to the bottom, but it isn’t related to what people are wearing. The glamorous days of flying ended when airlines started to nickle and dime people to death while also reducing the comfort and amenities provided. People shouldn’t feel obligated to dress up when the product doesn’t warrant it. I think it says something that I felt okay wearing gym shorts and sweatpants in AA Y, F or J (domestic and international), but didn’t at all think to do that in EY F and in their premium lounges. What you wear to McDonald’s (AA) isn’t what you wear to a 5-star restaurant (EY).

  70. I love changing out of whatever I am wearing, and putting on a pair of PJ’s or sweats when I’m on long haul and going to sleep, and then changing out of them when I wake up. Otherwise, I feel like I just spent a night sleeping in my car like a homeless person. And I don’t care what my fellow passengers wear as long as it doesn’t offend my eyes.

  71. Lucky, sweatpants – really??? You have now officially succumbed to the depths of the rest of the Walmart, simple-minded straight crowd out there. I don’t care how much they cost. Sweatpants are sweatpants and they’re gross! You’re gay, right??? Your gay card should officially be removed ASAP! You have set the gay movement back at least a century. 🙂

  72. I never wear those pyjamas, but do collect them to give to charity shops ( they fetch a premium), subject to space constraints. Sometimes I just leave the package , along with the amenity kit, on the seat as it’s certain that some airline enthusiast from Y will get a kick out of finding them on the way out.
    Onboard it’s sweats for me ( €10 from H&M, absolutely no difference from the ‘upmarket’ stuff), polo, light jacket and less than zero interest in what others in the cabin are wearing.

  73. @Tim

    Spoken like a true peasant masquerading as one of the jet set.

    “And the fashion community calls the in-style sweatpants as joggers.”

    The fashion community is also acting like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner invented cornrows when they aren’t calling it “boxer hair”.

    “To me a plane is like home”

    I wonder how much like home. If the premium bathroom is a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’?

    People make it sound like your only options are do dress like a slob in sweatpants or dress like a contestant on “The Apprentice”. A more casual middle ground exists.

  74. As other commenters have noted, go with Lululemon pants for men. They make a variety of stretchy fabric comfortable pants (not leggings, jean cut sweats basically). Very comfortable to fly in.

  75. This was an interesting read-both article and comments.

    The best one is Manu’s response:
    “I’m also a germaphobe and I don’t want to breathe the toxic cabin air, so I always wear my level A hazmat suit. Hey, as long as I am comfortable…”

    I think comfortable clothes in business/first is fine as long as its presentable. You should be comfortable but also be considerate.

    Thanks Ben. This was a good one.

  76. My recommendations include comfortable linen trousers, a fine cotton woven button-down shirt and comfortable hush puppies for flights up to 5 hours in duration. Anything more, change into some pure cotton pyajamas and a breathable soft polo shirt. I generally avoid the complimentary pyajamas since I don’t always like the material and nor do I have the interest in collecting them.

  77. I don’t understand the people who are getting upset at sweatpants. Do you guys also dislike it when people change into the airline provided pajamas? They’re pretty similar articles of clothing, no?

  78. Oh Ben, dropping the “I paid $300 for FANCY Rag and Bone sweats” is about as cute as your Top Chef reviews of caviar and champagne. Super cute, Tampa.

  79. Bonobos joggers are a great alternative. They are slimmer fitting than most sweatpants, so they don’t look as raggedy. The only downslide is that they are rather pricey.

  80. @Teddi
    Really? I bought Alexander Mcqueen sweatpants as I found them to fit me well. Rag and Bones are fairly reasonably priced so no biggy. Clothing in a small part of my monthly expenditure and I prefer to buy something that costs 400 which I would wear twice a week rather than something that something that cost 50 and wear once a year.

  81. Fascinating comments. The common thread seems to be that you fall into one of two camps:

    1) I want to look nice, and dress nicely if I’m in a premium cabin. I’m aware of my surroundings. I abide by an unspoken dress code – that one makes more of an effort if dining at a five star restaurant than at Chipotle or shopping at Nordstrom than Walmart – out of consideration of others around me.

    2) I’ll dress however the hell I want whenever and wherever I want. It’s all about me.

  82. @travel4b: good summary. I don’t understand some of the comments regarding being uncomfortable when nicely dressed.

    I generally wear fine clothing whenever I am in public, and I don’t ever consider any to be uncomfortable. If something is uncomfortable, then why bother owning it?

  83. Athletic clothing is far more comfortable than any fine clothing for some of us. It’s very hard to project your experiences on to others. I mentioned above that I was fat. This means that many of the the classier brands listed above don’t come in my size. A poor person taking a dream trip after years of saving doesn’t want another hundred dollar bill to look “presentable.”

    I see the divide in this discussion as people who view premium cabins as a club vs. people who view them as a nicer way to get from point A to point B. If it’s just transit, let’s make it as easy on ourselves as possible. If it’s a club, then there are standards. Unless you are in California, where you can have it both ways.

    I started a company and through work and some luck, I can afford to travel nicely. One of my primary reasons for working for myself is that no one can ever tell me what to wear at work. I find even business casual to be quite uncomfortable. I’m certainly not paying thousands of dollars to travel dressed better than I do at the office. Before you ask, yes, I keep a nice shirt and jeans in the office for customer meetings. But I’m not going to pay to dress up while waiting for a plane to take off, that’s just silly. Who am I trying to impress there?

  84. Guess it’s primarily an American idea that sweats and pajamas are considered acceptable except of course in Atlanta. It’s not about impressing anyone, it’s about propriety, which is obviously very subjective in the US.

  85. Propriety is a silly concept. We won the war, we get to dress how we want.

    Now I’m starting to feel trollish. In the internet sense. Maybe in the dress code sense too.

  86. Hmmmm… You won the war?? As far as I recall the US did not win any war single handedly and no convincing victory since WWII…

    Anyways, my thoughts are simple. When in Rome, do as the Romans. I dress like a slob in the US and I dress well on trips abroad.

  87. When I started as a business traveler in 1990, I have always worn sweats for every single flight to wherever I was going.

  88. Lucky, what is the satchel looking bag next to your carryon? Who’s brand, material, and cost? Is it reasonably light weight? Where did you order it from? It looks really nice. Thought this comment section needed a change of pace too.

  89. Sweatpants? OMG. One of the best rituals of up-front travel is seeing your new pajamas on the seat as you board the plane. And putting them on first thing transforms the experience. NOW you’re at home…it’s no longer public transportation. Please, Lucky, don’t give airline executives a reason to think that airline pajamas aren’t important.

  90. @Nita loved your comment. I have too much respect for my expensive suits to wear them on a nasty, dirty airplane. If I’m coming from a meeting, I’ll change into jeans in the lounge. On rare occasions, I’ll get on a plane in my suit and be treated far better than I am when I wear jeans. I suspect that I’m often the only one in the cabin paying cash for F and yet the men in their (often sloppy, cheap) suits are treated better than I am, as a woman in jeans. I’m sure it’s all unconscious…

    I love my airline PJs and wear them to death since I rarely travel internationally these days.

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