In Jane Austen’s iconic book, “Sense and Sensibility” the main theme is how the family central and the women characters prevalence of excessive sensibility renders them without venue to betterment in their life fraught with difficulties. How connected to ones travel attire you ask? Well actually quite a easy analogy … far too often attempts at what some claim as “sensible” is no more than what is most readily available and as such in no need of forethought or planning. Frequently these choices render wearer as uncomfortable as they appear untidy and unattractive – this too leaving one expending energy in defense of being assured their choice was perfect. The options are plentiful and should include practicality, protection and good taste – difficult you might be thinking to combine all these into a single travel attire choice. No dear readers – it just takes REAL effort and the introspection to not present falsely oneself to others. Sound haughty? Maybe but trust me all I suggest indeed rather basic from the beginning of our species desire to roam the globe.
All through history as we humans became mobile via donkey, horse, carriage and finally train, plane and automobile travel attire was considered both a means to protection and comfort … history also informs us that style mattered even centuries ago – foremost as recognition of status and connection to host. Sort of our tribal colors one might say … surely notation of familial status in places of destination among primary reasoning as to what attire the traveling visitor needed to choose. We only need think of the Muslim required Hijab for women to understand that being clothed other than a culture demands can be dangerous in that you seem different and hence an object of derision. So lets see – protection, comfort and status the three categories that went and still goes into what we decide to wear while embarking on excursions. Right? Too much thinking you might say? Not at all I tell you – actually maybe now more than ever these elements must and should be taken into consideration as we choose what outfit to wear for our human increasing travel to and fro.
We all can agree that the weather elements often dictate choice of travel clothes … warm, cold, rainy or other can and should determine both the travel attire and destination packed items. Safety can mean the same and also issues like recently realized need to wear compression hose on long flights [something I have done for years either to board or put on once airborne]. There is absolutely no reason safety and comfort must replace style … being fashionable always an option if only effort and thought given the matter. Why even my compression hose come in sexy lace topped thigh highs. Shoes easy too – as each and every company [both my choice of designers and lesser price options] offer that which is both travel ready and attractive. By the way, flip-flops not a plane option – especially if your feet less than pleasant to look at … you risk injury to yourself and insult to others. Having had the great privilege of private plane travel in the past I assure you not even then would or did I [despite having rather nice feet] insist host and fellow passengers be cautious so as to not injure my exposed appendages. See it is just a matter of good manners often that can lead one to make REALLY good travel choices – both self and others should be least bothered by what we wear.
Having been blessed to travel all my life … my parents being sure that was part of our family life and my continuing that discipline as an adult – wether my fourteen times to the Middle East, nearly as many to Europe and Japan twice, closer continents as twice to South America and of course, visits to Canada, almost all fifty U.S. States and a sundry of island vacations I have made travel fashion part and parcel of my excursion. Yes the days when people dressed in their best finery to board trains and planes – ladies in dresses, hats, gloves and men in dapper suits and hats as well might be gone [although I have often worn rather large glamorous sun hats when departing in sunny Florida and such places] and still I and others certainly still seem to find the energy and time to look well turned out as we embark on trips that allow for life to be expanded beyond the confines of the daily grind. As I opened this essay with reference to the characters in Jane Austen’s novel where the strident determination to be sensible in the end deterred growth and glory, I tell you so will that same attitude in your travel clothing choices if it results in your being too preoccupied with such as to give breadth and width as you decide what attire most appealing to yourself and those at the other end of your journey!
P.S. My travel tip for good memories besides a travel diary for longer trips is to date each and every photo … I have been doing this since a child as my Mother would instruct us to date & write a little note on back as to the where, etc.. Now made so much easier with technology … of course having a willing hubby like mine who imports all photos & makes disks for each & every trip both past & present a great advantage.