Friday, 10 June 2011

Traveling Attire.

I flew in to Newark this week on band business. I was finished early so paid $80 US to get myself on an earlier flight home. Ended up being stuck on the tarmac for 50 minutes because of bad weather in Toronto and only got home 20 minutes sooner than I would have if I’d taken my original flight. Lesson learned
I generally do not like traveling. I like staying within a 4 - block radius of home most of the time. And I’m not fond of traveling solo, which I have to do a bit. I like being able to leave my carry on with someone while I pee. Because I have to pee a lot and my carry on is always really heavy. Plus I try to suss out the best seats at the gate that have an electrical outlet next to it so I can charge up my computer which is always about to die. So if I get up to pee, I lose my primo seat to some gross person who is not me.

Airports are a microcosm of fashion archetypes:

The HEY I’M TRAVELING: There’s always someone with a tilly endurable hat and their wallet on a string around their neck. They are dressed ready to go on safari. Even if they are flying from Toronto to Moncton. Their teenaged children bring their bed pillows from home.


The I’M CASUAL, FASHIONABLE AND PROBABLY FAMOUS person.  Usually people in media or entertainment. Or stylists.

 These people look this cool all the time. This is because, unlike me, they MAKE AN EFFORT. The best example of this is Stuart Cameron of THE HEARTBROKEN, who always looks casually, coolly, put together. 

Clean jeans, pressed shirt, hip footwear and sunglasses. The guitar case gets him a lot of positive attention. Traveling with Stuart Cameron is good because he only has to bat his 8 foot long eyelashes at the airline rep and we are whisked in to the Elite Lounge where they have free drinks, chips and massages next to the Zen garden. A Geisha welcomes you and gives you champagne.



I fall into the category of the I WILL PROBABLY SPILL SOMETHING ON MYSELF SO I’LL JUST WEAR SOMETHING THAT RENDERS ME INVISIBLE person. Not sexy. Never get free stuff. Always spill stuff.

Back in the day before 9/11, I used to bring tweezers on the plane because airplane bathroom lighting was perfect for plucking out chin hairs. The combination of the harsh light, the mirror being so close and the air pressure forcing the hair to burst out ever further from my epic pores, made for a conducive plucking environment, indeed. I now look like a bushman. Stupid Al Qaeda.


The BUSINESSMAN; Suits. Leather computer bags. Look of resignation and numbness about them.  Oh, and businessmen, your collar should be the same colour as your shirt. Don Cherry should not be your fashion standard. Sometimes they wear polo shirts with their company logo. This is so sad.


The I’M GOIN’ ON VACATION people.  Shorts in January. Oversized straw hats. Beer t-shirts. Awful, awful, awful people.

The I’M SUPER FREAKIN’ RICH people: I was in the line up at customs and there was this couple, maybe in their 70’s dressed to the nines. Unreal
She was wearing a blue and white tweedy Chanel suit with a Louis Vitton bag and had probably a couple million dollars worth of diamonds on her without exaggeration. One of her diamond rings was an emerald cut the size of the end of my thumb!  She was wearing a hat and carrying a Neiman Marcus round hat box. Who carries a hat box? Who buys hats? She was amazing. And her husband was wearing an excellent suit and nice shoes and a scarf like a British yacht owning dandy would have worn in the 60’s. 

They ruined my love of them when they made it very clear that they were, completely baffled as to why they should have to wait in the customs line up along with people who were wearing t shirts and not millions of dollars of diamonds.  They were completely exasperated. And the line was moving pretty quickly.


Other examples of this are women who dress for travel as if they were going clubbing. 

totally appropriate outfit for traveling

totally appropriate outfit for traveling

totally appropriate outfit for traveling.

Many have had too much plastic surgery wearing white pants and high-heeled mules.

Should be turned away at the gate. Really.

I mean, what if she had to run for her plane? Or walk somewhere. Or look not like an exotic dancer who kept the look after bagging the millionaire.

Douchery on the road

At least she's dressed that way for a reason besides being a traveling douche.

Maybe we should all just stay home. Save a tree. Save ourselves from public humiliation. Except for Stuart Cameron. He can go anywhere.



    Joni (no relation)

  2. Ellen, excellent observation of airport travel. Sadly I might have been that guy(Bill)wearing the shorts in January with the Corona t-shirt. I now wish to apologize for my image. Damn you Cameron and all your perfection

  3. You do see alot when you travel. More than you'd like to, anyway. Perhaps Stuart should be the gold standard against which all travel attire is compared. And just to say, the guy with the blonde in fishnets wearing the gold ballet shoes enpointe... is it just me or does it look like he wet his pant?. Hmmm.


  4. Amanda C. Owens10 June 2011 at 14:34

    I haven't flown since about 4 days before 9/11 happened, but now I can see wasn't fear of terrorist attacks, it was fear of running into THESE GUYS! And Ellbow, if you want to see even worse than that, check out this website: In the words of BTO, "You ain't seen nothing yet!" B-b-b-b-b-b-baby (Wasn't one of Brad's high school teachers a relative of Bachman? But I digress...)

  5. Ann Marie Cotton Hayek10 June 2011 at 18:53

    I'm always the person in the capri pants and flip flops. If it is -40 in Edmonton, you can bet your ass that I'm going somewhere warm!

  6. You got me hooked on your fabulous stories!! I can relate to them and they always make me laugh!

  7. Heather Frantsi12 June 2011 at 15:58

    Ellen, do you need a gmail account to follow? I have one, but would be way handier to get it to my regular inbox.

  8. Heather, I am looking into setting up an option for people to receive email notices of new blogs. I'm at my mom's right now and her computer is HONESTLY THE BEST AND FASTEST THING THAT WAS EVER CREATED (this is a lie). I'll sort it out when I get back to Toronto. Thanks for coming to my blog. You make it less smelly in here.