Was there a moment in the 1970s when a collective decision was taken not to ‘dress up’ for a journey? Perhaps it was the introduction of mass air travel, when people moving at speed in tiny spaces to hot climates realised that they would be much more comfortable on their three hour flight to Spain in shorts or a track suit.
For whatever reason, the concept of ‘dressing’ for a train journey or flight now consists of throwing on the most comfortable thing in the wardrobe. I myself have done night flights to South Africa and India where I was practically in pyjamas at Heathrow. However, I would like to make a case for the reintroduction of some old school standards of appearance for some journeys.
- The use of hats. I ALWAYS wear a hat when I am travelling, for the simple reason that my hair reacts extremely badly to humidity. In South London, humidity was at 94% when I left the house at 7am. Without a hat, I would have looked like Medusa by the time I reached the station.
- The use of gloves. Not just to keep your hands warm in winter, but to ‘finish’ an outfit. Also, keeps the bugs with which London transport is inevitably infested at bay.
- Mending tears and lost buttons. I know we are in the middle of an economic tsunami, but this is NO excuse for appearing in public in some shredded garment which looks like it was used to collect broken glass.
- Removing pet hair. I have five cats, three of whom are extremely fluffy, and all of whom deem any item of clothing left within reach as fair game for lolling. One cat has a specific prediliction for chewing her nails while curled up in a hat. The only solution is thos cheapo sticky rollers, but they ARE a solution, so use them.
- Brushing your hair. Really, do you not have time for this in the morning?
- (Ladies only) Applying red lippy. One single swipe of a really good red lipstick DOES make you look make-up and pulled together (as India Knight taught me). If you have warm skin, go for orange-red, cool skin tones need blue-red. As I am warm-toned, I can only recommend what I use, some of which is still available to buy (Bourgois So Rouge 34 Rouge Dress Code, Bourjois Sweet Kiss 76 Roug Fahion, Revlon Matte in Really Red). Otherwise, invest in a lipstick from MAC, they will be able to tell you which of their million reds is the best one for you. For £14 you will have something amazing to wear every day for months – bargain!