Remember that scene in Up in the Air, when George Clooney gives his frequent-flying, tried-and-tested advice for coasting through airport security? If you can’t recall, or if you’ve never seen the film, then here’s a quick reminder. (Also, make a note to watch Up in the Air. It’s very good).
“Never get behind people traveling with infants. I’ve never seen a stroller collapse in less than 20 minutes. Old people are worse. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip-on shoes.”
Admittedly, it’s a little sketchy when it comes to stereotyping, but the wisdom of Clooney’s character holds true. Slip-on shoes, especially, are a godsend when it comes to slipping yourself through security as quickly as possible. So, to ensure your next adventure through the airport is as painless as possible, we’ve rounded up four items of clothing that will make the experience more streamlined than a jet liner.
Lose the laces, and buy a pair of smart slip-on shoes
Let’s start with your shoes. As Clooney intones, these laceless loafers are the definition of sartorial efficiency, and will shave precious seconds off your travel time. Not only that, but a pair of slip-ons will also minimise the amount of time you have to walk shoeless on airport floors — hardly surfaces renowned for sterility.
That’s not to say you need to sacrifice style. Church’s have a pair of tassel loafers that’ll have you cutting a swathe through security, all dark brown piping and skip lacing. Tod’s, too, have their inimitable driving shoes — as suited to boarding planes as Sunday driving. Or, to keep styling clean, Crockett & Jones’ new tassel-less loafers are minimalist, unlined and created with comfort and flexibility in mind.
Church’s Kingsley Suede Tasselled Loafers
Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes
Crockett & Jones Camden Loafers
Whip off your belt and start buying trousers tactically
It’s almost Pavlovian; hearing the beep of the security scanner at the airport and subconsciously reaching for your belt. For this is the one accessory we all leave on, the one that always brings out the metal-detecting wand and the one that buckles an extra five-to-ten minutes onto an already tight timeframe.
So don’t wear one. It’s as simple as that. Rather than reaching for your usual trousers, buy a pair that don’t need a belt. That means going drawstring, such as these linen threads from Orlebar Brown, or Sunspel’s cotton-twill offerings. Or it means opting for side-adjusting trousers, like Rubinacci’s ‘Manny’ style, if you still need to keep your flying fashion on the formal side.
Orlebar Brown Linen Drawstring Trousers
Rubinacci Tapered Linen Trousers
Sunspel Cotton-Twill Drawstring Trousers
Slip on a jacket with enough pockets to store your stuff
Smartphone. Wallet. Passport. Pens. Headphones. Keys. Loose change. Our pockets become receptacles for the most mundane and practical of our possessions — and forget to unload just one pack of foil-lined chewing gum into the tray provided and you’ll soon hear the ominous snapping of a rubber gloves. To avoid this, start using the pockets of your jacket instead.
You’ll have to remove your jacket at security anyway, so it makes sense for it to hold all of your many and varied belongings. And the more pockets the better. Workman jackets, like these from Sir Plus and A Day’s March, are perfect as they feature near-bottomless patch pockets, perfect for filling. Or, if you’re not one to travel light, opt for Oliver Spencer’s ‘Travel Shirt’, a four-pocketed masterclass in functionality.
Sir Plus Sand Workman Jacket
A Day’s March Patch Pocket Overshirt
Oliver Spencer Travel Shirt
Strap on a watch that will take the confusion out of timezones
One of the worst parts of travelling comes when you drag your case to a standstill, shrug back your cuff and set about changing the time on your wristwatch. Because, if you’re the type of person who can’t bare to set foot on foreign ground without knowing exactly where — and when — you are, time spent fumbling with your crown will allow hundreds of passengers to flood past and clog up customs.
So allow us to present the best world timers and dual time zones for you to strap on. Chopard’s L.U.C Time Traveler One displays all the time zones simultaneously, Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas World Time is a top class ultra-thin perpetual calendar and Jaeger LeCoultre’s Geophysic Universal Time brings the whole world within easy reach. Just remember to pocket them before airport security…
Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One
Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time
Jaeger LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time
Want some tips on jetiquette? Here’s how to fly like a gentleman…