A while back there was an article circulating of some guys boasting of getting dressed for flights to make a good impression and meet people.
I remember reacting and frankly wanting to spew.
It's just gone 13:00 on a Sunday and I'm sat in economy for a 12 hour flight to LA in jeans and a top.
Each to their own but I want to present the other side of flying in comfort.
Time with the family
We left our house at 10:00 to ensure that we got to Zurich airport for 11:00. As a working Mum it wasn't just me going and preparing for my trip:visa, transfer, hotel, presentations to review on the plane. It was also preparing the family. They needed breakfast and we needed time together before my husband is about to have a very hectic week. So getting a shower and putting on my jeans and a top, rather than get dressed up pretentiously for a very long flight gives me more time for the family.
Frankly many companies no longer do business travel. As awful as that is and will be left for another debate, comfortable clothes are crucial because it is impossible for me to sleep in economy. This would be fine if I was going on holiday and could lay in, or relax. In reality I have to hit the ground running work 12 + hours when I land, as if there was no time difference.
Inner versus exterior
Frankly if I relied on the exterior presence of someone to see whether to make a connection I would have missed out on a lot of good conversations in life. Sometimes we are running out of the house after getting the kids to school, to a party or ensuring they know they are safe and loved before you go away for 5 sleeps. Sleeps is the way my kids know how long I am gone and Mummy is always going to come back. On my flight to New York I made friends with a nurse moving to Zurich eventually after her wedding to a Swiss Italian. On this flight I've met two great guys one in khakis and the other in jeans. The point is don't judge a book by its cover. If you feel you need to dress up fine, but if you're comfortable just bring yourself stay with that especially if you are on a long flight.
Overall I'm glad that this is my first long haul business trip in 6 months (excluding personal travel). As a mother there's nothing more important to me to being present, to having our family balance and for the majority of the time sitting at the dinner table finding out about our days at Kita (nursery), Chinski (kindergarten) and work.
Being a mother who thrives on purpose, challenge, direction and the happiness of her family can have its challenges.
Sitting in jeans on a 12 hour flight is not one of them, there are too many important things to do, like having the maximum cuddles with my kids and being open to making connections with authenticity.