Ah, those days of glamorous travel. When men wore suits, women donned gloves, and air hostesses modeled high fashion instead of doling out arrest threats for Words With Friends.
You’re more likely to spot today’s travelers accessorizing with Snuggies and neck pillows than pocket squares and pillbox hats. Trading elegance for comfort (not to mention safety—do you really want to be rocking 4-inch heels on that emergency slide?) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But some of the absurd looks parading around the world this year have us searching for our oxygen masks.
Here’s a look at the year’s weirdest travel fashions:
We get it. You want to sleep like a baby on the plane. But do you have to dress like one, too? Onesies—fleecy jumpsuits with extended zippers—are all the rage in London and have been spotted (yes, during daylight hours) on erstwhile adults Brad Pitt, Kate Moss, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Robbie Williams, and the entire One Direction pop band. Sales of the wacky one-pieces are up 600 percent this year, according to The Daily Mail, with Norwegian company OnePiece to blame for the cozy craze. Adding insult to fashion injury, some paramours are now traveling together in monogrammed couples onesies. Where’s an airsick bag when you need one?
Designer surgical masks
Yes, it’s flu season. And yes, planes are basically flying tubes of germs. But strapping on a Hello Kitty surgical mask when you’re otherwise healthy will completely destroy your traveler street cred. Why not add a Chanel hazmat suit for complete (and stylish!) protection? "Hospital chic" isn’t a good look for a worldly explorer. You’re better off with a wing, a prayer and some hand sanitizer.
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Fanny pack redux
We thought the fanny pack—the surest mark of a bumbling tourist—was retired to the traveler’s hall of shame a couple of decades ago. But both Donna Karan and Rachel Zoe brought those infamous f-packs back in their Spring 2013 collections. For the love of money belts, let’s stop this travel trend dead in its tracks.
Kanye "Immawearakilt" West rocked a leather Givenchy man-skirt at a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert last month, joining the ranks of rapper P.Diddy and Donald Trump Jr. as guys with a little breeze between their thighs. But one traveler from North Carolina took things a bit too far when he arrived at the Raleigh-Durham airport in a kilt with nothing underneath—and opted for a pat-down instead of a body scan. Okay, we can’t help smiling at this small (big?) victory for every flyer who’s had to suffer the indignity of a grumpy TSA agent. But men, please, save the kilts for Edinburgh.
What do you get when you combine an insulated ski mask with a long fake beard? A bad CIA disguise? A ZZ Top-inspired fashion line? The beardski is a bit of both, and it’s been accessorizing the chins of snow-loving jetsetters this winter. While the hirsute wrap may warm your neck on the slopes, your globetrotting dignity will be forever frozen in this contraption.
What’s the weirdest fashion trend you’ve seen in your travels this year?