Stepping off a 14-hour flight looking ready for business can be a challenge. But with expert insights and a little pre-planning you’ll have it mastered faster than you can say “cabin crew, prepare for landing”.
What to wear
There’s no way around it. “Travelling in a suit is not easy,” says Matthew Keighran, Managing Director of Hugo Boss SEAPAC. He relies on leisure wear and breathable fabrics that maximise comfort during those long hours in the air. “Fashion right now is all about lightness and ease of movement, which are key,” he explains. Look for jackets made of relaxed jersey, which will stretch with you, and team these with polo tees and trousers. “The right polo tee under a jacket could, in fact, take you to some meetings.”
If your business is of the boardroom variety and calls for a more traditional suit, you’ll need pieces built to withstand transit. “There have been so many advances in technology that have led to crease-resistant fabrics,” says Keighran. Investing in these is a business traveller’s secret weapon. “The best suits will be wool,” he adds. If you’re making a pit stop at your hotel first, hang your suit for 10 minutes or so before getting changed.
No downtime after hitting the tarmac? Flight staff can help with this scenario. “I always ask them to hang my suits up in flight,” says Keighran, who recommends changing an hour or so before landing.
For those travelling to warmer climates or doing business in a resort-style environment, a linen suit is worth considering. “It’s a great fabric, the oldest on earth, and very breathable,” says Keighran. Yes, he adds, “you have to expect it will crease. But that’s part of the fabric’s appeal.”
Whatever your destination, remember the finishing touches can make all the difference. Enlist accessories in high-quality finishes – leather ticks the right boxes, being both versatile and durable.
When to rest
The best way to look refreshed is to be refreshed but sleeping on a flight isn’t a given. For some, booking a night flight is essential, while others try to get in step with their destination’s time zone as quickly as possible.
Frequent flyer Keighran falls into the latter category but admits, “there’s no foolproof way to overcome jet lag.” For him, just getting into the headspace of the place he’s headed to plays a role – think watching movies set in your destination – as does having a glass of wine to relax. Plus, earplugs are his carry-on staples. “There’s a lot of snoring on planes!”
How to prep
No, not your presentation – we can’t help you with that one. We mean skin. If sleep fails you, keeping your skin hydrated is the next best option. Air conditioning makes the cabin an extremely dry environment, making a face moisturiser your No. 1 essential. Ask for a formulation with strong occlusive properties, as this will guard against moisture loss, and apply regularly throughout the flight. Be sure to decant larger containers into travel-friendly vessels.