The good old days.
That’s what my father would call them. A time when men, regardless of their socio-economic status, would dress to impress whether headed to a ballgame, a boxing match, or even, yes, the airport. Hard to imagine going to an airport today and not seeing at least half the passengers dressed in a cross between pajamas and sweats while exercising their option for good hygiene.
So, what happened to the days of stepping out in a jacket, crisp shirt, tie, and great fedora? Well, it all changed with the sexual revolution and feminist movement of the sixties. The clean shave, haircut, and manicure, gave way to long hair, long beards, and short showers. You waved your anti-establishment flag in blue jeans, not slacks.
Now, I don’t want to skim over the feminist movement. All it took was for women to burn their bras, wear blue jeans, and protest wearing their mother’s dresses to give men an excuse not to dress up when going out or traveling. Hey, I love women in jeans and tees but let’s face it gentlemen: when women don’t dress to go out it’s a green light for us to throw style and grooming out the window.
So, what’s my point? Ah yes, the best-dressed and groomed man at the airport. After all these years, it’s still the venerable airline pilot. Seeing a commercial pilot at the airport is a little bit like getting in your way-back machine and experiencing the excitement of the golden age of flight. The captain strides through the airport confident, professional, and exuding security that you are in good hands. His image is his brand. Let’s face it, if a pilot showed up on your flight wearing yoga pants and a ripped t-shirt, you would be scoping out the closest exit and heading to the nearest Hertz kiosk.
This all begs the question: in these modern times can we overdress? Perhaps (although my mother would say no), but one thing is for sure, we can certainly underdress and worse, under-groom. Let’s make the decision not to. Let’s be that guy who separates himself from the herd. Let’s make an effort in every aspect of style and grooming to exude that same confidence and security of our captain and pilot. Let your image be your brand.
Lastly, remember, some things haven’t changed, women still love a well-groomed man in uniform.