Friday, February 5, 2016

Aviatrix Fashion

Besides the amazing antique airplanes and vintage cars at WAAAM, the fashion of a bygone era captured my imagination.  I left the museum with a yearning for a more glamorous world--the world that belonged to my parents and grandparents.  I took pictures of Mimi's colleagues and longed for the days when everyone dressed up for a flight, when beautiful stewardesses poured champagne into glass flutes and served you chicken cordon bleu on china plates.

And I yearned for a cross country trip in a shiny black Pontiac 4-door sedan.  I would fill its massive trunk with matching Lady Baltimore luggage and a wicker picnic basket (with a thermos of martinis, of course).

But then I stopped and asked myself:  Really?  Do I really want to be living and traveling in 1950?  Or Today?

Today won.  Hands down.
Let's face it.  There is nothing glamorous about traveling in today's world.  We are treated like cattle at the airport:  Poked, prodded and branded with humiliation.  Then once on the plane, forget a drink or a meal or even leg room.  Not to mention the anxiety of a terrorist attack or an Ebola-carrying passenger.

Road trips aren't much better.  Getting from A to B is a hassle.  Freeways are clogged.  City streets are jammed and chaotic.  And passing those semi trucks is white-knuckle scary.  So why does Today win?

Because, although my parents and grandparents traveled in great style with astonishing ease, they traveled very little.  They paid a price for glamour.  Trips to Europe were once-in-a-lifetime events.  As was a road trip to California.

We go everywhere Today.  And often.
Mimi and her colleagues remind me that romance and glamour can still be a part of travel in Today's world.  It might take a little more imagination and effort.  Getting TSA Pre-Check approval helps.  As does a pit stop at the airport bar before hitting the gate.  But most importantly, why dress down?  What's preventing me from dressing to the nines when I fly from A to B?

"Go ahead," Mimi counsels. "Wear that vintage aviatrix uniform.  That chiffon dress. Carry that Lady Baltimore cosmetic case. . . . . Pretty please."

I laugh.  (She hates my ugly, ubiquitous black backpack.) But she's right.  Why not make every trip special?  Whether flying or driving.

  Dress like Yesterday as I journey into Tomorrow.


  1. Great last line. I love this museum. I always wanted to be a wing-walker, for real.

  2. I agree , as much as I admire the fashions of yester year and the romance of travel as it was I agree , travel today is so much more convenient and faster.
    I must remember your wise words when I travel in April and try to dress like yesterday and travel like today but travel time from here to Paris is a total of 23 hours so comfort reigns supreme. Any advice from Mimi is welcome.