I don’t often travel with other people, but when I do they’re often surprised to see me hanging around the airport in a three-piece suit. I suppose it is a bit strange, but there are reasons for my madness:
1. Just like anyone else, I want to be comfortable for the flight. Since my suit is tailor-made, it is the most comfortable thing in my wardrobe. More comfortable even than my pajamas.
2. When I had it made, I kept in mind my frequent trips through airport security. I added waist tighteners and omitted belt loops so I could leave my belt at home; and I made sure there were pockets in the jacket capable of holding my passport, handkerchief, wallet and book. All of this means I surrender my jacket to the x-ray machine and nothing else.
3. By wearing my suit on the flight, I don’t have to fold it into my check luggage. This means it won’t get crinkled. As the most expensive thing I own, I don’t want to entrust it to luggage handlers or pay for extra baggage insurance.
4. If you encounter a service problem (your flight is delayed or your vegetarian meal was forgotten) people are more likely to take your concerns seriously if you wear a suit. This is possibly because they think you’re rich or important if you’re wearing a suit, but I think it’s actually because a person in a suit is more instantly identifiable as a human being and therefore easier to empathise with. I know it sounds odd, but I think a person in a suit somehow fits into a mental schema of ‘person’ than someone in a miscellaneous outfit.
5. It wasn’t part of my planning, but I recently read that wearing natural fibers is a good precaution to take if you want to survive a plane crash. If the place is on fire, you don’t want to end up kebabbed in polyester napalm. My suit is made of wool, and wool apparently is the best thing to wear in a plane crash.