Travelling in a suit

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.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at

5 Responses to “Travelling in a suit”

  1. Oldfool says:

    Correct on all counts.

  2. Maus says:

    All right, you’ve convinced me of the manifest virtues of a bespoke suit. How much is that going to set me back?

  3. Mine cost £600, which is staggeringly good value for Saville Row cloth (though it was not made by a Saville Row tailor). A fair bit of dosh but, if looked after, it will last forever. Shame I don’t plan to have a son to hand it down to, because it really will last that long. The two-man company who made it for me is called Cad & The Dandy.

    I think you can get something a bit cheaper online from iTaylor or A Suit That Fits. The latter option is recommended by The Chap magazine. I may fork out for a second suit from A Suit That Fits if I come into the dosh.

  4. Mark Wentworth says:

    Seconded. Budget bespoke costs in the region of £500-£700. Other names I’ve used are Bookster, Raja Fashions and Rocacha.

    Savile Row suits cost in the region of £3k, which is firmly oligarch territory. The price reflects the amount of work that goes into the tailoring (and stratospheric Mayfair rents) rather than designer label premium pricing. makes interesting reading.

  5. I’ve been considering Bookster for a Tweed suit. Do you rate them?

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