FLIPPED OVER FLOPS
By Richard Carreño
[WritersClearinghouse News Service]
Move over Calf-High Boot Season. Make way for Flip-Flop Season. With matching polyester pjs optional.
In the airline business, there are two seasons. High? Low? No, seasoned airline flight crews and agents monitor seasonal change by passenger dress and appearance. Let the suits fret about seasonal high/low ticket costs.
Of course, there's nothing new about pax deplaning from the islands in colourful calypso attire. Regardless of the winter weather, passengers from Nassau, Mexican resorts, Aruba (you name the generic Caribbean island) will invariably walk off in the kind of clothes they wore earlier in the day while sunning at the beach. Swim shorts and tank tops for men? Sure. Cut-offs for women. You bet. The only thing missing is a limbo stick and surf board to help shovel three feet of the white stuff as they make their way to their snowed-in cars. Day One message: 'I was vacationing and tanning, and you weren't!' Day Two Message: 'Boss, I can't come in. I'm sick!'
What with the warm weather now arriving, on-board summer-wear has become more uniform.
In fact, it is sort of a uniform.
For women, winter season boots and ballet flats have given way to plastic thonged flip-flops. Yes, ladies, they're still the premier footwear of choice, versatile, colourful -- though unfortunately aesthetically challenging. Especially on un-pedicured, corn-rowed toes. Still, when paired with droopy, polyester fleece pyjamas, with a matching a U-shaped carry-on pillow (wrapped around one's neck at all times, of course, for ready use), flip-flops are, well, simply de rigeur. Sipping a heavily-caloric iced drink with a straw, balanced with a cell phone, always helps to finish the ensemble.
Alternatively, for a sexier and a less beddy-bye look, thigh-length, cut-off jeans matched with fav flip-flops do the trick. For a sporty appearance, polyester running shorts are also in the running. Flip flops even run rings around running shoes in this pairing.
For more a more formal look, for that quick night on the town when arriving in, say, Vegas, flip-flops are often paired with black, Capri-length form-fitting yoga pants. This ensemble is a popular 24-seven look, regardless of age, size, or weight. Yoga mat case not required. Water bottle, preferred.
And what function! Flip-flops, of course, are uni-sex accessories. Male passengers shod in flip-flops are seemingly in particular partial to sagging, un-ironed, cargo shorts. Mid-calf lengths are now quite the rage. Partnered with sleeveless, arm-pit baring tank tops, this men's look gives 'droopy' new meaning.
Are passengers paying attention to frequent advice regarding healthy comfort during long, often tight seating while air-borne?
One would think that flip-flops would get a pass from the blue-shirts at TSA check-points. One would be wrong. To the TSA, a flip-flop just looks like a lead-lined Army boot.
Actually, pyjama-clad females and droopy-draws males are probably following -- albeit, unknowingly -- among the sagest of on-board travel advice -- dress in loose-fitting clothing. (Second, only, to avoiding alcoholic drinks).
For the most part, of course, on-board fashion conforms to the same mass taste that dictates fashion preferences elsewhere. Thus, yoga tights are hardly the loose clothing recommended by travel experts. Nor are cut-offs especially hygienic, given that on-board seats have been graced by numerous bottoms daily before the seating is eventually cleaned.
As for flip-flops and hygiene? Actually, it's a wonder that airline passengers aren't in the midst of a ringworm epidemic, given the crud that invests standard-issue airport carpeting.
On board, it can get worse, with flip-flop fashion even getting thrown over-board. While relaxing during flights, bare-feet are now often getting more of an airing. Phew! Ladies, socks, please! Besides, socks are just about the only foot covering that's fully, 100-percent TSA-approved.