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Miss Malsy on Manners


Q My husband insists on wearing shorts, a T-shirt, and thongs when we fly. Is this appropriate?

A Ah, yes, remember the good old days when air travel was a luxury worthy of elegant dress? When men shrugged into suit jackets and cinched-up ties, and a woman could fancy herself a stoic yet stylish Ingrid Bergman taking off from Casablanca.

These days, plane rides are as cheap and unromantic as a fast-food drive-through, and passengers dress accordingly—halter tops, sweats, pj's. Most airlines have a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy and reserve the right to deny seats to those wearing "offensive" clothing. But when even the once glamorous flight attendants have traded tailored uniforms for shorts and polo shirts, you know your dreams of dapper dress are dashed.

You could try scheduling a fancy dinner on the heels of your arrival ("No time to change, honey!"). Or you could urge your husband to see the film Snakes on a Plane ("You’d better wear closed-toe shoes!"). But ultimately, you may have to accept that your hubby’s attire falls well within today's norms. Remember, times may change, but your marriage is forever. For better dressed or for worse.



This article was first published in November 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.