The question du jour is can fashion derail travel?
I joke that sooner or later seasoned travelers will show up at airports in nothing more than a bathrobe and flip flops just to clear security faster. Actually, I have my routine down pretty good and can have my laptop out, shoes off, and carry-on items laid out neatly in plastic trays in a matter of seconds. Â Blindfolded. My traveling outfit is also planned specifically to beat the metal detector’s nasty alarm. The faster I get out of the screening area, the sooner I can get out of the cattle call. Â It is a personal victory every time I clear security in under 3 minutes.
But on the outbound leg of this trip, I got nabbed at LAX, along with two other women who were also wearing patio dresses (maxi or floor length sundresses). Â There we were, all lined up to take turns getting patted down by the female guard. Â It was somewhat comical to me…were we in a lineup for committing a fashion crime?Â As comfortable as these knit dresses are for long flights, have they become the new public enemy in the world of travel? Â
The guard told me they’d all been trained to do a more thorough search for this fashion fad as they can’t tell what we might be hiding under our long dresses. Â And her more than cursory, hands-on search told me I’ll be saving my patio dresses for when I reach the destination from now on. True, the public frisking was unpleasant, but it was worse to not be able to eyeball my personal effects on the conveyor belt when she made me face the wall for the search. Â
So yes, fashion can derail travel. Fashion victims take heed: it wasn’t just in LA. I got nabbed transiting through Heathrow as well for the same reason. Â Except the true crime there was not having enough time to wander the designer duty-free shops at T-3.