To help out underdressed Australians (and those Californians who insist on wearing tracksuits and Uggs in public) Qantas is clamping down on poorly-dressed passengers. Australia’s favourite airline told media this week high-flyer passengers will face “rigorous” new “minimum smart casual dress guidelines” at all Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounges.
From April 1 (April Fools perhaps?), lounges at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Adelaide airports will be allowed to turn away passengers from the front desk if the person is not “togged up” before the flight. Things that fall short of being “togged up” (to quote Qantas) include singlets, bare feet, rubber thongs and clothing with offensive images or slogans.
“Entry may be refused at the discretion of the lounge staff if visitors do not meet the appropriate standard”, the airline said. “Lounge staff will use their discretion to determine if a visitor to the lounge meets our smart casual dress guidelines.”
And it seems fellow passengers are tired of having to share the exclusive lounge with uninspired types. Even at the luxurious buffet and marble bar and while working in the white leather business area.
“The vast majority of our members meet and exceed the guideline”, said Qantas. “But we have had some feedback from customers that they want to see those guidelines apply to everyone.”
Good job by Qantas. Another place is safe from the ‘glamour bogans’ who think wearing jeans (that look like leggings) with a blazer and ratty sneakers equates to sportsluxe.
How to Fly Smart Casual?
Smart casual is essentially the mixing of business attire and casual wear elements to make one outfit. Here, formal pieces adopt subtle patterns and more vibrant colours, while casual pieces become slightly tailored and more structurally sound. But the key to smart casual – especially when flying – is comfort.
Go for a deconstructed blazer (one made with very thin internal canvases and shoulder supports). It’s a lighter jacket structure and is softer when worn so to avoid feeling stiff across the shoulders and arms. Opt for a lightweight wool, natural cotton and linen – or a blend of two of these.
Button down shirts are best and can be coloured or slightly patterned here, depending on the blazer (subtle checked blazer on lilac shirt or navy jacket over light blue micro print shirt, for example). Stick to crisp white shirts when in doubt and no tie is needed. T-shirts are permissible but should stay in a muted palette (white, black, grey). When worn under a blazer make sure the tee is fitted and ironed so not to look untidy when the jacket comes off.
Jeans, chinos and trousers, as well as tailored shorts (at appropriate knee lengths) are acceptable. Jeans should stay slim fit, tapered and opt for a classic wash (not overly distressed) from some of the best jeans brands for men. Chinos are best slim-to-relaxed fit (roll the ankles for adding taper) and opt for tan or khaki for perfect pairing under a linen navy blazer. Trouser separates can be made more casual by their outfit friends: a white, open-neck shirt (no jacket this time) and well-maintained leather shoes go well.
Quality leather driving loafers or penny loafers are ideal for comfort. And can be shoes worn without socks. Leather monks or mocassins are the next level up and slightly more posh due to their sold structure and heel. Derby and oxford shoes are the ultimate dress shoe (for any occasion really). Try them as a boot, laced up under chinos or wool separate trousers.
Smart casual means no tie, in general terms. But take the time to plan a statement piece to catch the eye. Pop a micro-spotted handkerchief in your blazer top pocket or wrap a bracelet made from leather or suede discretely under the shirt cuff. Or go for best power accessory of them all – a metallic watch.