What to Wear in the Air: Travelers' Fashion Tips

And Krex, who typically eschews hotel dry cleaning, has a system for having it cleaned when he's on the go. "If I find out they do the dry cleaning in-house, I'll trust them," he says. "But I don't want my clothes going out. So I'll tip a bellman to give me some local places off the record."

Sometimes dry cleaning isn't even necessary. "With any lightweight fabric, you can just flip on the hotel shower and the wrinkles fall right out in a couple minutes," says Downing.

Sole Provider

And then there's the shoe dilemma. Since security has become a barefoot-only passage, business travelers have added ease of removal to the mix of comfort and class they look for in a pair of kicks.

"I go for Cole Haan Dress Airs," says Krex, referring to Cole Haan's line of dress shoes with Nike Air soles. "I got them in December and have had 10 flights since then. They've held up better than any shoes."

Cole Haan makes the shoes for both men and women.

For her part, Paunchad sees most of her male passengers in classic Gucci loafers: "They're easy to slip on and off, and comfortable."

In the Bag

All road warriors need a tool belt. Or at least a functional, fabulous bag.

The trend for women, according to Downing, is a smaller clutch with an oversize tote. "The fashion-conscious business customer slips the clutch inside her tote, which easily holds her laptop, BlackBerry and written materials," he says. "But when she doesn't need that, the tiny clutch holds her essentials and gives her a polished, pulled-together look."

"Longchamp bags are really popular, because you can fold them up really tiny to fit in your pocket when they're empty," says Panchaud, referring to the French-made bags that open up to a classy messenger-size tote. "People use it like a briefcase."

"For men, I see an awful lot of them with Coach bags," she adds. "They fit laptops really well, look good and are well-wearing, which is important for anyone who spends a lot of time in airports."

As far as what travel essentials should go in your toolbelt, Panchaud picks Elizabeth Arden's eight-hour cream. "It's great for travel, since flying can really dry out your skin. You can use it as lip balm, on your face, your hands." And it's available in a security-friendly 1.7-oz bottle. Just don't forget your clear, plastic baggie.

And Pinson recommends "a soft, oversize scarf. It's an incredibly versatile travel accessory – it looks dramatic and glamorous wrapped around the neck over a crisp jacket, and then can expand over your shoulders for added warmth on the plane."

With a few fashion-forward choices, it's not hard to bring comfort into the main cabin and panache into the board room – all within the limits of those two precious carry-on items.

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