Jeans and a sweater at the airport. I'm not asking for much here.
While browsing the Huffington Post today, I read an interesting story about a woman who was nearly prevented from boarding a Southwest Airlines flight because her clothing was "inappropriate" due to the cleavage she was showing. Follow this link to read the full story, but to summarize, it also touched on the subject of a different woman who was prevented from catching her connecting flight because she was wearing a (hilarious and poignant) t-shirt that said "If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd f*ck a senator." It also mentioned Green Day's frontman Billie Joe Armstrong being kicked off a Southwest flight for wearing pants that hung too low and a man dressed in women's lingerie who, amazingly, was allowed to fly on US Airways without incident. Apparently different airlines have different dress code policies, and the article poses the question of whether or not there should be a standardized dress code on flights.
I'm iffy on the idea of a flight dress code, or at least on the idea of airlines expanding on something that's already codified. Many airlines have common sense rules: everyone wants to be safe and comfortable, so please keep the safety and comfort of your fellow passengers in mind. It's vague, but that's a good thing because what's offensive to one person is perfectly fine with another. You can't please everyone. I, for one, am perfectly fine with the t-shirt mentioned above because I like its message. Additionally, if I did find it offensive, it's very easy for me to NOT LOOK AT IT because I have an iPod, a book, a magazine, or a life that's got more important things going on than to take issue with someone's t-shirt. I take issue, however, with someone getting on a flight wearing just his/her underwear. Both are grabs for attention, but the latter is past the point of being reasonable. It's called "underwear" for a reason. It goes under your clothing, it does not suffice as clothing itself unless you're in the comfort of your own home.
These common sense rules should extend to looking minimally decent, and not just because you're flying. You're going out in public, which should be reason enough. A few years ago, an older cousin of mine related a story of flying as a young girl. Apparently, flying used to be an event unto itself. Passengers dressed up and treated it as a luxury experience worthy of some sartorial reverence and decorum. I thought this was hilarious, given that many passengers nowadays treat going to the airport as an excuse to dress like a slob. I'll be the first to admit that getting through an airport nowadays is a royal pain in the ass -you have to take your shoes off, you might get frisked, and the geniuses in line say helpful things like, "This line is ridiculous. They should open another one"-but not showering and throwing on a velour sweatsuit? Come on. I don't think that we should be forced to wear suits when flying, but we should all be held to a certain aesthetic standard of not looking slovenly. We're all adults here. Dress the part.