High-flying style

I recently flew down to Blenheim for a weekend away. It’s always a very small plane that you fly on, that seats about 20 people, and I was sitting right up the front, so had a good view of the pilot.

Being a pilot is something that doesn’t really appeal to me at all. I love flying and the freedom it affords, but I would far prefer to be a passenger than pilot. It didn’t look overly intensive flying the plane for the most part, which surprised me. In fact, if you didn’t have all of those dials in front of you, it looks less intensive than driving a car.

It was the style of the pilot that caught my eye, though. There’s something so classic about aviator style. Aviation-influenced classics such as aviator sunglasses and leather bomber jackets continue to be a big influence in fashion today. The pilot wore Ray-Bans, the classic blue shirt with lapels and an oversized gold watch.

I love the look of an oversized masculine-style watch on a woman. It’s a style that was pushed strongly by stylist Rachel Zoe. Like all her other oversized accessories – think large sunglasses, large bag – I think the point was to make the woman look smaller in comparison. The picture below is actually Taylor Jacobson, Zoe’s assistant, wearing a vintage Rolex.

The large watch does make the watch look dainty, but the strong masculine style offers a good variety of styling opportunities, as you can have it looking plain and simple, or can dress it up to look more feminine but not fussy.

That simple style aesthetic is a hallmark of aviator Amelia Earhart, whose androgynous style is still very contemporary.

Earhart is being played by Hilary Swank in a new bio-pic, Amelia.

I love the leather bomber she wears here. I bought this copper-coloured vintage one with lapels at Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg for the bargain price of $28.

The aviator-style sunglasses, as worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun (remember when he didn’t seem crazy?), have been a massive trend over the last few seasons, and along with the classic Wayfarers they have been a big part of the reinvigoration of the Ray-Ban brand. It was only a few years ago when Ray-Bans were sunglasses only your dad would wear.

Model Agnyss Deyn here shows off goggle-inspired sunglasses here.

These geek-chic Persol aviator reading glasses are a strong aesthetic, but if you suit the aviator style, they could look pretty cool.

Leonardo Di Caprio’s played a pilot in two films. Here he epitomises that clean-cut man in uniform look as a con man in Catch Me If You Can.

He looks far more rugged here as Howard Hughes in The Aviator. I love the lace-up boots, like those which Amelia Earhart was wearing above.


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