Q: What’s a good cardigan/jacket/sleeping bag to wear on a plane?—@_ladyzsazsa_
A: Dear @_ladyzsazsa_, Our always-chic creative director Katia Kuethe travels practically every week for shoots. “It’s hard—you want to look cool but be comfortable,” she told me. “You have to be systematic about it and wear layers.”
Great jeans should always be the foundation, according to Katia: “I like a T-shirt layered under a cashmere cardigan in black or navy—navy works better with denim—from J.Crew men’s.” The pièce de résistance is a light leather jacket from Balmain. “It goes over the T-shirt and the cardigan on the plane. It’s perfect. The cost per wear is already down to practically nothing, I wear it so much. It has a shearling collar—it’s so cozy I can sleep in it!”
I mentioned my personal airplane favorite, a decidedly un-Balmain $70 down hoodie in navy from Uniqlo. It crushes down to nothing—wallet-size, truly—it makes a fantastic pillow, it’s warm as anything, and the navy makes it less camping trip, more sport. Katia smiled indulgently. “You have long hair; you can do this normcore thing and still look feminine,” she said. “Me, I’ve got short hair, so I have to work harder.” Katia is tiny, with the glowiest skin and the longest eyelashes—decidedly feminine. Her answer sent me into a tailspin: How normcore have I let myself become? And is long hair enough to counter my laziness/insistence on total comfort?
The next day we were at a shoot together. Almost everybody was in sneakers; Katia, like the rest of us, was in jeans and a T-shirt, but she had her Balmain jacket and she had her pointy black heels. “Oh,” she said, “I have to project, you know, a certain authority, so …” In other words: If it’s authority and/or femininity you want, think twice about your super-comfortable normcore schlumpiness, and step it up.