As I am planning my wardrobe for this week's travel, I am trying to pack light these days. This is dependent on whether I have a long flight, but looking at what is in my bag, I have the business clothes I need for my presentation and 2 sets of casual clothes for my travel days. And that makes my bag heavier to bring different shoes, jackets, etc.
When I was very young (yes, it was the 60's), my grandparents were flying to California. Growing up in upstate New York, and being very young, we were as excited as they were. I remember going to the airport and waiting with them, and then watching them walk up the stairs onto the plane. Which looked very big to me at the time, but it couldn't have been as I think about the size of the Binghamton, NY airport. But what I remember most was my grandmother. She looked like she was going to a tea party, in her stockings and heels, black coat, I think even a perky hat. Back then, traveling on an airplane was an event! You dressed up for it!
I am usually upgraded to first class now, and sitting in this exclusive area, I am usually surrounded by people in all types of clothing. Some business people in suits; depending on destination, almost always some young women in very short shorts and skirts (don't they freeze? - or is that me? :)); jeans and sport coats are common; women in track suits; basically all over the place.
We are paying somewhere between $200 and $1500 for an airplane ticket these days. And maybe an average flying time of an hour to two hours (international travelers more). Pretty expensive to show up looking like you're spending the day on the couch. Maybe it's because we are sitting with perfect strangers - although you never know who you will meet.
One of my colleagues almost never "dresses down" for travel days because she feels there is something special about sitting in First Class. I feel the same way about feeling special. I just need to figure out how to wear my comfy yoga pants, moccasins and still look fabulous. :)