Not only does Queer Eye star Tan France use his own fashion expertise while travelling, but he also draws on his own prior experience as a flight attendant for the most efficient routine. By Meredith Lepore
His most practical packing tip? Store accessories, and anything else for that matter, in your shoes, he told Travel + Leisure.
Tan France shares tips for packing efficiently
“I put as much as I possibly can into the shoe, even a phone charger or maybe a rolled-up belt,” he told Travel + Leisure. “So all of my accessories are in my footwear and then the rest of my packing is just my clothes, which is pretty easy.”
The 38-year-old also noted that stuffing shoes with socks or thin clothing can also help keep the form of any footwear in transit. France also has TSA PreCheck and Clear which allows him to wear his bulkiest footwear on a flight — making more room in his suitcase — since he doesn’t have to take his shoes off at security.
Taking it a step further, the style expert, who’s also a host of Netflix‘s Next in Fashion, makes his airport look as practical as possible by layering.
“This is how I get away with packing quite a lot,” he explained.
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When it comes to airport style, if France is on a short flight from his home base in Salt Lake City to Los Angeles he opts for a casual look in jeans and boots. But for a cross country flight, he wants to be comfortable and also less recognisable so he opts for sweats — with a little flare thanks to his outerwear.
“I don’t want people to know it’s me and I don’t think anyone expects me to wear sweats and a baseball cap. I also don’t look like most people and if you spot my hair you know it’s me in about a second,” he said. “So I cover up as much as physically possible and then it is very rare that they can tell. But the sweats are very nice and it is a full ensemble and I will wear a beautiful coat over it, but it is casual.”
As for his previous career as a friendly face in the skies, which France also discusses in his book “Naturally Tan,” he admitted he knew the job wasn’t for him — although it may have led to a new role in partnering with Alaska Airlines‘ Care Coalition.
In an adorable advertisement, France leads the “Caring Committee” — which counts Mother Nature, a Snuggie, Sunshine Bear from “The Care Bears,” and a grandma as members — to the decision that deems the Seattle-based airline as “The Most Caring Airline.”
“Probably three to four days a week I am on a flight and I don’t see other airlines do what Alaska Airlines is trying to do,” France explained of the partnership. “You have many options. Airlines can’t really compete on price anymore, so how do you stand out? Alaska is trying to make it very clear that they are taking care of their customers and taking care of their staff and you feel it. I would love to help champion that.”
Harkening back to this time as a flight attendant, although the job wasn’t for him, the perspective he gained from his time on the job makes the concept of caring at 35,000 feet that much more important.
“Anyone that is a flight attendant, and they love it, that is wonderful but it was not the right fit for me. It’s just hard!” he said. “I thought I can’t possibly do this because I can’t take the heat from a customer, but it taught me a lot of compassion and empathy.”