Traveling through a string of airports recently, I couldn't help but notice an overwhelmingly obvious fashion trend.  I noticed it as I was waiting to board my first flight. The boarding process was just beginning and passengers were falling in line at the gate. I was in the dreaded "Zone 3" so I remained in my seat a while longer, staring at those lucky souls who travel enough to get priority boarding. I stared blankly at the crowd, sucking down my coffee hoping the caffeine would kick in soon, when something jumped out at me.  A sea of darkness filled the room. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was wearing dark colors. Blacks, Greys, Dark Blues, Browns.  It struck me -- so odd and noticeable. Really? Not even one person had on a bright colored scarf or sported a cheery shirt on their travel day.

 Once upon a time, there was a certain dress code and we we all donned our Sunday Best when flying on an airplane. These days, we're lucky if some passengers even bother to shower and get out of their pajamas before heading to the airport. Furthermore, it seems everyone has fallen prey to some sort of secret dress code of darkness. I glimpsed down at my own attire, not having thought much about my own wardrobe choice until now. And there it was: I had on dark jeans and a dark navy button down top. The only saving grace (for my own guilt was starting to set in) was a bright Kelly-green tank top peeking out at the V-neck of my blouse. I let out a sigh of relief "Oh Thank God, at least I have on a little bit of color today".  I was surprised at myself though, as color is a staple in my wardrobe and I usually always have on something bright.  Colored jeans, a pretty bright scarf, and - if that doesn't do the trick - a colorful statement necklace and some fun earrings. But today, as if subconsciously falling in line with the Secret Travel Code of Darkness that I didn't even know existed, I dressed down in dull, dark, boring clothes... except for that little green peek-a-boo number.  But in reality, it wasn't enough to save me from my own finger pointing back at me. "Aha!  Even you are dressed in dark clothes!"

So what is it with this Secret Travel Code of Darkness?

Just as I was pondering this phenomenon, a lady in a bright red sparkly sweater stepped up and handed her boarding pass to the gate agent who, up until now, had been lulled into a slumber by the routine of it all. The agent looked at the Lady In Red
, widened her eyes, and exclaimed "Oh, I love your pretty red sweater!" To which the Lady in Red replied, "Oh Thank You" in a very appreciative and surprised voice. That 2-second exchange completely spilled LIGHT into the entire boarding area, where the rest of us dark-clothed-boring-souls lumbered.   They say clothes do not make a man... but I dare say they can brighten a mood! And that Lady in Red, and the gate agent who noticed her and gave her a compliment, brightened my mood instantly. 
I smiled.  I figured out the secret. The Lady in Red knew the secret, too.  From then on, all I could think was, "I will never wear dark clothes while traveling ever again". Like Never. In fact, when I get back home, I'm donating this boring navy top along with every garment in my closet that falls into the Secret Travel Code of Darkness standard. Yep, it all must go. Someone else can have it, but I will not fall prey to the dark code ever again. Nope, I choose LIGHT. I choose bright. I'm going to the Lady in Red's team.

While scurrying through the next airport, catching my connecting flight, I looked at everyone I passed and counted on one hand the number of people who wore bright colors, who were like me now and on "Team Red".  We are small in numbers, people, but our message is clear. Wherever we go we will shine our LIGHT. We will show up with our Canary Yellow scarves, Kelly Green Tank tops, and Sparkly Red Sweaters so we can help the rest of the poor souls who are traveling in the darkness. We will be there shining our lights, making them smile, and snapping them out of their stupor.

Is there a Secret Code of Darkness at work in your life? Get up, get dressed, and put on your brightest best. There is a sea of darkness out there that needs, craves, yearns for your LIGHT.
What color will you wear today? Choose it and share it with everyone you encounter.

Shine on, my friends!



03/31/2015 4:42pm

love this!!!

04/01/2015 8:50am

Thanks Josie. Glad it resonated!

03/31/2015 11:05pm

I was traveling today through a few airports.... In my dark jeans and grey sweater. :(
Need to pay more attention to this! I did get a compliment on my shining smile though! :)

04/01/2015 8:52am

I know! It's so easy to fall into the mindless trap! I truly believe this is more than just about clothes!! It's about brightening the Spirit (yours and others!) We all need to pay more attention to this :)

04/29/2015 4:19pm

That is a very interesting observation! I have to admit that my travel clothes are mainly Gray and white, with a little color here and there- but I do it purposely, because when I travel I do not want to stick out as a tourist. I do always try to 'shine' in my behavior and attitude, though- when people find that I am an American, I want it to be a positive experience! Perhaps I will find a bit more color to add to my travel gear... :)

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10/15/2015 7:13am

It struck me -- so odd and noticeable. Really? Not even one person had on a bright colored scarf or sported a cheery shirt on their travel day.

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