How to avoid TSA scanners and look fabulous at the same time

Updated Jan 21 2016
meggyfin

TSA and sequins

Did you know that if you really don't want to be forced to go through the airport scanners, then you should dress head-to-toe in sequins? Our Publisher Ariel learned all about that when she flew home from the Philadelphia Lovesick Expo

I went straight from the Philadelphia expo to the airport to fly home to Seattle, and was just the right mix of rushed for my flight and "Zero Fucks to Give" that I opted not to change out of my J. Von Stratton floor-length gold sequined gown until I got to the gate.

This resulted in a free upgrade to premium seating (thanks, Alaska Airlines!), a very amusing 20 minutes  waiting in line at security, and then the biggest lesson of the weekend: TSA scanners cannot see through sequins. When TSA saw me coming, they were like "Oh man, you're going to light up like a Christmas tree," and when I saw the body scan… yep. Exactly that.

Apparently this is a known thing for TSA: sequins reflect the scanners. If you have a few sequins on your shirt, it looks like polka dots. If you're wearing neck to floor sequins, you are essentially a glowing security hazard and so you get a mandatory pat down.

So there I was, barefoot in a gold sequined mermaid gown, getting the full pat down from a TSA agent who was cracking up the whole time, even as she's telling me how she's going to use the back of her hand to pat down my gold sequined butt crack.

I laughed with her through the entire thing, because why not?

File that under "fabulous life hacks!"

And to see more strange tales of randomly gained knowledge for Lovesick Expos, head over to Offbeat Bride to read about swallowing swords, stomach boogers, and boob kisses.

  1. I always "opt out" but I think adding sequins (I'll take an upgrade, thank you very much) to my traveling wardrobe seems to bring back the glamour that flying decidedly lacks these days. Ariel looks amazing!

  2. I recently had an unexpected flight to Houston, my husband and I realized that all the extra security measures makes it so difficult to dress for the airport. In the past people would "dress" but now I see more people in pajama bottoms and sweatshirts. It makes sense, it's a hassle, but I think I like the sequined dress option better!

  3. I think this level of dress code should be mandatory for every flight. Imagine how awesome it would be for everyone to be in full-on cocktail/ball mode 😀 (Only for flights under 2 hours. My 36 hours of travel to France may get uncomfortable in full-length sequins).

  4. One time I was with a friend of mine who had been in prison for several years. He had never flown before, and even though I gave him a heads up about the security ahead of time, he really was not prepared for the TSA patdown. He complained for the rest of the trip that TSA was worse than the prison pat downs he had to go through. I can confirm this, because my job requires me to frequently go in an out of prisons, and I'm often subjected to similar security checks.
    One tip for Americans who don't want to go through the full-body scan, you can look into a GOES frequent traveler card. You're essentially pre-screened for security. It's about $100, but you can always go through the airport's pre-check line, and it makes re-entering the US from a foreign country quicker and easier. Because of pre-check, I've been able to make it from the airport bus stop to my gate on the other side of the airport in under 15 minutes.

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