You always see photos of celebrities arriving to the airport looking effortlessly chic, but how do us real gals do it? In crafting the perfect plane outfit for yourself, there are a number of factors to consider.
- Firstly, how long is your flight? If you’ll be on a plane for any longer than eight hours, you might wear something completely different than you would for a three hour flight.
- Secondly, what time is your flight? Do you plan on immediately exploring your destination upon arrival or will you want to change or even sleep?
- Thirdly, do you want to get upgraded? Studies show that passengers dressed more formally are more likely to get upgraded than those who aren’t.
- And lastly, how comfortable do you want to be?
Luckily you can have it all, comfort and class, if you choose the right pieces.
Short Haul vs. Long Haul
As I said before, the length of your flight can play a role in crafting the perfect plane outfit. For short haul flights where I know I will immediately be sightseeing in my destination, I like to choose attire that is cute and comfortable. For example, on a flight to New York this summer, I wore a nice (ie. not grubby) V-neck t-shirt with a black blazer and floral skirt. I brought a scarf to keep my legs warm on the flight. Once I got there, I was able to wear my blazer in the morning when it was chilly and fold it up to put in my bag once the sun came out.
On long hauls, however, my standby plane outfit is my ExOfficio Go-To ¾ Sleeve Shirtigan, which is like a tunic in length but also has zippered pockets and a flattering fit. I pair it with a pair of black leggings and my black corduroy Toms with an extra pair of socks in my bag. I also bring a scarf for when I get chilly. It feels much like pajamas as everything is made of cotton, but it looks better than the real thing.
What to Avoid
To keep comfortable and prevent yourself from falling victim to deep vein thrombosis, which creates blood clots from flying, wear your clothing as loose as possible. It should also go without saying that you shouldn’t wear any shirts with an offensive message or clothing that’s too skimpy, as you could be kicked off a plane for breaking airline dress codes.
While it may seem reasonable to wear your pajamas to the airport for a long-haul flight, it won’t do you any favors. Find clothing that’s equally comfortable but looks good, like a pair of cotton stretch black pants, jeggings or leggings.
Don’t overthink it. There’s nothing wrong with basics, like a simple grey sweater or white t-shirt. Use layers to make more room in your suitcase and to keep you warm in the plane’s recycled air. Pants should be loose enough to give your legs room to swell from altitude. Leggings are a good choice and if all else fails, go with black.
Don’t forget breathable undies like those from ExOfficio if you’ll be on a plane for a while without changing. Alternatively, you can try Pop N Go knickers, which are easy to change in small plane bathrooms.
You should consider your shoes when choosing your plane outfit as it will impact what else you pack. If you are bringing a pair of tall boots or something else that takes up a lot of room, you should probably wear them on the plane to save space. If you aren’t, wear shoes that slip on and off easily to get you through the security line in a breeze.
I recommend shoes that both look good and feel good. Toms are easy to slip on and off and can fold up to go into your seat back. Tieks are cute flats that can make you look more professional and also will fold up to throw into your purse. And you can’t beat the comfort factor of Uggs, which make you feel like you’re wearing bedroom slippers.
As we’ve said before, accessories take an outfit from “drab to fab.” A scarf or pashmina is an essential airplane item, keeping you warm and making it able to bundle into a pillow. If you’re bringing a hat on your trip, you’ll want to wear it on the plane to keep it from getting flattened. And top off every look with key jewelry pieces.
Let us know what you consider a perfect plane outfit below!