Every time you see a photo of a female celebrity at the airport, she is almost always wearing a pair of leggings with a flow-y top and a pair of ankle boots. So what’s the key to looking stylish while traveling?
Leggings are a comfortable item that can be paired in many different ways and take up hardly any room in your bag. They are the ultimate lightweight travel pants allowing you to bring several in place of something heavier like a pair of jeans.
Leggings: What to Wear When Flying
It took me a long time to catch on to the leggings trend. I saw girls dressed in Uggs, leggings and short shirts and couldn’t help but think how unflattering it all was. But then I got my own pair and realized how versatile they are. Now I don’t go on a trip without them and usually wear them on the plane.
The Many Uses of Leggings for Female Travelers
Leggings are so versatile that you can wear them in nearly any season and on any trip. The key to making leggings look flattering is choosing the right top.
Just remember that leggings are not pants, in the typical sense. It is best to wear them under longer tops, tunics, and dresses- anything that covers your bum.
- Use them as pajamas, which will keep you from having to pack a separate pair. Even if you don’t usually sleep in pants, it’s nice to be able to throw on leggings if you need to run down the hall to a hostel bathroom in the middle of the night.
- Throw on when visiting a religious site. They don’t take up much space folded up, so you can bring them with you and put them on only when you need to. This is especially beneficial for hot temperatures in places like Southeast Asia where you don’t want to wear pants all the time, but may need to cover your legs at some point in the day.
- If you plan on exercising while you travel, you can substitute your yoga pants for leggings. They also make great “long johns” or long underwear if you don’t have a separate pair. Layer them under a skirt in winter or a pair of pants for added warmth.
How to Wear Leggings in the Summer
Capri length are best for the summertime as they allow you to stay cooler and have additional choices for footwear. Pair with a pair of sandals like the Birkenstock slides or Converse All Star sneakers. No matter what you wear on top, whether it’s a baggy tank top or a sundress, leggings can be worn underneath for fashion or function. They add modesty to an outfit when needed.
The best leggings to wear during the summer are made of lightweight fabrics like cotton and lycra blends, and bamboo is also nice given its thermo-regulating capabilities. These provide air flow to keep you from sweating too much. Summer is also the best time to wear funky prints and patterns. Just be sure to try them on before you buy them because patterns can get distorted when they stretch!
How to Wear Leggings in Cold Weather Travel
For a more wintery look, put on a chunky sweater over a pair of black leggings with a pair of tall boots. Alternatively, you can throw on a pair of leggings under your pants to keep you extra warm while traveling.
Winter leggings are different from summer or all-season leggings because of their materials. You can find wool or fleece-lined cotton leggings to wear both on their own or underneath other items of clothing. Leather (or pleather) leggings look nice for winter and add a more formal aspect. “Jeggings” have the benefits of jeans without the weight.
Some Winter Leggings Options:
- Athleta sells many types of fleece pants and leggings, including flare and fitted legs as well as a handful of colors. The Heathered style can serve as a base layer by using Polartec technology.
- Icebreaker is also known for their Merino wool leggings like the Villa leggings.
- Faux leather or real leather leggings come in all price points, starting at around $50 USD at stores like Express.
Solid colors work best in winter, as you’ll be layering them under something else, whether it’s a sweater or another pair of pants. Full length leggings are, obviously, better for winter in order to keep out the cold and the snow. Pair with a nice pair of boots or heels, depending on the occasion.
Best Leggings Review
Clever Travel Companion Leggings:
The company behind the theft-proof clothing (namely underwear and shirts) also launched a pair of leggings with pockets to prevent pickpocketing. The leggings, which come in black and seven sizes, are the standard style, except for the two pockets. One is on the right front side and runs vertically and the other is on the left hip, running horizontally. Each has a zipper to keep prying hands from your keys, cash, passport, phone or any other valuables.
The soft cotton fabric is comfortable and the fit is snug over your hips and ankles.
The only downside I found was the fit. I wasn’t sure which size to choose, so I picked the large, rather than my usual medium. But I should have sized down. And since the pockets are on the hips, this can pull them down when heavy items are placed in the pockets. I recommend pairing them with a top that will go over the pockets so that they’re not as noticable.
>> Check out the Clever Travel Companion Secret Pocket Leggings on Amazon.
Encircled’s Flipside Leggings:
The brand behind some of our favorite multi-functional pieces also has the Flipside leggings, a pair of leggings that is reversible, providing you with two pairs in one. They can be worn long, for winter, or pulled up as capris for yoga class. Claiming to be “virtually the most comfortable and versatile leggings you’ll ever own,” the Flipsides are made of soft, wrinkle resistant cotton.
The wide waistband keeps the leggings in place during wear, especially when you’re on a long flight. Flip the waistband for added support or a pop of color. The cuff-style hem at the ankle can also be flipped or pushed up to change style.
>> Check out the Flipside leggings on Encircled.
Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings:
One of Lululemon’s top selling pairs of leggings, the Wunder Under leggings, are made of stretchy Lycra. The wicking material has a thick waistband to keep the pants in place while you’re in yoga class or running around a destination. The waistband also has a small, secret pocket that gives you a place to put your hotel key or a few dollars. The high rise, ankle-length leggings are ideal for the girl on the go.
>> Check out Lululemon’s Wunder Under leggings on Amazon.
Styles of leggings vary from your basic black to funky designs and fabrics. Leather leggings are the newest trend because they look more like real pants than any other style. They also add more class to your wardrobe. You can also rock them in bright colors and abstract patterns.
Other outfit ideas include wearing an oversized men’s shirt and belting it, under your favorite travel dress or if you’re particularly daring, under shorts! Leggings make the perfect jeans alternative.
Just make sure you don’t leave for any trip without leggings!