Have you ever been so busy with last-minute packing that you forgot to figure out what to wear on the plane? If you’ve had it with rushing off to the airport in uncomfortable pants and a frumpy top, then you’ll love these easy ideas for how to travel in style. Here’s what to wear on a plane to look cute and feel cozy.
1. Wear Comfy Pants
When it comes to travel outfits, the number one thing consideration is pants. When you’re going to be sitting for hours in a cramped airplane, you need to make sure you are wearing soft, comfy pants that are a little bit lose or have some good stretch to them. There’s nothing worse than stiff, tight pants that squeeze your thighs and dig into your crotch as you sit stuffed into a tiny seat.
If you want to wear jeans, then the best kind is the ones with a relaxed boyfriend cut, or if you like skinny jeans, be sure they have some spandex in them. When your pants are too tight and you are sitting for a long time, you run the risk of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis – blood clots in the leg, which can lead to sudden death.
Compression socks can also help keep the blood flowing and improve circulation. This cool portable footrest also helps.
Another option? Casual, loose, silky wide-leg pants in a cute print worn with a stretchy colored t-shirt.
2. Leggings are Ideal for Planes
Leggings are my favorite things to wear, especially on long flights. They’re soft, flexible and you can even buy the kind that wicks away moisture and let your legs breathe. Just be sure they aren’t flimsy, and wear them with a long top, tunic, or a short dress that completely covers your bottom and partway down your thighs.
It’s only polite in such a crowded space that you cover up a little, and a longer top creates a more flattering look too.
3. Choose a Relaxed Top
A soft, light top is what you need to feel comfy and stress-free. It can be cotton, silky material, or a thin knit. The only thing to stay away from is any top that so crisp it wrinkles because guaranteed it is going to get wrinkled!
I like tops with long sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves because I find airplanes can get very cold. If your body temperature fluctuates between chilly and burning up because of midlife hot flashes, then layering a camisole under a longer-sleeved top is a good idea.
4. Never Board a Plane Without a Scarf, Wrap, Jacket, or Cardigan
Hot flashes aren’t the only reason to wear layers when you are traveling on a plane. Many other conditions are out of your control, which can make you feel overheated, like being delayed for takeoff and having to sit on the runway for an hour! On the flip side, it can be hard to get rid of that deep-seated chill you often feel on a plane when the air conditioning is blasting and the airline blankets are as thin as toilet paper.
I find a big scarf or a light cashmere wrap essential. I always take one. You can layer it over your top or use it as a blanket. When you don’t need it, roll it up into a pillow, use it as an eye cover when you sleep, or toss it into your carry-on. A long cardigan is good too, or even a thin, light jacket works well. A boyfriend jacket is ideal because it is soft, slightly oversized, and meant to be rolled up in the sleeves.
5. Ditch Your Heels
The amount of walking you have to do in airports these days is crazy. Can they make the walk from the ticket check-in to baggage drop off, to the customs, then security, and finally to the plane any longer?
It always feels like a marathon, and I don’t think there’s any sense pretending we can do it in heels anymore. It’s just not worth it to hobble along in pain and wreck your feet. There are too many cute flats, sneakers, or low wedges out there these days for that.
6. Closed Toe Slip-on are Best
Did you know that closed-toe shoes are the best kind of shoes to wear on a plane? A flight attendant once told me that in an airline emergency like a fire or crash, closed-toe shoes make it easier to escape because they protect your feet from the fire and falling debris. No one likes to think about these things, but it’s true!
There are other practical considerations when deciding what shoes to wear traveling. Slip-on flats or sneakers are the easiest to remove when you have to go through airport security. However, you know us, gals. Sometimes style trumps practicality.
If you’d rather wear sandals than sneakers or ballet flats, be sure to pick sandals that you can easily wiggle your foot in and out of. Bring socks if your feet get cold on the plane.
7. Dark Colors Are Easier to Travel In
Dark colors and neutrals are popular for traveling because they don’t show the dirt as much. Airplanes are tight, crowded spaces, and you do have to be careful. Some people find it impossible not to spill stuff or rub up against something that gets their clothes dirty. Dark colors help you travel with young kids, who often spill drinks on planes or even throw up!
I like to wear neutrals with a pop of color, like a bright top. That’s more, my style. Happy colors make me feel like my vacation is already starting. On short flights less than 3 hours, such as Florida, I will even wear white jeans.
I think a lot of the fear factor about white pants is in your head. I don’t find when I’m on a plane that white gets any dirtier than any other color. But that’s me. If you are worried, stick with darker tones.
8. Take a Bag that Gives You Freedom
There are two ways you can go here. Many women like an efficient crossbody bag with a long strap that leaves their hands-free for suitcases and carry-ons. I prefer a big lightweight tote.
My kids and husband always ask me to carry their keys or sunglasses, gum, or whatever, but I have stuff I need to carry, too, like my earphones and magazines. I need a lot of space, so I take a large, lightweight tote with everything in one spot. That’s much better than carrying my purse, plus a bunch of little small things in small bags.
Finally, I’d suggest you stay away from bags or accessories with hardware such as studs and chains. They can weigh down a purse – too heavy, and you want to travel light. Also, you don’t want to be swinging them around in a packed plane because the hardware may get scratched, or worse, you could knock someone out!
What to Wear on a Plane in Summer?
Summer is when most people travel by air. It’s hot, and there’s more flexibility as to what you can wear. For example, you could also try…
Maxi dress: A long comfy maxi dress with a layering piece, like a jean jacket, can work.
Shorts: I wouldn’t recommend them, but if you want to wear them choose longer Bermuda shorts to keep your legs warm or capris.
Sundress: On short flights (i.e., 1.5 hours or less), I have worn a soft, loose cotton dress with 3/4 length sleeves and sneakers. It’s always fine, but pants are the best for any flight for both warmth and safety.
Cropped Pants/Capris: If long pants feel too hot in summer, cropped pants or capris that hit just above the ankle to midcalf are great options.
Here are some cute travel outfits to inspire. Have a good flight!
Loose Boyfriends Jeans and a soft, comfy top
A soft, stretchy jumpsuit
Pants and a tunic
Bring a jacket!
Joggers are comfy, and a long cardigan is suitable for layering!
P.S. Wondering what to wear on a long plane ride to Europe? Check out these stylish euro chic travel looks.
Tags: What to wear when traveling on a plane, what clothes to wear on a plane, what is a good outfit to wear on a plane