What to Wear on a Long Flight

Jet-setting may sound like a breeze, but pulling it off with true globe-trotter panache is another matter. When you’re talking about hours spent sitting in cramped cabins, where sneaking in a few hours of sleep is considered a success, style can often go out the window. Yes, you want to look good, but the priority is always to feel comfortable. Here are some outfit ideas for the long flight.


Tops – Loose and layered is the name of the game. Cotton is even better. You can wear a vest top, t-shirt or long sleeved top, followed by a cardigan, sweater or light jacket. Try a long-sleeved Breton Top – you can’t go wrong with stylish stripes. Kimono – Go for neutrals but do jazz it up by adding color with accessories. An oversized jumper would look gorgeous with a pair of skinnies or leggings.


Stretchy Skinny Jeans – The best way to maintain a chic look and be comfortable on a long flight. Just be sure to find a really stretchy pair like this one here.


A big scarf that doubles as a wrap/blanket. This is the key to bringing the whole outfit together and keeping you warm in overly air-conditioned airports and on the flight. You can introduce a little color or pattern – most commonly animal print or stripes. Or you can stick with a tonal variation of the top and jacket/cardi.


Cardigan – A lightweight cardigan is also a good idea as temperatures can fluctuate. Throw one on with a knit tee and leggings for added interest and potential warmth.


Knits – Since long flights generally involve long stretches of time spent in airports before and after, picking soft, stretchy fabrics will be key. You can stick to knits – jersey, ponte, and various sweater knits all of which can look chic and sophisticated in the right styles and cuts.slip-on-shoeThe Slip-On Shoe – Plane cankles are very much a reality, and anything that laces up or requires squeezing into is a no-go. A slip on loafer is easy to put on after the flight (and during security), and won’t require you to sleepily re-lace your entire shoe. It will keep you comfortable in the long flight. Plus, it gives your whole outfit a little bit of professional polish.


The Fashion Hoodie – With a slim fit, a substantial hood and materials not typically found in high school locker rooms, the fashion hoodie is appropriate for everyday wear, and still looks put-together as long as you’re not pairing it with sweats.


Pashmina looks good on the long flight. They keep you warm, acts as a blanket if you get a big one, they can be rolled up to be a neck pillow, and they can jazz up your t-shirt if need be. Get one. You won’t regret it.


Clothes with lots of pockets – Clothes that do double duty as wearable carry-on bags are good. You can try this Scottevest travel vest. There are many other travel jackets out there that feature an explosion of pockets. They get the job done.


The Midi Skirt – A longer-length full skirt is basically an invitation to curl your legs up inside. Look for a skirt in a heavy and natural material like suede or thick jersey.


The Casual Gown – Made of jersey, soft cotton, or viscose, the casual gown works for weekend wear but isn’t so easy-going that you would wear it to the beach. Good for cold-to-hot or hot-to-cold travel, this dress also feels as cozy as your robe.


Jeggings – A step above leggings, jeggings are equally comfy and 200% more stylish, often sporting detailed like double seams or studs. They are super stretchy but fitted enough to hug your curves and hold in the wobbly bits. They’re very flattering. Check out this wonderful denim-look jegging.


Genie pants – These are on trend right now and perfect if you’re flying to or from somewhere hot. You can wear them with a plain vest and t-shirt untucked to hide the elastic.


Silk-Blend Top – Though it seems light and airy, silk is actually one of the warmest materials, which makes it perfect for chilly cabins. But, a 100% silk shirt wrinkles as soon as you sit down, so you should look for a silk-poly blend, which tends to look crisper, longer. Choose a print if you’re especially worried about wrinkling.


The Overall – Slightly oversized, and non-pinchy in every way, overalls combine the ease of a jumpsuit with the ease of a pant. They are much easier to undo in an airplane bathroom as well.


Big overnight bag. Long-haul travelers are either of the standard cabin bag variety or of the over-sized handbag/tote bag type. I swing between the two but do like the look of an oversized bag, and find it’s a great use at the destination too.zip-bootThe Zip Boot – For climates where you need a little more warmth, a slick ankle boot (with a zip, never laces) is your answer moving through the security line quickly, and looking sharp while you do.


Lip Balm – The air in the plane cabin is incredibly drying, so it will dry your lips. This gorgeous lip balm is also tinted so perfect for a quick pick me up on arrivals.


Wear a pair of breathable clean socks.