What to wear on a plane

'Tis the season where we all get on a plane and fly home for the holidays, so we might as well look good while we travel, right? Back in the day, my mom got me all dressed up to fly (these were also the days when you could smoke on an airplane, so clearly we're going waaaaay back); nowadays, you see people wearing everything from flip-flops to pajamas on a plane, and while comfort is definitely key, there's a way to look polished without looking like you rolled straight out of bed. As someone who travels pretty frequently, I have my plane outfit down to a formula. Here's what I almost always wear when I travel.


Step 1: the blazer
I will probably be buried with "Always wear a blazer" on my tombstone, but one more time for the cheap seats in the back: Nothing makes you look more pulled together than a blazer. A blazer should not be restricting or itchy; you want it loose enough that you can layer a thin sweater underneath, and the fit should skim the body. But you don't want it so loose and oversized that you look like a 10-year-old in her dad's jacket after a family wedding. Length-wise, I like one that covers my bum, and fabric-wise, I prefer wool with stretch in the winter and linen (or a cotton-linen blend) in the summer. If it's winter and you want to get super cozy, I recommend a knit blazer (kind of like a sweater-jacket), and don't forget a scarf that doubles as a travel blanket. 



Step 2: the tee
I will occasionally wear a silk blouse under my blazer, but for the most part, I go for a long-sleeved, lightweight T-shirt. You want something breathable, because if you're stuck on an unfathomably hot plane and end up sweating, you don't want your stank trapped in polyester for the remainder of your flight, however long it may be. I prefer long sleeves, because they have the flexibility to be pushed up if I get warm, and let's face it, plane temperatures can be unpredictable any time of year. 



Step 3: the jeans
While I have occasionally worn a dress while traveling, I've found jeans to be the most practical. A pair with a healthy amount of stretch is key—I sometimes get bloated from the change in air pressure (and from salty airplane food), and a little bit of Lycra can go a long way. Any color denim will do—I gravitate toward white in warmer months and gray or blue in cooler ones—but I prefer a straight-leg cut, as I find it's the most flattering on my shape. 



Step 4: the sneakers
There was a time when I wore heels every day. Now, at 41, there's a time and a place for them, and it's usually not while I'm dashing through an airport terminal. Speaking of dashing, I have literally had to do that more times than I care to admit, so I almost always wear sneakers when I fly. Sneakers also tend to be the most comfortable shoes for me on the flight itself, as my feet swell majorly in the air. (I recommend investing in a good pair of compression socks too.) 




Step 5: the bag
I cannot say enough good things about Lo & Sons' Catalina tote—I love this bag so much, I own it in two sizes. I take the tote version when I travel with a carry-on suitcase, and I take the small deluxe version as my overhead carry-on when I check a bag (although as long as you don't stuff it, it fits underneath the seat too). It has a bunch of pockets and straps and compartments, and I love the slip pocket that fits over the handle of your suitcase. Pro tip: take a belt bag or small crossbody bag, and stash it in your Catalina tote to bypass the two-bag rule. 


8 comments

Nancy 's Fashion Style said...

All nice and cool relaxed outfits! Hope to see you on my Fancy Friday linkup party!

KimMalk said...

I have yet to hit on a perfect air travel outfit. Some work better than others--I don't like getting stopped through TSA if there are extra metal zippers, etc. I suppose you've got TSA pre, I don't travel often enough to make the investment. I love that the tote slips over the carryon handle!

Mica said...

You look so stylish with your travel outfit! I always wear my Converse - comfy shoes are the best, and jeans and a tee is a staple. i like to add a scarf too for helping me feel a little more pulled together and a little extra warmth on a plane!

Hope that you are having a great weekend :) We took the kids to see the new Frozen movie today and then out for lunch.

Away From Blue | Handbag Gift Guide

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I didn't realize we were a year apart in age, you're a year younger than me. I love having a big tote on the plane with me and I'm all about stretchy jeans. One time I wore a skirt and I had to get checked, how awkward was THAT!!! Lol! I usually were a denim jacket instead of a blazer, but a blazer would be a dressier and more polished look!!

Carrie
curlycraftymom.com

Claire Justine said...

Your travel outfits look very stylish and comfortable Cheryl :)

Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays, hope you can join us for the Wednesday blog hop tomorrow.

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Jessica Jannenga said...


These are great examples for traveling. I love blazers too! always did. I love it with a scarf! You get your wear out of those sneakers, they look great too!
Comfort is key on the plane!
thanks for linking!
jess xx
www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

Shelbee on the Edge said...

So many great looks, Cheryl! I like to be comfortable and put together as well for plane travel. And car travel as well. I have worn dresses to fly before and I am always way more comfortable in jeans. Although I do remember a time when I flew often in business suits. Ugh.

Shelbee
www.shelbeeontheedge.com