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Wondering what to wear on a plane? Find out our foolproof formula for long-haul trips. Use them on long-haul flights or short weekend getaways!

 


What to Wear On A Plane

Written by: Niki Landry


 

 

Table Of Contents

 

 

Over the last few years, I’ve developed a sort of formula for long-haul trips. I know the clothes I prefer to wear from my travel capsule wardrobe, I have my electronics and airplane toiletries readily available, and my water bottle is full before boarding the plane.

These are the small steps I take to make my airport and plane experience tolerable, if not enjoyable. It all begins with my outfit, though. If I’m wearing the wrong clothes, it can throw everything out of order. Wear these suggested outfits on the plane or pack individual outfits in each packing cube as shown in this video!

 

To help you plan what to wear on a plane, I’ve put together 5 airplane-friendly outfits that work well for long-haul trips.

 

 

 Casual-Chic Outfit

 

My first outfit involves leggings, some cute espadrilles, and a chic, yet practical backpack. I try to balance the fashion with the need for practicality as much as possible. Here’s a quick breakdown of the essential items:

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Nordstrom: Sizes XXS-XXL | Sizes 1X-3X

 

Zella Live In Leggings (Reader’s Choice!)

 

Our readers’ all time favorite style to wear at home and while traveling is the Zella Live In leggings, available in sizes XXS-XXL, and 1X-3X.

I don’t leave home without a pair of black leggings; in fact, I am usually wearing them out the door. They are the ultimate in comfort and my favorite bottoms to wear on planes. 

The dark color helps conceal any mishaps or spills, the stretch is perfect for extended periods of sitting, and they keep you warm when the plane inevitably becomes freezing mid-flight. 

 

You can also find out more in our Zella leggings review!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes S-3X: Amazon

 

SSOULM Peplum Top

 

I paired these leggings with a comfy yet classic peplum top and a lightweight open cardigan. A peplum top is a terrific basic that has flair and can be dressed up or down. The one pictured above by SSOLUM is available in sizes S-XL and 1X-3X

Both the peplum and a cardigan would pair well with any number of bottoms once you get to your destination.

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Sam Edelman Verona Flat

 

The adorable Sam Edelman espadrilles are easy to slip on and off at security. Plus, they are a nice closed-toe option for warmer weather. Just give yourself enough time pre-trip to break them in.

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Nordstrom | Bloomingdale’s | Longchamp

 

Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Backpack 

 

My go-to bag is the Longchamp backpack which is well loved by TFG readers and by me! It’s nylon, so quite durable, yet the leather trim adds a stylish finish and it fits all my airplane essentials like a tablet and small toiletry kit to freshen up. 

And once I land I can use it as my day bag! 

 

Learn more about the benefits of the ‘Le Pliage” backpack in our complete review!

 

 

Here’s the full example of the outfit, with some suggested color ideas:

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Cardigan | Eye Mask | Scarf | Backpack | Peplum Top | Flat | Moisturizer | Leggings

 

 

Summer-Chic Outfit

 

My second outfit is geared towards more warm-weather travel, so I will wear some versatile items that will double as my travel clothes. This includes a maxi dress, cute sandals, and a tote. Here’s a quick breakdown of the essential items:

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop XS-XL (Regular and Petite): Nordstrom

 

Loveappella V-Neck Jersey Maxi Dress

 

A comfy tank maxi dress is the perfect base for a long-haul flight. It’s unrestrictive shape and soft fabric allows you to stay covered and feel fresh for the whole ride. The one pictured from Loveappella comes in regular and petite sizing, from XS-XL.

 

These are some of our readers’ favorite maxi dresses!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop XXXS-3X: Nordstrom

 

Madewell Denim Jacket

 

When I know sunnier skies are waiting for me, I go for a light jacket like this one from Madewell. I always wear or hold my jacket on the plane. It doubles as a makeshift blanket during naptime. The one highlighted comes in sizes XXS-XXL and 2X-3X.

I will also layer a t-shirt over a sleeveless maxi for extra warmth–and to make my bag a little lighter. (Here are some tips on how to layer clothes.)  

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Vionic Rest Kirra Backstrap Sandal

 

For shoes, I will wear some strappy sandals that have a pop of color, like silver or metallic but can still act as a neutral. These ones from Vionic are sleek, yet their orthotic arch support makes them perfect for walking around at my intended destination. 

 

Want more sandal options? check out the comparison review of the Naot Sabrina sandals vs. the Vionic Kirra sandals!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Nordstrom | Bloomingdale’s | Longchamp

 

Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Tote

 

I love a great handbag, and the Longchamp tote has that durable nylon, good storage space (I use a purse organizer), and is super stylish! 

 

Want something similar but more budget minded? This post highlights bags similar to the Longchamp tote!

 

 

Here’s the full example of the outfit, with some suggested color ideas:

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Jacket | Dress | Tee | Tote | Earrings | Packing Cube | Eye Mask | Sandal

 

 

Lounge-Chic Outfit

 

When planning your outfit for a long travel day, the focus should be comfort, but you also want to put a little effort into looking polished and presentable, which is why the third outfit is a nice balance of lounge pants and some fun contrast with a leather backpack. Here’s a quick breakdown of the essential items:

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes 0-20: Lululemon

 

Lululemon Keep Moving 7/8 Pant

 

These lounge pants make up the perfect laid-back plane outfit with style. They have a drawcord that moves with you, clever hidden pockets to store small items, and a waistband that’s soft against skin. I love them! (and so do many TFG readers). Lululemon offers these pants in sizes 0-20.

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes XXS-3X: Nordstrom (Gray, White, Black Color)Nordstrom (Ashen Silver Color) 

 

Madewell Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee

 

I know I can’t go wrong with a comfy tee, and the Madewell V-neck t-shirt is a favorite. It’s soft, modern, and uber versatile! 

You can grab Black, White, or Gray in sizes XXS-3X, or Ashen Silver in sizes XXS-3X as well!

 

Leave the logo tees at home and discover our readers’ classic picks for the best t-shirts for travel!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Dr. Scholl’s Scout Slip-Ons

 

Slip-ons will forever be a great idea to wear on a long-haul flight. I can take them on/off at security easily and my feet feel encased in total comfort. 

Add the ultra popular Bombas no show socks if you plan to fly with sneakers.

Remember: all of these items can easily be re-worn when you get to your destination. 

 

Here are some cute and comfortable slip on sneakers – an easy airport option!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Nordstrom

 

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack

 

A quick summary on why I love the Rebecca Julian backpack: it looks attractive, it’s spacious enough for all my plane essentials (and when I go sightseeing), it has a secret pocket for my passport or wallet, and I’m happy wearing it with all my outfits while traveling. A win-win!

 

This backpack drums up so many conversations with TFG readers, we devoted a review to it!

 

 

Here’s the full example of the outfit, with some suggested color ideas:

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Jacket | Tag | Tee | Pants | Scarf | Backpack | Sneaker

 

 

Urban-Chic Outfit

 

When you’re planning what to wear on a plane, keep in mind that it’s best to avoid tight-fitting clothing while sitting for extended periods of time. Speaking of tight fitting, my fourth outfit does consist of jeans but they are stretchy and I pair it with a cozy cardigan, and ankle boots. Here’s a quick breakdown of the essential items:

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes 0-18: Amazon | Moosejaw | Backcountry | Prana

 

prAna Kayla Jean

 

If you like to wear denim, opt for a looser-fitting boyfriend jean or a stretchy comfortable pair such as this style by prAna. They won’t constrict movement on board but can we wearable for sightseeing or dressed up with flats for a night out.

You can grab these jeans in sizes 0-18.

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Floria Open Front Drape Ribbed Cardigan

 

A draped cardigan is versatile as a cover for warmth on the plane, but to add some interest to an outfit once you’ve landed. To layer, I  add a soft, comfy tee and the one I wear time again is my J. Crew 365 t-shirt!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes XXS-XXL: J.Crew

 

J. Crew 365 Stretch T-Shirt

 

Besides the Madewell I mentioned above, the J.Crew tee is widely popular with TFG’s and I agree! It works as a layer or on its own. Comes in sizes XXS-XXL.

This comfy and versatile tee has its own review too—take a look if you want to know why it’s great for travel!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Blondo Villa Waterproof Ankle Boot

 

Always try to wear your heaviest or bulkiest shoes on the plane; it may be your boots. I swear by Blondo Villa ankle boots. They are so easy to wear on a plane and are sturdy against rain, while looking absolutely chic! 

When flying, you can always slip them off and wear compression socks to help soothe your legs for the duration of the flight.

 

The Blondo Villa ankle boots are such a reader and editor favorite, we did a review on them!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bucket Bag

 

If I have a separate backpack with me, I’d take some that’s more like a purse. The Travelon bucket bag is sleek and super functional. With locking compartments, a slash resistant body and shoulder strap, and RFID blocking technology, I feel safe when disembarking, and can use this as my main purse.

 

You can also look for more ideas in our best crossbody purses post!

 

 

Here’s the full example of the outfit, with some suggested color ideas:

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Cardigan | Hand Cream | Tee | Tag | Crossbody | Boots | Scarf | Pants

 

 

Cozy-Chic Outfit

 

You’ll notice that in all of these outfits, the legs are covered. That’s for two reasons: airports and planes are always cold, and you can keep your luggage light by wearing some of your bulkier clothing on the plane. Hence, my fifth outfit entails just that, a jacket to snuggle up in, along with comfortable leggings, and must-have flats. Here’s a quick breakdown of the essential items:

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Anatomie

 

Andrea Contrast-Panel Leggings

 

This ensemble, with easy to wear pull up pants by Anatomie, is the perfect alternative to leggings or jeans. Stretchy but tailored, these pants will get a lot of use when you arrive at your destination. 

These are also a huge editor-in-chief fave (Alex wears them to fly all the time!). You can learn more about these leggings in our full review!

 

Here are more of the best pants for travel!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop Sizes S-3XL: Amazon

 

Floria Ruched Draped Top

 

I like to pair this with a stylish ruched drape top that’s comfortable and soft. And I can pair that later with other bottoms. 

This blouse by Floria is available in sizes S-3XL.

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop S-3X: Amazon

 

Cole Haan Packable Hooded Rain Jacket

 

I pair those above items with a packable Cole Haan rain coat that has a cute bow on the back, a removable hood, and a trench coat look that’s classic!

The highly popular coat comes in regular and petite sizing, from XS-XL, and in plus sizes 1X-3X.

 

Find even more lightweight rain jacket options at this post!

 

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Shop: Amazon

 

Aerosoles High Bet Ballet Flat

 

To finish off my cozy outfit, I wear Aerosoles flats with chic medallion hardware that has their popular memory foam insole and a soft nubuck leather. The perfect combo of fashion and comfort!

With all these pieces combined, you’ll have the most chic yet comfortable outfit for long haul red eye flights!

 

 

 Here’s the full example of the outfit, with some suggested color ideas:

 

what-to-wear-on-a-plane

Pillow & Mask | Tag | Flat | Bag | Raincoat | Top | Pants

 

 


What are your tips on what to wear on a plane? Share in the comments!


 

For more ideas and tips on air travel, please read:

 


 

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Author Bio: Niki is an interior designer and artist from Louisiana. In addition to her design work, she writes for local and online publications sharing her experiences and passion for travel. Niki is currently adding stamps to her passport while building her design practice, Niki Landry Designs.