What To Wear On A Flight: Comfortable Airplane Outfits

Picking out an appropriate outfit for flight might seem trivial to some. But as you know, airplanes are notoriously uncomfortable, so it’s important that you do whatever you can to maximize your comfort level.

I already wrote an article on Eleven Essentials You Need In Your Carry-On that touches base on what items to bring on a flight to increase your comfort level, but this time I’m going to tackle what to wear.

First off, I know that sitting in economy for hours on end with little room to stretch your legs isn’t exactly glamourous. But personally, I still like to look nice on a flight. In fact, looking good is just as important to me as being comfortable. This means that wearing pyjamas to the airport is never acceptable. Sorry-I’m-not-sorry, it’s just not. Don’t be that guy.

With that said, the most important factor to how I dress on a plane is what the weather is like. Am I leaving the cold Canadian winter to travel to warmer climates? If so, layers are key. You want to wear something that’ll keep you warm in the cold, but also something you can peel off so that when you land in tropical temps, you aren’t sweating buckets in your parka.

My typical cold-weather airplane outfit is usually something along the lines of;

  • leggings or skinny jeans
  • a short or long-sleeve shirt
  • a sweater, cardigan and/or light jacket
  • a scarf
  • a pair of socks
  • fashionable boots/shoes
An example of an outfit I might wear on a warm-weather flight.

An example of an outfit I might wear on a warm-weather flight.

If I’m going to be travelling somewhere cold, I’ll bring a warm jacket and a hat and gloves as well. If I’m travelling to a warmer climate (which is 90% of the time), I’ll leave the jacket, hat and mitts at home and opt for little ankle booties or a pair of converse shoes instead of bulky winter boots. It might seem tempting to bring your warm jacket with you to the airport in the middle of winter, but why? Once you arrive it becomes a totally useless item that you’re just going to have to lug around with you for the duration of your tropical trip. Why would you want to have to carry an extra bulky item around? Leave it at home.

One thing’s for sure, whether I’m leaving from a cold climate or a warm one, I always like to bring a large scarf with me. It doubles as a blanket or pillow on the plane, and adds additional comfort. Even when I’m travelling from a warm climate to another warm climate, I’ll still always bring a scarf or cardigan in my bag. Chances are the air inside the plane will be chilly, and I’ll be glad I brought something to throw over my shorts and t-shirt to keep me warm.

My typical warm-weather airplane outfit consists of;

  • shorts, skinny jeans or a maxi dress
  • a t-shirt or tank top
  • light scarf and/or cardigan
  • flats, converse or flip-flops

In cases of travelling from hot to cold weather, and visa-versa, this usually means enduring a longer international flight. In these cases, I’ll always include an additional outfit (or several) in my carry-on, which I usually change into once I arrive at my destination. This means bringing a pair of flip-flops/sandals if I’m traveling from cold to hot, as well as a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. In the opposite case of hot to cold weather, I’ll make sure to bring a pair of jeans, a warm sweater, and appropriate close-toed boots/shoes, as well as a pair of socks.

Regardless of your personal style, it’s important to dress appropriately for flights. This also means wearing a material that won’t wrinkle, crease, stain easily, or get static-clingy during your flight, since chances are you’ll have to wear those clothes for a long time.

As well, to save time, I usually lay out my outfit the night before a flight to avoid throwing any-old-thing on at the last-minute.

Flights don’t always have to be an uncomfortable nightmare, there are certainly steps you can take to ensure your comfort and tolerance of the situation. Hopefully these tips will help you.

What is your typical go-to plane outfit? Is there anything you wear that I’ve forgotten?

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