I’ve flown a ton in the last few months. Weddings, graduations, a work trip and a vacation. Some flights were international, some were in the US only.
Here’s the thing: I HATE flying. I do. I’m afraid to fly. The only thing I ever wanted to be on a plane was comfortable. Or so I thought, until I got puked on and had to wear that same outfit to a business meeting because the airline lost my luggage. It made me seriously reconsider my plane uniform of sweats.
Planes are cold, usually. Sometimes, the weather can vary dramatically from departure to arrival, like if you fly into a stopover where there’s snow, then land somewhere that’s 80 degrees and sunny. So, you need to be prepared for a variety of temperatures.
I finally realized that I should wear something that is flexible and could be a cute outfit in a variety of ways if I get stuck somewhere or my luggage does. Or I get puked on.
Here’s the other thing: If I felt cute and put together, I felt more confident on the plane. Less scared to fly, even. I’m not really sure why that is.
So here’s my 4 step style plan for dressing for a plane ride.
1. Wearing Lightweight Layers is the Key
I like lightweight layers for a few reasons: if you are going somewhere hot, you can easily pack them away in your carry-on once you are at your destination and no one will be the wiser.
I usually wear some kind of tank top or tank dress to layer over my leggings. The only pants I will wear on a flight. (See Step Two.) Then I wear a cardigan or sweater of some kind. This is where I try to bring in some kind of luxury: I’ll wear a comfy cashmere hoodie or a really soft jersey wrap.
2. Don’t Wear Jeans!
Here’s what I found does NOT work for me: jeans. Here’s why: I have to wear a belt with jeans because I don’t want to show my underwear in the back as I lift and lug my luggage around, take off my shoes at security, etc. A woman in front of us on our trip to New Orleans bent over as she put her carry-on luggage on the conveyor, and showed everyone her hindquarters. It was noticed, believe me, by everyone behind me. Wear a thong, I hear you saying. I don’t want to wear a thong on a long flight. Yikes. Here’s why I don’t want to wear jeans AND a belt. My usually normal stomach? Something happens to it in the air. I get super bloated. (Sexy, right?) So the waistband and the jeans create an uncomfortable situation.
I like to wear leggings on a flight and here is why. They are comfortable. They stretch if you get bloated on a flight. They can look like tights. They don’t show off your bum if you have to pick something up. I like to wear them with a long sweater or a dress. Also: JEGGINGS! I know leggings and jeggings are NOT PANTS, but, you know what? They are perfect for flying.
(I think all leggings are pretty equal, and you don’t need to pay more than $35 for a pair.)
3. Wear Comfortable, Warm Shoes or Boots
I also tend to get really cold feet during a flight. So flats or sandals are a no-no. I brought socks for a while and changed into them, but my shoes just took up valuable real estate under the seat. Boots: I tried wearing some cute, tight, fashionable ones. They nearly constricted my legs, and I was worried about DVT. So, I wear UGGS. I know. People HATE them, especially fashionable people. But for me, there is no more comfortable shoe for a flight. They aren’t tight on the leg, they don’t have a heel, they can easily be pulled on and off during security stops. They are WARM. Love. Them. I bring a pair of ballet flats in my carry-on to change into once I get where I am going, unless it’s cold.
4. Scarves are the Best
Now, the most crucial part: a huge scarf. A scarf does a lot of things. There is some research that your chance of getting a respiratory infection when you wear a scarf around your throat and chest is reduced. Also: It keeps you warm in that overly chilled plane air. It can provide a variety of functions: you can use it as a blanket, you can use it as a hood if your head is really cold. Plus, it can liven up your outfit with color or pattern or both.
Here’s how I go from the plane:
Sweater, James Pearce. Tank Dress, Old Navy. Scarf, Target. Leggings: Uniqlo. Boots: UGGS.
To a hot destination!
Dress and flats, Old Navy.
What clothes work for you when you travel? Do you agree with me about my jeans rule (I have a feeling that will be controversial)?