While social norms and what’s considered acceptable dress have definitely changed over the years, this hasn’t always been for the better (in my opinion). Yes I’m glad I’m not expected to wear a corset every day, but I’m also a little sad that our culture now is so relaxed in dress that people now routinely show up to work in sweat pants or wear their favorite athletic brand tee and sneakers to attend a wedding. What happened? One area where dress has definitely declined over the years is airplane travel. Take a look at photos from decades earlier and you’ll see men in suits and ties, women in dresses, pearls, and heels, all dressed up for their flight. Today? With comfort now our aim for any and all activities I’m always a bit relieved if the person sitting next to me is actually wearing clothes.
And while I’m not suggesting you pull out your pencil skirt and heels for your next trip, I do have a few suggestions to up your style game while traveling in comfort!
1. Think comfort – but not too comfortable
Here’s a little secret (actually it’s not a secret, I tell you quite often), you don’t have to be wearing yoga pants or sweats to be comfortable! Even while sitting for hours (and hours) on an airplane! Any pants, dresses, or skirts with relaxed waists will keep you from feeling too uncomfortable. That fitted dress that is snug around your hips when you wear it for an hour or two on land is going to feel way too tight once you’ve been sitting in a cramped row on the plane.
And if you’ve got a long flight ahead of you your skinniest of jeans might be cutting off your circulation around hours two or three. You don’t have to opt for an elastic waist band but something that’s not tight to begin with is a good place to start!
2. Go easy.
The last thing you want to be doing if you’re rushing to catch a plane is to get caught at security removing belts, necklaces, earrings, two layers of sweatshirts, and knee-high boots. Even if you’ve got plenty of time the people behind you in line may not! Stick to flats or shoes that are easy to remove (leave the lace up gladiator sandals in your luggage), minimal jewelry, and keep your jacket or sweater in your carry-on until you’ve made it through TSA.
3. What’s your next stop?
Depending on your travel schedule you may not have time to change before you head straight to that meeting or conference from the airport. Think ahead about what would work for the plane and the next stop.
My usual go-to outfits for traveling are either a maxi skirt or dress or an easy pair of pants and top.
Option 1: Maxi dress or skirt, flats, and a sweater or jacket
I’m comfortable, my legs are covered so they’re not freezing, and I’ve got a jacket or sweater if I get cold (and I pretty much always do!) The last two trips to Europe I’ve gone the maxi skirt route and was super comfortable for the entire flight. I had a lightweight motorcycle jacket in my carry-on that kept me warm when needed and once I was off the plane I was already set to explore!
Option 2: Pants and top, flats, and a sweater (again, it’s always cold!)
For the last flight I took, I was going to be heading straight to a conference and knew that my hotel room might not be ready yet when I arrived and I wanted the option to go right into the conference sessions. I opted for a pair of green pants I picked up a few months ago at Zara, a black sleeveless drape-y top, black flats and a black cardigan. I was comfortable but still professional enough to feel comfortable in whatever setting I found myself in! This outfit was so great in fact I might just wear it again when I fly next week!
Today I’m challenging you to up your fashion choices the next time you get ready to fly. Keep the sweats in your suitcase and travel in chic comfort!