10 Types of Clothes That Are Perfect to Wear on an Airplane

Wearing an uncomfortable outfit on an airplane can make your flight feel much longer than it actually is. Comfort really is key, but there are some other things to consider, too. Below we have 10 things you should definitely consider wearing on an airplane. Bon voyage.

1. Comfy shoes

Fitness concept and welfare with female athlete joggin in city park

The last thing you want to wear on a plane is a pair of uncomfortable shoes. | iStock.com/Bogdanhoda

Shoes are some of the bulkiest items you will pack. So, if you plan on wearing chic sneakers while away — or if you work out while traveling — wear those kicks or running shoes on the plane. You will not only be comfortable while walking through the airport (or airports) en route to your final destination, but you’ll also save yourself some space in your suitcase. Plus, you’ll have socks on, which is particularly nice to shield your feet during airport security screenings. Comfortable ballet flats are another great option.

2. Athleisure

woman laughing with hood sweatshirt

A comfy hoodie is perfect to wear on your flight. | iStock.com/m-imagephotography

A red-eye flight or transatlantic journey may have you catching some Zs but that doesn’t mean you should slum it in your PJs or sweats. Instead, look to the athleisure trend that’s raging right now. The relaxed, functional, and tech-driven pieces are excellent for plane rides (especially long ones) given their versatility and comfort, and they still provide a polished — and fully dressed — look. Plus, they’re often constructed of breathable, performance-driven fabrics that can be worn to the gym or casual occasions.

3. Breathable fabrics

Stylish woman

Go for breathable fabrics if you’re not digging the athleisure trend. | Levent Kulu/Getty Images

Even if you won’t be going the athleisure route for your plane garb, you might want to consider breathable fabrics when dressing to travel. Natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen, allow air and moisture to pass through, ensuring high-level comfort while up in the air. Non-breathable fabrics often will hold sweat on the skin, making you feel uncomfortable and like you need a shower. There are also a number of synthetic, moisture-wicking fabrics that will keep you comfortable.

4. Layers

Stylish woman in jacket

Layering your clothes will help keep you warm and comfortable during your flight. | Timur Emek/Getty Images

The temperature fluctuates on planes — especially long flights. You don’t necessarily want to tow around a bulky sweater — especially in the heat of summer — but make sure that you layer effectively to stay comfortable for the long haul. Wear a light cardigan, pullover, or blazer over a light shirt. You can even take it a step further by layering in a vest, pashmina, or wrap. Plus, the more you wear, the fewer items you have to find room for in your suitcase.

5. Loose-fitting clothing

A model walks the runway at the holyGhost show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

You don’t want to wear tight jeans on a flight. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The plane is no place for squeezing into your skinny jeans that you can barely breathe in — or for donning any other forms of constrictive clothing that will only get more uncomfortable by the minute as you’re stuck in your seat. There’s simply no reason for it, nor will it do any favors for your health to wear such tight, circulation-impeding garments. Loose-fitting dresses, relaxed trousers, and the aforementioned laid-back athleisure pieces are good bets to consider.

6. Compression tights

yoga girl doing exercises for buttocks

Leggings are perfect if you want to wear something form fitting. | iStock.com/fizkes

So, we know we just sang the praises of loose-fitting clothing for plane rides, but compression tights are the one exception to that rule. You may have heard that wearing support or compression legwear is recommended to travelers who are pregnant or having preexisting medical conditions that could hinder proper circulation.

But, really, it’s a good idea for anyone on a long-haul flight, as the legwear helps prevent swelling. And, you likely already have a pair in your closet if you’re known to hit the gym or running trails. Compression technology is commonly implemented to promote maximum athletic performance and recovery. But, you can also buy compression socks and stockings at the drugstore or travel-supply retailers.

7. Non-metallic garments

Elena Braghieri is seen wearing Peuterey jacket

Too much sparkle will probably just slow you down. | Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

You may be feeling particularly shiny as you embark on your vacation, but all those glossy metallic-laced ensembles can pose a problem before you even get to board the plane. Jewelry and even metal details on fabrics can delay you in the security line. So, keep it simple and skip the high-shine — until you land at your destination, of course.

8. Light scents

Young woman buying perfume in a shop or store

Don’t be the cloud of perfume or cologne on your flight. | iStock.com/kzenon

Have mercy on your fellow travelers, and leave any clouds of cologne or perfume for when you land. Heady scents aren’t only irritating to your neighbors, they can be more serious allergens, too. So, keep it fresh and light when you’re in flight.

9. Glasses

smiling woman wearing glasses

You’ll probably want to opt for your glasses instead of contacts when you fly. | iStock.com

Planes are definitely the time to nerd out and wear your geek-chic glasses. The air in plane cabins is generally quite dry, which not only can wreak havoc on the skin, but also can cause dry eyes. This makes contact lenses pretty uncomfortable to wear.

10. Something cool

Models pose on the runway at the J.Crew presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

You should always be true to your own sense of style while flying. | Brian Ach/Getty Images

Just because you are dressing for comfort and function doesn’t mean you should throw fashion completely out the window. Get your trip started on the right foot by wearing a look that’s trendsetting yet practical for you and your personal sartorial aesthetic. You never know who you might run into, after all. Plus, if an upgrade comes your way, you’ll be suitably dressed to take it in style.