10 Perfect Outfits for Long-Haul Flights

September 19, 2013 at 1:45:00 PM EDT | Post a Comment

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Jet-setting may sound like a breeze, but pulling it off with true globe-trotter panache is another matter. When you're talking about hours spent sitting in cramped cabins, where sneaking in a few hours of sleep is considered a success, style can often go out the window. Read: pajamas, track suits, and an over-abundance of terry cloth. And while we're not here to say you need to wear stilettos on every long-haul flight, there's a happy medium between comfort and style. So we broke down 10 savvy outfits that throw out the hoodie but keep the comfort levels high.


By Bee Shapiro

Member Comments (15)

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DebitNM on May 7, 2014 at 12:17:50 PM EDT

You should fact check when you rerun stories for availability. Recycling is great for somethings but not clothing etc. The $19.99 Mossimo top from Target is no longer available. [I did buy it when you first posted this last fall and got it for $7.99 on clearance. It is nice but pilled.]

Wellsnet on October 12, 2013 at 10:09:45 AM EDT

Good: hoodie, shearling sneakers, good ear protection (hard to tell which but big is a non-starter, hooded gray wool coat. The shearling sneakers seem genius if cold drafts around your ankles are a possibility on the plane or at the airport. Any hoodie can bulk up around your neck if you need to sleep or hate drafts. Bad: any jean, spikes, cheesy ear protection (you will land deafdeafdeaf); the skinny necklace won't make the trip. Cologne, perfume, spritzers are a terrible idea - people are allergic and they're literally held hostage on a flight. If you don't want to make an emergency landing for an asthma attack, just use your hoodie or scarf over your nose. Trust me, it works great.

lanejohann on September 29, 2013 at 9:38:19 AM EDT

i dont wear jeans on flights..talking 22hrs for aussies..i always choose an elastic waisted pair of pants...im slim but hate jeans cos of the bulk round the waist.. i wear my heaviest hikers on, then change into black slipper socks...always have a pashmina with me and big jacket i can scrunch up to add support to neck or arms when trying to sleep...i wear black...i have had things spilt on me before and hate the thought of having to wash something on day 1 of my trip

SpiritsTraveler on September 24, 2013 at 12:00:13 PM EDT

I have to agree with the other posters. This is probably better titled "10 Outfits Not to Wear for Long Haul Flights." You want comfortable jersey, lycra or cotton, soft shoes (not pointy), and layers on top. I can't imagine sitting in jeans on a long flight!

kcroamer2 on September 22, 2013 at 1:38:05 AM EDT

Several points: I guess only slim 20 something's travel, because I did not see any clothes for my generation-Baby Boomers. The clothes depicted do not take comfort, TSA requirements, or safety in to account. Sitting in a pair of tight jeans on a flight from LA to Sydney or Frankfurt to Chicago may be fashionable, but is hardly my idea of comfort.Skin tight jeans may in fact lead to decreased circulation. Obviously Fodors needs to learn who subscribes.

Cheryly1 on September 21, 2013 at 6:14:28 PM EDT

After many years of long flights I can say for sure that you will be uncomfortable spending several hours on a plane wearing skinny pants, high heels, or tight fitted jackets. Airplanes are almost always very cold places and you want to be prepared for that. I like corduroy pants with some stretch in winter or looser slacks. The cargo pants make sense, too. Start out with a medium weight top and put a loose, warm, sweater in your carry-on. It always cracks me up to watch people come on a flight dressed in shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. And how do you rush half a mile for your connecting flight (which you will invariably end up being late for) in flip flops or high heels? The flats you've suggested are fine and so are some of the sweaters and jackets. It may be 80 degrees at your destination but guaranteed it's going to be 55 on your flight.

GlyndaK on September 21, 2013 at 5:28:39 PM EDT

The best thing I have ever discovered for long hauls are the Diesel jeans that look exactly like a stylish pair of jeans but are actually track pants. Love them. Btw always travel with a scarf with a spray of perfume. Even in summer. for chilly flights and smelly neighbors.

justjanh on September 21, 2013 at 5:23:22 PM EDT

Maybe stylish, but two things come to mind #1. You really don't need to make a fashion statement on a flight no matter how long, and#2. If a person bought even just one of these outfits they would have no more money left to buy an airline ticket. Clearly, you spend way more money on flying outfits than the average traveler!

luvvintravel on September 21, 2013 at 3:28:59 PM EDT

Not great outfits at all. You need a heavier scarf as flights can get cold and a slip on shoe that will take a pair of socks. Your feet swell after 14 hours on a pane! Jeans can be uncomfortable. A slim pair of black pants with a bit of Lycra for stretch, a simple t with a nice jacket and scarf covers all of your bases.

beth_c_142 on September 21, 2013 at 2:13:34 PM EDT

Thanks so much for this guide! I for one am going to rush right out and get that $300 scarf. This is just making me realize how much I am not, apparently, in the right income bracket for Fodor's intended target audience.

lwjm on September 21, 2013 at 12:49:23 PM EDT

I can't see that some of these outfits are any improvement over sweats (which I don't wear either). The flannel shirt, for example, looks much like the ones that my father and brothers used to wear to do their farm chores. I am with the previous posters on the jeans issue. There are many types of knit garments which look nice, are comfortable, and warm enough. They are far better than jeans and look nicer, too. And the idea of wearing heels on a plane is just plain ridiculous--useless if there were any emergency, uncomfortable walking through the terminal, and who cares what your feet look like once you are seated on the plane.

moie on September 21, 2013 at 12:20:04 PM EDT

Sorry - this article is out-of-touch. I would never wear jeans on a long overseas flight - something with some give in the waist is a necessity and I can still look fashionable. Safety is a concern for me so I choose to wear runners with socks - should I need to run from the plane I can do that. Like the OP said I also take a warm jacket that squishes up into a small sack - doubles both for wear and a pillow - it has my scent on it and my germs - who knows about airline blankets and pillows,they just get folded up and used again.Toothbrush? you have to be kidding! who would actually want to put their face down in that sink - yuck! you can now buy waterless mini one-time use toothbrushes that come in packs and can be kept in a purse. No water needed other than your saliva.Get with the modern day long-distance flyer - those of us who can fly 9+ hours and arrive looking just fine.

Hobbert on September 21, 2013 at 11:47:39 AM EDT

Cute clothes! But not terribly practical. For flights over 5 or 6 hours, I'm wearing yoga pants, cozy layers, comfortable moccasins and taking a roomy bag with my essentials- travel pillow, snacks, headphones, magazines, a paper fan, and a change of clothes...I always assume the airline will lose my luggage so I carry enough to get by for a day or two.

carolyn on September 21, 2013 at 11:04:15 AM EDT

How about some stuff for older women? And if I spent that much for an outfit for the plane, I would substantially reduce my travel funds.

flpab on September 21, 2013 at 10:37:36 AM EDT

Rule number one. I would never wear ballet flats without socks through security. If you only saw half of the nasty feet walking on that floor you would be freaked out. Socks are a must. Jeans on a 8 to ten hour flight would kill me. I need something with a little give. That scarf is worthless if the flight is chilly. I froze on my last flight and I am never cold. Next long flight is in Nov to Europe where I will need a jacket. I have a perfect little goose down that folds into a pocket. Great pillow and if I need a jacket I have it. I am about comfort and looking good. The top is nice. I pack light for public transportation in Europe so wear my boots on the plane if I am hiking or it is cold. No room in my carry on bag for them.

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