7 Best Travel Clothes: Apparel Tips for Long-Haul Flights

By Biki John | Last updated on

Comfortable Airport Outfits

Savvy fliers know that it takes a combination of factors to have a positive travel experience. Ultimately, comfort plays a large part in making long-haul flights pleasurable. This is why to have the best travel clothes, your outfit should not be left as a last-minute thought.

Victoria Beckham may have perfected that iconic airport look. However, the average flyer is not greeted at the airport by a legion of paparazzi and flashing lights.

For the typical traveller, punctuating a travel outfit with don’t-bother-me sunglasses or towering heels is not required.

Rather, travel key pieces that are wrinkle-resistant and take to spillage kindly are a necessity. The best travel clothes won’t slow down your airport stride or make you twitch uncomfortably in your cabin seat.

You will need to have pieces that you can easily take off or put on. These practical items will combat the different temperatures you encounter throughout your journey.

We’ve narrowed your airport uniform to seven crucial pieces:

Lifestyle blogger, Corrine, swears by her tried-and-tested outfit combination. She pairs her trousers with a T-shirt and cardigan.

Corrine lists UNIQLO as one of her go-to travel brands because “their fabric choices make them stand apart. Their HEATTECH technology keeps you nice and warm, without making you feel stuffy as soon as you enter room temperature”.

When traveling long-haul flights, layering is the key to assembling the perfect airplane uniform.

Best Travel Clothes for Women

Putting together your airport outfit is no easy feat. One has to take in factors like alternating air cabin temperatures and destination climate. And all the while, there’s pressure to preserve some sense of style.

Not long ago, a veteran traveller shared their travel story which involved spotting a message on a screen at Virgin airlines. It read “Look for well-dressed people to upgrade”.

High-end fashion designer, Carolina Herrera expressed her distaste for sloppy air travellers and confirmed that:-

“If you dress up at the airport you will actually be taken care of perfectly. You’ll be the one who the stewards look after the most.”

So, no pressure then.

How do we balance our desire to be bumped up to first-class with the need to dress practically for a flight?

Like Chantae Was Here, we believe that “leaving for a trip is stressful as is. Having a go-to outfit for flights is one less decision that needs to be made”.

Luckily, picking comfortable travel clothes for long-haul flight boils down to a simple formula. Seven key pieces will do the trick.

What to Wear When Flying Long Distance

1. Jacket

This outerwear piece is the quickest way to look chic and increase the chances of an airplane upgrade. We advise you to wear a classic long jacket at the

airport. This will make it easy to conceal your casual wear underneath.

Depending on the weather, opt for a lightweight fabric like a cotton/polyester trench coat or a more chunkier wool fabric.

2. Long cardigan or pullover

Six-hour flights and above involve long hours of sitting in an airplane cabin. A long cardigan or pullover will give you warmth when the temperature drops in your cabin.

3. Scarf or pashmina

When it comes to air travel, a maxi scarf/pashmina has a dual function. With the right size, texture and design, it will make you look smart and fend off the chill.

4. T-shirt or top

Your tolerance to cold will determine how many tops you layer with.

T-shirts, blouses and vests are some of the pieces you can wear underneath your bulkier top.

5. Trousers that stretch

Travel blogger, Rana, prefers wearing trousers over shorts or skirts. Trousers ensure her bare legs avoid making contact with germs on airport and plane seats.

Personal style will dictate which comfortable trousers you wear. The options include harem trousers, leggings and palazzo pants.

The Athleisure trend is going strong, so opt for athletic-inspired trousers.

6. Socks

During long-distance flights, air passengers who have to remain seated for long periods are prone to deep vein thrombosis (or as it’s often referred to: Economy Class Syndrome). To avoid your legs becoming red, swollen and heavy due to constrained movement, compression socks are a must.

They help to stimulate blood circulation, thus lowering the risk of DVT. Lifestyle expert, Jené Lucianis, is a fan of Skineez Skincarewear’s unisex socks.

Travel blogger Natalie Tanner’s favourite socks to travel in are wool hiking socks with merino wool. She loves that they are “comfortable, stylish and wool resist odors”. More importantly, they keep her bare feet away from the airplane floor.

7. Sneakers or comfortable shoes

Again, this boils down to personal preference. For some, comfortable shoes are sneakers, for others, it’s soft leather flats.

It is important to remember that feet tend to swell during long-haul flights. Choose your foot apparel wisely.

Best Travel Clothing for Men

When travelling a short distance, it’s more convenient for businessmen to travel in their formal work clothes. However, for the majority, wearing a suit for a long-haul flight is incredibly unappealing.

So how does one strike a balance between corporate guru and campus resident?

For menswear travel clothing, the key is to wear structured layered pieces to avoid looking unkempt.

Airplanes have notoriously inconsistent temperatures and you’ll often be flying to a destination with a different climate. So having a few pieces to add or remove is essential.

Undeniably, what you choose depends largely on your personal style. However, the best clothes to travel long hours in are:

1. Jacket or blazer

This is the key piece that will elevate your entire look. Wear a jacket in a neutral style that will work seamlessly with your other travel pieces.

For GQ appeal, keep the texture wrinkle-free. To enhance mobility during your trip, avoid stiff textures like leather.

2. Shirt

This could be a casual short-sleeved T-shirt or a smarter button-down shirt. Shirts are versatile as they can be worn on their own or combined with your other travel clothes.

3. Sweater or pullover

As tempting as it may be, leave your hoody top nestled in the cocoon of your carry-on. A sweater or pullover will make you look more put together.

4. Comfortable trousers

When it comes to air travel getup, it’s vital that your trousers are functional. This is because your journey will involve movement.

This could be standing in a line that moves at a snail’s pace or walking briskly to catch your flight.

When traveling, Founder and CEO Rishi Kapoor prefers khakis to jeans as khakis breathe better than jeans. They are also more comfortable than dress pants to sit in with for hours. Another attractive feature (when compared to jeans) is khakis offer a more casual yet professional look.

Best travel clothing for men

5. Scarf

A scarf will add depth to your airport ensemble. It’s also an easy way to add colour or character to your outfit.

This accessory will come in handy when the air cabin temperature drops.

6. Socks

For hygiene reasons, this is a must. At airport security, you’ll need to remove your shoes and socks will protect your feet.

7. Slip-on footwear

If you love trainers, you won’t feel so cool when you are bent down at airport security, tugging frantically at your laces.

Go for ease and convenience, choose footwear that are easily to slip on and off like loafers.

And Finally…

Whether you are man or woman, these air travel pieces will keep you in style and comfort.

Best travel clothes

Now, the sartorial aspect of your trip is under control, you can turn to essential packing tips. Our 7 travel hacks will increase the likelihood of a stress-free journey.

Remember, as cumbersome as they are, airport disruptions occur. The best way to deal with them is to know your air passenger rights. That way you’ll be more informed on the best course of action to take.

Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $700 in compensation if your flight was delayed, canceled, or overbooked within the last three years.