Friends, what is harder than figuring out what to wear for a day of travel, particularly air travel? Perhaps it is easier than refraining from watching that marathon of America’s Next Top Model on Bravo, but I can’t think of anything else. Since I have been a technically homeless nomad for about a year now, and since I travel for a living I thought I’d give you my tips on accomplishing this very difficult task.
Please ignore awkward pose and bad lighting. Check out the outfit. A maxi dress, a cardigan, and some wedges (which deserve their own post, btw).
Now I know what you’re thinking… a maxi dress? Really? This is the perfect flying outfit?
Dudes… a resounding YES. It is! I have never been happier whilst flying than in this outfit. It battles all the things that make choosing your travel outfit difficult. I will prove it.
Travel Style Problem #1: Comfort. Is there anything less comfortable than a day in the airport or on an airplane? A few things, maybe, but not many. Even on a short flight like this one (just a measly 2 hours) you end up spending at least 2 extra hours (sometimes 3 or 4) in your departure airport, sometimes in the arrival as well. Which means there’s extended periods of sitting in small seats and cramped quarters, but also extended periods of walking while carrying many bags, and being
grabbed checked by security. Comfort is primary. I know lots of people think jeans are comfortable, but (and this may be because of my odd waist to hips to backside ratio) I can’t think of anything less comfortable to sit in and move around in cramped spaces for hours on end (waistbands digging into skin, worrying about showing off my underwear when I stand up, there is no end to the discomfort of jeans in this situation). But a dress is wonderful. Particularly one that is a bit loose around all your parts that will be bending to sit and stand all day. Dress wins.
Travel Style Problem #2: Temperature. Inevitably I’m travelling from one climate extreme to another, but even if not (like on this trip- 100 degree Texas to 85 degree Mexico- not such a jump) you still have to deal with the arctic climate of the plane. And they are not giving those blankets out for free anymore, folks. This is why I chose a maxi dress over a shorter dress. The length keeps my legs covered when on the plane, but most maxis are meant to be worn in hot weather, and won’t stick to your legs when you’re out in the heat. To keep my arms and shoulders warm I brought the cardigan, and I got extra points since it was super soft. Another option (by itself, or in addition to these items) is an oversized scarf that could be used around the neck, but also as a blanket if need be. Removable layers are key, since you may find yourself on a stuffy plane, or you may go from 60 degrees on the plane, to 90 degrees at your destination.
Travel Style Problem # 3: I want to look awesome. And it’s hard to look awesome after spending the day running through an airport and then sitting for hours in a cramped space with recycled air. It sucks to get to your destination and not look nice for your friends or family that you may not have seen for awhile, or for the first day of your romantic getaway, or for the first time you’re meeting that new business colleague. Again, for me, that’s why this trumps the “comfort” of a jeans and t-shirt look, that at best may look relaxed and at worst, could look rumpled.
Some other options that bring on the style while still covering the comfort and temperature issues might be leggings and a tunic (bring a long cardigan and/or scarf for warmth), or soft layers of tops (tanks, cardigans, sweaters, whatever) with some trouser-looking sweatpants (I have some of these, and they are my other go-to flying item because they do not bunch and bind at the waist but they are a slate gray and are cut so they don’t look like sweats… not the greatest for everyday wear, but a good compromise for flying.)
Travel Style Problem #4: I have to walk in my shoes, and take them on and off quickly. This part of security just really really throws me off, because I like to wear my chunkiest shoe (so it’s not taking up space/weight in my suitcase) but inevitably my chunkiest shoe is tough to get off and then back on during the traumatizing security line. These, surprisingly, are not:
The main thing I suggest, is picking shoes that come on and off easily (for me, this unfortunately rules out boots, which are always a pain to pack due to their weight, but these wedges work, which is nice) but that I can also walk in. I would have gone with flat sandals and/or flip-flops (not the most stylish, but hey, my dress is long) if this had been a longer travel day or if I’d had more luggage.
Travel Style Problem # 5: I don’t want to get bored. Ok, this is not really a style problem, but it is a problem that style can solve. Get thee a big hobo bag of decent quality in a nice, neutral color. I got the one below at Target for $20, and it has changed my life. And look at all the stuff it held: 2 magazines, a book, my passport, lipstick, my liquids bag, my iPad, and more!
Those are my suggestions for great jet set style. But what do you wear when you travel?