How To Dress On An Airplane | Darling Magazine

Whenever I travel, I take some time to people watch. Hoping for a minor celebrity sighting, there are travelers making business deals, reading magazines, buying snacks, playing video games, and chatting with companions. Because the airport is a place known for only coming and going, it doesn’t seem like a location you need to dress for. However, when I see a young lady sporting her pajamas with a full sized pillow in her arms, it worries me. I know we all like to be comfortable on a flight, but there is always a way to be practical and stylish, even when all you plan on doing is sleeping.

Layer Like You Mean It
Going from car, to airport, to boarding, to in-flight, the temperatures of the entire process of flying can be unpredictable. As a start, try layering your look somewhat like this:

A t-shirt with a lightweight long sleeve. Preferably the long sleeve should be easy to remove, so either a simple pullover, or something that buttons up.
Bring a jacket, but keep it handy in your carry-on for when it gets super chilly.
Depending on weather, a great alternative for a jacket can be an extra large scarf. Cashmere pashminas are great because they are soft, chic, and ultra lightweight. Use it as your plane blanket, or just wrapped around your neck.

Stay Loose
Steer clear from super tight fitting clothes, as there’s nothing more uncomfortable than pulling and tugging on a waistband that’s digging into your side for several hours. Try a pair of boyfriend jeans that have a looser fit, or your favorite pair of stretchy black denim. Also, natural fabrics such as cotton, silk or linen are perfect choices because of their breathability.

Be Ready For The Security Line
By now, everyone knows they have to take their shoes off for security. There is no excuse for wearing lace-up knee-high boots to the airport; you’re only going to hold up the line. Be a gem and choose a pair of slip on loafers, ankle booties with one zipper, or sandals. Oh—and if by chance you’re wearing socks (per the boots), remember they will be showing at one point, so make sure you have clean, matching, hole-less socks on.

Get Upgraded
I have a very close friend whose mother is a flight attendant. She has informed us that the nicer you dress, the easier it is to get upgraded to business or first class. Call it what you want, but dressing smart never hurt anyone.

Don’t Forget The Extras
A few smaller tips for flying:

  • Be considerate and try not to wear perfume. You never know what scent can drive someone nuts (I’ve been the victim in this case) or what someone is allergic to.
  • And while we’re on the topic of allergies, if you have cats or dogs, make sure you use a lint roller to remove pet hair before boarding a plane, just in case someone has a very sensitive reaction to animal dander.
  • If you wear contact lenses, bring your contact solution and glasses so that half way through the flight you can let your eyes relax and breathe. Once you land, you can step inside an airport bathroom to put your contacts back in and freshen up.
  • Eye mask, earplugs, headphones, face wipes, and hand lotion are all top notch items to keep in your bag.
  • Because I am always hungry, I have to remember to bring a snack. Nothing pushes my panic button faster than when I don’t have food around. Pack something healthy, small and odorless like a protein bar, a bag of nuts or an apple.

Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, we hope taking a little more time to feel polished at the airport gets you to more than just your final destination. Perhaps you’ll be scouted in your cute ensemble and escorted to a better seat! Safe summer travels!

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  1. I agree with bringing a snack, but please, no fruit. The article suggests and “odorless” snack. Fruit is not odorless. Take the apple suggestion, for example. Once consumed, you are left with the stinky, nasty looking core to dispose of. You might find yourself seated next to someone who strongly dislikes fruit. I am such a person. The smell of any fruit, with the possible exception of citrus fruits, make me sick to my stomach. Peel a banana next to me and I will become physically ill. So, please be considerate of fellow passengers who may have a fruit problem.

    1. No, that’s a real thing. I’m with her on that – most food smells in an inclosed vehicle of any kind, especially bananas, make me instantly nauseous. Trust me, no one wants to be near me when that happens because I qlmost always puke when I’m nauseous.

  2. Kathleen, I could kiss you for writing this..I might not be that flight attendant mom you spoke of, but I do spend a LOT of time in airports and I can tell you, 1 out of a thousand dress the way you and I believe they should..In fact, whenever I see someone who looks good, I always compliment them or when I see a guy in anything besides crumpled cargo shorts, I always take note.
    Can I tell you how many men wear totally revealing loose fitting gym shorts and then prop up their urmanicured ugly sandal-clad feet on the bulkhead wall? Eeeeew

    so people, listen to Kathleen. she knows of what she speaks. And just because you came from Miami, girls, doesn’t mean the airplane will have beach weather.. We no longer have blankets!

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