Following an almost two-year stint at home, or at least close to it, we're keen to start travelling again. Especially now that's it's actually possible (albeit with some restrictions still in place) and preferably to a dreamy, far-off destination. But after not travelling much for so long, we sort of forgot about the one aspect of long-distance travel that isn't so glamorous: actually getting to your final destination. That's where the importance of a good travel outfit comes in.
The art of crafting an outfit for a long flight is exactly that—an art. Obviously, comfort is priority number one given that you could very well be sitting for 10, maybe even 20 hours, depending on where you're heading. There's also utility to keep in mind. We love to travel with a crossbody bag or XL tote for this exact reason—not to mention packing space and, of course, style. Sure, you could wear pyjamas (preferably the fancy, feathered kind) to the airport, but with so many designers transitioning to a more comfort-driven aesthetic during the pandemic, there are now plenty of fashion-approved alternatives that look elevated and are as soft and comfortable as your go-to sleepwear.
To ensure that your in-flight experience is on par with your destination, we found eight outfits that are sure to have you looking and feeling fresh, despite the 10-plus-hour flight time, and we called on two frequent flyers for their tried-and-true tips as well. Keep scrolling to find out more.
According to Nana Agyemang, the CEO of EveryStylishGirl and a social media editor who usually travels long-distance once a month, a comfortable set is a must for in-flight comfort. "Comfort is my top priority [when I fly], so I try to pick clothes that don't restrict me and give me freedom and space to move," Agyemang says.
Even more crucial, though, is a belt bag, which Agyemang considers to be the ultimate travel companion: "They fit so much in them, and since mine is literally attached to my hip, it's easily accessible."
Influencer and regular traveller Alyssa Coscarelli says to let your top layer act as both your style enhancer and an extra carry-on. According to her, a pocket-rich coat lets you sneak in stuff that doesn't fit in your bag, and it doubles as an extra pillow. Win-win.
Agyemang is adamant about not wearing jeans or heels on long flights. "They're so restrictive and painful in my opinion," she says. Try something like this plissé set on Amaka Hamelijnck paired with retro New Balance trainers—Agyemang's go-to brand—instead.
"Since I often prioritise comfort over style with the outfit, I like to accessorise with a cute, trendier bag if I can," Coscarelli says. This red Coperni bag Megan Adelaide's wearing is a perfect example of this travel style hack playing out IRL.
Crew-necks are great and all, but according to Coscarelli, the real in-flight must-have is a sweatshirt with a hood: "I always need a hood—it doubles as an eye mask when you need to sleep on a long flight. Plus, it's just extra cosy."
Don't be afraid to wear a dress on the plane. In fact, if that's more aligned with your style and comfort zone, you should wear one. If you do, though, pick something that's soft, stretchy, and void of any annoying itchy labels
Since you never know what the in-flight temperature might be on your plane, layering can make or break your travel experience. Freezing for 13 hours is rubbish but so is sweating the entire time. "I like to wear layers so that I'm bundled up when I need to be but can peel off the layers if it gets warm," Coscarelli says.