Spending upwards of 8 hours sitting in a plane poses some unique challenges. And when it’s not something you do very often (unless you’re extraordinarily lucky), trying to figure out what to wear on your long haul flight can be tricky.
Comfort is definitely first and foremost. This is not the time to worry about what’s in fashion, what makes your bum look smaller or your boobs look bigger (or is that just me?). Don’t stress about whether black is boring, and definitely hold back on wearing your brand new shoes that you bought for the trip.
Now don’t get me wrong, a girl’s got to maintain her standards, I don’t want you looking like you just got out of bed, but think 1. Comfort and 2. Style. Not the other way around.
- When you’re sitting in one spot eating airline food and drinking soft drinks or alcohol you do not want anything tight around your waist;
- A little bit of turbulence or a wriggly child may see you wearing your drink, so darker colours are best;
- And even if you don’t spill anything, after spending this long in a crowded plane your outfit could probably do with a wash before wearing again, so don’t wear your favourite clothes. Save them for getting out and about once you arrive;
- You may well be tossing and turning (as much as is possible!) trying to get comfortable enough to sleep, so stretch fabrics are ideal;
- And quite possibly you may be arriving in a climate very different to the one that you’ve left, so layer it up!
Your step by step guide to the perfect long haul outfit
I used this approach when we flew 16 hours from Sydney to Dallas. I wore a tunic similar to number 3, the number 4 sweat and similar to number 2 shoes. See the photos here.
Find yourself some comfy leggings. These Target ones are great. Seed also does some good ones. Make sure the waistband is not too tight.
Pair them up with a tunic or dress. Stretchy is good for ultimate comfort (1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 below).
Some like to change into their pyjamas on the plane. But can you be bothered? Get the best of both worlds and wear a sleep tee like the Grease one below (2), which can easily pass for a dress. Go one better and channel Olivia’s hot mama attitude and you will be rocking that flight hard!
1 Sussan Navy metallic stripe dress
2 Peter Alexander Grease sleep tee
3 Seed 2 stripe tee dress
4 Seed Raw edge denim dress
5 Country Road Striped sweater dress
6 Katies Short sleeve long line tunic
7 Betty Basics Rome 3/4 sleeve dress
8 Sussan Black midi dress
Alternative Step 1
If the dress and leggings option is not really for you, then choose some baggy pants. These sort of pants are everywhere right now. They won’t always be in fashion, but even once they go out of the shops, they will still be perfect for long haul flights. So make sure you get yourself a pair while there’s plenty to choose from. Just remember – no tight waistbands!
1 Katies Zip detail jogger pant
2 Cotton On Stephanie drapey pant 2
3 Bonds Sweats printed pant
4 Seed Jersey harem pant
5 Bonds Indigo jogger trackie
6 Cotton On Indi 3/4 drapey pant
7 Metalicus Plaza draped pant
8 Katies Zip detail rouched leg pant
Alternative Step 2
To cover up your nakedness you’re going to need a top to go with those pants. Make it a loose, stretchy one (are you seeing a theme here?). Plain, stripey, inspirational or perhaps be true to your 80’s roots with a Save Ferris tee.
1 Lorna Jane Believe t-shirt
2 Peter Alexander Save Ferris varsity tee
3 Katies Elbow sleeve stripe top
4 Seed Stripe long sleeve tee
5 Peter Alexander Sequin PA college tee
6 Sussan Longline top
7 Lorna Jane Starlight l/slv sweat
8 Sussan Stripe top
2 Witchery Rib slouch knit
3 Country Road Rib sleeve waterfall cardigan
4 French Connection Raw F sweat
5 Katies 3/4 sleeve longline cardi
6 Forever New Maddy chevron stitch sweater
7 Lorna Jane Speed stripe slouchy hoodie
8 Country Road Longline cardigan
The last essential is some comfortable shoes. A key decision you need to make is whether you want to wear socks. Please don’t walk around inside a plane in bare feet (eeww!), so your options are a) keep your shoes on the whole time, b) wear socks and take your shoes off on board or c) take socks to put on once seated.
Also think about going through security. If you’re not keen on walking barefoot then choose shoes that you can wear with socks. You never kinow when that machine will go off and they ask you to remove your shoes. And some airports make everyone remove their shoes just to save time. I would wear 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 without socks and 1, 4 and 6 with.
1 Adidas Los Angeles W
2 Walnut Euro elastic plimsole silver spot
3 Seed Emma canvas espadrille
4 Country Road Filipa canvas sneaker
5 Walnut Ava leather ballet tan
6 Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Dainty Ox Chambray
7 Walnut Daria Suede Driving Loafer
8 Witchery Gracie flat
This step is completely optional, but for high achievers who think their outfit needs a little something extra, pop on a scarf. Even if you take it off as soon as you are on board, it will make you feel fresher when you put it back on to disembark.
2 Seed Dove print snood
3 Forever New Penelope polka dot scarf
4 Sussan Pink loop scarf
5 Sussan Navy geo loop scarf
6 Country Road Contrast border scarf
7 Seed Geometric print scarf
8 Katies Blue grey stripe scarf
If you’re thinking of wearing compression socks, then make sure you read 5 ways to wear compression socks on long-haul flights.
It’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes for the kids in your carry-on just in case, but consider taking a fresh t-shirt and underwear for yourself too. That way if your case loses its way or there’s a messy on-board incident, you’ll still be smelling sweet.
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