If you’re a frequent traveler, you’ve probably been met with the dilemma of the airport outfit. Trying to find something comfortable enough to wear seated on a plane for hours, but stylish enough to pass for an actual outfit is a challenge.
Now look, I’m no stranger to the head-to-toe athleticwear outfit myself (especially on those 24+ hour flying days). I’d never judge you for keeping it simple with an athleisure outfit. It’s important to be comfortable while traveling, especially on a long haul flight. But, there’s something about wearing gym clothes outside of the gym that sometimes just makes me feel slouchy, especially when traveling through countries where wearing athleticwear to the airport is still something of a taboo.
After dozens of flights over the years, I’ve finally got the airport outfit down to a science. My go-to elevated airport outfit pieces are stylish, but comfortable. You’ll still look polished, but be comfortable enough to pass out on that 10-hour redeye.
Best Stylish and Comfortable Airport Outfits
These travel wardrobe pieces are musts for both domestic and international flights. They’re such versatile closet staples that you’ll be able to wear them through your whole trip.
Shopping the pieces in this post? You’re in luck, because you can reward yourself with a $100-$1,500 Bergdorf Goodman gift card on your regular-priced purchase with code BGSPRING.
Oversized Duster Cardigan or Wrap
Planes get cold. Plain and simple. There’s nothing worse than freezing for 12 hours when you’re 35,000 feet above ground, which is why dressing in layers when flying is a must. For years, I’ve brought an oversized duster cardigan or giant scarf on flights. It’s multi-purpose: wear it, use it as a blanket, or throw it over your travel outfit if you need a more polished look.
I travel with a floor-length wool duster cardigan that’s helped me look put-together in countries such as South Korea and Germany, even if I’m wearing an athletic crop top and leggings underneath.
Invest in a well-made, warm cardigan in a neutral color. Something that’s sure to match any outfit, at any time of the year. Find a cardigan that’s thick, heavy, and cozy—airplanes get cold.
1. Sleeper x Julianne Moore Cosmos Shimmer Lounge Suit // 2. Olivia von Halle Luxury Oyster Palm Camisole and Shirt Set // 3. Sleeper The Weekend Chic Feather Trim Pajama Set // 4. Sleeper Atlanta Smocked Linen Lounge Set // 5. Sleeper Shimmer Flare Lounge Suit
Stylish Pajama Set or Lounge Co-ord
Okay, now hear me out on this one: I’m not recommending that you show up to the airport in whatever you just rolled out of bed in (though, it probably would be comfortable). Chic pajama sets have been taking the fashion world by storm for the last few years. The best are barely pajamas at all. Instead, they’re trendy loungewear sets easily dressed up with a pair of stilettos and worn on nights out by A-list celebrities and models.
All that to say that a stylish pajama set is totally acceptable when flying (especially on a long-haul flight). There’s something about a vogue pajama co-ord that’s oh-so-glam.This approach is perfect if you want to look fashion-forward, while staying cozy and being able to totally relax in comfort.
Trying to find a stylish, comfortable travel outfit doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice those beloved leggings! I get it—leggings are beyond comfortable, especially when you’re sitting for an extended amount of time. Instead of your standard athletic legging, go for a legging that has a leather-look finish or interesting detail that helps bring your look together.
If you are going for an athleisure approach, always pick leggings with side pockets. They’re so convenient for quickly stashing your phone, Airpods case, or cardholder when in transit.
White Leather Sneakers
Skip the gym shoes: white leather sneakers are the best travel shoes that balance comfort and style. A white leather sneaker elevates any casual look for a polished finish. They’re the perfect shoe for roaming a new city.
1. Loro Piana Nuages Calfskin Low-Top Sneakers // 2. Veja Esplar Bicolor Leather Low-Top Sneakers // 3. Alexandre Birman Clarita Bicolor Puffy Knot Sneakers // 4. Givenchy City 4G Leather Low-Top Sneakers
Sweater Top or Soft T-Shirt
There’s nothing more classic than jeans and a t-shirt. White leather sneakers, a knit top, and jeans is all you really need for a comfortable travel outfit. Take this classic look to the next level by opting for a lightweight sweater top instead of a t-shirt, or choosing a soft knit t-shirt with interesting detail or great fit. So much of stylish dressing is really just the fit—not the actual clothing at all.
I love a good crop top with a high-waisted jean (I live in a cropped tan sweater top and high waisted black jeans when at airports). If crop tops aren’t your thing, try front-tucking your top to give yourself a more defined waist, and the illusion of longer legs. It’s a no-fail way to instantly make your outfit feel more chic.
Denim jeans are a classic wardrobe staple for a reason. The perfect pair of jeans is comfortable and flattering. The type of closet essential that you’ll want to wear everyday and everywhere.
It goes without saying that jeans are an essential for a comfortable airport outfit. Stretch denim is a great alternative to leggings. However, jeans can be uncomfortable if picked wrong. I recommend staying away from denim that is overly tailored, or low-rise.
Instead, choose jeans that are wide leg or baggy for breathability and movement, or a pair of skinny jeans with so much stretch that they’re basically leggings. Baggy jeans are trending this season, giving you plenty of options to choose from. I always go high-waisted when I’m traveling, because it’s so much more comfortable when seated.
It doesn’t matter if I’m running errands, heading to work, or boarding a long flight: a knit dress is always my go-to. A good knit dress has a sculpting silhouette, and can be easily dressed up or down. Whether it’s a heavy sweater dress or a lightweight, form fitting ribbed knit mini, a knit dress is always a must-pack item in my suitcase, because they’re so comfortable and can be worn to dinner just as easily as sightseeing.
1. Toteme Seamless Rib Tank Dress // 2. Jonathan Simkhai Rosenda Cotton Pointelle Mini Dress // 3. Matteau Polo Knit Mini Dress // 4. Milly Striped Rib Knit Turtleneck Mini Dress // 5. Frame Mixed Rib Sweater Dress
Comfortable Airport Outfit FAQ
Sneakers, leggings, a knit top, and a cute cardigan is the most comfortable travel outfit for women.
Chunky knit sweaters, high waisted jeans, a tailored wool coat, and leather boots or sneakers make for a comfortable and stylish winter travel outfit.
A lightweight knit dress and white leather sneakers is the most comfortable travel outfit in the summer.
You can look cute while traveling by choosing elevated closet staples such as white leather sneakers, duster cardigans, and high-waisted jeans. Invest in a polished travel tote with leather detail, instead of a backpack.
Elevate your airport outfit by opting for a stretchy knit dress instead of leggings or athleisure clothing, choosing leather sneakers instead of gym shoes, and going for a duster cardigan instead of a sweatshirt or pullover.
If you’re shopping any of the pieces in this post, use the code BGSPRING to reward yourself with a $100-$1,500 Bergdorf Goodman gift card on your regular-priced purchase.
Thank you Bergdorf Goodman for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and advice are solely my own.
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Eva Phan is the founder of Eva Darling, a travel and style website aiming to empower women to see the world solo while sharing on-trend, luxury feminine style inspiration. Featured in publications including Forbes, Thrillist, and Yahoo News, Eva has combined her education from Parsons School of Design with her incurable case of the travel bug to create a global destination that encourages others to romanticize their everyday.