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Getting There in Style: The Perfect Basic Travel Outfit

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Suitcase
(Photo Credit)

You’ve made the reservations, saved up your money and packed your bags. It’s time to jet off to the shore, the city or another country for your summer vacation!

We all love showing up at our destination looking our best, but sometimes we feel the need to sacrifice style in the name of comfort and convenience. Knowing what to wear on the airplane or bus can be especially tricky since they tend to keep you confined to a small, unfamiliar space for hours on end.

In an effort to marry the two worlds of style and comfort, I’ve listed a few must-haves for an easy, chic, no-fuss travel ensemble:

The Outfit Essentials

Here are the items every travel-savvy girl needs in her wardrobe:

Jeggings

These are probably the best invention in the history of travel attire. They have the chic look of our stylish skinny jeans with all the stretch and comfort of our favorite leggings. Jeggings are also perfect for summer travel, because it’s always best to avoid shorts on planes and buses. You can never be sure how clean the seats are or what skin irritants may be present.

The Boyfriend Tee

Cute and chic, these oversized tees are the perfect tops for travel. They’re long enough to camouflage¬†the elastic band of our jeggings, loose enough to fill our comfy requirement, and stylish enough to keep us looking trendy from Point A to Point B. Stick with black, white, grey, tan, navy, or beige, which can be paired with practically anything.

Oversized Cardigan

This wardrobe must-have is a godsend if you are traveling by airplane or by bus where the air conditioning tends to be cranked up to the highest setting. Just toss a cardigan in your bag if it’s warm outside, then take it out when you need it. Plus, with all the awesome styles out there, you can really show off your own unique style.

A Colorful Scarf

Stand out in the crowd with a pop of color by adding a cute scarf to your look. It’s a simple way to brighten up your ensemble and adds a cool, glamorous feel. (Think cherry-red convertible, large sunglasses and a silk scarf tied around your head.)

An added bonus? If you go with large scarf, it can double as a small blanket.

Flats or Boots

Between long lines, security checks and the occasional sprint to the gate, comfy shoes are a must. We recommend wearing a pair of boots if you’re flying: they’re easy to slip on and off at security and won’t take up valuable space in your luggage.

If you’d rather not wear boots, stuff your heels in your luggage and invest in a pair of cute flats. They’re ideal for wearing for hours and slip off easily at security checkpoints. One word of warning, however: If you’re going to wear flats to the airport, bring a pair of thin, low-cut socks to wear underneath. Trust us, the last place you want your bare feet is on a dirty airport floor.

The Basic Travel Outfit

Basic travle outfit: Jeggings, plain white tee, cardigan, scarf, and flats or boots
Jeggings, Boyfriend Tee, Cardigan, Scarf, Flats

Tell us what you think!

What are your travel outfit essentials? Do you have your own “travel uniform”? If so, tell us with a comment below!

Posted on on June 4, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

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41 Responses to “Getting There in Style: The Perfect Basic Travel Outfit”

  1. 1
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:12 am

    this article was awesome! i want to recreate this look right now even though i’m not traveling anywhere :)!

  2. 2
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I definitely agree with this! I used to look like crap when I flew, wearing jeans and oversized sweatshirts. But now I try to be a bit more stylish, with jeggings, a nice top, and boots or sandals. Even if you’re just trying to get from point A to point B, it’s always good to look nice while being comfy (or at least not really sloppy…I’m looking at you, girl who travels in pajamas!)

  3. 3
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Thank you for writing this article. I’m traveling to the Philippines this month and comfort is a must for 4 days of transport…

  4. 4
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    this is so cute! not only would i wear this, but i actually have all the pieces to recreate it. i almost (not quite) wish it weren’t summer so i could rock this

  5. 5
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Very nice! I’m catching a plane back to America on Tuesday and I will probably be wearing a very similar outfit (Except I’ll probably wear a maxi skirt instead of jeggings!)

  6. 6
    June 4th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    This is almost exactly my travel uniform! – I wear a wide stretchy belt at the waist over the boyfriend Tee, because with my curvier hourglass shape this type of unstructured outfit can make me look like a block. (which is definitely not polished looking!) Even when I wear a cardigan over it, the visual impact of the belt showing underneath still creates the right effect. :)

  7. 7
    June 4th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. I just went on a two week trip abroad with 30 other students from my university, and there was one girl who wore sweats and no makeup on travel days, and then overly fancy sundresses and heels everywhere else. One girl didn’t even realize it was her, she looked so different. I don’t feel like jeans are any less comfortable than sweats if they fit you right.

    The only issue I have with this post is the suggestion of jeggings. They do not look good on anyone but slender girls.

  8. 8
    June 4th, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Ahh! I love this! Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you can look sloppy. Imagine your host family’s first thoughts when they come to pick you up and you look like you just rolled out of bed, or your long distance boyfriend’s reaction when he finds you at curbside pickup and you look like a hot mess. Not awesome, ladies.

  9. 9
    June 4th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Totally agree with this outfit pick – this is my go to outfit for travelling :) I also like to avoid any big jewellery, I find it just gets annoying sitting down wearing a big pile of accessories for too long. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. 10
    June 4th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This just gave me serious inspiration for my two big flights coming up!

    Yoga pants and a loose sweatshirt also can be perfect. I’ve found that airplanes tend to be a little chilly, so it’s good to have a little something to cover up with. Flip flops also make for the best footwear, because they’re super easy for security.

  11. 11
    June 4th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This is what I usually wear when I travel. :) It’s funny though, because when I do, the pajama gang all gawk and wonder why they didn’t think of that! I’m taking a trip to Europe soon where we can’t bring form fitting pants or skirts or dresses (basically my life) so I gotta spice up my yoga pants for the plane and touring… gonna be fun!

  12. 12
    June 4th, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Im sitting in an airport right now wearing a very similar outfit… I wish I had brought a scarf though!

  13. 13
    June 4th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I support looking good when you’re travelling, but come on, JEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS. So you have to have a shirt long enough to cover your ‘assets’, not just the elastic waistband of the accessory.

  14. 14
    June 4th, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Adore this outfit…but it makes me sad that not only am I not traveling this summer but I live in the south which makes its borderline impossible to wear any scarves are cardigans…it is wayyyy too hot! but I love this outfit though!

  15. 15
    June 4th, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I love that outfit, it looks comfy, it’s simple and lovely !

  16. 16
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Very cute outfit, I would totally wear that. What about maxi dresses or skirts, though? I hate wearing pants/jeggings on a long flight. When I went to Japan I wore a maxi dress and cardigan. I was very comfortable and cute too, I hope.

  17. 17
    June 4th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    that outfit is really cute.. but i would never wear it for a flight! leggings and a sweatshirt with some flats or boots is what i always wear.. its comfy and if you ask me thats what matters on a plane.

  18. 18
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I love the outfit, and the tips are super helpful (and accurate!) I, however, would substitute the jeggings for my favorite pair of straight leg jeans. It would just fit my style/personality/body type better. ;)

  19. 19
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    i’m going on a plane next week, and i don’t look good in my jeggings, and where I am leaving from and going to will be HOT, any other suggestions??

  20. 20
    June 4th, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    This is such a great post. I’m not even studying anymore (finished that years ago) but I still come back to this blog for advice on work clothes (smart casual) and travel advice and it’s so helpful. Thanks!

  21. 21
    June 4th, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Good post! I do think that jeggings are pants. If you can’t tell they aren’t jeans until you touch them then they’re pants! All the pairs I have have everything skinny jeans have except a zipper (in some cases). Leggings, not pants. Anything with denim content, pants :)

  22. 22
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Jeggings are totally pants! Well, I think it depends. I don’t know if I’d consider the ones with elastic waistbands pants. But I have some that look exactly like jeans, with a zipper and those little metal buttons, but are of a slightly stretchier material. I also don’t think only thin girls look good in them. However, I think it looks best if you got 1 or 2 sizes bigger than your normal size if you’re not really slender. That’s what I did for my jeggings so they are soft and really form fitting, but not skin tight. I like the idea of wearing a maxi skirt that another reader mentioned! I felt that this post was helpful. I used to be that girl wearing pajamas in the airport (LOL) but ever since I’ve starting flying frequently I’ve started dressing nicely.

  23. 23
    June 5th, 2011 at 1:58 am

    i love jeggings :) they are so comfortable, and like someone mentioned earlier, they have some with buttons, and zippers. Those are my fav. ;)

  24. 24
    June 5th, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I have traveled far and wide with backpacks containing only 3 pairs of clothes and underwear for a month! To amazing tropical destinations and as they say the journey is as important as the destination. So it is important to stay comfortable and practical. I would not wear boots, having to take them off is a nightmare…and avoid belts on trousers ’cause once again you have to take them off. So jeggings are a good idea, I usually wear jeans,converse a t-shirt and a hoodie, ’cause planes can be sooo cold! Once i wore my hiking boots on the plane not a good idea haah

  25. 25
    June 5th, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I just got off a plane from New York to Brussels a little while ago, and I always do my best to look nice but still be comfy for flights, especially when going to Europe– they do NOT wear sweatpants here and you’re making yourself stand out in a bad way if you wear them!

  26. 26
    June 5th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    This is exactly what I wear to travel! I like to add a cute hat – a soft crocheted one can help keep you warm in the for-some-reason-always-freeeeezing air conditioning they have in airports and buses and such, and it covers up Travel Hair. You know what I mean. I also add sunglasses but no jewelry except my engagement ring – it’s not enough metal to set off the scanners, but I don’t want to mess with having to take off necklaces, bracelets, or belts with metal buckles when I’m going through security.

    Also, jeggings count as pants slightly more than leggings, but you still definitely want your shirt to be long enough in the front to avoid major cameltoe. Then you’ll be fine. Also I want to address the comment that said jeggings only look good on skinny girls – so so so untrue. I have a friend who’s a size 18 and wears them with a long flowy tee the same as everyone else does. And they look totally cute. They don’t make her look any larger than she does in any of her other clothes. It’s totally fine.

  27. 27
    June 5th, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Jeggings and leggings are pants. They cover your legs and bottom half, the main function of pants. I do agree, however, that the nether regions should be covered when wearing them as pants. It’s just a matter of wearing them tastefully because of how tight they are.

    I love the ideas in this post. I’ll keep them in mind next time I get to take a trip.

  28. 28
    June 6th, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Don’t forget denim skirts are really nifty as well! When I travel I’m always wearing a knee length denim skirt & a cute tee, or a denim mini skirt over 3/4 length leggings. Sooooo comfortable. Cute dresses don’t hurt either – depending on where you are going of course! :-)

  29. 29
    June 6th, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    I love this outfit! This is generally how I would dress anyway if I want to be comfy and look cute. I really like the sweater, so chic! I have to agree with you on the socks part also, wearing bare feet on the airport floor is gross, but I always end up wearing sandals anyway.
    xo Liza

  30. 30
    June 8th, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    cute! agree with this outfit :). but for me i wear tights, a reeeeally oversized long tee, that comes down to about my knees/just above my knees (which isn’t hard, i’m like 5’1″ haha!) and equally long/cuddly cardigan, plus cuddly ugg like boots or flats :). and if it’s really cold i add a thick scarf. not forgetting unmentionably cute bag slung over shoulder ;D x

  31. 31
    June 8th, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I usually like to flout “trends,” but this is one area where the celebrities have it absolutely right. The last time I flew, I wore a corduroy dress over tights, with lace-up boots (I thought I’d wear rather than pack them), a loose belt, and a hat and coat. It was a nightmare. The skirt kept riding up, the hat fell off every two minutes – just dreadful. As I jet off to the UK this summer, I’ll be wearing jeggings, a long grey tee with an Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s graphic, and a darker grey low-maintenance blazer. Haven’t decided on the shoes. If I can’t manage to pack my rainboots, then I’ll wear them because at least they slip on and off, but if I end up with enough space to pack them, then I’ll be wearing either a pair of sexy zip-up wedge booties or basic, 50′s-esque black pumps.

  32. 32
    June 9th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Shirts should be long enough to tastefully cover up a girl’s “assets” down there because leggings and jeggings are infamously clingy in all the wrong places or otherwise look strange when loose and baggy.

    Overall, very cute outfit. Unfortunately, leggings are not my style nor are they flattering on me, so I would probably just switch it out with my favorite pair of straight leg jeans. Everything else is very chic, though, especially that cardigan. I must get it.

  33. 33
    June 13th, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    These are some great must-have’s if you’re traveling, especially when you’re at the airport and have to go through security! Either way, it’s great to see that you can still be comfortable without having to sacrafice fashion :) Awesome!

  34. 34
    July 16th, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Oh goodness I love this soo much! I would TOTALLY wear this, but not with flats. I would wear non-heeled ankle boots, with my jeggings tucked in, and… yup! Perfect. :)

    My fave actress Georgie Henley wore the cutest outfit when traveling to Japan to promote her latest film ‘the Dawn Treader’. Here’s the link:

    http://georgie-henley.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=85

    :D

  35. 35
    July 26th, 2011 at 12:05 am

    This outfit is close to what I wear. My best travel outfit consists os leggings, knit dress, shawl/scarf, over the knee socks and boots and a soft long cardigan. Of course that’s for cold weather, for warm I like the same but lighter materials, no sweater and flats or sandals. No matter what the weather a pashmina type scarf or a cozy is a must for the plane.

  36. 36
    October 6th, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    security checks and loose clothing DO NOT MIX!!! so for all of the ladies asking about maxi skirts or loose flowing dresses….prepare to be felt up and have your time wasted! voice of experience…i fly internationally at least once a month…this outfit in the article sounds perfect! maxi dress is best left at home and spare yourself the “step aside please” detours and embarrassment sure to ensue should you decide to not wear at least slightly fitted clothing.

  37. 37
    December 25th, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Ahhhhh this is such a great idea! Im flying to south africa from new zealand which is a 12 Hour flight excluding lay overs..oh gosh! But i absolutely love this outfit! THANK YOU :)

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