If you’ve ever googled “airport outfits,” you’ve no doubt been bombarded with pictures of celebrities strutting through security in their high heels, leather pants and cool blouses. But I mean, is that realistic?
Think about it: These celebs are most likely flying via private plane or being escorted immediately to a first-class lounge. And because of “who they are” (*insert eye roll*), they probably get through security much faster than the average traveller.
Now, if you’ve ever been on a plane before, you know how uncomfortable they are. And I’m not talking about how awkward it can be riding between two strangers when all you want to do is lean to the side and fall asleep.
I’ve been on my fair share of planes, in fact, I’m writing this while on a 10-hour flight across the Atlantic. So I know the discomfort well. But whether your flight is 10 hours long or just a couple, it’s necessary to dress as comfortably as you can so the flight isn’t miserable.
Here are my tips on how to dress for your flight so that you can get through security efficiently and stay comfy for the whole ride. As well, I’ve created three comfortable airport outfits that use my principles.
Comfortable Airport Outfits 101: How to Choose an Outfit for Your Flight
Here’s exactly how to create an outfit that’s cute, comfy, and will get you through security in a flash.
Tip #1: Figure out a basic outfit then layer on top of it.
Planes tend to be pretty cold so pick out a basic outfit, maybe it’s leggings and a graphic t shirt, maybe it’s jeans and a flowy button down. Then add your layers.
Whichever option you choose, I highly recommend throwing on a jacket, maybe a scarf that can double as a pillow and triple as an eye mask. You will definitely thank yourself when temperatures change!
Tip #2: Wear your heaviest items on the plane.
This has more to do with packing but it’s a tip I highly recommend and I’m shocked at how many people don’t do it.
You should always wear your heaviest and/or bulkiest items on the plane: It saves so much room in your bag! Maybe it’s your heavy winter coat, maybe it’s a pair of boots. Whatever the case may be, wear it on the plane to maximize your precious suitcase space.
Tip #3: Dress to impress (with how quickly you were able to get through security).
Getting through security seems to be an unnecessarily long process and you know why? Because the people that are taking the longest probably didn’t read this article.
In order to get through security quickly, DON’T wear things that are going to set off the sensors or make them stop you and DO wear things that are easy to manipulate.
What I mean by that is, wear slip-on shoes because unless you’re one of the lucky ones who gets Pre-Check, you will most likely have to remove your shoes. Make it easy on yourself and wear a pair with either Velcro or zippers. And don’t forget the no-show socks!
Don’t wear anything with metal, and if you must, it should be something that can be easily removed. For example, maybe skip the pants that require you to wear a belt and opt for leggings instead.
I also don’t recommend wearing anything too oversized and flowy, unless you’re looking to get a pat down by burly security personnel. In a perfect world, you’d be able to wear these things, but it’s just not reality with the heightened security at most airports. So don’t do it.
Also, I know my above recommendation of layering your heaviest pieces might make avoiding bulk difficult, but just do a little prior planning: Take off your jacket(s) while you wait in line and hold them in your hands.
And while you’re at it, remove your toiletries/liquids and your electronic devices (usually this won’t include your cell phone) from your bag because I can guarantee you they will ask you to do so. This is such basic knowledge but you’d be surprised how many people fail to do this!
Tip #4: Wear something comfortable.
You came to this article looking for comfortable airport outfits, so I assume you know the importance of this. But it should be repeated: No matter the length of your flight, it’s nice to be in something comfortable that you can move around in. Yes, even if these cramped planes don’t give you a lot of room to do so.
For example, try some leggings and an oversize t-shirt or maybe your well-worn jeans and a loose-fitting tee with a cardigan. Those are the two options I most prefer, but honestly, it’s up to you and what you find comfortable.
Tip #5: Wear something that’ll keep you warm.
I mentioned layering above but I recommend you pack a pair of fuzzy socks in your carry-on. Planes can get really cold and the blankets that they sometimes provide aren’t always available.
As previously mentioned, pack your own scarf that can double as a blanket, and always bring a cardigan or jacket, even if your departure location and destination are currently experiencing warm weather.
Comfortable Airport Outfit Examples:
In case you’re still struggling to figure out what to wear on your next trip, here are some outfit ideas that tick off every check mark I’ve listed above.
Comfortable Airport Outfit #1:
Mom jeans + striped tee + army jacket + ankle boots
This outfit is easy, comfortable and totally customizable to any sense of style.
You can’t go wrong with comfy mom jeans and the striped tee and army jacket combo is surprisingly stylish. The boots simply zip off so they’re ultra easy to remove for security.
Comfortable Airport Outfit #2:
Leggings + graphic tee + oversized cardigan + slip ons
You can’t go wrong with this basic and simple comfy outfit combo. Leggings are a fashion staple for planes and a cozy tee and oversized cardigan will add the coverage you need. Finish with classic Converse slip-ons and a patterned scarf.
Comfortable Airport Outfit #3:
Leggings + button-down shirt + scarf + denim jacket
This is a more fashion-forward take on your usual “leggings for the airport” outfit. Just mix in a few stylish pieces, like a slightly oversized button-down shirt, a colorful scarf, and a classic medium wash denim jacket. Finish with simple slip on sneakers.
What do you wear to the airport?
Do you have any tips for getting through airport security in a hurry? What is your go-to airport outfit combination? Tell me in the comments.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2017; it was completely updated and revamped in 2019 with new photos, outfit sets, and information.