Next time you're taking a trip, take a moment to look around the airport as you prepare for your flight. I love planning ahead for a trip and choosing the perfect travel outfit. It feels fresh and exciting, and I am not the only one. All over the airport you'll see fellow travelers displaying their style, whether it's comfortable sweats or glammed up maxi dresses. No matter your style, there are some flying fashion don'ts we should all be aware of.
Before choosing your travel outfit, think about what you'll be doing that day. You will most likely be sitting in a tight space for an extended period of time, so plan ahead for that, and don't forget the airplane bathrooms. Make sure to avoid any outfits that will be too complicated to get off and on in those teeny tiny rooms.
"Jumpsuits are difficult to remove in teeny bathrooms," Hitha Palepu, author of How To Pack and founder of Hitha On The Go told me. "Also avoid short skirts or dresses and anything low cut."
Cohost of Pop Fashion Kaarin Vembar recommended staying away from "anything that is very fussy. You don't want things with lots of zippers, buttons, or something that has to be on you 'just so' in order to look proper," said Vembar. "You want to be able to be comfortable!"
Your favorite outfit
With Facebook and Instragram stories just begging to chronicle your trip, it's tempting to break out a fabulous brand new outfit for your flight, but save it for the vacation.
"Never wear anything that if it gets spilled on, will supremely bum you out," relationship expert April Masini told me. "It's very easy to spill or get spilled on when there's turbulence and elbow-to-elbow seat mates. Of course, any spill on your clothing is going to be disappointing, but if you're wearing something expensive, heirloom-valuable, or tough to replace or clean, leave it home or pack it."
The airplane is full of opportunities to ruin a nice outfit. Spilling drinks, rambunctious toddlers, and bathroom turbulence all threaten to destroy your perfect look. "Airplane turbulence and food and drink without lids make spills on your clothing a matter of time — not a possibility," said Masini.
When it's time to get away for a Caribbean vacation, you're usually so excited for the beach that you forget the airplane temperature. Try to save your resort wear for the hotel, and stick with layers on the plane. You never know how cool it will be, and you don't want to be shivering all the way there.
"Planes have a funny way of getting chilly, so don't wear something for hot weather, even if you're traveling to a hot weather climate, without bringing layers to snuggle up in during a plane ride," recommended Masini. "Shorts and a sleeveless shirt with sandals may seem perfect and comfortable until the airplane interior becomes like fall or winter weather. Bring a sweater and socks, a blanket, or layers for plane rides." An oversized cardigan and comfy scarf could be life-savers.
As long as we're packing away the summer clothes until you get to the beach, go ahead and toss your flip flops in your suitcase too. They are too flimsy for a full day of travel, and you'll probably regret them at some point during your flight.
Aaron Hockel, who travels extensively for his business development role at AtlaVista Strategic Partners, said one thing he never travels in anymore is flip flops. "Let's face it, airplanes can get very hot, and that means sweating. It is incredibly embarrassing to smell your own feet at the start of a five or six hour cross country flight with no options to cover them up." His go-to is running or athletic shoes. "They are comfortable and save space in my suitcase. I plan to bring them for exercise anyway."
Before you choose your perfect airplane outfit, take a good look at the fabric. Avoid anything scratchy or itchy, because it will start to bother you on the flight. Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson constantly travels for work and has learned to steer clear of uncomfortable fabrics.
"Temperature fluctuates on a plane, and heat and cold will sensitize your skin making fabrics like lace or wool even more uncomfortable than they typically are," Richardson told me. "Plus, when you are in a seat that might not have the most legroom, those fabrics become even more annoying."
When choosing your flying shoes, go for comfort over style. You never know how far away your gate will be, so make sure you are able to easily walk or run in them. You can always throw some cute heels in your carry-on if you're hitting the tourist spots as soon as you arrive.
"It's common knowledge that your feet will swell on a plane, so generally speaking, I like to avoid heels and wear shoes that are cute but comfortable, like a pair of mary-janes that have a good insole, or a pair of stylish sneakers," said Richardson. "I'll definitely avoid any shoes that tend to already feel a bit tight because cabin pressure will only make it worse."