What to Wear on a Long Haul Flight (Comfort vs Fashion)

trendy woman on bench at airport
Photo credit: leandraraye

Not sure what to wear on a long plane flight? Worry no longer, I’ll answer that question for you.

Read on to see my recommendations on what to wear and our incredibly easy outfit ideas culled from your expert flight attendants’ views and experience.

Ideas for Women: Chic and Comfortable Travel Attire

In Spring / Summer

long haul clothes women spring / summer

Products listed above:

  • Short sleeve blouse
  • Long sleeve coat
  • Slim-fit casual pants
  • Sneaker shoe
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoulder bag

In Fall / Winter

long haul clothes women fall / winter

Products listed above:

  • Long sleeve thermal shirt
  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Coat
  • Sweat pants
  • Sneaker
  • Compression socks
  • Backpack

Ideas for Men: Stylish and Practical Flight Outfits

In Spring / Summer

long haul clothes men spring / summer

Products listed above:

  • Short sleeve t-shirt
  • Denim shirt
  • Stretch pants
  • Vans
  • Sunglasses
  • Duffle bag


In Fall / Winter

long haul clothes men fall / winter

Products listed above:

  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Puffer jacket
  • Jogger pants
  • Aqua beach shoes
  • Compression socks
  • Backpack

10 Tips on What to Wear on a Long-Haul Flight

Tip #1: Wear comfortable clothes

The days of dressing up to fly are gone.

Being fashionable is lovely, but on a long-haul flight, what is most important nowadays is to be comfortable.

So wear the sort of clothes that do that for you.

Your favorite jeans are something that you love wearing, you can pair them up with almost anything and they are like an old friend, but are they right for this situation?

Being constricted in any way on a plane flight is something to be avoided.

So if they are not as comfortable as you would like, choose something like joggers, khaki pants, or leggings.

Okay, they may not be the height of fashion, but we’re being practical here, right?

And make sure that whatever you wear has stretch and give and doesn’t hug your skin.

Tip #2: Pick natural fabrics

If possible, always use breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, and wool.

They will wick moisture away from your skin and will dry quicker than synthetics.

Tip #3: Don’t forget a lightweight jacket

Don’t forget to pack a lightweight jacket for the plane, even if it’s summer and you are traveling to a hot weather destination.

There will be air conditioning in areas of the airport and inside the cabin of the plane, so it’s sensible to have something available to put on.

If you can avoid a heavy coat, do so. They add an awful lot to your weight and they are space hoggers in your suitcase.

Tip #4: Layer up

A clever idea is to wear clothing that you can layer so that if you do find yourself too cold or too warm at the airport or on the plane if you have a jacket, a t-shirt, or a sweatshirt/cardigan, it’s simply a matter of adding or removing an item of clothing.

Tip #5: Bring a scarf

Don’t overlook this one, it’s seriously a good tip.

As well as the obvious, you can use a scarf as a blanket to warm you up, as a travel pillow and you can use it to cover your mouth to protect your throat against cold/dry air during the flight.

Tip #6: Keep it simple

To get through airport security faster: wear something easy to remove (shoes with laces are not the best idea or complicated clothes to tie and untie).

Don’t wear too many metal accessories (belt, jewelry: necklaces, bangles, earrings, metallic sweaters, umbrella….).

Keep it simple, that’s the key to all of this.

Not only will you be saving time, but it’s also more comfortable and you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pick all the things you had to remove at the security checkpoint.

We already carry enough when we travel, so in this case, less really is better.

Tip #7: Easy to slip on and off shoes

It’s best to wear ones that are flat and comfortable and that are easy to slip on and off: sneakers, loafers or TOMS slip-on shoes.

And don’t forget that you may need to walk a lot at your destination airport and your feet may well be swollen after flying.

So high heels and tight shoes are not something you want to be even considering.

If you are tempted to wear sandals or flip-flops that’s ok, but your feet might end up a lot colder than you’d like or thought that they would be.

And, at the risk of touching on the crude, going to the lavatory/washrooms, can be a gross experience if you have exposed feet.

That fluid on the floor is likely to be something a lot more unpleasant than just water.

Tip #8: Bring socks

They might be useful at the TSA screening when you remove your shoes and during the flight to feel warmer.

Compression socks are the best if you are going to be seated for a long period of time to avoid blood circulation problems.

Tip #9: Bring a backpack

A backpack or a big tote bag to keep all your travel essentials and technology gear.

The more compartments and pockets, the better.

I always prefer a big bag rather than a small mini purse that I can’t fit very much of anything.

Below is my list of long-haul travel essentials. Check it out, because it will make a big difference to your flying experience.

  • Deodorant
  • Sleeping kit: Travel pillow, eye mask, earplugs
  • Beauty products: Face mist, 8-hour skin protectant, hand cream, fresh fragrance, lip balm, face wipes.  Look for samples or travel sizes of your favorite products.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair comb
  • Magazines, your favorite podcast, ebook or something to get distracted with
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Antibacterial wipes&hand sanitizer
  • Water
  • Electronics: Headphones, power bank, Kindle
  • Snacks and water
  • Compressive Socks
  • A change of clothing
  • Medication
  • Pen: to fill out immigration forms

Tip #10: Dress appropriately

Please dress appropriately for the airport and for the country you are traveling to.

Many Muslim countries are tired of seeing tourists in skimpy outfits, and they are calling on visitors to respect their culture.

There’s nothing wrong with dressing in lighter clothes to deal with hot weather, but it’s important that you don’t accidentally offend anyone with your choice of clothing, even when you are at the airport.

So check the local customs and dress code for your destination.

A good idea if you want to sleep your way through a long-haul flight is to change clothes.

You can bring your sweatpants and a t-shirt in your carry-on and change just before boarding or in the restroom on board the plane.

You’ll be dressed for sleep and this will help you have a good one.

If you fly Business or First class on certain long-haul flights, with some airlines like American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, Emirates, Etihad, and some Asian Airlines, you will be offered sleepwear or pajamas. Take up the offer, you won’t regret it.


How Do I Dress My Kids When We’re Traveling by Plane?

Simply follow the same rules that I outline above.

Dress them in something comfy.

Oh, and kids being kids,  stain-resistant, dark-colored clothes are a very good idea.

Don’t forget a jacket or coat, socks, hat and gloves if needed.

If your children are infants, choose something that is easy for you to handle when changing a diaper in an airplane restroom: something with buttons for easy diaper-access.

Always bring a change of clothes in case there are any spills or other accidents.

And there are always spills and accidents with the little ones, aren’t there?


  • Lightweight jacket or coat. You’ll save space in your luggage later and it’ll be more comfortable to wear.
  • Cardigan, sweater, thermal t-shirt: layer up in case it gets cold on the plane
  • Comfortable pants: leggings, wide pants, joggers
  • Shoes that are easy to put on: Slip-on shoes or sneakers
  • Scarf: useful as a blanket, eye mask or travel pillow
  • Big tote bag or backpack: to fit all your travel gadgets, magazine, water
  • Glasses: The air in the cabin can dry your eyes out, so consider wearing your glasses on flights


  • Heavy, bulky coats
  • A single thick sweater gives you no option for temperature changes
  • Too tight pants: skinny jeans are not only uncomfortable to wear, but they also can cause circulation problems.
  • High heels or tight shoes that are complicated to put on: remember your feet will swell during the flight.
  • Too many accessories: Necklaces, bracelets, rings, big earrings, belt, etc.

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