Organising What to Wear for a Long Distance Flight …

Organising What to Wear for a Long Distance Flight


Miss 17 recently travelled overseas to play netball. It was such an exciting time for her but she had to plan and pack very carefully as she would be travelling between two totally different climates … the oppressive heat of Singapore to the cold, wet winter of Paris. We busily planned what she would pack but also gave a lot of thought to what she would wear on the plane. Whether your 17 or 70, I think the same general principles apply. It’s about finding a balance between looking good and being comfortable, so here are my tips for organising your clothes and other items for a long distance flight:


  1. Comfort is the name of the game. I try to steer clear of anything tight or too fitted. I prefer tops, pants, jumpers and jackets to be loose and made with fabric that will stretch or “give”. Leggings or loose-fitting pants and loose-fitting short or long-sleeved t-shirts are a great choice. On this particular trip, Miss 17 wore a pair of black stretch Ponte Pants by Seed.


  1. I tend to stick to darker colours. Because you’re eating, drinking, sitting, sleeping, in other words, living in a confined, cramped space, food and drink spills can happen and darker colours will help conceal that. A black top and black pants are ideal and you can still add a splash of colour with a scarf, jumper, jewellery, handbag or shoes.


  1. Keep it simple. Save the sequins and your really dressy outfits for a night on the town in your holiday destination.


  1. Comfortable footwear is a must. I usually stick to “Converse” style sneakers because they are closed-in, flat, lightweight, can be worn with or without socks and are comfortable. There are generally loose enough if my feet swell a little during the flight. Alternatively, a flat comfortable shoe like Sketchers are also ideal. This style of footwear is also fantastic for walking around airports either pre-flight, during transit or at the end of a journey. In some airports, you may need to walk long distances to get to your departure gate or when transferring between domestic and international terminals. You may also need to wait for a long time at customs or in bus or taxi queues. Light footwear also prevents your legs from becoming tired. For her trip, Miss 17 wore a pair of black “Lildevel” shoes by Nine West. During a long distance flight I usually change into a pair of Slumbies, which I place in my carry-on luggage. These are a foot covering that are a cross between a sock and a slipper. I love them because they are warm (as flights can get very cold), weigh next to nothing, have a non-slip sole and I can just toss them in the washing machine when they need cleaning. Whatever style of footwear you choose, make sure it’s easy to remove as you may have to take them on and off several times to pass through security in certain airports/countries.


  1. I usually wear either a large scarf or a pashmina, or at least pack one in my carry on luggage. It not only keeps my neck and shoulders warm but it can double as a lightweight throw over my legs if I’m cold or it can be folded quite small and used as a pillow.


  1. Non-crease clothing is a must. After hours on a plane in a small often-cramped seat, you could be excused for feeling a little less than average but, if you look like a crumpled mess, you’ll feel even worse. If you wear clothes that aren’t as likely to crumple and crease, you’ll feel a little less gross at the end of your journey.


  1. Pack a change of clothing in your carry-on luggage (if you have room). This will come in handy if you spill something on your clothes during the flight. I like to carry a change of clothes and change about an hour before landing. A fresh set of clothes, brushed hair, a washed face and clean teeth can all help you feel less smashed and it could be the lift you need and keep you going until you can get to your hotel and have a shower. It’s also handy to have a spare set of clothes if your luggage gets lost and doesn’t arrive when you do!


  1. I love layers when travelling. Wearing light layers allows you to peel off or add clothing as needed, just like an onion. Planes are notorious for being too cold or too stuffy in the other extreme. It’s a far better way to manage the heat and cold, to be able to add or peel off layers, especially if you’re arriving at a destination where the temperature is totally different to the one you left. Lightweight layers will also generally be less bulky and often weigh less, taking up less room in your carry on luggage. Start with some leggings and a lightweight, loose-fitting top and add more layers as needed. A lightweight long cardigan to throw over the top of everything is always a good choice. Miss 17 wore a long-sleeved, loose fitting t-shirt from Witchery and carried a knitted jumper. She also packed her thermal underwear in her carry on just in case.


  1. Keep jewellery to a minimum. I don’t take a lot of jewellery when I travel because I don’t want to lose it, worry about looking after it or worst still, risk it being stolen. It can also be uncomfortable and things like clinking bangles can be really annoying to other passengers (you’d be surprised at what can really frustrate someone in a confined space at 20,000 feet). You might also have to remove jewellery during security checks.


  1. Wear compression socks/stockings if you have them. I had some left over following a surgery a few years ago and I always wear them on planes. Compression socks/stockings are said to help with the prevention of deep vein thrombosis which can occur when flying.


  1. And, let’s not forget the handbag that inevitably completes your outfit. Something that zips closed for safety and security is a must as well as something that will hold all your essentials without being too big or bulky. I tend to favour a “backpack” style handbag or at the very least something with a long strap that allows you to drape the bag across your body. Both options offer more security while leaving both hands free to carry other things or hold onto small children.


  1. Don’t forget to take into account your destination. If you’re leaving from a hot climate and landing in a cold climate (or vice versa) remember to consider that when planning what you will wear.


  1. Don’t forget to consider your underwear. Make sure it passes the comfort test or you could be very uncomfortable and regret your choice.


  1. Fabric choices are important. Choose fabrics that will “breathe” or you could end up quite “stinky” by the end of your journey. Natural fibres are a great choice and I always make sure I carry some deodorant in my handbag or carry on so I can freshen up as needed.


  1. Look smart. Even after taking all the previous tips into account most girls (and guys) like to look their best, so if you can find something that’s comfortable, isn’t too tight, can handle layers and won’t crease or crumple too much … well, you will have nailed it! If you can pull off stylish and chic as well, you might also have more chance of an upgrade!


  1. And, one final tip, avoid anything that’s too skimpy or revealing. If you’re travelling to another country, do your homework and be respectful of the culture, beliefs and rules that may apply. I would also avoid any clothing with symbols, wording, slogans or phrases that could be interpreted as offensive or you could end up in hot water or worse still, violating local laws. The airline you choose to fly with may also have a dress code.


So tell me, what do you like to where when you travel?


If you enjoyed this post, you might also like these:


9 Tips for Choosing a Suitcase you'll be Happy with ...



Simple Tips for Choosing a Travel Handbag 001



9 Simple Tips for Labelling your Luggage when you Travel 001