Whether you’re flying to Miami for the weekend or preparing for an overnight flight to France, one thing remains more or less the same: you’ll want to dress in layers on the plane. Regardless of the weather in your final destination, breathable layers — like a cardigan or cover-up — will help you regulate your own body temperature and keep you comfortable throughout the flight. 


Comfort is another key when considering what to wear on a plane, although you shouldn’t turn up in your pajamas. Loungewear and athleisure may be appropriate for international travelers looking to cozy up for a good night’s sleep, while business travelers will want to stick to soft, stretchy pieces with a bit more polish, which they could wear straight from the plane to a meeting. 


Here, we’ve curated a list of guidelines for what to wear on a plane for every type of trip and traveler, from warm-weather getaways to long-haul international flights.



Tips for What to Wear on a Plane

Find the right balance between style and comfort

Comfort is key, says Lauren-Ashley Barnes, a travel expert and content creator who specializes in family travel and affordable flights. No one wants to sit through a seven-hour flight in constricting jeans or too-tight shoes — soft, stretchy, and stylish clothing is the way to go. Athleisure sets, loose-fitting pants and tops, and slip-on shoes all make for comfy and convenient plane outfits. 


Wear layers

Layering up not only saves you precious suitcase space, but it will also ensure you’re comfortable despite any temperature fluctuation in-flight. Which layers you wear will shift depending on the type of trip you’re taking. Anyone heading to the Caribbean for a beachy vacation may opt for more casual and lightweight pieces, like beach cover-ups and breezy linen pants, while those heading on ski trips will want to wear their bulkiest boots and jackets on the flight to save on limited suitcase space. Business travelers may even opt to wear their suit to minimize potential wrinkles. 


Opt for breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics

“Breathable fabric is always a good choice,” adds Barnes, noting that it can be particularly useful for those who run hot. Performance fabrics, which are typically equipped with moisture-wicking capabilities and quick-drying capacity, are excellent no matter what the weather or destination is. All of these extras will help maximize your comfort, whether you’re running to your gate or sitting in the cold airplane cabin. 



What to Wear on a Plane if You’re a Business Traveler

If you’re jet-setting for work, it’s important to blend style and comfort. Perhaps you’re traveling with your colleagues, or you need to run straight to a meeting as soon as the plane lands — either way, it pays to be polished. But there’s no need to sacrifice comfort: silky, stretchy pieces (like a coordinating blazer and slacks from Spanx) look pulled-together while providing sweatpants-level coziness. Anyone traveling for a work trip or a wedding may want to consider wearing their suit on the plane, as it may help minimize the chance of it wrinkling. 



Best Blazer

Spanx The Perfect Oversized Blazer

Spanx The Perfect Oversized Blazer

Spanx



Polish up your look with this chic blazer from Spanx, which is as comfortable as it is stylish. The relaxed, oversized fit is designed to flatter without ever feeling constricting. It’s enhanced with four-way stretch to ensure full flexibility, so you can easily reach up and tuck your carry-on into the overhead bin. 


Business travelers will appreciate that the stretchy and smoothing ponte fabric resists wrinkles, and is machine washable for easy care. We love the functional pockets, which provide storage for essentials like your phone and passport. (Note that the pockets come with basting stitches that need to be removed before wear). Pair this with streamlined slacks and you’ve got a perfect day-to-night outfit that can be elevated with a few small details, like your go-to heels and some dainty gold jewelry. 


Price at time of publish: $168



Best Pants

Spanx The Perfect Pant, Slim Straight

The Perfect Pant, Slim Straight

Spanx 



Crafted from the same smoothing ponte fabric as the Spanx blazer, these sleek pants live up to their name as the “perfect” travel pants. They’re stretchy enough to easily pull on and off, which is ideal for in-flight bathroom breaks in those tiny airplane bathrooms; it also means that you don’t need to worry about a pesky zipper or buttons digging into your skin during a long flight. 


The Perfect Pant is designed to hit at the waist and boasts hidden core-shaping technology to flatter your figure while still providing great stretch. They’re available in petite, regular, and tall sizing, with six shades on offer ranging from classic black to bold red. We love the ankle crop, which is perfect for pairing with sneakers on the plane and with pumps or heeled boots once you land. 


Price at time of publish: $148



Best Loafers

Rothy’s The Lug Loafer

Rothy's The Lug Loafer

Rothy’s



Famous for their sustainably-crafted and superiorly comfortable shoes, Rothy’s is our go-to for fashionable and functional in-flight style. We love their Lug Loafer, a charmingly chunky yet classic silhouette that’s ready to wear right out of the box — no need to break them in. The soft and breathable knit upper is made from RWS-certified merino wool, which is naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking. Better yet, four recycled plastic bottles go into each and every pair. This proprietary fabric is even machine washable, so you can toss them in the laundry every so often to keep them looking as fresh as the day you bought them. 


Pull tabs at the heel make these a breeze to slip on and off as you go through TSA, while the cushioned insoles provide enough arch support to keep you comfortable on your feet as you make your way through the airport. Running to catch your flight? No problem — the rugged outsoles are equipped with lugs that provide added traction and durability. It’s easy to find your dream pair, given that they’re available in half sizes ranging from 5 to 13. You can choose from three classic colors: black, teak, or ivory.


Price at time of publish: $229





Best Tote

Quince Revive Nylon Large Tote

Quince Revive Nylon Large Tote

Quince



As a travel writer, nearly all my trips are work trips — meaning it’s essential that I have quick and easy access to my laptop in my personal item. Flying with an oversized tote that boasts its own laptop pocket has been a lifesaver, as I can easily remove my computer for TSA screenings and slip it in and out of my bag during takeoff and landing.


I love this sustainably-designed bag from Quince, which is made from 27 recycled bottles and features recycled leather trim. It boasts two generous external pockets for stashing your phone, passport, and boarding pass, while you’ll find a zippered pocket, two stash pockets, and a laptop sleeve on the inside. While I wish there was a zippered closure for added security, I do appreciate being able to access all of my belongings with no fuss. The material is sleek, scuff-resistant, and easy to wipe clean, which is a crucial feature of any bag you’ll be repeatedly shoving under a seat.  


Price at time of publish: $90



What to Wear on a Plane if You’re an International Traveler

Touching down in Paris in the morning? You’ll want to dress in clothes that are comfortable enough to get a good night’s sleep in during your overnight flight — unless you’re in business class, where they dole out pajamas. This should also include a comfortable travel bra and underwear. Wayre, a travel-friendly company, is designed to help with just that: their loungewear sets are packable, stretchy, and come in a bevy of fun colors for you to switch up your style throughout the trip. 


“My number one [piece of] advice would be to make sure you’re comfortable, especially during international travel where the days can be so long,” explains Barnes. “Then I’d lean into practicality,” she adds, revealing her top space-saving hack for light packers. “Our family of four all have coats that fold into a small pillow when we’re going from cold to warmer weather,” she explains. 



Best Matching Set

Wayre Button Up Crop and Cruiser Pant

Wayre Button Up Crop and Cruiser Pant

Wayre



Wayre is designed by travelers, for travelers. Their pieces are meant to be mixed and matched to create your own custom capsule wardrobe; pair the wide-legged Cruiser Pant with any of their travel tops, like the Button Up Crop. Both the top and bottoms are available in a rainbow of colors and patterns, including a trendy bronze shade and an adorable gingham print. They come in a wide range of sizes, from 2XS to 3XL, and the  buttery soft pants feature an elasticated waistband that won’t dig into skin on overnight flights. 


We love that the pants feature four pockets — one that’s hidden away from potential pickpockets, plus a small zippered pocket and two side slip pockets to hold all your belongings. The material is a frequent flyer’s dream: it’s silky, antimicrobial, and wrinkle resistant — meaning it’s perfect for packing, as it retains its shape easily even after hours of sitting or being folded into a suitcase. The Button Up Crop is a versatile top that can be dressed up or down, thanks to a tie-front waist and a chic collar. There’s even a hidden pocket to store your phone.  


Price at time of publish: Top: $119; Pants: $159



Best Joggers

Athleta Farallon Jogger Pants

Athleta Farallon Jogger Pants

Athleta



Well-made joggers are a great choice for long-haul flights. They marry the comfort and coziness of sweatpants with the laid back, yet still put-together look of athleisure wear. The Athleta Farallon Jogger comes in a tapered style that’s crafted from organic cotton and spandex, which provides the ideal amount of stretch without clinging to your skin. 


The fabric blend is breathable and lightweight, so you won’t overheat while sitting through a 12-hour flight or running to make a connection. Deep side pockets and two back pockets offer plenty of space to conveniently stash your small essentials. We also appreciate that these are machine washable, so there’s no need to worry about tracking down a dry cleaner while you’re abroad.   


Price at time of publish: $98



Best Tank Top

Reformation Tasha Tank

Reformation Tasha Tank

Reformation



Crafted from an eco-friendly fabric, this ribbed tank top will go with everything in your suitcase. Toss it on with jeans and sneakers for a day of sightseeing, or pair it with a silk skirt and heeled sandals for a night out with friends. The wide detailing around the neckline and armholes creates a trendy silhouette that’s flattering and fitted. 


Reformation prioritizes environmentally-friendly practices: this tank was designed in the United States, using organic cotton and a touch of spandex for added stretch. It’s available in a range of neutral, traveler-friendly hues, like black, white, and dark olive. 


Price at time of publish: $38



Best Shoes

Vivaia Square-Toe Water Repellent Ankle Boots

Vivaia Square-Toe Water Repellent Ankle Boots

Vivaia



Orthopedics never looked so good. These chic Chelsea boots boast a ridiculous number of travel-friendly qualities, from their built-in arch support and cushioned insoles to a grippy outsole, breathable uppers, and — best of all — their water-resistant construction. The stretchy knit upper is easy to pack, stink-proof, and designed with shock absorption and added cushioning to keep your feet feeling and looking their best all day long, whether you’re on the plane or hitting the ground running when you land. 


We love that these can carry you through shoulder seasons, given their breathability and ankle coverage. But it’s their water-resistant fabric that really sets them apart, as they can double as rainboots in mild conditions. While they’re sadly not machine washable, they’re easy enough to spot clean, particularly in the darker tones. 


Price at time of publish: $139





What to Wear on a Plane for a Cold Weather Destination

Bound for a winter wonderland? Don’t sacrifice your suitcase space on bulky coats and snow boots. Instead, wear those layers onto the plane, which will help free up some necessary room in your luggage. Jackets can usually be tucked below the seat in front of you or into the overhead bin, although as per Barnes’ tip, they’re great to rely on as a spare plane pillow in a pinch. Heavy boots are another way to weigh your suitcase down — wear them on the plane instead, and pack a foldable pair of slippers to change into for added comfort.



Best Sweater

Everlane Cashmere Crew

Everlane The Cashmere Crew

Everlane



Cashmere layers are a game changer on cold-climate trips, as they’re ultra-soft and naturally breathable, with excellent temperature retention properties that will keep you warm in a chilly airplane cabin. This classic crewneck sweater from Everlane is a wardrobe staple that you can wear on the flight to minimize bulk in your suitcase, trusting that this supple blend of recycled and virgin cashmere won’t cause you to overheat. 


The slightly relaxed fit and polished neckline is flattering and easy to mix and match with everything in your suitcase, from slacks to blue jeans. You can scoop these up in a wide range of sizes — 2XS to 3XL — and neutral tones like black, or a fiery red. We love cashmere for cold-weather trips, as it provides maximal warmth with minimal bulk. 


Price at time of publish: $158



Best Jeans

Good American Always Fits Good Classic Slim Straight Jeans

Good American Always Fits Good Classic Slim Straight Jeans

Good American



If you love the look of classic denim but aren’t into the idea of sitting in jeans for a 10-hour flight, look to Good American’s innovative Always Fits line. Their stretchy fabric is like the best version of a jegging you could possibly imagine — incredibly soft and flexible, but designed to actually look like denim. 


Their Good Classic Slim Straight style is ultra-flattering and matches well with T-shirts and cozy sweaters alike, providing a versatile bottom that you can wear from the plane right to a museum visit or dinner with friends. The cotton blend fabric features a one-size-fits-four design, which molds to your body with every wear and ensures a gap-free fit every time. Plus, the recovery denim easily shakes out wrinkles and creases after you’ve been sitting for too long.


Price at time of publish: $159



Best Shoes

Blundstone Original Vegan Boots

Blundstone Original Vegan Boots

Blundstone



Whether you’re headed to a ski resort town or London for the holidays, you’ll want to bring a sturdy, water-resistant and well-insulated pair of boots with you to keep your toes warm as you wander around in chilly weather. Unless you’ll be dealing with heavy-duty snow, we love the Blundstone boots, which are versatile enough to wear on the plane, for meetings, or out to dinner. Plus, they provide enough grip for most outdoor adventures thanks to their superior traction and thick soles. Their ankle-height makes them slightly more packable, although we’d suggest wearing them on the plane in order to minimize suitcase bulk. 


While the brand makes a vegan and original non-vegan boot, we prefer the former for its sustainable efforts as well as its low-maintenance care routine — there’s no need to polish or oil the vegan version. 


Price at time of publish: $210





Best Jacket

Everlane The ReNew Long Puffer

Everlane The ReNew Long Puffer

Everlane



A zippable coat with a hood and deep pockets that doesn’t look like a mess after it’s been squished into an overhead bin? Sign us up. This puffer from Everlane is made from the brand’s recycled performance fabric, which is filled with recycled Primaloft insulation that will keep you warm and toasty in chilly temperatures without leaving you hot or sweaty.


The button flap pockets keep your belongings secure, while the drawstring hood is ideal for blocking out light on the plane, or blocking out wind on a blustery day. 


Price at time of publish: $278



What to Wear on a Plane for a Warm Weather Destination

As tempting as it may be, hold off on donning your swimsuit and flip-flops until you’ve safely touched down in your warm-weather locale. Hawaiian Airlines even has it written into their dress code, as a reminder to layer up. Your destination may be warm, but the plane is likely to be chilly, and the weather you return to may also be cold — it always pays to pack light layers. Barnes adds that layering with breathable materials is incredibly important for comfortable travel, especially with young children who can easily overheat.



Best Dress

Quince 100% European Linen Trapeze Midi Dress

Quince 100% European Linen Trapeze Midi Dress

Quince



Jetting off to Greece for a beachy getaway? This breezy linen dress from Quince will be your best friend, thanks to the breathable and lightweight fabric. The airy tiered design is casual and comfortable enough to layer under a sweater, light jacket, or cover up on the plane, yet also perfect for a day at the beach club or night on the town when paired with chic sandals and statement earrings. 


Like all our favorite travel pieces, this one boasts pockets to keep your phone and passport within easy reach. It also features adjustable straps and an elastic back detail for added comfort. The white color option even includes a 100-percent cotton lining, which provides additional coverage.  


Price at time of publish: $70



Best T-shirt

Athleta With Ease Tee

Athleta With Ease Tee

Athleta



Flowy and lightweight, this breezy T-shirt is designed to take you just about anywhere, from the plane to the coffee shop or the yoga studio. It’s made with antimicrobial technology which keeps you smelling fresh for hours on end, while the wicking fabric helps sweat to evaporate from the body before it can stink up your aisle. 


We love that there’s even built-in sun protection, with a UPF 25+ rating that helps block out UV rays. The shirt is also made from recycled materials that are both quick-drying and machine washable. Scoop it up in nine earthy hues and sizes 2XS to 3XL.


Price at time of publish: $49



Best Beach Bag

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote, Zip-Top

L.L. Bean Boat & Tote

L.L. Bean



L.L. Bean is one of the most trusted outdoor outfitters, and for good reason. The brand has been making this tote since 1944, paying close attention to the details that count, from reinforced straps to a double-layer base. The bag is made from durable 24-ounce canvas that can hold up to 500 pounds, according to the manufacturer — that’s a lot of towels and beach reads.


It’s available in four sizes, from small through extra-large — we find that the medium and large are ideal for travel, as they can double as a sturdy personal item on the plane and function as a beach bag when you touch down in the Caribbean. The zip top is key, as it keeps sand and any other debris out of the bag, while safely protecting your belongings inside. For a personal touch, customize the straps in one of 12 shades, and consider adding a monogram for yourself or a loved one. 


Price at time of publish: $45



Best Lightweight Jacket

Uniqlo Women’s Ultra Light Down Jacket

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Jacket

Uniqlo



Packable down jackets are a must-have on almost every trip I’ve ever taken. They take up minimal space while offering maximal warmth, and as per Barnes’ tip, they can double as a pillow in a pinch. 


Uniqlo makes what I’ve found to be the best and most reliable option on the market — my Ultra Light Down Jacket has gotten me through cruises down the Nile, chilly nights in Paris, and everything in between. I love that it packs up into a small pouch, which is easy to toss into my purse or tote even when I’m traveling light. This model is filled with premium 750 down, and boasts an anti-static lining. 


Price at time of publish: $70



Frequently Asked Questions

What type of shoes are best to wear on a plane?

Slip-on shoes are ideal to wear on a plane, as they’re quick and easy to remove at the TSA security check. Breathable and flexible materials are ideal to avoid feeling constricted or sweaty. Flip-flops and other open-toed shoes should be avoided, as your feet could get cold or dirty during trips to the airplane bathroom, and you’ll have to walk barefoot through security when you remove them. 


Should I wear compression socks on a plane?

Compression socks are designed to help stimulate circulation and reduce swelling and discomfort, which makes them an excellent choice to wear on airplanes. There are different grades of compression socks; we tested 13 different pairs, and Away Travel the Compression Socks earned our top pick for their lightweight and odor-resistant fabric blend. 


What should I not wear on a plane?

Most airlines don’t have a set dress code, but there are some general guidelines to abide by. Open-toed shoes should be avoided, both for the sake of your fellow passengers and because the carpets may not be cleaned as often as you’d think. No matter what the weather is like at your destination, it’s key to always dress in layers to help regulate your body temperature, as the cabin temperature can shift from chilly to warm over the course of a flight. 


Other items to leave at home, or pack in your carry-on rather than in a checked bag, include bulky metal jewelry (which would be a nuisance to remove at TSA), and swimwear.



Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Sophie Dodd is a T+L contributor who focuses on commerce writing and personal essays. For this article, she extensively researched the best items of clothing for every type of plane travel, taking into account material, comfort, packability, and overall value. As a travel writer, she flies dozens of times throughout the year, and has carefully curated a selection of plane outfits based on much trial and error. She has worn several of the items and brands included in this list on international flights, including pieces by Reformation, Everlane, Athleta, and others. She also relied on industry expert Lauren-Ashley Barnes, a travel expert and content creator who specializes in family travel and affordable flights, for her insight.




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