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3 Airplane Outfits That Are Cool and Comfy at the Same Time
08.10.17

In the sixties, flying was an occasion people dressed up for. After all, you never knew if you were going to bump into some movie star while crossing the Sahara. I’m thankful flying has become a lot more democratic since then. I wouldn’t be able to visit my sister if it weren’t. And of course, I understand the human desire to prioritize comfort while crammed into a poorly ventilated sardine can next to 300 other people all fighting for elbow room.

But why can’t comfort be elegant? Wouldn’t it be great to make flying a special occasion again simply by dressing up for it? Something I have always loved about clothes is that great outfits have the power to enhance experiences. Going to the opera feels more special when you’ve showered and dressed up for it. A Sunday afternoon walk in the park is more fun with a straw hat on. The ritual of self-styling prepares your mind for the escapes from your daily routine. Why can’t the same work for flying? To sit above the clouds and cross the ocean in half a day remains one of the most incredible things I can think of. That feeling when the plane takes off? It’s pure wizardry, which alone calls for a dramatic outfit.

For the pictures in this story, we drove to Berlin’s favorite airport, Tegel, which hasn’t been properly renovated since the sixties (so Berlin!). And although we weren’t flying anywhere, I could smell the excitement of departure and spirit of optimism that’s so distinct to airports. Flying, I was reminded, truly is so much more thrilling than just another subway ride. Why not dress like it? Below, three fancy flying outfits to consider.

Be Well-Prepared

Remember Harry Potter’s giant friend Hagrid the park ranger and his moleskin overcoat with the hundred pockets stuffed with handy tools? That particular piece is unfortunately not on sale, but these denim overalls are, and they work quite similarly. The breast pocket can be used to store sunglasses and a toothbrush, the trouser pockets for your passport and phone. The straw bag fits your laptop, the sunglasses shield your red eyes. Now lean back and enjoy the flight; you’re prepared for anything.

Take That, Sweatpants!

This could become your new airplane default outfit, here’s why: 1) It comes with zero metal parts, which means everyone in line at the security check will fall in love with you. 2) Why wear sweatpants when you can have a knit skirt that feels like an actual blanket instead? 3) Ever wondered what to do with that giant straw hat you haven’t worn since you bought it two years ago because it doesn’t fit into any suitcase? Just put it on! Your seatmates won’t hate you because you won them over earlier with your speedy security strategy.

Extra Leg Room Included

Pajamas for an overseas-flight makes sense. However, in the name of dressing up, why not try an outfit that feels like pajamas but looks like so much more? And mind the accessories: a bucket hat can help you avoid eye contact with all too talkative seatmates. The fake fur bag makes for the fluffiest neck cushion in aviation history. The extra roomy trousers come in handy in case you’ve accidentally had chicken and pasta and a bag full of snacks.

Besides, knowing that your outfit is primed for landing should help you sleep through turbulence like a baby.

Photos by Julia Zierer, follow her on Instagram: @juliazierer_visuals.

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  • Brrr ;)

    These are very cute outfits! But… none of them take into account how FREEZING it is on a plane, especially on longer (higher) flights. Looking at these pictures, my feet and ankles are begging for warmth. So side note: pack giant warm socks for the actual flight! ❄️

    • Amy

      Agreed. These Outfits are cute but won’t work on flights that are longer than 45 minutes.

      • You can add a sweater to each outfit!! I myself always find airplanes to be rather overheated but maybe that’s a European thing!

        • Alice

          I mostly fly in Europe and am always cold. 🙁

      • jdhammer

        Right?! And airport transfers require you to walk MILES! I can’t imagine huffing through LAX or ATL in those tiny heels, dragging a suitcase and dodging other passengers

  • Kay Nguyen

    They are cute but the freaking airplane is like a movable freezer! I always just go with my sweatpants and hoodies with a pair of sneakers. Keep it simple, it’s not like I’m trying to impress anybody on the airplane anw…

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

  • Áine Hegarty

    That knit skirt is amazing!!

  • I get so hot and cold on flights that I have to dress in layers for both. I will never forget my flight home from L.A. when my sister and I wrapped ourselves in my infinity scarf like some sort of double-stuffed burrito because it was so chilly. I’m also apparently an 80-year-old trapped in a 28-year-old’s body and have finally accepted my very real need for compression socks to (hopefully) help the painful swelling I endure once I’m airborne.

    Comfort is absolutely key for me, so I always default to leggings. If I weren’t a 5’4″ chubby gal, I’d definitely look into some nice wide-leg casual trousers. Personally, my favorite airplane outfits involve zero pockets (easier to get through security), leggings, a tank top, and some sort of over-layer that could double as a light blanket.

  • Nschne

    I read the TSA flag people wearing skirts as they could be hiding something in them. Not sure if true but I can see where that could pose an issue.

  • Adrianna

    My last vacation included six flights. Sooo I figured this out. Leggings, sports bra, t-shirt, flannel shirt, and scarf for extra warmth or to bundle as a pillow. Pull on Frye harness boots that I know I can get in and out of quickly. Some sort of soft hat for warmth and to cover my eyes with.

    I also learned from the hipster next to me to keep my reading materials, snacks, wallet, and USB cords in a tote bag, and store my backpack overhead.

    • Thamsa

      Yes! This is so practical. I feel like I’ve gotten so much better with airplane travel, except for the stylish outfits !!

    • jdhammer

      My last trip took 26 hours. Practicality wins when you have to hit 4 airports and a 14 hour overnight. Joggers, sports bra, sneakers and a hoodie..anything fancier is cruel .

  • Courtney Johnson

    S’cute but PSA: flying in overalls will subject you to a full chest pat down courtesy of a TSA agent

  • Marquise de Merteuil

    I don’t understand wearing shoes without socks to the airport. You have to take your shoes off for TSA! Is no one else worried about exposing their bare feet to athlete’s foot, warts, and who knows what else??

    • Thamsa

      I have never had to remove my shoes before. Maybe it’s mostly an American thing where everyone does it. I know when I’ve traveled through the UK you only had to remove them if they were boots, or if they covered your ankles. Or maybe that was just Edinburgh airport.i don’t know.

      • spicyearlgrey

        its an american thing can confirm

  • starryhye

    I think the overalls are super cute buuuut I can’t help but think they’d be a bit of a pain in those tiny airplane bathrooms. My airplane attire generally consists of super stretchy and soft high waisted jeans, slip on style sneaker (helpful when going through security), tank top and some sort of jacket. Whether it’s a jean jacket, army jacket or soft knit hoodie, I know I’ll need something to keep me warm. I live in Phoenix so even if it’s 110 degrees outside, I am always freezing on planes!

    • Caro A

      Overalls in airplane bathrooms is exactly what I thought! I don’t want to strip down in there!

    • Thank you. Almost felt guilty for raining on her parade – unabashedly chic – but more so aspirational for those equipped with defiant bladders. Was trying to picture myself slipping that ‘occupied’ switch and then unfastening suspenders in the unforgiving matchbox that airlines dare call lavatories. Thanks, thread sisters, I ain’t alone here. The locale impracticality, however, still doesn’t detract from the admirable style.

  • Junglesiren

    And not for nothing, Claire is a stone-cold fox. I follow her blog. She looks gorgeous in everything and she has her own wonderful style that’s not for everyone. This ain’t my style to travel in but I’d love to sit next to her in a plane and groove on her outfit. She is incredibly charming and intelligent. She could wear a potato sack and she’d be rocking the fuck out of it.

  • Rebecca Grande

    The picture of the model leaning backwards over the luggage carts is GENIUS

  • Renee

    I also agree about the cuteness of these outfits; however…..dealing with billowy pant legs in an airplane bathroom –
    specifically keeping them off of the floor – where men have been using the toilet in a less that stable environment. Um. No.

    • Thamsa

      Right ??! I’m super paranoid about any part of my clothing touching airplane toilet floors

    • Good. Point.

    • Ashley

      And also dealing with overalls in an airplane bathroom? No thanks!!

  • ivd

    call me a germophobe but part of the reason i dont dress up its planes are SO GROSS i dont want to get my pretty clothes dirty!

  • Thamsa

    Great outfits, but these are great for short flights. I usually can’t be bothered dressing up as I generally take long haul flights, like, 14-24 hours traveling, so I need the absolute comfiest. I struggle to find a balance between the two

  • Looove this . I was thinking about airport outfits last week 😍😍😍 ding ding

  • Gleaming the Cube

    I will be that person and beg everyone to please wear closed toe shoes that you can walk, or preferably, run in on a plane. At least until cruising altitude and then again on descent: totally change into hard-soled slippers on long flights during the rest of the time! You don’t want to be in flip-flops or floppy mules in the (very rare! but it happens!) case of an evacuation, and I sure as don’t want to die in a fiery disaster because of poor footwear choices. Mine or others. In general, Vans are pretty much the perfect plane shoe, both for ease of slipping on and off, comfort, and sprightliness.

    Also, yes, I subscribe to the Smithsonian Channel solely to watch the Air Disasters show.

  • Fansipan

    Vay tín chấp ngân hàng
    http://www.vaytieudung.co

  • Ainsley Lawrence

    Wow my airport looks sucks! Guess I’m not wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts the airport again!!

    https://ainsleylouise.com/

  • snakehissken

    My friends think this is crazy, but I love airport fashion. I’m fascinated with how people dress when they have this added restriction of needing to be comfortable sitting in one place for hours but also care about looking good.

  • Viktoria Gumagumerova

    I would name it as an “outfit for the meet at airport” but definitely not the outfits for the airplane
    However, the photoshoot is perfect!

  • kl

    I appreciate the attempt, but I feel like this person doesn’t do much flying.
    All of these shoes would be disastrous for travel – long walks (often unexpected) through airports during changeovers would be super uncomfortable in slides. (Also slides don’t give the support you need for lifting heavy baggage off and on trollies and conveyer belts, and into cars.
    Having a giant straw hat is equally silly – where are you keeping that on the plane? On your lap? It’ll get squished if you put it in the overhead compartment.
    As others have mentioned, you definitely need way more layers to stay warm on the plane and also in airports if they crank the A/C up. Giant scarves are great for this and can also double as a pillow, eye mask, or lower back ‘pillow’.
    Agreed with other commenters that super wide legged pants are not good for airplane bathrooms!
    For being impractical, the outfits aren’t even very inspired. Disappointing from Man Repeller 🙁 (Had clicked on the link hoping to find some useful tips.)

  • Catalina

    please don’t tell me y’all traveled to laguardia for this shoot :-X

  • Harling Ross

    So good claire (PER USUAL)

  • C. Killion

    Slides are cute, but a hygiene no-no. Seriously, you want to take them off and walk barefoot through the security screening where who knows what has been tracked through?!

  • SOO DHOWOW

    Yes Claire! Speaking the truth:
    “Something I have always loved about clothes is that great outfits have the power to enhance experiences”
    – when I see people at the Opera/Orchetra/Ballet in jeans; I just want to scream “Jeans? Jeans? Really, jeans – tonight of all nights?! Where did the drama go! Why don’t you want to have fun!? This is an opportunity to be seized, dress dramatically damnit at least for the Opera, if not here, then when dear people?”
    – And yesterday on my flight back from California to Toronto, a sea of sweatpants and black leggings and me, giving desperate sighs, repeatedly. And me in my “fashion/travel” outfit: silky wide-legged red pants (ELASTIC WAIST + POCKETS folks) and a big slouchy oversized dress tucked in a little, and some printed flat mules, and a stack of glass bangles on my left wrist (lest they break in any baggage). Did I ring through security? Nope. Did I glide through three airports in one-day, comfortably and cool? Yes indeed.

  • me

    Agree with the MR Commentariat !

    Dainty mules? I never wouldve made it the time I had to sprint through Heathrow to catch a connecting flight. Short sleeves? I never wouldve survived an 8 hr flight delay in Domodedevo ….

    Intellectually/sartorially, I get the desire to dress fashionably during travel.

    But: REALITY BITES.

  • Alright I have a couple issues with these as far as flying goes.
    1. Overalls can cause wicked wedgies. (In more ways than one)
    2. Skirts are great and all, but LEGS STICK TOGETHER. Noooooo

  • rachel

    Stretchy jeans, t-shit, oversize blazer, huge scarf. Done. Oh, and also easy off ankle boots because packing boots is a nightmare.

  • Natalie Redman

    Love these outfit choices.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Jennifer

    I’m sorry but who wants to fly with a toothbrush in their breast pocket?