The Perfect Travel Outfit: What to Wear on a Plane

What to Wear on a Plane: tank top, drapey cardigan, jeans and ballet flats

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling, and in my opinion, this is the perfect travel outfit. I used to stress over what to wear on a plane, but once I got my formula down, it’s easy to plan my travel outfits. They are usually some variation of this.

This travel outfit works at almost any time of year except maybe in the dead of winter. (If it’s wintertime here, and I’m traveling to a warm weather destination, I still wear something like this and put my big puffer coat on top for the ride to the airport, but I usually leave it in my car so I don’t have to schlep it. If I am going somewhere cold, I stuff it into the overhead storage compartment, so I like to wear an older coat that isn’t too precious to me.)

Even in the summertime it can get cold on the plane, so it’s nice to have a jacket or sweater of some sort. Sometimes I wear a jean jacket, and once this year I wore my hooded leather jacket, but I actually prefer a knit of some sort because it’s more cozy than a structured jacket.

The Perfect Travel Outfit: tank top, drapey cardigan, jeans and ballet flats

I absolutely adore this Splendid Draped Waffle-Knit Thermal Hoodie. I’ve been wearing it every chance I get, and I like it so much that I just ordered it in the Swan color because it isn’t as heavy a look for spring and summer. It layers nicely over a t-shirt or tank top.

What to Wear on a Plane: Splendid Thermal Hoodie over a tank top with jeans and ballet flats

I wore this on the plane to and from California last week, and it was perfect for airplane travel. The sleeves are super long so you can pull them down over your hands when you’re chilly, but you can also push them up to 3/4 length if you get warm.

The material is a lightweight thermal cotton knit so it’s a great layering piece, and the draped handkerchief hem is on trend. It’s simply perfection.

What to Wear on a Plane

I always make sure to wear a base layer than can stand alone because they make you take your cardigan off when you go through security.

I’ve worn skimpier tank tops before, and I felt vulnerable when I had to shed my top layer and then stand in that awful cage with my hands over my head, so now I try to wear a t-shirt or a more substantial tank top.

This mixed media tank top from LOFT is the perfect base layer for a travel outfit.

This tank is super cute, and I know I’ll be wearing it on its own lot this summer. I love the way it looks more like a dressy blouse in front, but the back is a comfy t-shirt material that stretches and doesn’t make you sweat like some polyester blouses do. It looks nice tucked in the front or left out.

When I'm traveling, I always start with a tank top, ballet flats, and my most comfortable jeans.

Finally, I like to wear comfortable jeans and ballet flats. I always choose jeans because to me, they are the most comfortable thing I own next to pajamas, plus they keep you warm on the plane.

It’s important not to wear anything too tight, though, because you do tend to swell at higher altitudes. Most of my jeans have a fair amount of stretch, and I’ve never had any trouble even on longer flights. If you’re concerned, wear a high quality legging.

Ballet flats are the easiest thing to slip on and off when you go through security. That said, it can make sense to wear your biggest, heaviest shoes on the plane to save space in your luggage, so this part is up to you. I hate futzing with laces or buckles in the security line so I try to wear something I can slip on and off easily. In the winter, I may wear boots, but they usually unzip easily enough.

So there you have it — the perfect travel outfit, if you ask me! I also have some tips for packing light that a friend gave me. I asked her if I could publish them, and she agreed, so stay tuned for that post coming soon!!

What to Wear on a Plane: tank top, drapey cardigan, jeans and ballet flats. Also pictured: Delsey 24" Spinner

thermal hoodie // tank top // legging jeans // leopard flats
Delsey Chatelet Spinner // similar laptop bag // pendant necklace

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