Travel Tips

What to Wear on a Plane

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I can tell you what not to wear. Don’t wear those tight jeans that now surely must be comfortable after that you’ve lost five pounds. They weren’t. We were barely above cruising altitude when those jeans let me know they were not at all impressed by my hard-earned weight loss and were most definitely not my friend.

So now I know to always stick to my usual clothes for a flight – no matter what the scale is saying that week.

For short flights the selection of an outfit is less crucial from a comfort standpoint, although it is important if you are trying to maximize what you take on your trip. For example, in the winter I pretty much constantly wear my black or brown boots. They are great at my destination, if it’s a chilly one, but take up valuable real estate in my suitcase.

So to save space I wear them on the plane. A pain when going through security, true, but worth it to have more space in the suitcase.

But tonight I’m packing for my longest flight ever: five hours from Atlanta to L.A, then eight hours from L.A. to Tahiti, on my way to Four Seasons Bora Bora. (Yes, I’m beyond excited and not complaining about hours in a cramped seat, as paradise awaits.)

Because I’m wearing the same clothes through several time zones, my outfit is critical to trying to find some comfort in my coach seat. Here are some of my go-to clothes:

My bras only last about 14 hours until I want to rip them off and get comfortable. Fortunately I’ve perfected the art of sliding out of one while still dressed, a skill I practice just about nightly if I’m watching TV and far too fascinated by the height of Cat Deeley’s shoes and the dancing in “So You Think You Can Dance” to leave the vicinity of my couch. So rather than wear a bra, I opt for a camisole with a built-in bra, like this one for $16 from


Leggings are perfect for a plane ride. They keep me warm and have no binding. Leggings do not care if you’ve gained or lost five pounds and they have no zippers or buttons to pinch or bind. These are by HUE, $28 at Macy’s.


I have a whole posse of knit dresses from Target that are perfect for travel. They are cheap, don’t wrinkle and very comfortable. Add sandals in the summer, or boots, tights and a sweater in the winter and you’ve got a great sight-seeing outfit too. This is the faux wrap dress for $24.88.


I never travel without a cardigan. They are perfect to keep warm and cozy on plane rides and then use as a layer at your destination. I like this open style, $79.50 at Banana Republic.

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