There's a certain art to building the perfect airport outfit. Last year, I spent 203 hours on airplanes jetting from New York to Tahiti, Australia, Finland, Japan, and more as part of my job as an editor and travel writer. When I'm not reviewing new hotels and airlines for work, I try to squeeze in the odd trip to explore under-the-radar vacation spots at my own pace. So trust me when I say, I've had enough practice refining the best travel outfits for long flights.
I have two rules when it comes to dressing for a long-haul flight: It has to be comfortable and something I wouldn't mind being seen in if I bumped into a coworker. With that in mind, I think I've found the best travel outfit formula. Here are the exact items I mix and match on a flight, depending on my mood and the destination. Every item ticks the boxes: They're incredibly well made, stretch, don't rub, are casually stylish, and stand up to the rigors of flight after flight.
Keep scrolling for my must-have travel outfit essentials—accessories included—for the next time you take to the skies.
This is my go-to carry-on for weekend trips. I love the leather straps, waterproof material, and the fact that I'm never asked to check it in if the overhead bins are full. Made out of 14 upcycled plastic water bottles and natural cotton, it gets bonus points for being eco-friendly too.
A recent trip to L.A. revealed that the entire MyDomaine team swears by Away luggage. The carry-on features a hidden laundry bag, not to mention, the hard shell means I never think twice about bringing a bottle of wine back from vacation.
Enclosed Lace-Up Shoes
I prefer to wear these Iris and Ink sneakers if I'm traveling for work and want to look a bit more polished. Lace-up sneakers are a must at airports: I can loosen the laces when my feet swell midair and don't feel gross in socks when I have to take them off to pass through security.
I always travel with a leather jacket because it makes my outfit look cool and styled, even if I'm wearing sneakers and leggings. This jacket by All Saints has been on my wishlist for months.
I only just discovered Ayr and love its relaxed basics for traveling. This scoop-neck T-shirt is loose and layers well with a leather jacket and cardigan. The price tag might sound steep for a basic tee but the supersoft Peruvian Pima cotton is worth the splurge.
These shape-sculpting leggings are my travelwear go-to. They are comfy, silky soft, and have a flattering high waist. Best of all, the fabric is quick-drying, which comes in handy when you spill a drink due to unexpected turbulence—or maybe just clumsiness.
I prefer to wear leggings, but if I'm lucky enough to be flying in business class, I try to look a bit more presentable. Topshop's Jamie jeans are the only ones I wear on a flight. They have so much stretch and a high waistband that's comfortable even if I feel bloated midair.
Screaming babies, loud talkers, and a plane's white noise are no match for these B&O Play over-ear headphones. Not only do they muffle noisy passengers and vessels so that I can enjoy my in-flight entertainment in peace, but they look super stylish while doing so. I don't fly without them.
Parachute's Merino Travel Kit makes coach feel like first class. I find the warm blanket makes it easier to get quality sleep on a flight and sometimes wrap it around myself like a scarf when the cabin is cold. Plus, it comes in a zip-up wool bag that is the perfect travel pillowcase.
I've had this Longchamp tote for over five years, and it's lasted countless flights and adventures. The waterproof outer casing means that the contents are protected from any spills, and it folds up into a flat package to be stored in my luggage when I arrive at the destination.
This is the perfect crossbody bag for travel: It's small, but still fits a phone and passport, zips up for safety, is made from durable leather, and can be monogrammed so you'll never mix it up with a stranger's bag.