What to wear on a long haul flight

What to wear on long haul flights

Very few people out there actually enjoy long haul flights. Sure, the experience is much nicer in business class or on a private jet charter than it is in ‘cattle class,’ but the dry air, confined spaces, and loud engines all seem to get more uncomfortable as the flight drags on and on.

One of the easiest ways to make your long haul flight more enjoyable is to make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothes. Tight, restrictive, and synthetic garments can make you feel sweaty and pinched, leaving marks on your skin and cutting off your circulation. Garments that look and feel great on the ground might actually be the source of pain and irritation up at 30,000 feet. You need to keep many factors in mind, including alternating air cabin temperatures and the weather at both your departure city and destination. So, what should you wear on a long haul flight? Let’s start with what you should avoid.

What to avoid when picking your long haul flight outfit

The best travel clothes are wrinkle-resistant, cool and breathable, and loose-fitting. They don’t have restrictive waistbands, and they don’t show stains and spills. Here are some of the things that you should avoid when choosing your long haul flight ensemble.

clothing to avoid on long haul flights

  • Socks with tight elastic, as they will cut off your circulation
  • Polyester, nylon and similar synthetics, as they don’t breathe and will make you sweaty
  • Scratchy materials that will irritate your skin when seated for long periods of time
  • Overly tight pants or firm skinny leg jeans, as they will cut off circulation and reduce comfort.
  • Jumpsuits or onesies that make it difficult to use the toilet in a small plane bathroom
  • Heavy, warm sweaters with no layers underneath, as you will get far too hot
  • A t-shirt or tank top with no layers to wear on top, as you will get cold
  • White garments that will show sweat and spills
  • Linen or stiff cotton that will look wrinkled after sitting for a long time
  • Pants will rigid waistbands or belts, as they will dig into your stomach
  • Lace-up boots, as you’ll need to be able to easily take off your shoes at security check-points
  • Heavy or clunky jewelry that will set off metal detectors
  • A full face of make-up, as your mascara and eyeliner will become smeared down your face

What should you look for in travel clothing?

Now that we’ve told you what to avoid on your long haul flight, how about some characteristics that you should look for? Here are some things that you should look for in a travel outfit.

  • Wear multiple, lightweight layers so that you can warm up or cool down easily
  • Slip-on shoes are best, as you will have to take them off at security

Shoes for a long haul flight

  • Choose modal cotton, Tencel, knit blends, soft wools, and soft cotton – they are breathable and don’t show wrinkles
  • Wear dark colors that won’t show spills and stains
  • Choose pants and skirts that have an elasticated waistband, and ensure that they are not too tight
  • Avoid wearing too much make-up, and pack a facial moisturizer in your carry-on to prevent your skin from drying out


Long flight outfit


Although it is not necessary to dress up for long haul flights, this is no excuse for a slovenly ensemble. It is well known that gate agents are instructed to look out for well-dressed people to upgrade when the flight is overbooked, so you will be increasing your odds of getting a better seat if this happens. Take a cue from what people wear on private jet charters – think chic, comfortable, and effortlessly stylish.


7 items for long flight

A simple seven-piece formula for long haul flights

1) Loose jacket

  • Choose an unstructured blazer or a lightweight trench coat

2) Long cardigan

  • Long cardigans look elegant and will keep you warm on a long flight.

3) Large scarf

  • Bring a cotton scarf or pashmina that can double as an accessory and a blanket

4) Layering Top

  • Select a comfortable top or blouse. You can also layer with a lightweight thermal long sleeve.

5) Thick leggings or elastic-waist pants

  • Choose high stretch leggings or pants to keep warm, increase circulation and protect your bare legs from germs

6) Comfy Socks

  • Choose socks with loose elastic (or compression socks if required). Don’t be tempted to wear slip-ons with no socks, as you might want to remove your shoes on the plane

7) Slip-on shoes

  • Wear a pair of comfortable and stylish slip-on shoes with room for socks

Long haul flight outfit


Stay cool, calm, and comfortable on your flight


Follow these tips to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your long haul flight. Bon voyage!

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