The Do’s and Don’t of In Flight Fashion

Are you planning a vacation this year that involves flying?  If you do, we have some tips on what to wear and what not to wear when flying.

My Vacation Lady found a good number of tips on making a comfortable fashion statement when flying.

  1.  Opt for prints – they tend to show less wrinkles and less stains if the flight is bumpy and your coffee spills.
  2.  Don’t wear lots of metal jewelry.  You don’t want to set off the metal detectors so opt for plastic, fabric or metal look accessories to dress up your travel outfit.
  3.  Do bring a big scarf with you.  It can serve as a blanket, pillow or stuff it behind you for back support.
  4.  Compression socks or tights can help keep swelling down during a long flight.
  5.  Wear dark jeans with a stretch to them or wear dark colored leggings for comfort.

Here are some more comfort tips that we found:

 Don’t: Tight clothing. Do: Natural, breathable fabrics.

We learned our lesson from Lady Gaga. Tight clothes can restrict blood flow in the already-confining space of an airplane seat. Is the reward of showing off your fantastically toned thighs worth the risk of deep vein thrombosis? Ditch the jeggings and don loose-fitting natural fiber garments (clothes made from cotton or linen are a great choice) to give your skin some breathing room.

 Don’t: High heels. Do: Comfortable shoes.

Heels are restrictive, and they’re been said to cause a long list of maladies, from chronic foot pain to hammer toe. Plus, unless you’re one of Charlie’s Angels, they don’t exactly facilitate a clean exit in case of emergency. Hiking boots are a good bet, as wearing the bulky shoes as opposed to packing them frees up some suitcase space — and you’ll be comfortable walking miles in these shoes through endless airport terminals. Also consider slip-on shoes, which are wonderful for easing your way through security.

 Don’t: Perfume or cologne. Do: Freshly washed clothes.

You’ve been in Europe for two weeks, you’ve only packed so much, and by your date of departure you’ve run out of clean pants and shirts. It may be tempting to throw on something that more or less passes the sniff test and head off to the airport. But remember: Odors are intensified on a plane, where passengers are cramped in close quarters and stale air is recycled throughout the cabin.

The perfect seatmate is one who doesn’t smell like anything. To achieve a Zen-like lack of scent, be sure to reserve a clean outfit for the plane ride home. And go easy on the cologne. Better yet, don’t wear any. Scent is subjective. You may adore the delicate bouquet of CK One, but your seatmate could find its aroma noxious. In particular, folks with allergies or asthma could have a reaction to strong perfumes.

 Don’t: Offensive clothing. Do: Anything you would wear to church.

In 2005, Southwest Airlines crewmembers booted passenger Lorrie Heasley from a flight because she was wearing a politically offensive T-shirt, reported CNN. The shirt depicted the faces of President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice above the caption “Meet the Fockers.” After the incident, a Southwest spokeswoman told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the airline has the right to deny boarding to anyone wearing “lewd, obscene or patently offensive” clothing.

Two years later, Southwest’s flight crew cum fashion police threatened to remove a second female passenger from a flight for wearing clothes considered inappropriate for a family airline. According to TODAY People, Kyla Ebbert, who was wearing tight shirt and a mini-skirt, salvaged her seat by offering to pull her skirt down and pull up her top, thereby minimizing her cleavage (oh, the horror!).

Whether or not you agree with what Southwest deems “inappropriate,” you’ll want to avoid wearing potentially offensive clothing to guarantee a tranquil travel experience. Steer clear of T-shirts splashed with curse words or controversial statements and anything that tends to raise eyebrows in public.

 Don’t: Warm-weather clothing. Do: Layers, layers, layers.

Fliers must brave a multitude of temperature changes throughout their journeys. There’s the sweat-inducing jog through the sunny airport terminal, the warm 20 minutes while the plane sits on the tarmac pre-take-off and that in-flight arctic chill (against which paper-thin airline blankets do nothing). Layers are a traveler’s best weapon against such varying conditions. Furthermore, the more apparel you tie around your waist or throw over your shoulders, the fewer clothing items you need to ball up and stuff into your suitcase.”

This article was printed on the and written by Caroline Costello.

When it comes to flying, comfort should be the key in fashion.  The seats are uncomfortable enough— your clothes shouldn’t be as well 🙂

Do you have more tips on how to stay comfortable on a flight?  We’d love to hear them and share them in our Tuesday Travel Tips or on another blog post.  Just send them to us at

About the Author:

Mindy Gilbert of My Vacation Lady has been helping clients, just like you, plan their dream vacations, cruises and honeymoons since 1994.