What to Wear on Long Haul Flight to Maximize Comfort Without Looking Sloppy

by Viola

Who has had trouble deciding what to wear on long haul flight? While we all picture ourselves walking out of the arrival gate looking like Beyonce, with an on point outfit and the swagger of a rock star, the reality for many of us is that we walk out looking like we lived through hell. Those long a$% plane rides can really suck the living soul out of you.

For those who don’t know me, my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship (It used to be Canada <–> Australia, but these days it’s Japan <–> Australia). After all these years of minimum 20 hour plane rides to meet up with him, I want to say I’ve gotten used to those crazy flight schedules, but I’m not sure that it’s ever possible. Instead, what I have mastered is an arsenal of long haul flight essentials and my formula of dressing for maximum comfort + style on these tiring journeys. After all, I still want to look somewhat alive and cute when Alan picks me up at the airport. 😛

So without further ado, here is my list of must have flight outfit pieces, with some fly ootd inspirations from Instagram. Get it? Fly?

*This post contains affiliate links. Which means at no extra cost to you, I earn a small commission from purchases made through the links.


Sports bra

The right bra is crucial for a comfortable flight. You definitely want to wear one that’s not tight, and with no under wires. Better yet, go for a sports bra like my favorite Ahh bra. The girls will be able to spread out and you can sleep so much better.  



Loose fit top

When it comes to choosing a top for long flights, go for a loose fit t-shirt that won’t constrict you. A soft and breathable material like cotton is best.


Some people are vehemently against leggings. Personally I love them. But if you want to feel more put together, then a pair of “Jeggings” is a good choice. These are stretchy pants that look like jeans but feel like leggings. Jeans + Leggings = Jeggings. Whoever is the genius that came up with this…Thank you.


For a sporty look, rock a pair of cute joggers. You’ll look casually chic yet feel like you are wearing PJs! What can be better than that?!


Wide leg pants

Another bottom wear option that’s comfy yet stylish is a pair of wide leg pants. Your legs will have so much room! For extra points, find a pair with an elastic waist and pockets! #pocketsarethebest


A shawl or a big scarf comes in so handy! You can use it as a blanket, roll it up into a neck pillow, or use it to shade your eyes when it’s too bright to sleep (For when you are missing some eye covers). Not to mention, a scarf/shawl can add some pizazz to your look! Get one with a nice pattern or color if you are wearing a plain top. Instant pop!

Long cardigan

It can get really chilly on the plane so it’s important to wear layers. A nice long cardigan will keep you cozy. But if you get hot, you can easily take it off too. I always recommend merino wool. It’s the best fabric as it’s super soft and wicks away moisture like magic! I am prone to motion sickness and sometimes break out in cold sweats on flights. My merino wool cardigan has saved me from feeling like a sweaty mess countless times.

P.S. A champagne pre-flight is also recommended for staying mellow 😛 



Slip on shoes

It’s not a good idea to wear anything open toed on a flight. Your feet will get cold guaranteed. Instead, wear a pair of comfy shoes that can be easily slipped on and off (It’s also great for getting through airport security. Americans you feel me?). Go for a pair of sneakers like Keds (these are sparkly!) or a pair of adorable flats like these.

Compression socks

Do your feet get swollen after sitting for a long time? You need compression socks in your life! These babies help maintain blood flow in your legs and work like a charm. No more swollen feet! Trust me.


What to Wear On Long Haul Flight – Extra Recommendations

Sun Glasses

Like I’ve preached before in my 6 Items You Need to Slay Stylish Travel Photos, a pair of sun glasses will boost your glam factor in any situation. You’ll definitely need a chic pair to hide those tired eyes if you are getting off a sleepless flight.



Sturdy bag

Call me the bag lady. I cannot live without a good carry-on bag that can hold my tablet, paperwork, camera, extra clothes and snacks. Now that’s a lot of crap things. Choose a bag that’s sturdy, roomy and have awesome compartments like these ones below. 

Clean underwear

Nobody can tell, but it will make a world of difference to you if you have a pair of clean undies to change in to. I know I always feel so gross after sitting on an overnight. Ahh the refreshing feeling after you put on a new pair of knickers! Panty liners is another option if you want to keep laundry minimal. You can easily dispose/change the liners to keep yourself feeling clean and fierce. 😉


Statement Accessories

Totally optional but if you really feel plain in your plane clothes (Get it? Plain plane? I’m so funny…), a pair of statement earrings or a cute necklace will do the trick. It will quickly take your outfit from drab to fab. Of course, avoid anything too clunky and chunky that will take away from comfort. Check out some of these adorable opotions:

To summarize, when it comes to picking items to wear for a long haul flight, follow these foundation rules: loose, breathable, and have layers! If you stand by this formula, your plane ride will be much more tolerable and maybe even enjoyable!


There are loads of options when it comes to mixing and matching items for a stylish plane outfit, even a lazy girl like you and me can pull it together. 😛 What are your go-to pieces to wear on a plane? I would love to hear about it!




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Sarah Puckett March 21, 2018 - 10:56 pm

It starts with a good bra and ends with clean underwear – couldn’t agree more!! Also I love the compression socks suggestion – so important for circulation at altitude!

Katherine March 21, 2018 - 10:57 pm

Can I please second the loose-fitting shirt idea? I have a bunch that I wear on long-haul flights (US to Australia). I never thought of a sports bra before though, well played there! I would also say that comfy pants like trackies help with not feeling too restricted on the flight and you can always change into jeans or whatever when you get back.

Susan R March 22, 2018 - 12:03 am

I’m loving your long cardigan! Spare undies is always a good idea, especially if your luggage ever gets lost. Wish they made shoes that you could adjust for size on flights as feet do swell up in the air

Ana @ Jaunting Trips March 22, 2018 - 12:18 am

Great tips! I am never stressing out about how to dress on a plane, as long as it’s comfortable. Thank you for the extra points to add to my list 🙂

Aireona March 22, 2018 - 12:19 am

Since I am not into fashion, I didn’t think this would interest me too much, but you did a great job! I love the mix of practical, comfortable, and fashionable. I will definitely reference this on my next flight.

Erica March 22, 2018 - 12:42 am

Such a helpful list! I’ve got a 13 hour flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv booked for next month so your tips will definitely come in handy! That panty liner trick is genius and something I wish I’d thought of before!

Lola March 22, 2018 - 3:42 am

These are great style tips! A sports bra is seriously so key for comfort…any time!

Elaisha March 22, 2018 - 3:42 am

YES! I have so many of the same essentials. I always wear comfy leggings and a big shirt.

Teja March 22, 2018 - 5:08 am

LOL I usually go for hobo chic…. but, I do love my leggings! And I can worry less about my hair with Buff headbands.

Evelina March 22, 2018 - 8:52 pm

Cool selection. I agree that with these you’ll survive a long flight. Furthermore, I never fly without a scarf. It’s a lifesaver.

Francesca Murray March 23, 2018 - 12:20 am

My go to are leggings, loose shirt and slide ons! Sometimes I get annoyed with myself though because I forget to put socks on then I have to walk through the TSA detector barefoot >.<

Lauren March 24, 2018 - 3:44 am

Hahaha oh man I need this. I always look like I’ve been sleeping on the airport floor for a week when I board a plane 😂

Andrea Mayfield March 24, 2018 - 3:59 am

Leggings are always my go to when I fly! So comfy and cute! Great post!

Nicky March 24, 2018 - 10:19 am

Oh my goodness, I am LOVING these ideas. I have a pair of jeggings, but I’d never considered how awesome they’d be for travel! Will rectify that! I always look like a wreck on flights, lol

Charlotte March 25, 2018 - 1:46 am

Such a great list! I definitely needed some of these tips as I’m always looking sloppy on long haul flights 🙈

Addie March 25, 2018 - 2:24 am

This is the kind of stuff I wear on flights, so I can attest that this is a great guide! I am always comfortable 🙂

Christina March 25, 2018 - 8:06 am

Aw I had no idea you were in a LDR! These are great tips – totally rules i’d live by when I care how I look… although tbh the older I get, the more I’m like “YASSS I can get away with looking like a slob for the next 20 hours, come at me, Snuggie!!!” It is genuinely my life goal to one day do a plane ride with a snuggie on.

Lenise Calleja March 26, 2018 - 4:18 pm

I wish I could have read this post before I boarded on an 18hr flight from Istanbul to Buenos Aires. Your tips are really useful 🙂 Thanks for sharing..will keep them in mind for my next long-haul


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