If you are travelling internationally or have a long-haul flight booked then you might be wondering what to wear. For a long flight then you probably won’t care so much about having the most fashionable airport outfit, but rather being comfortable for the duration. Sitting in an airport seat for hours and hours at a time won’t be enjoyable if you have restrictive clothing. So buckle up and read on to see what to wear on a long-haul flight to ensure you are as comfortable as possible in the sky.
Table of contents
- Best ideas for what to wear on a long haul flight
- Use clever layers
- Longer length pullover or cardigan
- An oversized hoody
- Opt for loose or stretchy bottoms
- Pack any thick winter coats in your luggage
- Wear a sweat-resistant shirt
- Combat excessive sweating with armpit pads
- Compression socks
- Ear plugs
- Comfortable flats
- Oversized scarf or pashmina
- A roundup of the best items to wear on a long haul flight
- Things to avoid wearing on a long haul flight
Best ideas for what to wear on a long haul flight
When you are travelling on a long flight, you need to pack the right clothing. You will want to bring clothes that are comfortable, lightweight, and easy to pack.
It’s also important to dress for comfort on a long-haul flight. You want to be able to sit in your seat without feeling restricted or uncomfortable. You don’t want to be too cold or hot either, so it’s important that you pack items that are both warm and cool.
Here is a list of some of the best clothing items for long-haul flights:
Use clever layers
You don’t want to be too hot or too cold while on the aeroplane, or waiting at the airport. Ensure you wear layers of clothing that are easily removed or put back on should temperatures change. These also need to be easily stored in a bag or overhead locker, so avoid anything too bulky that takes up a lot of space.
For example, a female could wear a stretchy jersey vest with a short-sleeve or long-sleeve t-shirt over the top and a slightly thicker cardigan and scarf. These are lightweight layers that can easily be mixed and matched and removed or put on to be most comfortable when it comes to temperature.
Longer length pullover or cardigan
There’s going to be lots of sitting around, so a longer-length pullover or cardigan is more practical when it comes to comfort and also for ensuring your back or belly is covered when sat down or reaching up to the overhead lockers. A longer length is also cosier and ideal for when sleeping on the plane either worn, wrapped around, draped over like a blanket or taken off and scrunched up to use as a pillow.
An oversized hoody
A soft cotton or jersey fabric hoody, slightly oversized, may also be the ultimate outerwear for a comfortable long journey. You can also disappear into the hood when you feel like you want to hide away from all the people surrounding you, or if you want to keep your head a little cosier!
When it comes to trousers you’ll not want anything too tight around the waist or too thick denim that’s uncomfortable to sit in for long lengths of time. Instead, opt for comfy, soft, loose joggers that are easy to move around it when stuck in the same seat for a long time!
Or, if you want to go tight then think of leggings or jeggings to prevent any uncomfortable restrictions. Avoid clunky zippers or lots of fiddly buttons that can dig in when you’re sat down.
Pack any thick winter coats in your luggage
If you’re going to a cold country and need a thick bulky coat, then you could choose to pack this in your hand luggage suitcase or even your cabin suitcase to save it from taking up a lot of space and getting in the way while on the flight. It’s well-known unless you book first class or a private jet charter, that economy class seats leave little room for even the most humble-sized person. You’ll not want to be contending with large coats and putting them on and off if sat next to strangers. It’s also highly unlikely you’ll want to wear the thick coat for the duration of a long-haul flight!
Wear a sweat-resistant shirt
Although it may at first seem like travelling should be quite relaxing, after all, there’s a lot of hanging around and sitting down, and it can actually be quite a strenuous task. Lugging heavy luggage through the airport, and potentially running to catch a flight, could result in some unwanted perspiration! Choose cool, natural fabrics to stop any sweaty outbreaks and opt for wearing sweat resistant shirts to stay dry. You don’t want to feel sticky or sweaty while sitting on a flight for hours at a time.
Combat excessive sweating with armpit pads
While we’re on the subject of sweating, a lot of people suffer from excessive sweating of the armpits. This can make some people feel self-conscious, but it could also make the flight less enjoyable if there’s wetness under the arms and you’re unable to change your shirt. To combat this, you can buy and wear armpit sweat pads under your clothing. These offer a discreet solution to prevent sweat marks from showing and absorb sweat to make the flight more comfortable.
When travelling on a long flight, it is important to be comfortable, but it’s also important to take care of your health. Compression socks can be worn on a flight to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by increasing blood flow and circulation.
Even if you don’t wear compression socks, make sure you have some sort of comfortable odour-resistant sock on. You may be required to remove your shoes at airport security checks, so you’ll probably want something to protect your feet from the well-used floor!
While we’re talking about health, you might also want to take some earplugs to wear if you’re at risk of or concerned about airplane ear. Or some noise-cancelling headphones to block out the chatter if you prefer peace and quiet.
You will be in your shoes for a long time, so choose wisely! Flat sneakers, flexible soft pumps or anything with a nice rubber sole and no heel will be perfect. Slip-on footwear is ideal as you may need to take your shoes off to be scanned at security.
Oversized scarf or pashmina
We mentioned above how a longline cardigan can double up as a blanket, but so can an oversized scarf or pashmina. These can be used to keep the neck warm or opened out and used as a blanket.
A roundup of the best items to wear on a long haul flight
Ultimately, you’ll want to choose comfort over style when it comes to 8+ hours on a flight. You’ll want to arrive feeling as refreshed as possible and not with sore feet or digging in restrictive clothes that you haven’t been able to move in for hours.
Here are some of the best items to consider wearing for an international flight:
- Clever and easily removable layers
- Long-length pullover or cardigan
- Oversized hoody
- Loose or stretchy bottoms
- Skip the thick coat and pack it for when you reach your destination
- Sweat-resistant shirt
- Use armpit pads if sweaty armpits will cause distress
- Protect your health with compression socks on long flights
- Comfortable sneakers or flats
- Oversized scarf or pashmina that doubles up as a travel blanket
Check out our tips on how to stay looking good on a long haul flight!
Things to avoid wearing on a long haul flight
If you’re going to be on a flight, stuck in the same seat for 8-hours or more then you’ll definitely want to avoid wearing these things:
- Stilettos (goes without saying!)
- High heels or any other uncomfortable shoes
- Tailored clothing that you cannot move easily in
- Any clothing that is not comfortable to sit down in for hours at a time
- Tight jeans or trousers (unless they’re leggings or jeggings with no fasteners)
- Sandals (in case it’s too cold, and you don’t want to be stepping barefoot on the airport floor if they scan your shoes at security checks)
- Lots of jewellery
- Heavy makeup
- White or light clothing
- Synthetic materials that make you sweaty
- Too thick tops that you can’t layer or adjust for temperature control