What to Wear to the Airport: Your Ultimate Guide

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Curious about what to wear to the airport? Having delved into different possibilities, here are some suggestions for your next big trip.

Make sure you're comfortable and looking stylish on your next flight. Image credit: Ross Helen/iStock
Be comfortable and stylish on your next flight. Image credit: Ross Helen/iStock

When it comes to airport outfits, the task of deciding what to wear can be both overwhelming and exciting. From striking the perfect balance between comfort and trendiness to adhering to security regulations, there’s a lot to consider. But fear not, in this article, we’ll help you navigate through the maze of choices and uncover the keys to chic outfits, ensuring that your journey is not only smooth but also fashionably on point. So, fasten your seatbelts as we explore the ins and outs of airport attire beyond the typical tracksuits that might first come to mind.

Table of Contents

Airport Looks for Women

Maintain a stylish outfit while being comfortable on long-haul flights. Image credit: asiseeit/iStock
It’s easy to maintain a stylish outfit while being comfortable on long-haul flights. Image credit: asiseeit/iStock

Versatile Layers and Silhouettes

When planning your airport outfit, begin by focusing on essentials: layers and silhouettes that can adapt to fluctuating temperatures and the extended hours of travel. Choose a well-fitted foundation of pants or leggings, and then layer up with a cozy t-shirt or a lightweight knit sweater. To add a stylish finish, consider draping on a roomy cardigan or a bright color shawl that can double as a snug blanket or even a makeshift pillow during your journey.

Our top picks:

Eddie Bauer Women’s Departure Ankle Pants/ $80
Ibex Women’s Lizzi Tight/ $190
REI Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily Shirt Women/ $39
Prana Milani Crew Neck/ $89
J.Crew V-neck cotton-blend cardigan sweater/ $148
White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap/ $350

Footwear for Ease and Style

Ensuring foot health and preventing discomfort during your journey is heavily reliant on the right footwear selection. Slip-on sneakers or comfortable loafers are standout options, effortlessly guiding you through security checks while upholding a refined appearance. If you prefer a bit of height, opt for a pair of low-heeled ankle boots, which offer style without compromising on comfort during long walks through terminals. Remember, closed-toe shoes are a practical option, especially for long-haul flights, as they keep your feet cozy and protected.

Speaking of long-haul flights, consider the addition of compression socks to your airport ensemble. These specially designed socks provide graduated pressure that improves blood circulation and reduces the risk of swelling.

Our top picks:

Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners/ $110
Rothy’s The Driver Loafers/ $189
Cole Haan Tahoe Featherfeel Chelsea Boots/ $239
Away Compression Socks/ $35

Chic Accessories and Functional Bags

Accessories can transform every look from ordinary to extraordinary. To keep your essentials within easy reach, consider adding a fanny pack to your ensemble. Alternatively, a large, structured tote or a chic backpack not only adds a touch of sophistication but also accommodates your travel wallet, documents, and personal items.

Our top picks:

Cotopaxi Surprise Pack/ $28
Longchamp Le Pliage Original L Tote Bag/ $155
Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack/ $195

Embrace Athleisure Elegance

If you’re seeking a trendy blend of comfort and style, athleisure wear is your go-to solution. A well-fitted pair of joggers paired with a casual t-shirt and a tailored jacket can create a beautiful sporty appearance. Elevate this look with sleek sneakers and include a cap or wrist bands for an added touch.

Our top picks:

Lululemon Scuba Oversized Half-Zip Hoodie/ $118
Nike Sportswear Club Fleece/ $60
Jordan x Billie Eilish Women’s T-Shirt/ $60
Lululemon Always Effortless jacket/ $148
& Other Stories Classic Baseball Cap/ $49

Makeup and Skincare

While it’s tempting to go all-out with makeup, especially for long layovers, keeping your skin fresh and hydrated is more important. Opt for a minimal makeup look that includes a tinted moisturizer, a touch of concealer, and a lip balm. Prioritize skincare by carrying travel-sized hydrating products, facial mist, and under-eye patches to combat the dehydrating effects of air travel.

Our top picks:

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Tint Spf 20/ $43
Dior Backstage Flash Perfector Concealer/ $32
MAC Cosmetics Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick/ $24
Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Refresh Spray/ $38
Huda Beauty Eye Lift & Contour Eye Masks/ $5

Airport Looks for Men

Be stylish and comfortable at the airport. Image credit: Geber86/iStock
Be stylish and comfortable at the airport. Image credit: Geber86/iStock

Elevated Casual Attire

Initiate your look with a pair of chinos that is both comfortable and fashionable. Pair them with a lightweight, breathable t-shirt or a classic button-down shirt. This not only ensures effortless mobility during your trip but also leaves space for layering, accommodating temperature shifts, and transitioning seamlessly from the plane to your destination. For a bit of elegance, think about adding a hoodie or a relaxed blazer that perfectly complements the entire look.

Our top picks:

LIVSN Ecotrek Trail Pants/ $129
Unbound Merino Men’s Merino Crew Neck T-Shirt/ €83.95
Lululemon Commission Long-Sleeve Shirt Wash/ $118
Aviator First Class Merino Hoodie/ $175
Brooks Brothers Linen-Cotton Blazer/ €690

Footwear: Comfort Meets Style

Much like women’s choices, opting for slip-on sneakers or loafers presents an efficient approach to the security process while emanating a polished look. Pursuing a touch of sophistication? Low-profile leather sneakers fuse relaxation and fashion.

Our top picks:

VESSI Everyday Move Slip-Ons/ $145
G.H. Bass Men’s Larson Weejuns Loafer/ $175
Axel Arigato Clean 90 Sneaker/ $285 

A well-designed backpack or a sleek messenger bag serves as both an accessory and a carrier for your essentials. Don’t forget to include a scarf – not only does it add an extra layer of warmth during the flight, but it also enhances your style quotient.

Functional Accessories

Our top picks:

Peak Design Everyday Backpack Zip/ $189.95
Chrome Citizen Messenger Satchel Bag/ $150
Acne Studios Fringe Wool Scarf/ €200

Grooming and Skincare

Keep your skincare routine simple yet effective, focusing on hydrating products to counteract the dry cabin air. A good moisturizer, lip balm, and a travel-sized facial mist can work wonders. As for grooming, maintain a well-groomed appearance with a trimmed beard or clean shave, and opt for a minimalistic fragrance.

Our top picks:

Kiehl’s Age Defender Cream Moisturizer/ €65
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm/ $10
LA MER The Mist/ $85

General Tips for What to Wear to the Airport in the Summer

Planning your airport outfit for the summer demands thoughtful consideration, as though the blazing sun outside could turn the tarmac into a literal melting pot, the airport or airplane cabin can feel as chilly as an icebox. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen to beat the heat and stay comfortable throughout your journey. A pair of well-fitted shorts or chinos and a casual, moisture-wicking t-shirt can keep you looking smart while ensuring you’re ready to tackle security checkpoints with ease. To stay prepared for fluctuating temperatures, have a light jacket or scarf at hand to protect from the cold inside the cabin and airport. Finish off your look with a pair of sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Our top picks:

Vuori Linear Tech Tee/ $85

General Tips for What to Wear to the Airport in the Winter

Winter travel flips the script from summer. While it’s cold outside, airports often turn up the heat. Therefore, easy-to-remove layers are your best friend. Start with a solid base layer, such as lightweight thermal tops and bottoms that offer warmth and prioritize breathability to prevent overheating, especially during physical activities. A soft sweater or fleece-lined jacket adds both insulation and flair. As for headgear, a beanie or a hat not only elevates your look but also keeps you snug. When it comes to footwear, ensure you’re prepared for both warmth and security checks. Slip-on boots or sneakers with warm socks are ideal choices that combine style and convenience.

Our top picks:

Uniqlo Heattech Thermal Long-Sleeved Shirt/ €14.90
Uniqlo Heattech Leggings/ €14.90
Birkenstock Stalin Boots €180

What Not to Wear to the Airport

When it comes to what not to wear to the airport, staying away from certain choices can significantly streamline your travel experience.

Firstly, steer clear of overly complicated footwear, such as lace-up boots or intricate sneakers, as they can slow down the security process. You might assume that flip flops offer comfort, but they often lack essential support. They can also turn into breeding grounds for germs, as it’s highly likely that security personnel will request you to remove your shoes, exposing your feet to the same floor many others have walked on—do you truly want to traverse that area barefoot?  Though it is obvious, it’s worth mentioning that high heels should also be sidestepped. They can lead to pain during long walks through the terminal and even pose challenges during security checks.

Bulky belts with elaborate buckles might trigger additional security checks, so think about going for a simpler belt style. If your outfit permits, consider skipping the belt altogether to save time and minimize hassle. While dressing smartly is key, avoid excessive jewelry or accessories that could set off metal detectors.

Additionally, stay away from clothing that might impede your comfort during long flights, such as skinny jeans that restrict movement. Keep in mind that the change in cabin pressure, combined with sitting in tight attire for prolonged periods, can impact your circulation. Plus, if the plane’s temperature is high or you’re rushing to catch a flight, the sweat accumulated could become trapped, causing discomfort and potentially leading to skin irritation.

While tight clothes are definitely a no-go, excessively loose and lengthy outfits aren’t the best choice either. Long skirts and maxi dresses might seem elegant, but they’re susceptible to getting stepped on in bustling airport crowds. Moreover, floor-length outfits can easily come into contact with the bathroom floor, which is not only unhygienic but also troublesome to manage. Another suggestion is to skip rompers and jumpsuits when flying, as they necessitate complete undressing for bathroom breaks, which can be both inconvenient and time-consuming.

Runway to Runway: Navigating Fashion Choices

The significance of making the right fashion choices for your airport journey cannot be overstated. Your attire isn’t just about looking good; it’s about feeling comfortable and confident as you embark on your travels. It’s an expression of your personal style and can set the tone for your entire trip.

Having sorted what to wear to the airport, it’s time to take the next significant stride – secure your ground transportation in advance. Once you’ve landed, fatigued and sore from a lengthy flight, there’s a perfect remedy for your ailments: a Blacklane airport transfer direct to your chosen destination. Operating in hundreds of cities and airports globally, Blacklane’s services offer a seamless solution to your travel needs.

Wherever you go, our professional drivers can track your flight and adjust for any delays outside of your control. They’re hand-picked and locally knowledgeable, so feel free to ask them for tips or advice on what to do during your stay.

Summary of What to Wear to the Airport

  1. Well-fitted foundation of pants or leggings
  2. Lightweight, breathable t-shirt
  3. Lightweight knit sweater
  4. Roomy cardigan
  5. Travel wrap
  6. Slip-on sneakers
  7. Comfortable loafers
  8. Low-heeled ankle boots
  9. Compression socks
  10. Fanny pack
  11. Large tote
  12. Backpack
  13. Lip balm
  14. Facial mist

Ellie Smith

Ellie is an avid traveler, writer, and adventurer, with a passion for exploring the world and sharing her experiences through storytelling. Working for global chauffeur company Blacklane and having lived in cities like Dubai and Berlin, she has gained valuable first-hand experience in uncovering hidden gems worldwide.