What to wear to the airport

We’ve explored all the options for what to wear to the airport. 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

Whether you travel frequently or have your first big trip coming up, deciding what to pack in your bag is only half the battle. You’ll also need to figure out what you’ll be wearing to the airport.

Airport Clothes: choosing an outfit based on your journey

It stands to reason that you’d choose a different outfit for a three-hour flight than you would for a flight to the other side of the globe. On a short flight, comfort is usually less of an issue. If you’ll need to do a lot of walking to get from the plane to the pickup zone, you might want to wear comfortable shoes. Other than that, you won’t really need to worry about dressing for comfort.

If you’re going on a longer journey, comfort is a must! Airline seats are notoriously cramped, and being uncomfortable your entire flight will put a damper on the first day at your destination.

When deciding what to wear to the airport, you should choose clothing that can be easily layered. You’ll have less stuff to lug around, and you can add or remove items as you move through different environments. This is especially important if you have a stopover in an area with different weather than the location you’re headed for.

For example, let’s say you’re leaving on a flight from New York in the dead of winter. You’re stopping over in Stockholm before heading for Bangkok. The weather in New York and Stockholm will likely be much cooler than the weather in Bangkok. Therefore, you’ll need to layer a few items that you can peel off when you arrive.

Another important factor is the plane journey itself. Flights have the potential to be very stuffy or very cold depending on a variety of factors. If you’re flying over the Pacific Ocean, your route may take the plane very far north, which can result in cooler cabin temperatures for a period of the flight. You’ll need to make sure you have warm clothing for these types of scenarios.

Travel clothes for women

The boarding line at the airport gate doesn’t require professional attire, but if you are heading straight to a meeting when you arrive, it’s a good idea to wear something professional that is also capable of providing warmth for your journey.

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

Athletic pants or comfortable trousers

It could be tempting to wear shorts on your flight, but you’ll likely end up shivering and unhappy. Relaxed-fit trousers in a soft material are a much better option. You can roll them up if you get too warm, but if you’re cold, it will be easy to keep your legs covered.


It’s best to layer your shirts, beginning with a light T-shirt or camisole. Layer a more stylish shirt, such as a button-up blouse, on top of that. Layers create warmth without adding a lot of bulk, and they make it easy to cool down when needed. Plus, by layering some of your favorite tops, you’ll free up space in your luggage.


Your outerwear is perhaps the most important item to consider if you want to look stylish during your flight. A nice jacket or sweater can cover up a relaxed outfit. Choose a long jacket for the best mix of both coverage and warmth. Cardigan sweaters will also help to elevate your look.

Socks for your flight

You might want to consider wearing compression socks if you’re facing a long flight. Remaining seated for long periods of time can lead to health problems, such as deep-vein thrombosis, a condition in which you develop a blood clot in your legs. Compression socks can improve your circulation and help reduce the risk.

Airport shoes

Your feet will swell during a long flight, so keep that in mind when picking out your shoes. Sandals are comfortable, but your feet might get cold. It’s best to choose an option that’s suitable for walking as well as providing warmth. A nice pair of slip-on flats are a good choice. They can be paired with a pair of trousers and any variety of top.

Another solid option is a good pair of sneakers. You can always take them off to get comfortable during your flight, and they should provide plenty of warmth. However, sneakers can be a little more tricky when going through security. If you want to make the process as quick as possible, opt for slip-on shoes with a sturdy pair of socks.


Adding an accessory can provide warmth and give flare to your look. A nice colorful scarf will get the job done right. You can wear the scarf when needed and toss it into your purse when it’s too warm. The right scarf can really tie a look together.

Travel clothing for men

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

The travel tips for men’s clothing aren’t that different from women’s. You’re aiming for both comfort and style, which means packing your business suit and opting for more leisurely wear.

Layer a T-shirt beneath a nice button-down or polo shirt. Make sure that your trousers are comfortable for sitting, walking, and standing for long periods of time. Dark jeans can help to look more put together. Slip-on loafers are a good choice of shoes.

The main component of your look is the jacket. Choose something that’s warm and comfortable, such as a blazer. Neutral colors are always a smart choice. If you’re aiming to pack light, neutrals will allow you to pair your outerwear with any of your chosen outfits.

Now that you’ve decided what to wear to the airport, take another important step and book your ground transportation ahead of time. Blacklane provides professional airport transfers across more than 500 major airports around the world.