All My Travel Outfits Follow This Simple Rule

One perk of my job is that I travel a lot. This means I've had a lot of time to master the art of packing a carry-on, figure out the fastest way to get to the airport (which actually isn't all that fast in New York), and most importantly learned exactly what—and what not—to wear. All it takes is one red-eye pretzeled in an exit-aisle seat to know your outfit choice can make a pretty big difference.

My first key bit of advice: slip-on sneakers. This TSA-approved footwear choice not only makes navigating security a breeze, but it's also ideal for subtly sliding under your seat without the fear of having to fumble with shoelaces or fitting swollen post-flight feet into anything remotely high-top. Second, the clothes I choose my outfit using the stretch test. Doing a few quick lunges and an arm reach, I always calibrate: Does my bra ride up? Do my pants squeeze? Does my jacket constrict? If the answer to any of the above is a yes, I immediately abandon my choices for something comfier.

If I can get away with it, the stretch test means that the majority of my travel outfits are basically a lesson in head-to-toe athleisure. Sweats, a sports bra, and a cozy sweatshirt are all designed with comfort in mind, which can make a world of difference seven hours into a transatlantic flight. If I need to look a little more polished post-flight, I'll make sure to have a cool jacket handy and to wear jeans that I know are stretch enough to keep me happy. Below, I've highlighted a few styles that will pass the stretch test with flying colors so you can make your next flight just that little bit less miserable.