Looking (and feeling) fresh when getting off a plane is no easy feat—you probably woke up much too early to catch your flight, the little makeup you applied is long gone, and the plane air dried out your skin and greased up your hair. To make matters worse, the clothes you carefully picked for your flight now feel uncomfortable, wrinkled, and a little scruffy. So how do you avoid feeling like the worse version of yourself when landing in a new destination?
We all know by now the basic rules of travel style: Don't be overly sloppy in your clothing choices, layer up, don't stack your entire jewelry collection on your wrists before passing security, and wear comfortable easy-to-take-off shoes. It's easy to revert back to a simple sweater, a pair of leggings, white sneakers, and a jacket when traveling—but sometimes it's just not enough. Besides, should you really dress the same way at the airport whether you're going on your honeymoon, jetting off on a business trip, or gearing up to hike Kilimanjaro? We didn't think so. Wheels up: These four frequent flyer–approved outfits will suit any travel plan and make you feel fresh off your flight.
Destination: A Tropical Paradise
The problem: Anyone who's ever landed on a tropical island from a colder departure city has experienced this: Your once perfectly weather-appropriate sweater, leggings, and sneakers were great for the flight, but now that you're out in the sticky humid heat (and you've still got a 45-minute unventilated ride to your resort), you're quickly regretting your sartorial choices.
The solution: Layer lighter pieces that will keep you breezy fresh upon arrival: a simple tee, a cotton midi skirt, and breathable closed-toe mules. You'll love having these separates on your vacation.
The finishing touch: A light jean jacket will keep you warm on your flight, but it's still appropriate to wear on a chilly vacation night (unlike some heavier coats and jackets).
Destination: A Work Trip
The problem: This issue is twofold. You either underdress (and immediately regret it when brushing shoulders with notorious CEOs in business class), or you choose to wear business-appropriate attire, and you spend the entire flight feeling stiff and uncomfortable (and bonus: you get to the destination a wrinkled mess).
The solution: Choose loose-fitting wrinkle-proof clothes, like striped wide-leg pants and a patterned wrap-blouse (to hide the potential creases). Finish off the look with a pair of easy slip-on loafers. If you travel with TSA pre-check, you won't even need to take your shoes off, but you'll be ready for any eventuality.
The finishing touch: A trench will make any outfit look a little more polished so you can breeze in and out of the airport in style, in case you're headed straight to a meeting.
Destination: An Adventure
The problem: Great, you've booked a three-week escapade to hike the wilderness in Iceland—but that doesn't mean you want to translate that into your airport outfit. Besides, hiking boots aren't great for going through security.
The solution: Choose elevated athleisure: sleek leggings, a pair of stylish sneakers, and a cozy sweater that's also chic, and most importantly breathable. You'll be able to re-wear these basics on your trip, but you'll also be chic and comfortable at the airport.
The finishing touch: Wear your parka or any other bulky item on the plane so it doesn't take up too much space in your luggage. It can also double as a cozy blanket once you decide to take a mid-flight nap.
Destination: A Far-Off Place
The problem: You definitely want to be cruising in ultimate comfort when faced with a 10-plus hour flight, but you also don't want to look like a complete slob. Sweatpants and flipflops being out of the question, what should you actually wear?
The solution: Sure, leggings can be chic and they're undeniably comfortable. But you know what else is? A silk slip dress or skirt (it's basically like wearing pajamas). Pair this with an oversized cashmere turtleneck and furry slippers to completely sink into comfort. Once at your destination, you can repurpose the skirt on a romantic night out.
The finishing touch: Don't pack your hat, wear it. You can tuck it under the seat in front while in-flight, but you'll love having it on your head when deplaning from a 14-hour flight.
Bonus: Always Have These in Your Carry-On
Next up: Where to go glamping (and what to wear once you get there).