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The Best Clothing List for Long Flights

The Best Clothing List for Long Flights

When traveling on an airplane, you want to be as comfortable as possible. But, you don’t want to look like a complete slob either, so how do you find some middle ground? This list will give you the best clothing list for long flights!

Surviving long flights can be difficult, even for the most experienced travelers. One of the most important tips for getting through long haul flights is to simply be as comfortable as possible! 

Imagine trying to fall asleep in tight or itchy clothing, or maybe you are freezing because you forgot to dress in layers. Perhaps you could make it work on quick one hour flights, but this still wouldn’t be ideal. 

Travelers used to dress in fancy clothes during flights, but that is not a trend of the past. Today, unless you are a businessman or woman, or running straight to a meeting when you land, most travelers aim for comfort over fashion. 

This list will provide the best clothing list for long flights including product recommendations, along with what NOT to wear! We hope these recommendations will give you some ideas of what to wear. Remember- comfort over fashion!

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What to Wear on an Airplane

Comfortable, easy shoes

When it comes to traveling, you will want to wear shoes that are both comfortable, and easy to take on and off. Airports are often huge and require a lot of walking, so make sure you can walk comfortably in your shoes. This might not be the time to wear new shoes that aren’t broken in yet!

Additionally, to get through the airport security line quicker, you will want shoes that are easy to take on and off. Wear shoes that cover your toes at heels, to prevent accidental tripping or stubbing your toes. Planes are often cold, so your feet might get cold if they are out in the open without socks.

If you plan to wear open-toed shoes, plan to bring an extra pair of socks in your carry on bag just in case your feet get cold. 


In many of our posts, we discuss compression socks because I believe they are so important and helpful! 

Compression socks help keep blood flowing to your legs and feet. They are great for long haul flights when you are sitting for long periods of time. You can also wear them if you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day. They will help restore blood flow, and help muscles recover quicker!

They can also reduce your risk of developing a blood clot, which can occur from sitting for too long. 

Compression socks are basically stretchy socks that gently squeeze your feet and calves. Almost everyone can benefit from these: pregnant women, athletes, those with diabetes, and practically anyone!

Swollen feet will be a thing of the past, and they also could help you from feeling dizzy after standing up! Give it a try!

If you don’t want to wear these at the airport, they make a great top carry on item you can put on during the flight!

Comfortable clothing

Try to stay away from clothing items that are tight-fitting. Aim for loose, breathable clothing that you feel comfortable wearing. Wearing tight-fitting clothes can be uncomfortable during the flight, especially if your body begins to get swollen after hours on the airplane. Tight clothes can even cause blood clots, so make sure you are dressed appropriately! 

Additionally, remember to keep moving during your flight. Here are some simple exercises for any long flight!

This includes pants as well. Jeans are not the best option for long haul flights unless they are loose. Skip the skinny jeans, and get a comfy pair of leggings, yoga pants, or sweatpants. You can always dress up leggings with a sweater if you are worried you look like you just rolled out of bed! 


Dress in layers

When you are sitting on the tarmac, the air conditioning is usually turned off, and the airplane gets hot and stuffy really quickly! However, once the air kicks on, it can be freezing! So, what is the best clothing list for long flights with fluctuating temperatures?

The key is to dress in layers: have a breathable t-shirt under a hoodie or sweatshirt, so you can adapt to different temperatures as needed. Additionally, when sleeping your body fluctuates between different temperatures, so you might need more or fewer layers during the night. 

Your take-off and landing locations also might have completely different weather conditions as well, so dressing in layers will help you be prepared for both! 



Sometimes on an airplane, you just want to look out the window, but when you do, you are basically blinded by how bright it is! 

Make sure you bring a good pair of sunglasses on your flight, just in case it gets too bright! Your neighbor might have the window open and it is blinding you, so you might need them even if sitting in the aisle seat. 

Additionally, if you forgot a sleep mask, they can help make it darker if you are trying to fall asleep on an airplane.

They can easily fit into your carry on, and I guarantee you packed some anyway, so it shouldn’t be something you forget!

If you do forget your sunglasses, you can always put your hood up over your eyes to block out some of the light. 

Change of clothes

Another tip on our list of the best clothing list for long flights is to bring an extra change of clothes. If you are on an overnight flight or a 10+ hour flight, you might want to change your clothes!

You may want to change clothes during a layover (more on what to do during a long layover) before you get on your next flight. This can help you feel a bit more refreshed and clean! 

Or, maybe you just spilled something all over your outfit. You don’t want to spend an overnight flight with a huge coffee stain, or all sticky! Maybe you have a baby and they spit up on you. Having an extra pair of clothes will come in handy!

Aim to pack another set of clothes that is comfortable for you, and easy to change into. You might need to change in the tiny airplane bathroom, so be mindful of that! You can put your dirty clothes in a separate bag, to keep your other items smelling fresh. 

What NOT to Wear on a Long Haul Flight

Complicated Shoes

Traveling is not the time to break out your highest heeled shoes. Think about the amount of walking you will need to do these throughout the airport! Plus, you are just going to be sitting on an airplane anyway, so why hurt your feet!

Avoid wearing sandals or shoes that are difficult to put on or take off. When you are in the security line, you are going to want shoes that easily slip on and off! Read more tricks to getting through airport security quicker

Additionally, now is not the time to wear brand new shoes that you have never worn before. Breaking in new shoes can do some damage to your feet, and you don’t want to be uncomfortable walking around the airport. Break them in before your vacation! 

Contact Lenses

If you have ever worn contact lenses on a plane, I bet you can attest to this one. Don’t wear your contacts on an airplane! Air on an airplane is dryer than the Sahara Desert. Just think about that for a minute… 

Think about what that would do to your poor eyeballs and contacts. Especially if you are on a long haul flight, try to just wear your glasses! You will most likely try to fall asleep anyway, and you know you shouldn’t wear contacts while sleeping. 

Take them out at the airport before your flight, or test your luck and keep them in before they dry out. Consider getting some dry eye relief eye drops to help keep your eyes moisturized. 

Expensive Jewelry

When flying on an airplane, try your best to not wear any expensive jewelry. For one, this can be a nuisance in the airport security line, as the metals could set off the alarm, and you would need to be searched. Secondly, if you do take your jewelry off, they could get stolen or lost in the security line. 

Keep it to your wedding ring and some stud earrings. Anything more than that will just get in the way during your long flight.

Keep your jewelry safe while traveling in this travel jewelry organizer. You will feel better knowing your favorite necklaces and rings are safe during your flight!

Learn more essential packing tips every traveler should know!

Heavy Perfume/Cologne

On long haul flights, avoid wearing heavy perfume, for the curtsy of other travelers. You might believe it smells amazing, but someone else might not. Plus, some people have less tolerance for potent smells, and they can even cause migraine headaches in some people. 

Be mindful of how much perfume or cologne you are wearing before getting onto the plane. It is best to avoid wearing any at all, but if you want to wear some, stick to just 1 or 2 sprays. If you find your perfume is too strong, simply wipe it off in the bathroom.  

The same goes for lotions- be mindful of those around you before using heavily scented products. Some people might even be allergic! Wear non-scented lotion if you can, or lotions with neutral scents. 

Avoid scents that include coconut or other nut scents, as many people are deathly allergic. If you are using some, make sure you ask your neighbors if they have any allergies. 

Puffy Jacket

If you are going to a location where you will need to wear a big ski jacket, pack it away in your suitcase before getting on board. 

Just imagine being stuffed into a tiny airplane seat with a puffy jacket! You would hardly have any room! Plus, this might irritate your neighboring travelers if your jacket gets into their space. 

Stuff it into your bag, or place it in the overhead bin- but only do this if there is room after all the suitcases are stowed! You can always place it under the seat in front of you if you have room. 

If you cannot pack it away, avoid wearing it during the flight. You can always use it as a pillow!

Tight clothes

Wearing tight clothes on an airplane is not going to make you feel comfortable. In fact, it can even restrict blood flow to your legs if you are wearing tight pants. This could cause blood clots if you are not careful. Aim to wear loose fitted clothing, which is one of the best tips for the best clothing list for long flights!

Sweat pants, hoodies, and loose t-shirts are great examples of clothing that will make you feel comfortable while on a long haul flight. 

Thank you for reading the best clothing list for long flights! While flying, it is important you stay as comfortable as possible. Comfort over fashion here! This will help you fall asleep on the airplane, and feel better! Do you have any other suggestions for what to wear, or what NOT to wear on a flight? We would love to hear from you- leave a comment below!

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Irene Madrid

Friday 19th of January 2024

I always have a second set of clothes in my carry on. Airports are GERMY and if nothing else, change clothes when you get to your destination...preferably shower first. There are so many great travel clothes these days even when not specifically intended for travel. Pants with stretch and elastic waist abound in all kinds of flattering styles. Because I travel First Class, I make sure I dress well. Even in Economy, I think you get better service with nice clothes. And See's lollipops for the crew are a bog hit.


Sunday 31st of December 2023

Don’t wear any perfume when you are flying, many people are sensitive to perfumes but some are allergic. I have severe allergies to many perfumes some of which can cause anaphylaxis, I have almost died because of someone else’s perfume on a flight. Please don’t wear it when you are somewhere that people have no way of getting away from the scent and have no other option but to be exposed to the scent.


Saturday 5th of August 2023

You comments on what not to wear are good, but what to wear, a t-shirt, sweat pants and a hoody? Gee, am I going to the gym or Amsterdam? Americans in Europe, or actually anywhere in the world, sometimes look like they never had to dress for any affair and your advice is embarrassing. You can find comfortable clothes that you can wear in layers that are fashionable and functional. Why look like a clueless slob?


Tuesday 25th of May 2021

I love this massage and thank for remind what a need to buying for my two travel I’m going to do this summer “thanks again

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