Whether you’re choosing an outfit for a short or a long-distance flight, it’s important that you feel comfortable while staying out of trouble at the same time. The rules of in-flight fashion are different from those on the ground. When you’re sitting for hours in a metal tube flying 35,000 feet in the air, comfort trumps style.
Wear an outfit that keeps you cozy and relaxed, and you’ll likely appear more chic than the traveler struggling with heavy bags in four-inch stilettos or the one sweating in too-tight synthetic fabrics.
15 Things You Should Never Wear On An Airplane
To look and feel your best while jet-setting, avoid the following in-flight fashion faux pas.
1. Open Footwear
Beach Wear, Open Sandals, Flip Flops – Though you are attempted to announce to all and sundry that you are headed to an exotic sunny paradise somewhere by wearing attire naturally reserved to the beach, practice self-restraint.
Aside from the fact that the weather from your point of origin maybe arctic cold and you might have to walk past an uncovered tarmac, the inside temperature of many airplanes is terribly erratic. It may get notoriously chilly the whole 4 or 5 hours flight and you regret that you should have dressed a little more warmly.
Also, though this may be quite far-fetched but still possible, your baggage becomes lost. You only have your flimsy beachwear on and nothing more respectable to change into while you sort out the mess with the airline staff on a busy airport. What if – God forbid – there is an accident and you have to make a run for it? It’s all about traction.
The same goes for avoiding flip flops and backless sandals for safety reasons. These types of footwear make it extremely difficult to evacuate the aircraft quickly if required. If inflatable slides were to be used during an emergency evacuation the heels can damage the slide and greatly reduce your efforts of evacuating effectively.
2. Uncomfortable Shoes
This one seems obvious. A good pair of comfortable shoes will make it easier for you to hoof it around the airport and sprint to the gate if you need to make a connection.
Furthermore, wearing your bulkier shoes instead of stashing them in your suitcase while donning sandals or stilettos will free up some room – and some weight – in your checked or carry-on bag.
3. High Heels and Complicated Shoes
Although attractive you may find the airport-style of your favorite celebrities Stilettos. This may, in fact, cause more harm than good.
There will be a 100% chance that airport security will ask you to remove your shoes. Because not only heels can be used to store prohibited items, but it also includes an internal metal construction that will definitely turn off the alarm.
Lace-up boots, strappy heels, sandals with more buckles than you can count – they’re the nightmare of every in-a-rush business traveler who must stand behind you as you undo myriad straps and laces. Wear simple slip-on shoes or sneakers when flying, as you’ll have to take them off in the airport security line.
4. Complicated and Hard to Remove Items
Complicated dresses like Rompers, jumpsuits, floor-length clothing, and billowy skirts should be avoided too. Also, any clothing with floaty bits like feathers or thin fibres that can detach and float into the next seat’s soup.
Aircraft lavatories are tiny contrivances, about the size of a small closet or a very large Manhattan apartment. So maneuvering in and out of your pants can be, well, tricky. (That’s why someone invented Claspies.)
Lest you drop your wallet in the toilet or fall and smash through the bathroom door, wear something that isn’t likely to cause difficulties in the plane bathroom. Avoid bodysuits or complicated wrap shirts or dresses, as well as long pants or skirts that may graze the unsanitary (and often disturbingly wet) lavatory ground.
Likewise, it is also difficult to wriggle in and out of rompers and jumpsuits given the very limited space what with all the shaking and jerking common to a transatlantic flight a mile high or more off the ground!
Be kind to yourself, you don’t want to have a bathroom drama 7 miles up across continents.
5. Fabrics That Don’t Breathe
Shun any fabrics that lack breathability, such as nylon or leatherette. Add your rubber raincoat or waterproof jacket to this list as well. However, that some high-quality waterproof jackets, like outerwear made from Gore-Tex, are quite breathable. It all depends on what it’s made of.
Less breathable fabrics hold sweat on the skin when it’s hot as well as prevent air circulation. You won’t feel very fashionable sweating in too-tight, synthetic clothes as your plane rests on the tarmac under the hot sun.
A foolproof way to find breathable clothes for the plane: Stick with moisture-wicking activewear or clothes sold from travel suppliers, which are designed specifically for travel.
6. Tight Clothes
Avoid tight clothing, especially when your flight is longer than four hours. People on a long-distance flight are at risk of developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT is a clot of blood that forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg.
To prevent it, It will be better to wear special compression socks and loose comfortable clothes. Also, be sure to walk around whenever you can. Apart from the risk of thrombosis you can also suffer from swelling, cramping, and bloating is especially if your clothes are constricting.
You can imagine what kind of discomfort that can cause. Leather pants and tight jeans might look cute, but it’s much better to pick something with an elastic waist and breathable material. So, it’s better to not wear any tight clothes on a plane.
7. Itchy Fabrics
Before putting on something fancy for your flight, you need to consider the fabric very carefully. First and foremost, avoid Itchy and Scratchy clothes, they will definitely become a bother on the flight.
The thing is, hot and cold temperature fluctuations on the plane, make your skin very sensitive. For this reason, fabrics like wool or even lace will lead to skin irritation, even more so than I usually do. They might become especially annoying if you’re sitting in a seat without much legroom or space to move around.
8. Anything Containing Metal
When you go through airport security, you will be required to take off your shoes due to them having large metal embellishments. Not all shoes have this but many do.
Anything with metal on it can slow you down when going through airport security, whether it’s a sparkling sweater with metallic threads woven into them or jewelry, this will take time and effort at the security line.
Of course, you can easily slip off your shoes no problem, but getting out of the sweater might be a bit more challenging. It’s best to go for natural materials and take off any jewelry until you pass completely through security screening.
9. Cologne or Perfume
While you are on your journey, you will be in a small and densely packed space. And, it is possible that some of your fellow passengers may have allergies and asthma on the flight. So, it will be better to avoid strong perfume or any other cologne. It is perfect seatmates for them, are those who smell like nothing.
Another problem here is that all the smells intensify on a plane, due to the stale air constantly being recycled within the cabin. It is better to wear clean clothes and stay clear of perfume. Remember, your preferences may dramatically differ from those of your neighbor.
10. Summer Clothes
Even when you are flying to a warm place and tempted to choose summer attire for your flight. Always keep in mind that the temperature in the plane can be surprisingly cold. For a comfortable trip, it is necessary to keep several layers of clothing.
You will not believe the craziest ways people dress for their trip, flight attendants have witnessed sports bras and crop tops with no jacket to cover them booty shorts, and even bathing suits. You don’t need to be a psychic to predict that these passengers are the first to demand blankets shortly after takeoff.
Unfortunately, not all flights provide such a service. So, It’s better to wear different layers of clothes on a plane. This way, you can always control how warmly you are dressed.
11. Contact Lenses
In airplanes, the average humidity can get as low as 10 to 20%, and in extreme cases, it can drop down to 1%. For comparison, the Sahara Desert averages from 20 to 25% humidity. Can you imagine how fast it will dry out your contact and lead to irritation in your eyes?
If you have a long flight, it’s recommended that you take your lenses out, especially if you plan on sleeping during your flight. So, it will better to wear glasses instead of contact lenses on a plane.
12. Offensive Outfit
You may not believe this, but people have been banned from dressing up on the plane. The reason is too much cleavage, low cut dress, saggy pants, or T-shirt with offensive text.
So, it will be better to avoid these types of wear. Try to stay simple, and reasonable when choosing your outfit. An accurate question to ask yourself is whether someone wears this to visit their grandparents?
13. Baggy Clothes
You may be asking if baggy clothes can be wear if it is not possible to wear tight clothes? But the answer is – Do not wear baggy clothes. The reason is people wearing such clothing, tend to look suspicious.
Many travelers say that if you want to pass through security quickly, you should avoid loose-fitting clothes. There is a 100% chance to stop you because you will look like you are hiding something under your huge hoodie.
So, the things to remember when you dress for a journey by plane. Opt for comfort. And remember, you can totally make comfort look stylish. For example, a maxi dress pairing with a denim jacket will look very fashionable while providing all the comfort together You need.
14. Clothing That is Considered Too Revealing
Here we’re talking about clothes that show too much cleavage and/or visible underwear – clean or otherwise. It also includes clothes deemed to be too suggestive even though they do not show much skin.
A plane is not a club. Even if you are flying Virgin America and it looks like the inside of a club, it is still not! There are families on your airplane. There are people going to funerals and important business meetings. The plane is not the place to show off your knickers or other assets. Keep it classy.
15. Smelly Clothing and Body Odor
A strong perfume is already quite distressing inflight, however, the stench of an unwashed hair and body is just too much. This includes wearing dirty shoes and sweat-soaked unlaundered clothing a few days old.
Fun fact: yes, they smell in close quarters.
Also, in the spirit of hygiene, it is considered bad taste to take off your socks and undergarments with other passengers in sight. If you don’t get it, please refer to the scene in the movie Planes Trains and Automobiles where John Candy takes off his socks right under Steve Martin’s nose. Imagine you are the disgusted seatmate.
Some even take it further and have the gall to air their used garments (damp socks, brassieres, underwear, soiled hankies) on armrests or porthole. If you disbelieve me then you haven’t travelled far enough.
A few saintly souls may be able to bear this state of nastiness but not a few are so unforgiving and may complain to you and the stewardess. Depending on the involved parties’ personalities, this can lead to a full-blown confrontation.