I'm a professional traveler, so, as you might imagine, I’ve got the whole flying thing down pat: I pack only a carry-on, do my check-in online, flit through security shoes already in hand, and spend my (minimal) waiting time briskly walking the terminal—because I’ll be sitting enough on the plane. The most fundamental flight factor, though, is your outfit. Well-chosen clothing can make the difference between a cold, painful trip and a comfortable, restful one.
Light dress – The freedom of a dress allows you to curl, cross, or stretch your legs without restriction, and to shift endlessly in your seat without exposing your belly or back. And when you get off the plane, you'll be street-ready–because do you really want waste precious sake-sipping or Palermo-shopping time changing from your "travel clothes"? To really hit the ground running, choose travel-friendly fabrics like cotton-nylon blend, jersey knit, or cashmere–these materials are all lightweight and wrinkle-resistant. This Design History pleated V-neck dress ($60) meets all my criteria.The jersey knit makes it supersoft and slightly stretchy, and the conservative neckline and 3/4-length sleeves promise to keep your breasts where they belong (in your dress) no matter how you snuggle into your seat. And you'll look awfully sleek and sexy disembarking a plane in this green number.
Shoes. The need for foot coverage means you can't wear sandles, so think in terms of low-heeled shoes or flats. They're essential when you’re racing through Terminal 5 to catch that departing plane–just make sure they’re easy to remove (and put back on) when you get to security. The Tory Burch ballet flats ($195) are modern classics that will slide on and off quickly–and go great with the above jumper dress.
Supportive Cami. Like beauty, comfort comes from the inside out: don’t forget to tweek the most elementary aspect of your outfit.A shaping cami, like Jockey's 3-D Seamless camisole ($32) won't ever pinch or poke, and its silky texture feels great against the skin–even for ten or twelve hours at a time. I used to wear a sports bra on airplanes–which was unattractive under a dress, to say the least–to avoid bra pain. But we mentioned this cami in our review of the Jockey's seamless Modern Brief in December, and it’s been my preferred plane undergarment ever since.
And don't forget a lightweight scarf ($85) for extra layers to keep you warm. And when the plane pillows are scarce, you can roll this one up and use it to rest your weary head.
Once you've scored your perfect plane ensemble, shop our Guide to Luggage for Chic Travelers for the best piece to complement your attire. And then check out our Travel Essentials Guide for more jetsetting must-haves.