Braving the airport might not be the most exciting stop on your travel itinerary. After all, nobody would rather be waiting in mile-long security lines or killing time at baggage claim when they could be out experiencing a new spot on the globe.
While you might not have much power over wait times and lost luggage, the world of airport outfits is your oyster. Try out a new pattern or pairing, pack like a pro, and, most importantly, stop discomfort from ever raining on your travel-day parade again.
Before you take to the sky and dream about your vacation style, tune into our guide to airport attire that’ll take you where you need to go in style and in first-class comfort.
#1 Embrace In-Flight Comfort With Stretchy Leggings
The last thing you want on a long flight is to be endlessly adjusting an uncomfortable waistband or feeling constricted by a pair of too-tight pants. When you fly, you’ll want outfits for the airport that strike that just-right balance between fashion and function.
Cue: leggings, the closet staple that’s dying to make its debut outside of weekly workout classes and long walks through the park. The classic all-black look makes for an easy neutral palate from which to build an entire outfit. Plus, their stretchy material and elastic waistband will keep you comfy whether you’re headed a few states over or across the pond.
The casual traveler who’d prefer to spend more time researching hidden beaches and local eateries will rejoice in the low-effort outfit options provided by leggings. Plus, we’ve already done part of the prep work by arranging a few leggings ensembles that are effortlessly chic:
- Pair classic black leggings with your favorite easy hoodie in a plush, neutral color, or swap out the hoodie for a studded sweatshirt to cultivate an edgy, cool look.
- Opt for ultimate warmth with the Contrast Henley Sweater, featuring brushed thermal material and a chic funnel neck, worn with your favorite navy leggings.
- For a more posh fit, try pairing the Wonder Knit leggings, beloved for their mid-rise fit and ultra-smooth texture, with a classic long sleeved button-down shirt or a simple turtleneck sweater in a warm oatmeal shade.
#2 Fuse Fashion and Flexibility With Pull-On Pants
Sometimes, your travel itinerary sends you straight from a flight to a business meeting or an event where leggings simply won’t cut it. To polish up your travel outfit for the airport—without sacrificing comfort—make some room in your carry-on for pull-on pants.
Pull-on pants offer the ease and comfort of leggings but in a look that’s more akin to traditional pants. These laid-back trousers can be found in nearly every form—from blue jeans to wide-legged linen pants—but they all share a common feature to keep them as comfy as possible: an elastic waistband.
But how do you wear your new secret-style weapon? It all depends on what kind of pull-on pants you’re wearing. Here are a few favorite ways to sport these easy, breezy pants when traveling:
- Jeggings and a pullover sweater – Jeggings offer all the comfort of your everyday blue jeans, but with an even more comfortable twist: their elastic waistband and stretchy, legging-like material. Pair the Vintage Wash Jeggings with another easy classic, like the cozy Blouson Sleeve Sweater in fuzzy light gray yarn. Top it all off with a pair of slip-on white kicks.
- Wide-legged pants and a subtly-cropped top – Wide-legged pull-on pants are your shortcuts to creating an artsy, laidback look that’ll carry you all the way from a hectic day of travel to an evening of drinks with your gal pals. Don’t be intimidated by their oversized silhouette—pair billowy wide-leg pants in breathable linen with a shorter yet still flowy shirt like the Boatneck Tie-Front Top.
- Plaid pull-ons and a sleek blouse – Going from boarding gate to boardroom? You’ll want a trouser that can look tailored and put together while still keeping you comfortable during travel. With its cropped ankle length and preppy plaid pattern, you’ll love the Cropped Pants for how effortlessly they blend polish and ease. Wear them with a drapey crepe Split Placket Blouse for that perfect plane-to-presentation outfit.
- Statement pull-ons and a sexy top – Maybe your trip is taking you right from the plane to a boisterous night out on the town. If that’s the case, you’ll want a pair of pull-on pants that can match your late-night energy. You’ll love the Cropped Faux Leather Pants in sleek black faux leather—add a pair of ankle boots and a silky Tie-Front Top in a rusty red, and you’ll be set for success.
#3 Layer Up With a Scarf or Cardigan
Let’s face the facts—airports and airplanes aren’t exactly known for their comfort. From stiff-as-a-board seats to unpredictable cabin temperatures, you’re often in for more of an adventure than you bargained for.
Did you know that there may be a reason why you’re shivering as you fly? Planes are usually kept at a balmy 72 degrees, but they can feel chillier because of how cold the outside air is when you’re flying at a high altitude—anywhere between 40 to 55 degrees below zero!1
If you usually find your teeth chattering on flights, you can start preparing for frosty temps before you even get to the airport by packing a few stylish layering options.
Ward of The Cold in a Wrap Scarf
Lightweight and a cinch to fit in a suitcase or pair with any travel outfit, a scarf is one of the best pieces to pack when heading for the airport. Scarves make a terrific makeshift blanket or shawl in a pinch, but they're also easy to slip off if you find yourself getting a little too toasty.
Scarves come in every shape and size, but the best airport scarves are the ones that are a little oversized. Some of your new favorite options for this do-it-all accessory include:
- The super versatile Sweater Shawl in black, cream, oatmeal, or dark heather gray—wear it wrapped around your neck or draped over your shoulders
- A classic Fringe Pashmina Shawl for an elevated yet cozy look complete with stylish tassels
- The supremely soft Cashmere Blend Scarf for a plush, touchable option in navy
Cozy Up in a Cardigan
Looking for something a little more heavy-duty than a scarf? Cardigans epitomize coziness thanks to their easy-on, easy-off nature and timeless shape.
When choosing a cardigan to bring to the airport, you’ll want something that can be easily added to or removed from your cute airport outfit without clashing or looking out of place. Opt for a cardigan in a classic neutral shade, such as:
- Heather gray
Try a shorter cardigan complete with handy oversized pockets like the Shawl Cardigan in smoky charcoal gray for an easy-to-layer pick that’s perfect for the plane. For a slightly more elevated option, choose a more structured piece like the knee-length Drape Cardigan, whose draped collar adds a touch of drama while still serving up plenty of warmth.
Hop Into a Hoodie
If cardigans aren’t your thing, but you’d still like an extra layer to bring to the airport, consider packing a hooded sweatshirt for an athleisure-inspired outfit. Throw a hoodie on over your go-to jeans or a sleek pair of leggings for an easy, laid-back look that’ll keep you relaxed while waiting by your gate to board.
Plus, ladies' hoodies don’t have to feel too casual or undressed. If you opt for a style with a few elevated details, it can make your whole comfy airport outfit look pulled together and polished. Try a patterned option like the Contrast Hem Hoodie, which pairs buttery-soft French Terry with an eye-catching gingham detail along the hem and the drawstrings.
#4 Stay Snug and Sophisticated With a Sweater Dress
Just because you’re headed to the airport doesn’t mean you have to dress down. If you’d prefer to lean into your sophisticated side as you’re getting where you need to go, consider easy yet elegant airport outfit ideas like a sweater dress.
Curious about how to wear a sweater dress? Try The Wheat Sweater Dress features a relaxed, oversized fit to keep you comfy, while its minimalist, oatmeal-toned appearance means you’ll look stylish from take-off to touch down. Combine it with a leather belt and a pair of tall boots or your favorite easy white sneakers for a more casual look.
Layer a stylish Taupe Puffer Jacket over the top for an all-over neutral puffer jacket outfit. Finally, round out the whole ensemble with the roomy, multi-purpose Weekend Tote Bag, ideal for stowing all those travel essentials in. You’ll be the best-dressed and the coziest on board your flight.
Fly in Style with Karen Kane
Airport clothes don’t have to feel blah or uninspired totally. With the right hacks, you can tap into a whole world of options that match your preferred style—and send those typical airport grievances packing. Whether you’ve packed business travel outfits or casual weekend-away outfits, making sure you’re comfortable on the flight there is key––and we’ere here to help.
At Karen Kane, we believe women should feel beautiful and comfortable always—why should the airport be any exception? We pride ourselves on curating expertly-crafted, ethically-sourced clothing designed to make sure you feel confident and 100% yourself no matter where your travels take you.
Next stop? Karen Kane.
- Conde Nast Traveler. The Real Reason Why It’s Always So Cold On Airplanes. https://www.cntraveler.com/story/the-real-reason-its-always-so-cold-on-airplanes