If you’re a frequent flier, you’ll be well acquainted with the mind-numbing awfulness of a very long flight. Spending hours and hours on a plane is no fun at all, and with noisy neighbours, poor quality air, weird, unidentifiable food and boring TV to contend with already, you really don’t want to aggravate your discomfort with an ill-chosen outfit. Believe it or not, there is a real art to picking out appropriate clothes for air travel, and to help you to get to grips with it, I’ve compiled this list of 8 steps to dressing for a long flight.
1. Get the Underwear Right
As you’re getting dressed to go to the airport in the morning, it’s a good idea to take a moment to consider your air travel underwear. Avoid excessively tight items, or anything made from a scratchy fabric like lace. Remember, you’re going to be sitting in one place for hours, possible next to a person you’ve never met before: the last thing you want is be constantly trying surreptitiously to adjust your uncomfortable knickers. Go for basic, easy-to-wear pieces in a breathable fabric, like cotton.
2. Compression Socks
Many people suffer from swollen legs and ankles on long journeys. This is caused by a variety of contributing factors, chief amongst which are immobility and the pressurised air inside the cabin. In order to help to avoid puffiness, bruising from shoes and pain, it is a good idea to invest in a pair of compression socks. These tight fitting support stockings help to stabilises circulation, and guard against swelling and serious issues like DVT.
3. Comfortable Shoes
During the flight you will, more than likely, want to take off your shoes. Make sure you wear a pair that can be slipped on and off with ease, and avoid anything with tight straps. In the event that you do experience swelling of the feet and ankles, sandals and strops, with their unforgiving straps are the shoes that will cause the most damage. I’m a fan of trusty, comfy uggs in the winter, and simple, soft leather ballet pumps in the summer.
4. Cover Your Legs
Even if it is warm when you leave the airport, and warm at your destination, you should always cover your legs on an aeroplane. Once in flight, the temperature tends to be a little on the chilly side, and the cold is compounded by the fact that you have to sit still.
5. The Trouser Issue
In the same way that you shouldn’t wear tight fitting, scratchy lace underwear on a flight, it is also not a good idea to don your tightest fitting skinny jeans. Choose your trousers carefully: they play a major role in whether or not you’ll be comfortable during your flight. Go for softer fabrics if possible, and select the right fit: you don’t want a pair that’s going to cut into you for the whole 18 hour journey.
6. Dark Colours
While, ordinarily, aeroplanes are relatively stable places to be, in economy class especially there is a significant amount of squeezing past people and handling of baggage to be done. Inevitably, this leads to minor spillages here and there, and if you’re wearing white and drinking orange juice, for example, this doesn’t bode well for you.
7. Bring a Jersey
Just as it’s always a good idea to cover your legs for a long flight, it is also essential that you carry a long sleeved top with you on the plane. Layering is a good way to negotiate the warmth of you destination and the cool interior of the plane – simply peel off the big, thick sweater as you’re about to land.
8. Do Make a Little Effort
While it is an aeroplane, and no one is expecting you to look super glamorous on your journey, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily fly in your oldest, most revolting clothes or, for that matter, in your pyjamas. Put a little thought into your attire: it is possible to be comfortable and look presentable at the same time.
Flying is a fairly uncomfortable business to begin with, and you really don’t want to make it any less pleasant by wearing completely the wrong outfit. Remember, comfort is key when you’re organising your travel clothes, but this doesn’t mean you need to look like a hobo! Hopefully, my list of 8 steps to dressing for a long flight will help you to enjoy a relatively pain free journey: do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: iwolkow.de