What to Wear While Traveling

Agility x Fashion: Get that
terminal style

Written by Janet Hu [Feature image by Banter
Being in transit is like a
sport. Your goal is getting from point A to point B the smoothest way possible,
and just like with runners and cyclists, the proper clothing allows for more
agility, oxygen flow, and a greater range in motion. You’d rather look artful,
swift than to be digging through various sacks and wedging your hands into
pockets to retrieve a crumpled boarding pass. Knowing what to wear while
traveling not only speeds up the process, but it also makes you look like an
excursion aficionado.
What to Wear While Traveling

Tips on how to dress well,
even in transit. We’re breaking down the best travel clothes and what not to

What to Wear on a Plane

what to wear while traveling airport looks
While some claim that
sweatpants and an old hoodie are sufficient for flights, airports are an
inherently sexy place, and in the end, it feels good to look nice at these
international hubs where people from all over jet to unique locales for their
own interesting reasons. And if you’ve got some wait time, it’s fun to embody
the archetypal well-dressed, mystery man at the airport bar. You may even
strike up exciting conversations with strangers. We’re not saying you need to
break out classy outfits on-the-go, but you can do better than your “3 AM Taco
Bell Outfit.”
How long is your flight?

The first element to look at
when determining what to wear while traveling is flight duration. Sadly when
you’re on a thirteen-hour flight, not even the sexiest suit can keep you from
irritation. For shorter flights of one to four hours, you can get away with
wearing nice dark wash denim and Chelsea boots. For longer flights, though,
you’ll definitely want looser fit pants.

Best Travel Pants

what to wear while traveling best travel pants

  • Commuter Work Pants
  • Track Pants
  • Tapered Sweats (if you must)
Our pick: Lululemon ABC Pant
Dress in Layers

what to wear when traveling wear layers
You go through the wildest
temperature changes when flying. For instance, you could be leaving the
sub-zero American Midwest for a tropical destination along the equator, or vice
versa. Then there’s the outside to inside temperature change. Sometimes you’re perfectly
comfortable at the gate until flash freezing on the ramp while waiting to
board. And airplane cabins are often too cold for most people’s comforts. This
is why layering is king. You’ll want to be strategic with the articles you
choose. Make sure every layer makes sense so that you don’t just end up with
too many tops to keep track of.
Comfy Layers to Wear While

  • Base Cotton Tee
  • Vest
  • Cardigan or Pullover Sweater
  • Jacket
Chances are you’ll be keeping
your vest on over your tee for most of the time. The jacket will likely be
reserved for super cold stretches like the boarding ramp, outdoor airport
shuttles, or overnight on the plane. You’ll want to go with a heavy wool jacket
instead of a puffer one. Remember that saving space is of the essence, and you
don’t want to be stuck with a large space-eating coat to carry.
The third layer, that is the
cardigan or sweater, will be the most mobile. You’ll be pulling this on and off
at whim for comfort, so make sure it’s easy to wear and take off.
Socks to Wear While Traveling

what to wear while traveling mid-calf socks
People will see your socks.
There’s no way around it unless you go sockless, but then you’ll freeze. It’s
tempting to wear old gym socks since they’ll be shuffling along the airport
security ground anyway. But do you really want to remove your shoes to reveal
big sock holes? Wear some nice looking mid-calf socks. They’ll keep you warm
during your flight, and they look nice going through TSA.

Deep Pockets, Literally

Your cellphone, ID, and credit
cards will make multiple appearances. Between showing identification, scanning
a mobile boarding pass, and paying for wifi or snacks, you’ll need these
personal items on hand at all times. It’s much better to have easy access via pockets
instead of rummaging through your carry-on.

Wear a Crossbody Bag

what to wear while traveling crossbody bag
This current trend makes
perfect sense. The men’s crossbody that sits on your chest is like a deluxe
wallet for traveling light. Put your ID together with your boarding pass in the
same pocket. You can even fit other essentials like earphones and a Kindle or
small tablet in there. Furthermore, it’s easy to sling on and off, so you can
remove the bag when going through security.
Hats for Bedhead

You’ll probably be dozing off
in a lot of semi-uncomfortable positions. Your head is going to lean every
which way and against various chairbacks and walls, so your hair will look a
mess, not to mention greasy from hours of travel. Put a hat on it. Nothing is
more stylish and low-maintenance than a baseball cap or beanie–just be aware
that this is one more item to account for (and not lose) on your trip.
What Not To Wear While

Avoid Fussy Laces

And lots of buttons for that
matter. Remember, dressing for flights is always going to involve a lot of on
and off. When choosing the right travel shoes, you’ll want something
comfortable that can slip off easily when going through security. A pair of
athletic sneakers would be prime. They’re comfortable for standing in lines,
running to terminals, and just long wear in general. But avoid sneakers with
tight or complicated laces. You don’t want to have to untie your shoe every
time you take it off or pause to retie them every so often.
If you’d like to dress a
little more formal, opt for Chelsea boots. These fashionable laceless boots
slip on and off with a tug.
Avoid Too Many Metal

This is hopefully as obvious
as not carrying a full water bottle through security. Feel free to keep your
wedding ring or Rolex on, but be aware that you’ll need to remove it when going
through TSA. Anything more than one or two metal accessories will become a
hassle. Plus, any expensive items that run the risk of falling off or being
lost in transit just cause additional stress. Minimalism, traveling
light–that’s the ideal.

Avoid Wearing Strong Scents

You know the embarrassment of
spraying a little too much cologne and feeling like you’re holding someone
captive in an elevator or car? Well, imagine if that person isn’t able to
escape through sliding doors or rolling down a window. Do your ego and the
person sitting next to you a favor by taking it easy on the cologne. If you
need a refresher, stick to one to two pumps and try to apply it in the

What to Wear on a Bus or Train

what to wear while traveling subway
Almost all the guidelines for
air travel clothes will apply for bus and train transit as well. You want to
dress efficiently, comfortably, and in layers. The one variant would be your
level of formality. You can opt to class it up in an airport, but public buses
and trains embrace a grunge style. Think utility jackets and workwear. You also
won’t have to worry about taking your shoes off, so feel free to go lace crazy.
Additionally, save your most
expensive luggage for flights. If you’re planning on taking a long bus ride,
the goal is to draw a little less attention to yourself and the value of your
belongings. All the same, you want to look edgy, cool, and like a total pro.

Janet Hu – Editor of The GentleManual

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.