Figuring out what to wear on a plane can be stressful in the best of times. Do you dress for the climate you're coming from or going to? How many layers are really necessary? Do you focus entirely on comfort or aspire to a more tailored look? Luckily, we have a network of frequent fliers on staff who have mastered the airplane ensemble. We've talked through the most comfortable brands to wear on long travel days already, but this time, we tapped editors for their go-to outfits: the stretchy pants, sweaters, and easy-to-slip-off shoes they consider staples at 30,000 feet. Below, clothes, shoes, and accessories to simplify your next what to wear on a plane quandary.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.
Lunya Restore Travel Kit
The core of my travel strategy, especially when it comes to packing and choosing outfits, is to automate as much as humanly possible. (Because I already have a shelf in my closet with a pre-packed Dopp kit, cords and chargers, packing cubes, and other travel gear, I rarely forget anything for a trip.) Lunya's Restore Travel Kit was a no-brainer for me: With a set of leggings, tank top, long-sleeve T-shirt, socks, and eye mask, it gives you a perfectly pulled-together-but-comfortable plane outfit; keep a blazer and a change of shoes when you land and you'll walk off with a proper day look. —Corina Quinn, former Traveler editor
Lululemon 28” Align pant
Lululemon's Align leggings are buttery soft and the ones I always reach for when I'm traveling. They somehow get more comfortable the more you wear them, and the high waistband stays in place without feeling restricting. These are universally beloved for lighter workouts, but I think the black color is ideal for a flight, where you want to be comfortable but also want to be able to go from the plane straight to sightseeing when necessary. —Stephanie Wu, former Traveler editor
Arq Wide-Strap Bra
Especially on a long flight, I’m looking for comfort over everything—and this ultra-soft, fairly stretchy, supportive-enough cotton bra from Arq is supremely comfortable. It comes in a ton of colors and sizes (ranging from XS to 4X), feels like a sports bra without any of the tight compression, and means I’m not dealing with harsh or poking underwire mid-flight. I’m also a big fan of Arq’s cropped tank, if you want something more full coverage to layer under your plane uniform. —Meredith Carey, travel bookings editor
Vuori Performance Jogger
If I'm not wearing leggings on a flight, I'm probably in this pair of joggers. They're made of a sporty, sweat-wicking material that's stretchy and smooth against my skin, and have that all-important elastic waistband with a drawstring, tapered ankle, and pockets. —Madison Flager, commerce editor
Gap High Rise Vintage Flare Jeans
Yep, I said it: Gap jeans. I followed my sister into a Gap a couple years back, and I somehow found myself trying on nearly a dozen pairs of jeans. Maybe it was that they were all around $50, yet didn’t look it; maybe it was because everything had a generous fit, full of stretch, that made me think: I could sleep in these. Whatever it was, I walked out with a wide-legged pair and have worn them on every trip since. They're the epitome of looks-like-real-clothes-but-wears-like-pajamas that I need on long flights. —Megan Spurrell, senior editor
Eddie Bauer First Ascent Guide Pro jogger
I used to shudder at the idea of ‘travel’ clothing (it always brought to mind clunky passport concealing pockets and old-school travel belts). That was until a family member bought me a pair of Eddie Bauer Travex pants, which I now call my plane pants. The line is made of stretch fabric that’s lightweight and moisture wicking, so they feel like super-breathable pajamas, but look totally sleek and come in a surprising array of styles. My first pair were super basic joggers, but I also now have a cool wide-leg pair that you’d never guess are from the same place my dad used to buy all our outdoor gear—and have all the hidden zippered pockets you could ever need. —Shannon McMahon, destinations editor
Knix Good to Go Oversized hoodie
Sweatshirts are, by nature, comfortable, but there's something about this Knix quarter zip hoodie that just takes it to another level. The material is so soft and smooth—the cotton, modal, and spandex blend makes the fabric lightweight and thinner than a fleece sweatshirt, and the loose, boxy fit is just what I want while sitting for hours at a time. I also like that you can zip it all the way up for more coverage, or unzip to have the collar drape open. —M.F.
Aday Turn It Up Pant
For me, getting dressed for a flight is often a struggle between opting for comfort with leggings and sweatpants or choosing "hard pants" if I need to look presentable upon arrival. But with the Turn It Up pant from Aday, I've found the perfect middle ground. Made from an 100 percent vegan blend of nylon and elastane that's both breathable and stretchy, these pants are seriously comfortable. My favorite part is probably the high waistband that's both elastic and flattering, but I also love the front pleats, tapered leg, and—crucial for traveling and packing—wrinkle resistance. I'm not exaggerating when I say I've worn these pants nearly everyday in lockdown and have yet to be sick of them. As a bonus, they come in four colors and are consciously produced in Aday's factory that's powered by 50 percent renewable energy. —Jessica Puckett, transportation editor
Everlane The Track Jogger
When I’m on a long flight, it’s important I stay warm and cozy. Everlane's joggers are an ideal option for a relaxed, no-buttons-necessary fit. It feels like I’m wearing pajamas, but looks just neat and fitted enough to travel in. They pair well with sneakers and a T-shirt, and I love that they come in light green and apricot shades to make an otherwise simple piece of clothing pop. Plus, this pair is high-waisted, tapered at the ankle, and has handy side pockets. —Meaghan Kenny, editorial assistant
Pond LA Essential Hoodie
I love this cozy Essential Hoodie; it's clear it was made with travelers in mind. It comes with a built-in eye-mask, perfect for getting some sleep on a long flight, and a hidden pocket to tuck your phone into. It’s just the right amount of oversized and is buttery soft—you’ll feel like you’re wearing a blanket. —M.K.
Adidas Stan Smith sneaker
Stan Smiths have become my go-to plane shoe. Once they're worn in, they're super easy to slip off and slip back on when going through security without having to re-tie laces. I'm always happy to have them with me on vacation, too—I've worn them on plenty of day-long excursions without ever wishing I had another shoe to change into. Plus, my black and white pair matches just about any outfit. —M.F.
Skechers Ultra Flex 2.0 sneaker
Whether I'm lugging my suitcase through the NYC subway or covering some serious ground browsing airport stores post-security, I often find myself on my feet for a large chunk of travel days. So, when I'm reaching for a travel shoe, 99 percent of the time you'll find me rocking my oh-so-comfy Skechers Ultra Flex 2.0 sneakers. Is it the most stylish look? Fine, no. But the memory foam insole is heaven and the shoes are so light on my feet that I feel like a baby gazelle. Plus, they're pre-laced and slip-on, making the TSA line a total breeze. —Lara Kramer, global associate director of audience development
Munro Dash Sneaker
I've already worn out a pair of these stylish slip-ons; they're excellent for traveling. Not only does the style enhance even a basic look for touring, they're so comfortable you can make use of them daily while you're away, and they won't tear up your feet. They also don't take up too much space in a bag or suitcase. I have them in sand but plan to add them in black, too. —C.Q.
Reebok Club C 85 Model Vintage Shoes
I know laces can be annoying when going through security, but there's just nothing better than a comfy white sneaker on long travel days. These throwback Reeboks are my go-to travel shoes, because they never feel too tight thousands of feet in the air, yet they offer the support needed to run through JFK when I'm inevitably late for a flight. Plus, they look good with everything—casual, yet clean. —M.S.
Allbirds Wool Runners
These feel more like slippers than shoes, and function more like slippers when it comes to rolling through security. The fact that I can throw them in the washing machine after a trip means I can wear them on the plane without socks, making them all the more comfortable. —Noah Kaufman, former Traveler editor
Ugg Classic Tall II Boot
Say what you want, but Uggs are some of the most comfortable shoes you'll ever own—and the best choice for footwear on a flight. I've worn mine, classic tall shearling-lined black boots which I've purchased new three times, on pretty much every flight I've taken in the last 15 years and have zero complaints. It's like wearing a full foot pillow—comfortable enough that you can sleep with them on, but sturdy enough that you can schlep through the airport without them falling off like a slipper. —Betsy Blumenthal, associate editor
Ugg Leda cozy sock
I love to bring fuzzy socks on airplanes, especially on red-eyes where I'm trying to get as comfortable as possible in order to sleep for a few hours. Ugg makes my favorite pair: They are incredibly soft and cozy, and don't shed fabric in the way some other pairs I've purchased do. Depending on the climate I'm coming from, I'll either wear them under my shoes to the airport, or throw them in my bag and pull them on over my ankle socks once I get on the plane. —M.F.
MZ Wallace Metro Sling
This Metro Sling is an airport essential. Having a hands-free bag makes carrying my luggage and moving through security a breeze; it gives me easy access to my phone, AirPods, passport, Chapstick, and any other small essentials I have on me. Thanks to the adjustable strap, I can wear it around my waist or across the chest or back. —M.K.
Summersalt The Coziest Cashmere Blend Ribbed Scarf
My mom always travels with a pashmina, and so naturally I've gotten into the habit of bringing some sort of blanket scarf along too. It can be tough to find the right balance: Some of my warmest ones are also rather bulky, so much so that I dread toting them around for the rest of the trip. Summersalt's merino wool and cashmere blend scarf is my current favorite in-between. It's long enough to loop around my neck or drape over my lap as a blanket, but doesn't require my biggest tote bag or backpack to carry it around. —M.F.
Comrad Compression Socks
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Compression socks are the one thing I do not fly without. I was converted by a pair of Comrad knee-highs that fend off the pins-and-needles feeling that comes with sitting on a cramped economy seat for a long-haul flight. By using a light pressure to keep your blood pumping in your legs and feet, they help reduce swelling, leaving you ready to hit the pavement when you get to your destination. Comrad’s compression socks come in neutral colors, too, so you can wear them off the plane without drawing attention. —M.C.
Thorlos Running Rolltop Socks
I know these are low socks, which doesn't usually equate to cozy feet, but a pair of Thorlos runners, put on for the first time, is like laying your feet down in their own version of whatever five-star hotel mattress you love most. The snug fit and luxurious padding that runs along the bottom of the foot will make you want to wander up and down the aisle just to see how it feels. And then, of course, you can keep them on and go for a quick run after you land. —N.K.
ZShield Wrap face shield
Now that face shields have become a flying accessory, my go-to is the ZShield Wrap, which sits around your neck (and is meant to be worn over a face mask). I much prefer it to the type that wraps around your head, which tends to either slide off easily or leave me with a headache on a long-flight. For my next shorter trip, I plan to try the ZShield Ultra, which is more of a glasses style, and seems like it'll be sturdier than an elastic band. —S.W.
Ostrichpillow Go Neck Pillow
I'm a notoriously bad airplane sleeper. From eye masks to noise-canceling headphones, I felt like I had tried everything without success until I discovered Ostrichpillow's Go Neck Pillow. I've only been able to use it twice, but the zzz's I caught 30,000 feet in the air were all I needed to name this my new must-have travel accessory. Made of high-quality memory foam, the pillow actually wraps entirely around your neck for full 360 degree support. It's sleek, snuggly, and can compress to 60 percent of its size, making it the perfect carry-on supplement. Plus, it has a machine washable sleeve, so you can wash and sanitize after every use. —L.K.