Traveling is full of excitement; however, some of the most exciting bits happen before the exploring actually takes place. Planning a trip is half the fun – the excitement builds for your new adventure, you think of everything you’re hoping to do, daydreaming about the new city you’d be in right now if only you weren’t stuck in the office and the trip still wasn’t 100 days away. The anticipation leading up to your travels can keep you going even when your trip starts to get a little too…adventure-y (read: getting lost, losing luggage). Packing, although the epitome of death for some, is no different. There’s anticipation on what you’re going to wear on those nights out across the world; the books you’ll read on the plane; the playlist you may have made specifically for your destination; and the chic outfits you’ll be wearing on your day-to-day excursions. Keeping yourself looking fresh and stylish, while also simultaneously being comfortable and lax, can be a tricky formula to figure out. But, once you have it, you won’t have to tear your closet apart for hours trying to figure out if sky-high heels and yoga pants really look that stupid. So, to help you out, here’s my algorithm for finding that perfect airport outfit.
Comfortable Shoes that Look the Part. Believe me, we’re not talking about Reebok sneakers or old lady orthopedics, although you may think the latter in two seconds, because…loafers. The fact that people have not started wearing loafers with every kind of outfit is mystifying. Flats tend to pinch and not have as much support as loafers do and just don’t look as sophisticated, but yet everyone gravitates to flats when they want to be ‘comfortable’. Loafers look good with, nearly, every type of outfit and can make low-key jogger pants or leggings look 100x more elegant (as elegant as leggings can look) just by adding a comfortable pair of Tod’s or embellished Michael Kors. They’re perfect for running across airports when that perfectly crafted connecting flight schedule gets messed up; they’re easy to slip on and off when rolling through security; and they easily double as chic street-wear during tours in whatever city you’re in. A close runner-up: Keds. They may not dress up leggings, but you can tone down a dress with them, keeping you comfortable throughout your journey. The drawback and reason they come in second to the wonderful loafer? Laces. Nobody has time for laces in the airport.
Loose, but Stylish, Pants. Dresses can be an easy fix for pretty much any type of fashion conundrum (Clubbing? Dress. Drinks at the pub? Low-key dress. Work? Dress with blazer. Exploring a new city? Dress and converse.), but if you’re prone to sitting in weird positions and don’t want to wear leggings, then it’s best to pack those dresses into your suitcase and take out your best pants. Jeans, unless you’re stick thin and are wearing the boyfriend variety, are not comfortable to sit in for hours upon hours. Slim, cigarette trousers, although fashionably elegant, feel the same as jeans with slightly less breath-ability. A good jogger pant is perfect for long-haul flights and nights spent in airport terminals. They’re comfortable, cool, and stylish. You can dress them up with a pair of heels (kept in your carry-on, of course) to meet a significant other right from baggage claim, keep them casual with a pair of loafers, or dress them down with a pair of Keds or Converse.
Soft and Flowy T-Shirt. Nothing feels worse than sitting in your seat after 8 hours of traveling and starting to feel too tight and uncomfortable. The culprit? That super cute top you put on earlier that morning that looks amazing with your outfit; it’s now starting to feel life-threatening constricting, the buttons feel like they’re about to explode, and you just want to rip it off and lay down on a couch or a bed. Unfortunately, none of those options will be possible for at least another few hours. Keeping your outfit put together with a well-made, soft, cotton blend (bamboo or organic will make the softest) t-shirt will also keep you comfortable and from having a breakdown mid-flight. Keep it loose and flowy, tucking in the front to bring your figure back and take you away from muumuu status.
Layers. Are you leaving -50 to head to warmer weather? Running from the car in your spring – or summer! – clothing in the dead of winter is something we have all done, but it’s always something you swear you’ll never repeat. If your climate is slightly chillier (or much chillier) than the climate you’re heading to, layer up. It’s easy to shed layers than it is to have sweaters, jackets, or blankets appear from thin air, unless you’re Harry Potter. Add a scarf, a sweater, and/or a light-weight jacket. Once you’ve boarded and are feeling a bit warm, shed the layers and use as extra make-shift blankets or pillows. You’ll look stylishly put-together right until the end.
Practical Jewelry. So, your outfit is looking beyond adorable and you’re ready to run outside to the cab waiting patiently, but there’s something missing. The thought of losing precious gems on their travels scares a lot of people, and that’s understandable. Me? I want to live, and look, how I do back home – only better. So, the jewelry I wear at home is always coming with me. That means pearls in the ears and a watch on my wrist. The two pieces are simple, keeping clunky and heavy jewelry away from body-scanners and keeping you from getting neck pain after wearing that necklace bib for hours upon hours. Keep it simple, keep it practical, and you’ll look effortlessly cool.