Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Traveling for the Holidays? How to Dress for the Airport

{by Caitlin Muir}

Travel isn't as glamorous as it used to be

In the "golden era" of travel, men and women used to dress up for their airplane rides. Pictures showed happy, smiling, and oh so glamorous women sitting cozily by the airplane window, a gloved hand waving to the viewer. It's like they were inviting them in to partake on the adventure. 

My, how times have changed.

Now women wear sweatpants and pajamas in the airports. They have that just rolled out of bed look because they probably did just roll out of bed. Hair in a bun, makeup minimal, and Uggs covering their feet.

I don't get it. You don't have to dress for the catwalk but ladies, please it through your heads that slovenly isn't classy. It may be comfortable but you aren't inviting people to respect you for the woman that you are. I know how tempting it is to show up in pajamas. Trust me, I've had more than my fair share of early flights. And this New Years, once the ball drops, I'm going to be making my way to the airport so I can catch one of the earliest flights (the joys of having family on one side of the country and a job on the other). But you will not catch me slipping into pajamas while I wait. 

Here's the two combos that I keep coming back to when I travel: 

1. Tunic + Leggings + Boots

This is a classic combo because it's easy and flawless. You can swap the tunic out for a sweater-dress or an oversized shirt. Just make sure that the proportions are right. Leggings shouldn't replace pants. Think of them more as thick tights, so make sure your bum is covered. Even if you don't care about modesty, think about appropriateness. Do you really want to be that girl? Nobody wants to see your bum. And if they do, you probably don't want them to see it.

I tried the leggings as pants look the other day with a shirt that barely covered my bum. I had some man follow me around the store so he could stare at my rear. Awesome. NOT. You don't want to attract men for all the wrong reasons. Really. 

Your top shouldn't be skintight. Leave that to the leggings. Your boots should hit your legs at the right height. For most women, that will be just at the knee. At the ankle also works. Just make sure you don't have it hit you mid-calf as that will make your calves look quite a bit thicker than they are. 

I recently discovered the wonders of cowboy boots. They set you apart in a sea of knee high riding boots. Have both in your closet. It's fun to change it up a little in either direction. 

2. Plain White T + Scarf + Jeans + Sandals

Effortless class.

The only way this could get better is to add a blazer or a leather jacket for a little bit of edge. This outfit will keep you far, far away from the world of "oh no she didn't!"

Pay attention to your scarf. It's one of the main focal points. If you don't own a nice scarf, invest in one. I have three pashmina scarves that always get me compliments. The glorious thing about these scarves is that they are long and wide. In an instant, you can turn them into shawls or makeshift blankets. Let's face it, airplanes are cold. I always pack a scarf when I travel so I can take off some of the edge.

If you don't know how to tie a scarf, get educated. Look up "25 ways to tie a scarf" on YouTube. You'll learn new tricks to make your scarf look amazing.

For your sandals, you can do flip-flops or leather sandals. The five inch thick platform sandals should stay under your bed. Or better yet, just give them away to Goodwill. The 90s are over! You don't want people noticing your feet. So keep it simple.

The best thing about those combos is that you don't have to spend lots of time taking layers off in the security line. Don't get me wrong, there's a little bit of unwrapping involved, but I think it's worth the effort.

I know that some women prefer to travel in long dresses or skirts. That can look really classy. But be forewarned, long skirts can attract the attention of the TSA. They want to know if you are hiding anything dangerous and new pat-down rules give them the right to look up that skirt. Ew. 

Those are my two magic traveling combos. Which ones do you go back to time and time again?


  1. I love these ideas, especially the second one - such great style!I always enjoy reading your articles!

  2. Both of the outfits are some of my favorites for the airport! I just wanted to share, remember that going through security, you do have to take off all shoes, so sometimes boots can be a pain. My personal favorite for airports is Toms. They are PERFECT. They are oh so comfortable, yet you can dress them up, they slip off in a second when going through security and slip back on in a second when you are through security.

    Thanks for this article!

  3. One of my favorite's is short skirt+leggings+cardigan+scarf, simple and warm:) Oh, and don't forget socks stashed in your purse for when they turn the air conditioning down to 30 degrees.