Anyone who says long-haul flights are glamorous is lying.
Either that or they’ve never been on one because as far as we know, words like ‘sweaty’ and, dare we say it, ‘moist’ seem infinitely more fitting.
Aside from figuring out what you’re going to do to occupy yourself for 13 plus hours in the air, choosing your ‘plane’ outfit can be tricky.
The goal is to be comfortable. But also fresh and put together. But how do you reconcile the two when your comfiest pair of track pants haven’t been washed in longer than you’re comfortable admitting?
Kaleidascopic Travel Designer and Director Marie Sulda has done a lot of travelling in her time. She also knows the wrong plane outfit can mean hours of wriggling, fidgeting and sitting with your fly undone.
We asked savvy travellers for their number one pieces of advice. You’re welcome. Post continues after video.
“Plane travel can be tedious, but it can also be a comfortable opportunity for time out, planning is everything,” she told Mamamia.
“On long haul flights, comfort comes first and if you follow these rules, you will arrive with more sleep and feeling refreshed.”
We hear you lady, but what exactly constitutes the perfect long-haul flight outfit?
For more comfort and less pulling/adjusting/squirming, here’s exactly what our expert wears when she flies. And what she leaves in her suitcase.
Lots of layers
Possibly the biggest mistake Sulda said one could make with their long-haul flight outfit is not wearing enough layers.
She said wearing layers – say, a loose singlet or t-shirt, a light cardigan and a cosy knit – gives you the option to take them on and off as the cabin temperate varies. Or as the person next to you fiddles with the lights.
Sulda also added, “A scarf in transit not only helps you with layering, but can be used as a blanket, bunched up into a pillow or even to shield you from cabin light if you are trying to sleep during cabin service.”
Breathable, stretchy fabrics
"Wear restrictive clothing and it will be hard to get comfortable and to move out of your seat to walk around or go to the bathroom. Same goes with tight waist bands, as you're sitting down for so many hours on end, you will become uncomfortable and bloated," Sulda said.
Instead, chose natural, breathable fabrics that feel comfy on your skin but will also prevent you from going clamy.
Sulda also suggested stretchy yoga pants, harem pants or culottes will ensure you feel comfortable in any of the weird positions you end up falling asleep in, and flowy oversized silhouettes on top (rather than slim fitting) will hide the inevitable belly bloat everyone gets after flying.
Foldable flats or slippers
Getting your shoes right on a long-haul flight is so, so important.
Firstly, Sulda stressed any form of heels are completely unpractical for flying, so just don't even bother.
Her tip? Fold-able flats or slippers you don't care about getting a bit grotty. Because, no, it will never be okay to just wear thick socks in the cabin toilet. Ever.
"Walking around the cabin and in the toilets is dirty business. Take fold-able flat shoes (that you can store in a zip lock bag to keep your other bits and pieces from getting dirty) or pack a pair of slippers to wear on board," she said.
For during the flight, thick socks or compression socks will feel comfortable and give your feet and ankles the space to swell. But you'll also need to pack a pair of sneakers to chuck on once you land, as it's likely you'll have to drag your suitcase around until you can finally flop on a bed at your accommodation.
After Mia Freedman admitted to committing the ultimate in-flight sin, Mamamia Out Loud taught her some lessons about plane etiquette. Post continues after audio.
Always pack a spare outfit in your cabin luggage
Depending on why you're flying, you may be required to look like a functioning, hygienic human when you land. But dressing for that occasion isn't the best way to look fresh upon arrival. In fact, you'll probably end up looking like a crinkled, unmade bed.
"One of the biggest mistakes people make when dressing for a flight is overdressing. That's why you should always pack a spare outfit in your cabin luggage," Sulda said.
"Business wear can be restrictive when sitting and if you have meetings on arrival, you don't want to look or smell like you've been wearing your outfit for the last 24 hours. If you need to be well-dressed on arrival, wear comfortable clothes on departure, take a suit bag with you in the cabin and make a quick change in the airport on arrival."
She also made the brilliant point that you really never know what could happen during or after a flight. Think coffee all over your front thanks to unexpected turbulence, or worse. Delayed and misplaced baggage is also a real downer.
In other words, you'll never regret packing a spare outfit.
And spare undies.
Do you have any tips for feeling comfortable on long-haul flights? Tell us in the comments!
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