What should you wear on a long flight with colleagues if you want to be comfortable but still look professional? Reader N wonders…
Could you do a post on comfortable, but professional attire for international or long flights? I have an upcoming business trip where my boss and two colleagues will be on a long flight with me. I want to look presentable but still be comfortable for the long flight. Thanks!
I’m curious to hear what people say here; this reminds me a bit about our discussion about what to wear when you’re out of town and working late all the time. (Here’s a fun question, readers — do the answers change if you’re sitting with your boss/colleagues on the long flight? Every time I’ve traveled with colleagues we were sitting apart, and I was so thankful to freely relax/sleep/read brain candy on the flight.)
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Psst: Here are Corporette readers’ business travel must-haves:
How to Look Polished on a Long Flight
Some thoughts, in no particular order:
- Don’t worry about it too much. If it’s a long flight, no one expects you to be wearing pantyhose or other uncomfortable items of clothing (the too-tight blazer, for example) for a long period of time.
- The longer the flight is, the comfier the clothing can be. I’d say yoga pants and leggings are even ok, with the very important caveat that a) they must be totally, completely opaque, b) in pristine condition, and c) sized and accessorized appropriately so your figure isn’t the primary thing on display. Leggings + tight tank top = catsuit = bad for professional outing. Leggings + comfy tunic sweater that comes mid-thigh = ok.
- All that said, do note that there are some “comfort work brands” that you should definitely check out if you’re doing the trip often for work. Betabrand, for example, makes bootcut black dress pants; ponte pants from Vince Camuto or Lands’ End are also reader favorites. If jeans might be appropriate, do consider JAG pull-on jeans…
In fact, I would recommend all of our favorite pants for work for a long flight (they’re that comfortable)
In general, I always like to travel wearing my heaviest/bulkiest shoes (so I don’t have to pack them for the trip), and even in the summertime I bring socks so, at the very least, I don’t have to go through the security line barefoot. (I also think there’s less of an “ick, she took her shoes off!” factor if you’re wearing socks versus bare feet, but maybe that’s me.) The best tip I’ve ever gotten for a long flight was to brush your teeth when you land — it reenergizes you as if you’re starting the day fresh.
2021 Update: Pssst: these are the most comfortable bras, whether you’re on a long flight or working from home:
Readers, what do you like to wear when you’re traveling with colleagues? Do you have any other tricks for traveling in comfort and style?
2020 updated images (crowded airplane cabin) via Stencil.