In-Flight Style – Travelling In Style Part Two


In-flight style

I’d been toying with the idea of posting ‘styling tips for a long-haul flight’ for a while now. But when Vicki Archer – one of my favourite bloggers of all time – put the idea out into the universe via this post, I knew I had to publish my thoughts sooner rather than later.

Interestingly, Vicki and I have similar views on many ‘in-flight style’ items. In line with Vicki’s thinking, I also look at the clothes I wear on a long-haul flight as a uniform.

I entirely agree with her when she recommends flying with a cashmere jumper. It has been years since I’ve flown anywhere without a cashmere v-neck tucked into my carry-on. I generally find cabin temperatures on overnight flights to be absolutely freezing and that light but warm cashmere is a definite must.

On the topic of cashmere, like Vicki, I’m also a fan of the cashmere wrap that doubles as a travel blanket. For far too long, I actually travelled with a (bright red) cot blanket. That was before I realised that a cashmere wrap would do a better job than my blanket – as well as doing double duty while we were on the ground!

However, while Vicki recommends a long sleeve top with her cashmere jumper/sweater, I tend to prefer my base layer to have short sleeves. This is due to the fact that all the flights from Australia stop in hot or humid Middle-Eastern and Asian climates on their way to Europe and shorter sleeves are more appropriate as you navigate your way between one airport gate and another.

A Few More Ideas For In-Flight Style

Aside from adopting an in-flight uniform, here are four ideas to help make your long-haul travel a little more stylish.

  1. Plan your outfit around your heaviest shoes. Minimising the weight of luggage is common goal for world travellers. And wearing your bulkiest shoes can certainly help to free up packing space and keep things lighter. There is nothing stylish about dragging your heavy luggage around behind you. But carrying the weight on your feet means you need to give the rest of your outfit some thought. I generally find that for our trips to France, my ankle boots are on my feet, which almost immediately dictates the pants I’ll be wearing. (Generally speaking this is jeans for me. I know, I know, not everyone likes flying in jeans. But personally I find them super comfortable. I think it has something to do with the built in stretch).
  2. Wear dark colours. Yes, I know it seems obvious. But flying is one time when adopting that Parisian favourite – black – is both a chic and clever idea. Flights can be bumpy things, and little spills are almost inevitable. While baby wipes do an excellent job of mopping up minor issues, dark colours hide help hide the residual damage. (Don’t forget to pack a change of clothing for any major accidents and as insurance against lost baggage too.)
  3. Consider wearing a blazer for boarding and disembarking. So often, in an attempt to ensure comfort, travellers let style go out the window. Yet more structured jackets cut for your body shape can be very comfortable and usually look quite smart. And when, at the end of a 24 hour flight you are feeling entirely crumpled, something a little smarter can certainly elevate your look considerably. Which is handy when you’ve still got to navigate your way through customs and checking into your accommodation.
  4. Think about the fabrics you’ll be wearing. You may be feeling a little worse for wear after a long flight, but that doesn’t mean your clothes have to look as wrinkled as you might feel. Crush resistant clothing equals joy for travellers who want to maintain a stylish look. It’s also worthwhile considering fabrics in terms of how they feel against your skin. You tend to spend longer than average in your travelling clothes so anything that scratches or irritates needs to be avoided.

Do you have any in-flight style tips? If so, I’d love for you to share them in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that every woman can bring French style and joie de vivre to her life, no matter where she happens to live in the world. She only needs to know a secret or two to be on her way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll learn the style and grooming secrets that will help you to dress with the confidence so many French women seem to have.


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5 thoughts on “In-Flight Style – Travelling In Style Part Two

  • Alisa

    As always, loved this post! Such good thoughts. I love point #3!
    I would add the suggestion to wear some sort of sock to make it easy during the long flight to take off the shoes for comfort; with booties or low boots this is easy to do.
    I also always plan against a draft on my neck, so a small lightweight scarf or neckwrap is always with me: often the cashmere or lambswool shawl is too much but there is still that little draft. (Your suggestion of the shawl/wrap is spot on! some airlines are charging for blankets these days.)
    I try to wear a cardigan sweater when possible, to facilitate removal when the cabin gets stuffy, as it can. (Totally agree that cashmere is a wonderful choice if possible!)
    And one more thing is always with me: a surgical mask. Several years ago, a visit to Paris was ruined by a flu that I caught on the plane; I was laid up in bed for almost a week, buried and shivering under the covers. On my last flight to Paris, the seats next to me held travelers who were coughing and sneezing constantly. I was so glad to have my surgical mask to pop on, and they were not at all insulted; in fact they told me that it was a good idea and made them more comfortable, knowing that I had a measure of protection from their illness.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Alisa. As always, you share some valuable insights. I’m especially glad you mentioned the socks. I had planned to include that in the post somewhere, but somehow managed to forget. (Let’s not ask how I managed to forget – sometimes I do worry myself.) The cardigan idea is also a good one. They don’t suit my shape, but I think they’d be fabulous to fly in!

      • Alisa

        Ah, but there are all sorts of cardigans! If a buttoned-front classic doesn’t suit, the open front drapey cardigan styles are universally flattering and actually better for travel, I think.

  • Jo

    I agree completely with your comments Janelle. I always recommend you dress for the cabin class you want to be in, rather than the class you may be in. For me that means classic black pants, black jacket and a long sleeved tee when I am travelling to Europe. I use airline pyjamas to change in to once in flight – I have pairs from past trips if they aren’t handed out in the cabin I’m traveling in. I use these as my pyjamas when I arrive so I’m not doubling up on packing.

    • Janelle Post author

      I love the idea of packing for the class you aspire to be flying in Jo. I’ll definitely have that in the back of my mind when I’m dressing for our next flight!