{what to wear} the airport edition

“Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.”
Robert Wieder

I always plan ahead. There has never been a single time when I have found myself left without a bottle of shampoo, devoid of deodorant, or missing my coveted mascara. I’m not that kind of girl. I’m a worrier by nature. I can’t say that it’s a wonderful trait, but it is one that courses through every vein in my body at the speed of light twenty-four/seven, and there’s truly nothing I can do about it; aside from embrace it, of course.

It’s not so bad, I suppose. I am always the one with an extra tube of lip gloss when an unexpected kiss is on the horizon; and I simply can’t forget the way everyone looks to me when they need a tissue or dab of hand-sanitizer. I guess you could call it an honor to be someone who always plans ahead. You could also refer to planning ahead as a lifesaver – especially when you’re traveling.

Despite the fact that the holidays are right around the corner {as is my birthday} I have no plans {thus far} on boarding a flight to some exotic locale to soak up my sultry and stylish surroundings. The truth of the matter is that, as of now, I have one plan and one plan only…to loll around locally.

You, on the other hand, may have something much more exciting up your sleeve – something that requires a trip via plane; and, as such, I refuse to allow you to board anything until you are properly prepared. You will not step foot in that airport, or on that plane until you are well-versed in the musts and must-nots of what you should be draped in, carrying, and dragging about with you. After all, you’re leaving on a jet plane, and must do so in effortless style.


From left to right: BB Dakota Dakota Collective Jackie Flannel Shirt + 291 Off Shoulder Sweater + Madewell V-Neck Slub Pocket Tee

{the top} I love them just as much, if not more, than the next girl; but let’s be honest here, there’s no need to wear a fitted top that will cling to your every curve if you’re destined to be sitting for countless hours at a time. For these particular moments, do the right thing and wear something loose and flowy about your upper half that will make you feel feminine, dainty, and anything but self-conscious about your imagined love handles or various other nonexistent imperfections. Three styles I strongly recommend for a comfortable plane ride are:

{v-necks} I virtually swear by cotton V-necks - like Madewell's V-Neck Slub Pocket Tee. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and available in a multitude of colors. If you want a more fitted look, buy your regular size; if you want a slouchier style buy larger – either way looks amazing.

{off the shoulder tees} The thought of wearing an off the shoulder tee on a flight can be daunting considering the fact that airplanes are often chilly, but please don’t allow that thought to frighten you away. I wear them all the time {I'm currently obsessed with 291's Off Shoulder Sweater}, and recommend them to everyone. When worn you expel this very rumpled, effortless glamour; and if your shoulder should get cold you have the option of sliding the sleeve up to cover the exposed skin.

{boyfriend tees} Be thankful for the fact that nothing says seductive like a girl dressed in a plaid button-down that is slightly boxy and brawny, and looks like something she snuck from her boyfriend’s dresser. I favor pieces in pastel shades {though right now I'm loving BB Dakota Dakota Collective's Jackie Flannel Shirt}. While the cut is masculine, the colors – purple, salmon, pale yellow – are extremely dainty and feminine, which add a definite girly bounce to your step!

{the legs} Listen to me when I say this...you do not have to wear sweatpants to stay comfortable while seated; and please don’t. The key to comfort is wearing something that is stretchy yet sassy. I am a jeans girl all the way; my closet is full of them. But, seeing as how denim may not necessarily be the most comfortable legwear for a long flight, I suggest perusing the next best thing...jeggings or leggings.

If you’re not comfortable with the leggings-as-pants look, jeggings are your new BFF. Typically they look identical to a pair of dark-wash skinnies {right down to the seam detailing}, with the exception that they are, to be sure, leggings {True Religion's Casey Denim Leggings are my faves}. If you can’t find a pair you like that’s within your budget, don’t stress! Simply toss a long top over a pair of standard leggings {Mossimo Supply Co.'s Full Length Leggings are fab - and only $8.00 a pair} so you retain comfort while still maintaining a polished look that you feel confident in.

From left to right: Sole Society Carolyn Riding Boot in Black Burgundy + Sole Society Franzie Tall Boot + Sole Society Andie Over the Knee Riding Boot

{the shoes} Heels are great for the three E’s: elevation, elegance, and elongation. That said; they are horribly disagreeable for flights. You do not lounge around your house in sky-high stilettos, so don’t do so on travel days, when you know you’ll be dragging luggage through terminals and taxis before you reach your journey’s end. It is essential to keep your tootsies in a state of beatific bliss from the moment you get on the plane, until you descend from it; therefore, I enlist the assistance of boots to keep my feet satisfied while soaring. Not all boots, however, make the cut; you must find one that is comfortable while remaining cute.

I recommend tall, flat boots in neutral colors with a wide shaft that easily pull on and off. When flying I avoid boots with zippers, ties, buckles, and all similar matter {unless they are merely decorous - then I'm all for them} – this often interferes with the ease of removing your shoes, should your feet get hot. Most versatile in my book are equestrian styles and pieces crafted of suede – they move with your form without discomfort and always add an air of sophistication to your look. Three of my current faves are Sole Society's Carolyn Riding Boot {two tone!}, Franzie Tall Boot {fierce details!}, and Andie Over the Knee Riding Boot {OTK + equestrian!}.

{the cover-up} There are two sides to every story; the same goes for cover-ups. In my eyes, you have a duo of choices here – either go for charming and cuddly with a cardigan, or brisk and blasé with a blazer. I myself prefer the former. To me, there’s nothing better than the feel of a cardigan wrapped around my body – it provides a snuggly, secure warmth that acts as a blanket while keeping my style celestial, ethereal, and effortless {swooning over this Free People Winter's Day Patterned Cardigan}. If you’re looking to top your ensemble with something slightly more posh, you cannot go wrong with a blazer {I love this military-inspired High Ranking Style Jacket from mark}. Cropped, boyfriend, double-breasted, pleated, open front…any and all styles keep you fresh, refined, and looking like a million bucks.

{the neck} Aside from jewelry, scarves are the next best accessory. They have the ability to add a fresh pop of life to your ensemble when slung haphazardly about your shoulders or wrapped cozily about your throat; thus, do not allow your neck to be seen without one at the airport. If you’re simply looking for a piece that will add a little glamour and color to your look, not one that will necessarily keep you warm, stay away from the knits and opt for pieces constructed out of gauze {Love Quotes' Knotted Tassel Scarf is the perfect choice}. It’s a breathable material that won’t provide discomfort during a flight; but will definitely add a little dimension to your style.

From left to right: Victoria's Secret Medium East / West Tote + Victoria's Secret Large East / West Tote


When it comes to your carry-on, there is one rule and one rule only that you need to adhere to – bigger is better. You don’t want to have to hang onto a handbag, a carry-on, and a suitcase {which I hope against all hope you don’t check at the baggage claim}; thus, look for a bag that is sturdy, smart, and, above all else, big enough to hold the entire contents of your handbag, in addition to your other in-flight must-haves. The perfect carry-on should not only be the ideal size {about 15”H x 14”L}, but should also harbor pockets for all of your miscellaneous items, and proper closure to keep your prized possessions safe, without losing a single trace of its fashion-forward finesse! My picks? The Medium East / West Tote and Large East / West Tote {both from Victoria's Secret}.

“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”
Oscar Wilde


One thing we must keep in mind, is the fact that once the plane takes off, we will have no more chances to compile the bits and pieces that will amuse us until our seemingly endless flight is over; therefore, one of the most important things about travel is loading your carry-on with everything that you could possibly need {within reason, of course} so that it is at your fingertips at a moment’s notice.

{ballerinas} Despite the fact that your feet are strapped into a pair of swanky boots that are pleasantly comfy, it’s hard to resist the lure of wanting to slip them off and stretch your cramped toes after a few hours of being stuffed into such a style. The best idea is to stick a pair of ballerina flats or slippers into your carry-on; doing so, however, is destined to take up tons of space, which you really can’t afford to lose. My solution? CitySlips Quilted Cap-Toe Travel Flats. I worship these ballerina flats, as they literally fold up to the size of a pack of Kleenex, and are as comfortable as actual slippers.

From left to right: Anita Loos Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady + Babe Walker White Girl Problems + Tamara Mellon In My Shoes

{the literature} I adore perusing the pages of ELLE or Vogue while traveling as much as the next fashion savvy girl; but there’s something about long flights that make me eager to live vicariously through a fun and flippant character, if only to pass the time more quickly. Short story collections and novellas are at the top of my list for the sheer fact that they are riotously funny, slim in size {so they won’t weigh your bag down}, and easy to get lost in.

{the eyes} Do rock your sunglasses when taking the terminal by storm; once on board, however, you may still long to cover up your peepers. The truth is, you could go the celebrity route, and wear your sunnies for the entirety of the flight, or you could use a sleep mask. I prefer the latter; especially when I’m trying to relax and dream about my travel plans. Besides, every girl deserves to have a Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment at some point in her life. Why not now?

{if looks could kill} You could be on the planet Mars and I would still be advising you of this…do not allow the plane to leave the ground unless you have your cosmetics in your carry-on; after all, you never know when a handsome stranger will take up residence right next to you, and you want to look your best! As expected, you should have all the usual suspects at arms length – lip gloss, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, a comb, and a compact mirror. Seeing as how a flight is synonymous with an overnighter at a friend’s house, it is crucial to have tissues, hand-sanitizer, lotion, un petit bottle of perfume, and, one of my BFF’s, oil-blotting papers. They remove shine without removing your makeup and make your skin look undoubtedly dewy and sparkling!

“There’s no one-size-fits-all for luggage because it all depends on the trip. Just like there are differences in travel experiences, there should be differences in your gear.”
Rick Schlesinger



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ellie said...

Such an awesome post! Love those bags. Amazing off the shoulder top too!

ivy said...

Such wonderful ideas for your travels. Awesome boots!

little luxury list said...

Great roundup Erika! A slouchy, refined casual tee is definitely essential for me. I also like a nice blazer or a shawl as well and I'll have to pick up one your book recommendations!

Chic 'n Cheap Living

Tiffany Kadani said...

You always go above and beyond. This is such a fantastic post. seriously well done.

ellie's desk said...

Such a wonderful AIRPORT edition! Love your finds!

Couture Carrie said...

Amazing advice, darling!
Love the boots!


Sara said...

This post is literally perfection Erika! I am taking a trip in February, so I will have to keep this post in mind! I am also swooning over that FP cardigan now!

Sherin said...

I fly a lot but still haven't managed to perfect looking stylish while travelling!

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Great advice and love these looks!

OneCraftyFox said...

Handsome and I are planning a trip to Switzerland over the holidays, this gets my mind going... and makes me even more excited!!

J. said...

Great post! I've just returned home from San Francisco and everything in this post is a must!

Johanna L. said...

Great post, and so many awesome tips for traveling! I like this a lot ♥

Elle Sees said...

love your choices! and yes, no more sweatpants!

Unknown said...

A really fun - yet advice-packed - post!! I will be making my annual trip from Vancouver to Toronto this coming February for my mom's birthday...and you can bet I'll be keeping your tips and tricks in mind!! One question, though...how do you manage to pack a whole week's worth of cosmetics and toiletries in a carry-on with all the restrictions that are now in place?! I have too much stuff I can't do without; it would never fit in that one-litre ziplock bag!!

Valerie said...

This is such a great ides for a post! And good tips too ;-) Comfort first xx

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