Back when air travel was still a relatively new concept and therefore predominantly the preserve of the rich, passengers often flew in their best clothes. But while there’s now no expectation to look smart on a plane, there’s still some items that you really should avoid wearing there.
Indeed, whether you’re on a long- or short-distance flight, there are certain things that are all best left in your hold luggage. So, avoid the following when preparing to travel and you’ll probably have a much comfier time – barring any turbulence, that is…
19. Perfume or cologne
Strong scents in a small space? Yeah, that’s never going to be a good idea. In fact, if you do decide to wear perfume or cologne on a plane, you run the risk of it triggering a fellow passenger’s allergies or asthma. That won’t make you popular – nor will you win friends if the way you smell is not quite to people’s tastes.
18. Tight clothing
We’ve all been told that exercise will help keep you healthy, but did you know that sitting still could actually prove lethal? Well, on long-haul flights it may do, as they triple the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a condition that could have life-threatening consequences. And wearing tight clothing can make the chance of DVT even greater. So, dress in looser items, if possible, when traveling for hours on end.
17. Complicated clothing
It’s no secret that airplane bathrooms are absolutely tiny. So, just imagine trying to wriggle your way out of a jumpsuit, or some other equally complicated item of clothing, within such an enclosed space. Sounds horrible, right? Well, you can avoid that nightmare by donning garments that are a bit easier to take and off instead.
16. Clothing with metallic elements
That bedazzled sweater may look awesome, but it could also make going through security that much more of a pain. If you’re nervous about attracting TSA agents’ attention, then, just pack away anything that’s bling-encrusted and wear something plainer on your journey.
15. Light summer clothing
You may well be jetting off to somewhere warm and exotic, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put on your summer clothes just yet. After all, you’ve got to get to your destination first. Oh, and airplanes are basically massive, cold tubes, too. So, unless you want to freeze on the journey, we’d recommend layering up.
14. Contact lenses
We get it: glasses can be cumbersome. But they’re nowhere near as cumbersome as having your contact lenses dry up at 35,000 feet. Yep, that’s what can happen, as the air pumped through planes’ cabins is typically low in humidity. Indeed, it’s best just to put up with wearing specs for a few hours – even if your frames are a little on the dorky side.
13. High heels
No matter how great you are at walking in high heels, it’s probably best not to fly in them. After all, even the most experienced of stiletto wearers can trip and fall over a stray bag in the aisle. And faceplanting into another passenger is never a good look.
12. Offensive T-shirts
No airline is going to stop you from flying because you’re in a plain T-shirt. If you’re dressed in something emblazoned with a message that may cause offense or alarm, though, be prepared to take it off or face the consequences. Indeed, a passenger was once refused travel by Delta for wearing a shirt that read, “Terrists [sic] gonna kill us all.”
11. Complicated footwear
At any airport, you may well have to remove your shoes to go through security. And if your footwear is fastened with the aid of all kinds of weird laces and straps, then it can be a major hassle to take them off. Plus, the people in line behind you won’t thank you for holding them up, either. Play it safe, then, by wearing slip-ons when you fly.
10. Your favorite outfit
While you may not want to totally dress down for a flight, it’s not always a good idea to wear your favorite clothes, either. Spillages are usually more difficult to take care of in the air than on the ground, for example. And so when you’re sat elbow to elbow with someone else and turbulence kicks in, you’ll probably be glad that your best outfit’s safely in your suitcase.
If you’re already in the holiday spirit, wearing flip-flops on the plane may seem like a no-brainer. But just consider what could happen to your footwear after you’ve finally boarded. They could fall off your feet completely and get stuck under the seat in front, for one – and that’s an awkward situation you’d likely rather avoid.
8. Itchy fabrics
Even if you’ve picked what you think is the perfect outfit to fly in, take a little extra time to consider whether said ensemble might get a bit itchy after a while. And that’s a real risk on a plane, as the changes in temperature while in the air may increase your skin’s sensitivity. Steer clear of fabrics such as wool or lace, then, otherwise you might spend your journey constantly scratching yourself.
It doesn’t matter if you’re on a long-haul overnight flight: just don’t wear your pajamas on a plane. You’re on public transport, after all – not in your own bedroom. And just think: would you really want to be traveling with everyone else in their pajamas? Probably not.
6. Baggy clothing
In this age of heightened airport security and awareness, it’s a good idea to consider how you can play your part in making your journey as smooth as possible. And that means avoiding potential complications like baggy clothing. It might seem crazy, but security could think you’re trying to hide something – and nobody wants to be strip-searched. Better safe than sorry…
Even if you’re accustomed to how cold flights can get, it’s just not a good idea to wear shorts in the air. In fact, it’s best altogether to minimize the amount of bare skin that comes into direct contact with the plane. Why? Well, let’s just say that you won’t be in the most hygienic place in the world…
4. Terrible headphones
We’re not saying you have to purchase the best-quality headphones around before you get on a plane, but it’s definitely worth picking up some with a noise-canceling feature. That’s because you might be sat next to a screaming toddler for eight hours. And – let’s face it – you’re going to want to block out as much of their incessant noise as possible.
Dresses may be comfortable to travel in, but according to some travelers, they may also increase your likelihood of getting patted down by security. If you’re in the mood to have a stranger manhandle you, then, knock yourself out; otherwise, pants could be a better option.
2. Lighter colors
So, you’ve stowed away your favorite outfit and so no longer need to worry about spillages. Unless, of course, you’re wearing light colors, in which case any messes you’ve made might be visible for all to see. And if your airline loses your luggage? Yeah, you’re stuck in those stained clothes for a while.
1. Oversized coats
If you’re going somewhere cold, you might decide to wear a huge coat to keep warm when you arrive. But just think how awkward that’s going to be during the flight, for the sake of a few minutes at the other end. Indeed, you’re much better off packing your bulky outerwear at the top of your suitcase, so that you can easily access it when at your destination.