Arriving in Style

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How to Build a Comfortable and Fashionable Travel Uniform

Summertime is just around the corner, and that means vacation season is here at last! If your upcoming summer getaway includes air travel, then it’s important to have a good “travel uniform” on standby.

We all know that flights can be long and cramped. If you want to feel as comfortable as possible for the journey while still looking your best, a well-planned travel uniform can help you look put-together without sacrificing your comfort.

Also, when you look great, you feel great. Air travel used to be an “event” that people dressed up for. Showing up with a touch of glamour was part of the whole experience. I’m certainly not suggesting you bring back pearls and high heels, but I do believe being well put-together gives you a psychological lift. Plus, you never know who you’ll see at the airport, so it pays to look good!

Creating a great travel outfit can be tricky. It’s all about striking a balance between comfort and style. Further, since travel nearly always means you’ll be living from a suitcase, it’s important that all the pieces you bring on a trip—including those you wear in transit—work well together. That’s why it’s good to keep the building blocks of your travel outfit within a neutral color story, so you can continue to mix and match those pieces with other packed clothing throughout your vacation.

Ready to build a simple and beautiful travel uniform? Read on for some tips.

Start with a light and comfortable layer on top

A lightweight top in a neutral color is a good choice for traveling, such as a charcoal, white, navy, or black t-shirt. Any of these options will work with most pants and will look good beneath any outer layer you pair it with. Plus, lightweight cotton breathes and feels comfortable against your skin. If you’ll be traveling to a cooler climate, replace the t-shirt with a thin cotton sweater instead.

Add dressy jeans or slacks

A nice pair of dark wash jeans, black jeans, or lightweight, soft slacks will give your outfit a “dressy casual” vibe, and you’ll be ready to hit the town as soon as you arrive at your destination city. If you’re in the mood for a more low-key ensemble, or plan to catch a few zzz’s on an overnight flight, consider wearing nice joggers or athletic leggings in black. You’ll still achieve a sleek and streamlined look even though you’ll be dressed for comfort.  

A cozy outer layer

Airplanes can be notoriously chilly, so you should definitely plan on keeping an outer layer with you in-flight. Even if you end up storing it in the overhead compartment, it’s better to have something on hand in case you need it. There are lots of options for a good travel cover-up, such as a blazer, a light jacket, or a cardigan.

A beautiful scarf

A stylish scarf can add additional warmth to your outfit on cool flights and even doubles as a blanket if you decide to nap on the plane. Choose a scarf that will blend easily with the other clothing you have packed, so you can get more use from it throughout your trip.

Simple, versatile jewelry

You will likely have chosen a few jewelry staples to mix and match throughout your vacation. Choose a few of these pieces to accentuate your travel uniform and free up a little more space in your suitcase. Examples might include a long or short necklace, a chunky cuff or assorted bangle bracelets, and small hoop or stud earrings. They will create a more cohesive look and help you feel dressier and more confident.

Sleek and comfortable footwear

You’ve got lots of good options for travel- and feet-friendly footwear. Dressier choices include low-heeled ankle boots, ballet flats, or flat sandals. On the more casual end, fashion sneakers are comfortable and will be great for walking around and sightseeing once you’ve reached your destination. (Plus, if you’ll be using a carry-on suitcase, then you will likely need to wear your bulkiest footwear on the plane, which may indeed be your fashion sneakers.)

A great travel uniform ensures that your journey is every bit as enjoyable as the destination. No matter what you choose to wear on your flight, make sure it feels great to wear and helps you convey your most authentic self. That way you can arrive at your destination feeling rested, relaxed, and ready to have a great time.


  • Marla Tomazin

    Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Marla has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations and programs. Visit

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