Parlez-vous Fashion?: How to Travel in Style

Ah, yes, the season is here! Some of us might be summering in the Hamptons with Diane and Barry, and others might be off to the Midwest to visit our beaus, but either way we’re going to look fabulous on the way there. Think of how people dressed to travel in other generations. Just take a look at Jackie Kennedy at the airport! Don’t you just want to be her??

Isn’t that divine? People got glammed up to go anywhere—men in suits, women in dresses, both with hats and gloves. And now I see some college ladies waddling around campus in their sweats, hoodies and even *gasp* Uggs. Let’s bring a little bit of this vintage glamour back, shall we? Glam up your traveling ensemble this summer and own the air, rails, wheels or ocean like the starlet you are. Part of being a traveling starlet is being ready for the paparazzi whenever they might pop ‘round a corner, and you do that by looking fabulous at all times. Looking your best when you travel (and in general) will help you be the best version of yourself at all times—the fabulous, confident chick who just aced her interview instead of the grungy human mop who looks like she had one too many margaritas last night. 

Style Goes Where You Go

It’s good to get glamorized when you travel for a multitude of reasons, the top two of which I will name here.

First, you never know who you’re going to meet! I was on a flight to England once and a gentleman was sitting next to me in a fine, tailored suit. I, of course, was not wearing sweatpants and was wearing a comfortable yet chic traveling ensemble. On the flight, the gentleman and I began talking and turns out he was a Finnish international lawyer. Though I wasn’t interested in law, he said if I ever changed my mind there would be a spot for me as an assistant at his firm. Crazy! Now would I have been as approachable in my sweatpants, hair greasy and balled up on the top of my head? Definitely not. You can meet anyone on a flight, from potential employers to potential lovers, so dress accordingly!

Second, looking good makes you feel good. And when you’re traveling for however many hours in one day, you’re going to want to have that little something extra holding you together. Flight delayed? No problem, my boots are fly enough. Bus running late? At least that blouse is gorgeous. It’s just a little something extra to make you feel good when travel can be so stressful. And when you’ve worked so hard this school year, the last thing you need is more stress. So get gorgeous when you travel. Well, even more gorgeous than you already are. 

You are Better than a Pair of Sweatpants

Look at yourself. Go, right now, look in the mirror. Look at that beautiful face. Those rich eyes, that delightful smile. You are fabulous and wonderful. So you better start dressing like it! Why would you go anywhere looking like anyone less than the fabulous person you are? There is no excuse to ever be seen in sweatpants outside of your bedroom or the gym, so leave the wretched things at home or in your suitcase for sleepy-time. When you go traveling, put on real clothes. So you think sweats are the only things comfortable enough to travel in? My darling, you are beautiful, but you are incorrect! 

Assembling a Traveling Ensemble—Comfort, Style, Practicality

When choosing a traveling ensemble, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure any bottoms you’re wearing aren’t too short (as they shouldn’t be, anyway) because when you sit down you don’t want the itchy airplane, bus, car, or boat seat fabric on your bum. 

Likewise, you’ll want to think about what you’ll be doing in transit—hauling luggage, catching a cab, rummaging through your bag to find your tickets, and so on. Keeping this in mind, the halter sundress that gives you the great cleave might look awesome on you, but is it the best for when you’re lifting your luggage up to or down from compartments on a plane, bus, or train? Probably not. Hello, wardrobe malfunction. Choose clothes that will be stylish enough for you to lift things or move quickly in if necessary.  

Also, this is not the time to break in your new heels, especially if you suddenly have to make it from one end of the Hartsfield-Atlanta airport to the other in 15 minutes. You never know if you will have to rush, so wear shoes you can move in (but remember, gym sneakers only go to the gym!). Flat shoes—ballet slippers, cowboy boots, Chuck Taylors, etc.—are your best bets. Additionally, feet tend to expand in flight, so choose shoes in more malleable, natural materials (canvas, some leathers, etc.) that will expand along with your feet (i.e., not your Tory Burch jelly flats). 

Something else to remember is that you never know if your mode of transportation will be excessively cold, so just bring a little cardigan or a light jacket to keep the chills away. And sunglasses in case you don’t like to go through the world squeezing your eyes closed.

For example, take a look at some of these airport chic celebrities in their chic and comfortable traveling ensembles. If they can do it, you can do it too! 


Your traveling ensemble does not have to be terribly complicated or over-the-top, just as with these ladies above. You can easily see a pattern here: pants or a dress, a t-shirt, flat shoes, and a jacket of some kind. We’re not wearing ballgowns or anything here. Your outfit should show that you haven’t stepped into the first semi-non-smelly thing on your floor. And make no mistake, you can have comfort AND style together!  

When I travel, I usually opt for a pair of jeans with a funky t-shirt or white dress shirt with a blazer and cowboy boots and some interesting jewelry. Did it require a ton of effort? No. Are my clothes easy to move in so I’m not toddling through the train station in a pencil skirt? Yes. Am I comfortable, but still chic? Absolutely.

Of course, I am and have always been comfortable in jeans, but it’s different for everybody and jeans are not the only option.

Are you perhaps more comfortable in leggings? Then throw a tunic on over them (because you should never be wearing leggings as pants) with a cute, oversized Grandpa cardigan, a pair of your favorite flats, and a cool necklace, and voila! Instant traveling fashion, comfort AND style.

You can even try a long-legged romper with a blazer and with a metallic thong sandal with a back strap, a sweet maxi dress or a darling bubble skirt with a white t-shirt, jean jacket and ballet flats, or any of the other endless possibilities. It takes less than five minutes to think about what’s in your closet and how you can put it together quickly into something chic that you love.

So do me a favor…leave the sweatpants on your floor where they belong. Now you have no excuse not to look as beautiful as you are at all times. Get ready to board that plane, bus, car, train in style, ladies, because now you’re a fashion starlet about to take flight!