So, I don’t know if you know this, but it’s kind of unacceptable to wear your night clothes outside. You aren’t a college kid – and even if you are, that’s still gross. The plane still counts as going out in public, so make a little bit of effort. It doesn’t have to be much, and you can wear clothes that are as comfortable as your PJs, but make you look like a person. You don’t have to be constricted on your flight, but you also don’t have to look like a hot mess that people dread sitting next to. I’m not saying you have to dress up and put on a full face of makeup, but at least put on actual clothes and comb your hair. Thank you.
We all want to relax when we travel, but there are good ways to do it and there are a lot of nuh-uh ways to do it. Even if you’re flying overnight or have to get up at 5am to make it to the airport, a bunch of people are still going to see you. Maybe you’re thinking “I don’t care what that bunch of strangers thinks of me,” but if you look good, you’ll feel better about yourself and will get better service, because people will take you seriously. Here are some tips to get pajama comfort in real world clothes and not look like a total slob when you travel.
Stretchy jeans – I love my pajama pants, but they are for the house or slumber parties (you know, if I were 12). Jeans with stretch are kind of the next best thing, plus they look good and I can wear them when I get to my destination too. Many stretchy jeans are also lightweight, so they work even in warmer temps. They won’t dig into your waist or hips and make you hate them by the end of your plane ride.
Maxi skirts – If jeans aren’t for you, then throw on a maxi skirt. It gives you freedom of movement, coverage and might be even more comfy than your favorite pajama pants. You’ll also love it when you get to your destination, especially if you’re headed to the beach. Most can work for day or evening, whether you’re sightseeing or headed to a beachfront dinner. Bonus if you wear a maxi dress, because that eliminates a top to find.
Leggings – I love leggings, but they aren’t pants. No offense, but you can see through almost all leggings, so if you want everyone to see your bits, go right ahead and wear a short top with them, but I guarantee, you will feel more comfortable and those around you will enjoy your leggings a lot more if you pair them with a tunic top of some sort. There are tons of cute ones. Your fave chambray top could probably work, if it covers your butt. (Same goes for yoga pants, which I don't feel belong outside the house/gym either, despite how comfortable they are.)
Tank Top or T-shirt – Let’s face it, you’re probably pairing your pajama bottoms with one of these, so you won’t be falling out of your comfort zone. Choose a tank or tee that will work with the other stuff you’ve packed and it’ll serve you even better. A breathable fabric is always best. Columbia, REI and Lucy have great looking tops in fabrics that are great for active people (and hot airplanes) that wick moisture and resist odors. Try to avoid those shiny running tops or things that look like you’re on your way to the gym, because unless you plan on running laps in the airport (and people probably won’t take kindly to you doing so), just go for something normal looking.
Cardigan – Layering when you travel is really important. Sometimes the plane is sweltering and sometimes it’s freezing, so you need to be ready for anything. It’s also nice to have at your destination if it gets a bit chilly (you know when you go to a tropical location and then go inside and merchants and restaurants are blasting the a/c). It’s always good to have. Look for something versatile with your travel outfit and your travel wardrobe. Lightweight and slouchy ones are always a good bet.
Pashmina/large scarf – A pashmina is great for a lot of things: a sarong, a wrap, a makeshift beach/picnic blanket, an emergency towel, a tote bag, a pillow. That’s right. Throwing one around your neck or on top of your carry-on doesn’t seem so useless now, huh? It can give you an extra layer of warmth on a cold plane, too.
Ballet Flats – I’ve seen people wear their slippers to the airport. This freaks me out almost more than slept-in pajamas, because they are now getting outside dirt on their slippers that they also lounge on the bed and couch with, tracking grossness everywhere. I like to keep inside and outside dirt separate (we are not inside shoe-wearing people), and would rather wear shoes I can use on my trip on the plane and use that space in my carry-on for something more important. There are some spectacular ballet flats that are really comfy whether you’re wearing them on the plane or tromping all over your destination. They look good with pretty much everything, too. If you’re grossed out by taking off your shoes and standing in bare feet in the security line (I completely understand that squicky feeling), then get a pair of those no-show socks that are thin and are made specifically for flats.
There you have it. Come up with an outfit that works for you and lay it out a day or so before your trip, so it’s easy to throw on, grab your travel bag and go. No fuss, no thinking, so you can focus on other things, like making sure to turn off relevant lights and appliances, brushing your teeth, combing your hair and locking the door behind you. You’ll look presentable at the airport and won’t have to change when you reach your destination and want to go out and do stuff...unless you’re hitting the beach right away.
What are your favorite pieces to wear when you travel?