Marie Claire's Guide to Elevated Airport Dressing

Used to be TWA was "the airline of the stars" and passengers flew in high-style. Well, we're ditching our leggings and bringing our best fashion selves back to the airport this holiday season.

Somewhere between the normalization of wearing yoga pants in public and the inevitable drama of delays and cancellations, flying lost its glamour. But feeling comfy for your redeye and looking chic aren't mutually exclusive. This is our guide to bringing sophistication back to that other runway.

Best Airport Outfits Ever

1: The Twist on the Trench

White, Ceiling,

(Image credit: Unknown)

With the same ease of its coat counterpart (a wardrobe staple), trench detailing is a no-brainer for minimal travel wardrobing. Shout out to the belted trench blouse that is buttoned-up enough for the conference but with a cinched waist that looks sexy tucked into high waisted jeans for drinks at the hotel bar.


2: The Blanket Coat

Floor, Flooring, Room, Ceiling, Dress, Carpet,

(Image credit: TYLER JOE)

Ditch the itchy airline-issue blanket and double up on comfortable and style by wrapping yourself in this travel essential that is as effortlessly put-together as it is warm. What is better than being chic and comfortable? Nothing.


3: A Midi + Sneakers

White, Fashion, Street fashion, Design, Footwear, Fashion design, Shoe, Photography, Architecture, Dress,

(Image credit: TYLER JOE)

Let’s put it this way: One could be, upon arrival, changing out of sweats in an airport bathroom...or stepping off the plane and heading straight to lunch alfresco. A lightweight printed midi offers comfort, coverage (for freezing flights), and style with very little effort. Pair with color-blocked retro sneakers and to maintain your cool rushing to any connections.


4: Socks + Loafers

Furniture, Room, Couch, Red, Chair, Interior design, Living room, Slipcover, Classic, Peach,

(Image credit: TYLER JOE)

As long as it’s mandatory to remove your shoes at security, it’s mandatory to wear decent socks. Experiment with argyle, stripes, or wooly textured types and slip on a loafer, the most comfortable and versatile of all travel shoes. With a skirt, jeans, or cropped trousers, this duo adds instant style to any travel scenario.


Worth It: Chanel Multi-Pocket Bag

The kiss of death for any travel tote is an unacceptable ratio of space to organization. Many a seatmate has watched me empty the entire contents of my travel tote onto my lap in order to find my hand sanitizer. Then I discovered this Chanel knapsack. Big enough for a travel blanket, metal water bottle, and a magazine, the main chamber holds all that over-sized (or awkwardly-sized) stuff, while the outside compartments individually hold a wallet, phone, passport and boarding pass, hand cream, and ear buds. Reclaim those 15 minutes of scrambling for lip balm and tack them onto a nap!

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The Personal Item That Goes Miles: White & Tan Handbag

Footwear, Shoe, Brown, Bag, Handbag, Fashion accessory, Beige, Hand luggage,

(Image credit: TYLER JOE)

A short trip requires a very precise wardrobe edit, and that likely doesn't includes multiple accessory options. Our vote is for these graphic tan-and-white bags that are neutral but also interesting enough to pull together a sweater and jeans and can pop against a printed dress. One and done!


A version of this story appears in the November 2019 issue of Marie Claire.

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Hair: Walton Nunez for R+CO / Makeup: Campbell Ritchie at Art Department for Chantecaille / Models: Jia Tong at Muse and Julia Cordova at Muse / Special thanks to TWA Hotel

Julia Gall

Julia Gall is the former Style Director at Marie Claire, covering all things fashion, as well as styling tips, wardrobe upkeep and sustainability. Check her out at @juliasgall.