7 Controversial Airport Outfits Celebs Manage to Pull Off Flawlessly


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Celebrities, they're just like us. Except when they're not at all. When jetting to and from their red carpet appearances, traveling to film on location, or simply heading on their own vacations, the Hollywood crowd plays by a set of rules all their own, at least when it comes to what they wear to the airport. You'd think that some of the most well-traveled A-listers would have their travel style down pat, but the styling choices we're about to dive into here say otherwise.

Yep, today we're discussing all the daring, controversial, and downright risky fashion choices celebs have been making while heading to the airport, from boldly wearing an all-white ensemble to stepping out in tall stilettos and even donning heavy-duty leather pieces. There's no question that the seven looks below are anything short of flawless, but I'll be the first one to say it: the idea of recreating them for myself makes me, well, squeamish. And sure, if you're a celeb catching a flight you're probably not roughing it like the rest of us in the main security checkpoint or even heading to a major airport if you fly private, but nonetheless these outfit choices are puzzling ones for any kind of air travel.

The offense: Opting for an all-white outfit


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On Olivia Wilde: Nili Lotan Blazer and Pants; Hanes Rib Tank ($11); Lucchese Boots; Celine Bag

Absolutely no shade to Olivia Wilde because she looks so cool here, but I'd be lying if I said that the thought of wearing this exact outfit on a flight didn't make me squirm out of discomfort. Her off-white suit is extremely chic, especially with the funky cowboy boots, but I just know I'd become a magnet for stains if I ever wore the same thing to the airport.

Try instead: darker colors

The offense: Wearing thin, sheer fabric


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On Jodie Turner-Smith: Casablanca suit; Jimmy Choo Maelie 70 Leather Sandals ($595); Quay Chain Reaction Sunglasses ($65)

While arriving at the airport in Venice, Italy to attend the Venice International Film Festival, actress Jodie Turner-Smith wore a stunning pastel ombré suit. It's the kind of ensemble that Turner-Smith could have easily walked right off the plane and onto the red carpet in. Looks aside, though, we can't help but call out that the tissue-thin, sheer fabric of the suit would leave us shivering underneath the blast of an in-flight A/C.

Try instead: Knit fabrics

The offense: Carrying a top-handle-only bag


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Amal Clooney's offense is a relatively minor one when compared to some of the other's we've already discussed. But nonetheless it's something I personally always try and avoid. Ever the polished dresser, Clooney arrived at the airport with a top-handle bag as a personal item in addition to her carry-on roller luggage. As you can see from the photo, it doesn't leave her with any free hands to hold her boarding pass and I.D. at security so while it's certainly chic, it's kind of impractical. Instead, I'd carry a bag with an additional shoulder or crossbody strap.

Try instead: Travel bags that go over the shoulder

The offense: Wearing a jumpsuit (and a leather one, at that)


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Cate Blanchett's leather flight suit is giving all kinds of Top Gun energy. But it's daring for two reasons. The first is that jumpsuits of any kind are typically a no-no when traveling simply because they're tricky to get on and off. And then add in that Blanchett's is made from a heavy-duty leather that I'd imagine wouldn't be very comfortable to wearing while sitting down for a long period of time. Sure, I wouldn't personally copy this one but I can't deny just how cool it looks on her.

Try instead: Cargo separates

The offense: Stepping out in open-toed heels


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On Anne Hathaway: Nili Lotan Flora Trouser Jeans ($425); Dr. Barbara Sturm x Aquzzura Storm mules

Anne Hathaway is known to be an expert airport dresses. See exhibit A, B, and C. But on this particular occasion while arriving to the airport in Cannes, the actress wore a pair of shoes that strike me as being the opposite of travel-friendly. Her strappy Aquazzura mules feature a 3.7-inch stiletto heel with an open toe and while there's no question they look good (especially with her trouser jeans and button-down shirt), there's just no way they're the comfiest option to fly in.

Try instead: Classic loafers

The offense: Wearing tall heels and a summery outfit


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On Florence Pugh: Valentino shirt, top, shorts, shoes, and bag

Florence Pugh is no stranger to a daring outfit choice, whether she be stepping out in sky-high Valentino platforms or a sheer thong-exposing skirt. But this look is controversial in a different sense. While it's a casual summer outfit we'd gladly pack for vacation, the crop top, shorts, and strappy heels don't exactly scream practical for the airport. I don't know about you, but I'm getting cold just looking at her.

Try instead: Lounge pant sets

The offense: Embracing bare legs


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On Ana de Armas: Louis Vuitton Dauphine MM Bag ($3800); Brunello Cucinelli loafers

Ana de Armas wore a pair of shorts to the airport—and white ones, at that. While she was probably coming back from a warmer climate, wearing shorts on a flight is still a risky decision no matter the destination or departure. 

Try instead: Relaxed trousers

Next, shop the basics celebs like Hailey Bieber and EmRata buy in bulk.

Senior Editor

Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.