7 Things I'll Never Wear to the Airport in the Summer


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

There was once a time when I didn't think too hard about what I would wear to the airport. The only criteria was that it be cute and not too sloppy. But after years of being uncomfortable and annoyed by my outfit choices, I've finally reformed. I have some summer travel on the horizon, and there are a few things you can bet you won't see me wearing in the terminal.

One of the more challenging things about dressing for the airport in the summer is changing temperatures. While airport terminals and planes are often freezing, it's likely sweltering outside the airport. While I still struggle with what to wear to get around this temperature predicament, I'm always confident about what I'm not wearing on summer travel days.

Below is the list of items I'll never wear to the airport in the summer and what you'll catch me wearing instead. 

Skipping: Shorts

Wearing: Loose Trousers and Jeans

Call me a germaphobe, but the idea of my bare legs touching anything on a plane is the definition of icky. But since it's probably going to be hot when I step outside the airport, I always make sure the pants or jeans I wear are loose to allow for airflow.

Shop Loose Trousers and Jeans

Skipping: Bare Sandals

Wearing: Simple Sneakers and Flats

In terms of safety, airplanes and airports aren't the best places to have your feet exposed. And if you've ever had to run to catch a connecting flight in flip-flops, you probably told yourself you'd never make that mistake again.

Shop Simple Sneakers and Flats

Skipping: Leggings

Wearing: Comfortable Midi Dresses

While leggings at the airport are perfectly acceptable during fall and winter, they can feel a bit suffocating during long, hot summer days. Long casual dresses, on the other hand, are a great comfortable alternative.

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Skipping: 100% Polyester

Wearing: Breathable Cotton and Linen

This one is pretty simple. Clothing that's made of 100% polyester will not breathe. A blend of fabrics is usually fine, but 100% polyester is a sweaty travel day waiting to happen. Your best bet is to wear 100% cotton, except when it comes to jeans—whatever you do, don't wear stiff 100%-cotton jeans.

Shop Cotton Items

Skipping: White Pants or Jeans

Wearing: Darker Neutrals

It's pretty much a law of science that if you wear white pants on a plane, you will spill something on them. After all, your lap is basically your table for the day. Do yourself a favor and wear something that won't show every spill and smudge.

Shop Darker Neutrals

Skipping: Belts

Wearing: Hats

Feel free to disagree with me, but belts aren't comfortable for a day spent sitting. That said, I love trendy accessories, so I like to wear baseball caps and bucket hats. As a bonus, they offer sun protection.

Shop Hats

Skipping: Arm-Bearing Shirts*

Wearing: Layers

By arm-bearing shirts, I mean arm-bearing shirts without a light jacket or sweater. You'll inevitably be freezing at some point in your journey, so don't go unarmored.

Shop Pieces to Layer

Next up, 25 genius travel accessories you won't know how you lived without.

Allyson Payer
Senior Editor

Allyson is a senior editor for Who What Wear. She joined the company in 2014 as co-founder Katherine Power's executive assistant and over the years has written hundreds of stories for Who What Wear. Prior to her career in fashion, Allyson worked in the entertainment industry at companies such as Sony Pictures Television. Allyson is now based in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She holds a BFA in theater. Her path to fashion may not have been linear, but based on the number of fashion magazines she collected as a child and young adult, it was meant to be.