The Worst Things to Wear to an Airport, According to a TSA Agent


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We’re always in pursuit of further refining our ensemble for every destination, whether it’s the airport or the office. And while we’ve done enough jetting around to have a general idea of which travel outfits work and which don’t at the airport—those lace-up sandals were awesome, until we held up an impatient line of people trying to take them off—we figured there’s still a thing or two we can learn from a true expert. Enter Kimberly Pruitt, a former TSA agent, who spent more than five years working at Los Angeles International Airport as a security officer. We sat down with Pruitt to learn the surprising items that always seem to cause an issue when going through security.

Scroll down to check them out, and make your next travelling experience that much smoother.


“If you are opposed to getting patted down, then wearing a maxi skirt or dress isn’t your best bet because the officer will have to check you are not hiding anything under your skirt.” — Kimberly Pruitt


“Believe it or not, too many bobby pins will set off the metal detector alarm. If you’re looking to maintain your hair and skip the pat down, then I would suggest getting dolled up after screening.” — Kimberly Pruitt


“Cargo pants and shorts are one of the most difficult items of clothing at the airport. All the different pockets become a major hassle because they almost always set off the alarm. When being told by an officer to remove everything from your pockets, there is always a lighter or set of keys that you’ve forgotten in a hidden pocket.” — Kimberly Pruitt


“Large metal bracelets and necklaces will set off the metal detector. The biggest problem item is the Cartier Love bracelet. These bracelets can only be removed with a screwdriver, so they become an issue when going through security. It might be wise to put your jewellery on after screening to avoid a pat down.” — Kimberly Pruitt

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Editor in Chief

Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings worked on styling projects for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.