Travel Wardrobe: How to Look Expensive While Traveling

I’m sure we’ve all been there, you’re running through the airport looking like a hot, sweaty mess and then you pass by someone impossibly chic and put together and you just crumple into your leggings a little more. Just me? Well, I’ve decided enough is enough and its time for ME to be the impossibly chic lady at the airport breezing past everyone looking like a million bucks. After lengthy internet research and a lot of stalking people at the airport, here’s my list of staples for creating a put together travel wardrobe that is guaranteed to make you look expensive while traveling. (Doesn’t matter if you’re rushing to get to your last row seat on Spirit or Frontier.)



Travel Wardrobe: Hard-sided Carry-On Suitcase

Herschel Supply Co. Trade 20-Inch Wheeled Carry-On  |  CALPAK Ambeur 20-Inch Rolling Spinner Carry-On  |  Nordstrom Chevron 20-Inch Spinner Carry-On

It starts with polished luggage. If you’re going to splurge on anything for your travel wardrobe, I’d recommend a nice suitcase. A hard-sided carry-on helps to disguise the amount of stuff you have crammed in it because the sides can’t bulge out like a soft suitcase. Make sure it has four good wheels so you don’t have to work super hard to drag it through the airport. The goal is to look hella effortless, and if you can’t even wheel your bag, you’re not fooling anyone.

Personal Item

Travel Wardrobe Personal Item, Structured Zip Duffel

Away Everywhere BagHerschel Supply Co. Strand Duffel  |  Lipault Paris Plume Elegance Tote

You know Robin and I are obsessed with the Away Everywhere Bag, and I think the key part about it is how structured it looks. Also, the pass-through sleeve on the back makes it easy to stack on top of your suitcase and wheel everything at once. EFFORTLESS. Things to look for in a personal item bag: structure, full zipper, pass-through sleeve, pockets/compartments, durable material.



Travel Wardrobe: tapered pants

Everlane Work Pant  |  Athleta Wander Slim Crop  |  Athleta Stellar Crop Pant

All of the classy ladies I see at the airport are not wearing leggings. So this must be critical. But I’m also not willing to sacrifice the comfort factor of leggings or sweatpants just to look expensive. Enter, fancy pants. Robin and I each ordered the Everlane Work Pant and they are perfect for elevated travel pants. (Note, I got the regular length and the fit is a little weird, so I’m exchanging them for the ankle length which Robin loves.) They are essentially a stretchy legging up top but have a slightly wider ankle so they look very tailored and professional. Any kind of elastic waist business pants would be a great option as well.

Travel Wardrobe: pull on wide leg cropped pants

Athleta Globetrotter Ankle Crop  |  Gap High Rise Cropped Wide-Leg Pants in Linen-Cotton  |  J. Crew Wide-leg crop pant in 365 crepe

Last week, I got a pair of black and white striped, wide-leg, cropped, flowy pants, which sounds like a lot, but really serves up a put-together look while essentially wearing pajamas. I’m liking a pull-on wide-leg cropped pant for airplane too, for those times when anything touching my ankle is TOO MUCH.


Travel Wardrobe: Shirts

Everlane Linen Notch Short-Sleeve Shirt  |  Old Navy Relaxed Tie-Front Top  |  Uniqlo Waffle Crewneck 3/4 Sleeve Shirt

Shoot for something that won’t end up looking wrinkly after a few hours on a plane. Or something that is supposed to be wrinkly like a linen button down. I like to go with a t-shirt with some extra detailing, like a seam down the back, or a structured fit.


Travel Wardrobe: shoes

Everlane Modern Loafer  |  Everlane Heel Boot  |  Everlane Leather Street Shoe

I haven’t been able to fully commit to not wearing Birkenstocks on airplanes, but if I’m trying to look like a fancy plane lady, I try to go for a nice flat or fancy tennis shoe. One time, I wore healed ankle boots on a flight to California and that was the most legit I have ever looked at an airport. The heels on the airport floor made me sound like such a boss, too. I have my eye on a couple pairs of shoes from Everlane, but I’m especially loving the loafers.


Travel Wardrobe: Accesories

Betabrand Travel Blanket Scarf  |  ABLE Eyerusalem Passport Wallet  |  Madewell Curvelink Pendant Necklace

Blanket Wrap

I can never regulate my body temperature on planes and alternate between being sooooo hot and freezing, so I bring layers. I also can’t seem to control my limbs while trying to put on a sweatshirt or sweater, so a wrap/scarf/shawl that I can just lay on top of myself like a blanket is the safer choice for whoever is sitting next to me. Honorable Mention Travel Wardrobe Wraps: Lululemon Hatha Wrap, White + Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap

Passport Cover

Keep your shit together with a leather passport cover. I had been carrying my passport around just tucked into a pocket of my fanny pack (not a good way to look chic and expensive BTW) and after seeing Robin’s Able Passport Cover, I need one.


I love wearing a long, casual necklace on a plane. It makes me look like I tried a little bit, but isn’t going to get in my way or be uncomfortable on the flight like big earrings or a bracelet would.



Anything you love in your travel wardrobe that helps you look like a fancy lady while traveling?


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Travel Wardrobe Staples: How to Look Expensive on a Flight


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