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8 Ways to Master Airport Style

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Travelling has never been easier or more accessible. A few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen and you can be set for an adventure of a lifetime. But despite the ease of booking, the actual travelling part still involves a lot of brain-boggling logistics, especially if it involves a long-haul flight. Style, however, shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why we’ve compiled the editors’ guide to long-haul flight style, including the beauty essentials to keep you feeling fresh and hydrated, the accessories to optimise your travel experience and the clothes that will keep you comfortable and chic.

Comfort is king when it comes to long-haul flights. You’ll potentially be walking miles through an airport and sitting for hours, so feeling unrestricted is a must. Enter chic tracksuits, soft sweatshirts and versatile leggings. Opt for matching two-pieces in neutral colours that you’ll get lots of wear out of, both when travelling and in everyday life, and that can be split into separates to pair with other pieces in your wardrobe (an intelligent investment is always a multifunctional one). Choosing a luxe fabric like cashmere really elevates it (and keeps you warm in the chilly in-flight air conditioning), but 100% cotton or cotton-linen-mix fabrications are great, breathable options, too. When it comes to leggings, invest in a pair that are really good quality and won’t bobble or thin after multiple washes and wears.
Stylish Suitcases
A great suitcase is vital in ensuring your journey goes as smoothly as possible. Consider luggage an investment, so do your research before you purchase and go for trusted brands, many of which offer long or even lifetime guarantees on their products. It’s worth heading in-store to try out sizes, shapes and handle heights before you buy, too, to make sure you get something compatible with you. A hard shell case is a sturdy fail-safe option for check-in, but when it comes to cabin-friendly suitcases, you can opt for something a little more luxe, like leather, as wear and tear won’t be such an issue. Packing cubes are a genius way to keep everything organised and especially helpful if you’re travelling with hand luggage only and need to keep your in-flight and on-holiday items separate. They’re also a lifesaver if you’re packing for a family – designate one cube per person, then when you reach your destination, simply pop each person’s cube directly into the wardrobe or drawers, saving you precious unpacking and repacking time.
The Carry-On
Your in-flight hero. A Mary Poppins-esque bag that can safely carry all your essentials is always a good idea (just be sure it complies with your carrier’s on-board baggage size restrictions before you purchase). We recommend a top-handle holdall style that can also be carried in the crook of your arm or placed on the shoulder. Interior and/or exterior pockets get extra points – great for storing your most-reached-for items or travel documents to avoid rummaging. A basket bag is a great option, particularly if you’re heading somewhere sunny where it can also be used as your everyday or beach bag. Go for hardy fabrics like canvas and leather that can withstand a bit of wear and tear and you’ll get years of use out of your big bag.
Luxe Accessories
Think of your accessories as the cherry on your travelling cake. They may be small and seemingly inconsequential, but they can make all the difference to your experience. A chic leather passport holder will make keeping tabs on your travel documents so much easier (trust us), plus it’s an item you’ll use for years and years. Little luxuries like cashmere socks and a silk eye mask can transform a chilly, brightly lit plane into a cosy, cocooning environment where you can relax more easily. Likewise, a neck pillow can make upright sleeping so much more comfortable, especially if yours is covered with luxe cashmere.
Clever Cover-Ups
The air conditioning on planes can be aggressive, and there’s nothing worse than feeling chilly for hours on end. Clever cover-ups can alleviate the cold, though. Invest in a wrap, shawl or oversized scarf that can double up as a cosy blanket both on board and on holiday when the evening chill sets in at dinner. A longline cardigan is also a great option, offering a little more coverage. Look for breathable, naturally temperature-regulating fabrics like cashmere, merino wool and cotton, and they’ll do all the hard work for you. Likewise, a great blazer is the perfect extra layer to keep you warm and also help your in-flight outfit look pulled together post-flight – especially helpful if you’re travelling for work and headed straight to meetings.
Simple Styling Shortcuts
An expert at covering all manner of sins, from tired eyes to unkempt hair, the cap’s resurgence is a welcome one that shows no signs of waning – plus, it acts as the perfect face protector if you’re heading to sunnier climes. Whether you choose a luxurious, minimalist style by a brand like The Row or a logoed version, you can’t go wrong. Just opt for a colour that works well with the shades you wear most, for maximum wearability. Likewise, a pair of timeless sunglasses are the eternal shortcut to chic. They’re a travel companion you’ll never tire of, whether they’re hiding tired eyes as you disembark or helping you to get a bit of shuteye in the bright cabin lighting. Classic oversized styles are always best, as are timeless frames in black, brown or tortoiseshell – they’ll go with every outfit and you’ll wear them for years. We love Celine’s signature Triomphe style – a true investment accessory.
Comfortable Shoes
Long gone are the days when dressing up for a flight was de rigueur. Now, it’s all about maximum comfort and practicality, and that starts with shoes. Travel always involves a lot of time on your feet, whether it’s navigating your way to your far-flung boarding gate or queueing at passport control. Our advice is to opt for a shoe that you’ll also wear during your holiday, thus saving you luggage space. If you’re heading for a sightseeing-heavy city break, go with trainers. A beachside escape? Chunky sandals with sturdy soles. A bit of both? You can’t go wrong with clogs.
In-Flight Beauty Essentials
A long-haul flight is a shortcut to dehydrated skin. Air conditioning, recycled air, and the unnatural pressurised environment sucks moisture from your skin and body. How to combat it? Keep skin well moisturised with products containing glycerin and hyaluronic acid and drink plenty of water in the days leading up to the flight. When on board, load up with moisture-quenching, super-hydrating products for hands, lips and face, reapplying whenever you feel you need to. It’s also worth avoiding alcohol on the flight as it’s a dehydrator so can make the issue worse – stick to water and herbal teas instead. Anya Hindmarch’s handy see-through beauty bag is perfectly sized for a flight and a great investment that you’ll use forever.