The perfect airplane outfit, dissected
Claire Fountain really wishes you'd wear cotton underwear.
Claire Fountain spends a lot of time in the air—and not just holding handstands. Travel has become as much a part of the New York yogi‘s routine as her mat practice (she estimates she’s on the road about half of every month), with destinations ranging from Los Angeles to Guam.
Which means that, besides perfecting her packing routine, Fountain has also figured out what to wear when she’s about to spend several hours on an airplane.
What she’s learned over the years? Natural fabrics that allow your body to breathe are your mile-high all stars—but you also want to make sure you’re ready for anything (frigid cabin temps included).
Here’s what Fountain swears by when she’s getting dressed for a flight.
Do: wear cotton underwear
It’s not just airplane cabin air that can start to feel stuffy—which is why Fountain believes that the ultimate airplane outfit starts with your very first layer. “You want to wear all-cotton underwear if you can. Pansy Co. has really nice items that are comfortable, organic cotton,” Fountain recommends.
Don’t: wear leggings
This has nothing to do with banning passengers (a la United) or just shaming women for wearing tight clothing; instead, Fountain skips leggings for the same reason why she always pulls on a pair of cotton underwear. “I don’t wear yoga pants on planes because I think they’re too tight—especially on long flights, they’re not good for our nether regions as women.”
Do: wear loose-fitting pants
“Outdoor Voices has a pair of joggers that I like a lot, or I’ll wear Jordan or Adidas sweatpants. My favorite thing for long flights are really loose-fitting harem pants because everything gets to breathe,” Fountain says. Warning: You may experience some awkward, crotch-checking moments with TSA agents while going through security, which the yogi has experienced.
Don’t: wear an underwire bra
Your strategy should be to pack a bra, wear a bralette. “I’m not a ‘real bra’ wearer [when I travel]. I like the little ones from American Apparel, or really non-binding, non-constructed ones.” Basically, anything that’s not going to leave red welts all over your shoulders during a red-eye flight.
Do: wear layers up top
“I usually have a jacket or a hoodie, and then I always tie another jacket around my waist because I don’t know what the temperature [on the plane] is going to be,” says Fountain. “Sometimes I want a T-shirt, sometimes I want a hoodie, and if it’s really cold I’ll put the denim jacket over my hoodie.” Bonus: It’s one less thing you have to pack in your carry-on suitcase.
Don’t: bring a big coat
“If you don’t need a big coat [at your destination], don’t take it,” Fountain asserts, adding, “If you’re leaving New York in January for Thailand, get an Uber, wear just a hoodie, and suffer for 20 seconds.” After all, that’s what wearing a hoodie and a jacket is for.
Do: pack socks in your carry-on
There’s the chill factor, plus it allows you to kick off your shoes (which, reminder, is flight attendant-approved) without grossing out your seatmates. “I always keep extra socks in my bag,” notes Fountain.