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9 Things to Never Wear At The Airport: The Fashion Faux Pas

by Niviya Vas   ·  3 months ago   ·  

Unsure of what to wear to the airport? Here are 9 airport fashion mistakes to avoid, all while looking comfortable and chic.


I’ll never forget the day I saw my friend strutting into the airport, feeling like a million bucks in her high heels and designer handbag. I was convinced she had nailed the perfect blend of fashion and function, and I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous – I was in my joggers, a plain t-shirt and sneakers. 

But by the time we reached our gate, she said her feet were killing her, and she had been stopped twice by security for her metal-studded accessories. That day was a fashion disaster and an awakening. It made us realize that while looking good is important, comfort and practicality are key when it comes to airport attire.

We spend countless hours standing in front of our wardrobes, contemplating the perfect outfit for a day of travel. While style is undoubtedly important, it’s crucial to remember that airports and aeroplanes have their own set of rules and challenges. From security checks to cramped seats, our outfit can either make your journey a breeze or a nightmare. So, let’s take a look at the eight things you should never wear at the airport, all while keeping fashionable travel safety, comfort, and style in mind.

1. High Heels – A Step in the Wrong Direction

Ladies, I get it. High heels can make any outfit look instantly chic. But let’s be honest; airports involve a lot of walking, sometimes even running if you’re late for a flight. Wearing heels can not only slow you down but also pose a safety risk. 

I’ve seen many don pairs of killer stilettos, thinking they’d turn heads at the airport. Well, they did turn heads, but for all the wrong reasons – quite a few of them tripped, unfortunately.

Tip: Opt for stylish flats or sneakers that offer both comfort and fashion. Trust me, it’s what’s best for you and your feet!

2. Heavy Metal can Set Off Ringers

Metallic accessories might be in vogue, but they’re a big no-no when it comes to airport fashion. Heavy metal belts, oversized jewellery, and metal-studded bags can set off security alarms, leading to unnecessary delays and additional checks.

Outfits with minimalistic accessories that add a touch of elegance without causing a security fuss, of course.

Outfits with minimalistic accessories

Tip: Go for fabric belts or leather accessories with minimal metal details. These will elevate your outfit without causing a hold-up at security.

3. Tight Clothing – The Squeeze Isn’t Worth It

Air travel often leads to bloating and discomfort. Wearing tight clothing like skinny jeans or fitted tops will only add to the discomfort. Plus, tight clothes aren’t the best choice if you want to catch in-flight naps or stretch.

 Avoid Tight Clothing in Airport

On a flight to Bali, I wore my favourite skinny jeans, thinking I’d land in style. Big mistake! I was uncomfortable throughout the flight and couldn’t wait to change as soon as I landed.

How do you travel comfortably in style?

Wear loose-fitting clothes like wide-legged trousers or a flowy maxi dress. This way, you can look attractive while travelling without compromising on comfort.

4. Layering Gone Wrong

While layering is a smart travel strategy, overdoing it can lead to a sweaty mess. Too many layers can also make security checks cumbersome as you’re almost always asked to remove jackets, scarves, and even belts.

Travel outfits for safety

Travel outfits for safety: Stick to a simple layering formula—a light top, a cosy sweater, and a versatile jacket. This ensures travel comfort and style without going overboard.

Tip: Carry a lightweight scarf. It’s a versatile piece that can serve as an extra layer or even a makeshift blanket during the flight.

5. Offensive or Inappropriate Prints

Wearing clothes with inappropriate or politically charged slogans is a surefire way to attract unwanted attention. Airports are public spaces with people from diverse backgrounds. I’ve seen people wearing shirts with cheeky slogans, thinking it would be funny. It wasn’t until they received a few disapproving glances that they realized their mistake. So, it’s best to keep our fashion statements neutral and inoffensive.

How can I look attractive while travelling? 

Choose prints and patterns that are universally appealing and avoid anything that could be deemed inappropriate.

6. Synthetic Fabrics – a Sticky Situation

Materials like polyester might be wrinkle-resistant, but they’re not breathable. This can cause discomfort and even skin irritation during a long flight.

What clothes are not allowed in the airport? While there’s no ban on synthetic fabrics, opting for natural materials like cotton or linen is a smarter choice for a comfortable journey.

 Use synthetic fabrics during long flight

Tip: If you’re a fan of athleisure, go for moisture-wicking fabrics. They keep you dry and comfortable, making them a great choice for long-haul flights.

7. Bulky Coats Make a Cumbersome Choice

While a bulky coat might seem like a good idea, especially if you’re heading to a colder climate, it can be a hassle during security checks and boarding. Plus, it takes up valuable overhead bin space.

Bulky Coats Make a Cumbersome Choice

Tip: Choose a lighter, more versatile jacket that can be easily stowed away. Smart layering is key here.

8. Flip-Flops can be a Footwear Faux Pas

Flip-flops might seem a convenient choice, but they offer zero support and can be quite unsanitary in public spaces like airports.


Tip: Choose a pair of stylish yet comfortable slip-on shoes or sneakers.

9. Large Hats

While stylish, large hats are impractical for travel. They’re difficult to store and can obstruct the view or space of fellow passengers.

Large Hats

Tip: If you need a hat, opt for one that’s collapsible or can be easily packed away. Better still, pack them in your main luggage.

The Forgotten Essentials: Travel Fashion Tips and Advice for Women

While we’ve covered the main culprits, there are a few more items that deserve an honourable mention:

  • Perfumes and Strong Scents: Airplanes are closed environments, and strong scents can be overwhelming for fellow passengers. Stick to light, neutral fragrances, or a natural deodorant.
  • Complicated Outfits: If your outfit requires a manual to put on or take off, it’s not airport-friendly. Think about the restroom logistics!
  • Expensive Items: While it’s tempting to flaunt that designer outfit, airports and planes are hotspots for spills and stains. Save the expensive attire for your destination.

In Conclusion, Strike a Balance Between Safety and Style

That fateful day at the airport was a turning point for my friend and I. It led us down a path of sartorial self-discovery, where we learned to balance style with practicality

Navigating the airport doesn’t have to be a fashion disaster. By avoiding these eight items, you can ensure a journey that’s as smooth as your style. The key to a great travel experience is balancing safety, comfort, and fashion. Because who says you can’t look fabulous while being practical?

Safe travels, and may your airport fashion choices be ever so sensible and chic!


Author : Niviya Vas

Niviya Vas is an independent content writer and marketer. She delights in writing about books, finance, food and travel. When her rescue cats allow, she slow-travels and documents her experiences in her blog, Commoner’s Causeway.

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