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Whether you’re gearing up to travel for work or play, it’s always important to know what to wear for a flight. This not only helps you stay comfortable, it minimises the inconvenience that other passengers might face as well. And let’s face it – when you’re all crammed into tiny seats for the next 22 hours, everyone just wants a fuss-free, polite flight experience. With that in mind, we got a former SIA stewardess to share her tips on what you should and shouldn’t be wearing on your next trip. Follow these simple hacks to be guaranteed a comfortable trip!

1. Do not wear tight-fitting clothing


The seat space is already tight enough, why make yourself more uncomfortable by wearing tight, restrictive clothing? Besides discomfort, fitted clothes also restrict blood flow, which can result in deep vein thrombosis.
Wear instead: Loose-fitting clothing is good for breathability and movement.


2. Do not wear boots or heels 

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In the event of an emergency, chances are you’re going to have to lose the shoes – which would be sad. But even on a normal flight, there’s a chance you might lose your balance in heels and no one wants an injury so far away from a doctor. For boots, it’s more annoying from a practical point of view, especially since you have to take them off during security checks and lace and unlace or buckle them. It’s annoying to say the least.

Wear instead: Flat mules you can slip on and off easily.



3. Do not wear perfume 


When you’re in an enclosed space, odours get intensified (both good and bad). So if you’ve got perfume on for a long time, it’s going to get recycled in that stale air – which might not be a great thing.

Wear instead: Clean, freshly-laundered clothes that are odour-free (and just hope the people around you are doing the same).


4. Do not wear unbreathable or synthetic materials

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Going back to the point of clothing that can breathe. Materials like nylon or leather are bad because they don’t wick away sweat or allow your skin to breathe. That means you’ll end up feeling sticky, sweaty and smelly – which isn’t good, especially on long-haul.

Wear instead: Breathable fabrics like cotton, linen or silk.


5. Do not wear mini-skirts

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This suggestion is for hygiene. As clean as it might look, you should know that your seat is never going to be 100% clean and so you’ll want to make sure that you keep the parts of your body that come in contact with the seat covered. A mini skirt, or teeny tiny shorts, won’t do the job.

Wear instead: Midi skirts or full-length denim jeans.


6. Do not wear white

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This is particularly good to follow when you’re on a long-haul flight because who knows what’s going to happen in those eight to 10 hours. It could be turbulence or clumsiness but there’s no guarantee your white is going to stay white all throughout your trip.

Wear instead: Dark colours or busy patterns to hide any possible stains.


7. Do not wear a bulky coat


You’d be surprised at the number of people who wear a huge coat and then ask for it to be hung up during the flight. Unfortunately unless you’re in Business Class (or higher), that coat is going to be your responsibility during the flight. If overhead luggage space gets filled up, you do not want to be stuck holding that bulky coat the duration of the flight.

Wear instead: Layered clothing so that you have the freedom to take off/put on whatever you need to stay comfortable. Plus they’ll be thinner to pack in your suitcase.

Should you wear perfume on board flights?

Yes, some nice smelling scent is better than no scent
No! Perfumes can be too overpowering. Be considerate, please.
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This article was first published on The Singapore Women’s Weekly.