No matter whether you are travelling by air, land or sea, you will want to look effortlessly chic while ensuring you are comfortable throughout your entire journey. Below, you will find the best travel clothes for women and outfit inspiration for all of your trips, whether you’re taking a quick road trip or a long haul vacation.

If you are going on a trip soon, we’d love to hear about where you are going. Read on for a travel capsule as well as the best airport outfits.

Travel clothes for women

I normally travel a lot and love to share some of my tips on how to build the perfect fashionable travel wardrobe to make fashionable travel easy.

I believe that dressing in a stylish way for travel is just as comfortable and easy as flying in an old t-shirt and cargo pants or sweats.

But one of these two options makes a better first impression! Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to wear anything too fussy or high maintenance.

In fact in the image a little further below below I’m wearing a t-shirt and pants, but I’ve elevated my style through the print on my top and by adding silver shoes.

Travel clothes for women: best travel outfits

You may consider getting a few designated travel outfits. Investing in stylish travel clothes for women can help you to put together a “stylish travel clothes uniform”. You’ll also find your travel outfits work well for day-to-day wear and running errands.

Before you build the perfect women’s travel wardrobe for your needs, consider these 3 points below when choosing your own signature travel outfits:

Best travel outfits for planes

1. Fabrics for traveling

The material of your clothing makes all the difference in the world when choosing travel clothes for women! Natural fibers like cotton and linen wrinkle easily, so you may wish to avoid wearing 100% linen or cotton fabrics if that bothers you. The best wrinkle-resistant fabric options include:

  • Polyester (although you may wish to consider whether you will be too hot as this doesn’t breathe)
  • Wool
  • Cashmere
  • Tencel
  • Lycra
  • Knits
  • Jersey
  • Spandex

A blend of any of these with a natural fiber like cotton would be perfect, giving you the stretch you need for long period of sitting while still looking crisp.

stylish travel clothes for women |

I’m wearing comfy airy pants (similar here and here) and I make the outfit more stylish with Rollies shoes (similar pairs here and here). Also check out this similar tee and suitcase.

When it’s a bit cooler I will add a short stylish jacket too like this one.

2. The best fit for your travel wear

Loose fitting, easy tailoring is the best choice when traveling, especially regarding your pants or bottoms of choice.

You don’t want to deal with tight, constricting pants when you’re in a small cabin for a few hours.

Choosing materials with some stretch to them further adds to your comfort level. Eileen Fisher is a wonderful source for travel clothes!

3. What to wear when traveling – Color

Go with patterns or darker tones when traveling.

You’re likely to be crammed into a public seat that may not be 100% clean. And coffee spills from those wobbly tray tables happen.

If you’re traveling to a foreign country, darker or earthy, neutral colors help you blend in and look more low-key, too. Save the white clothes for when you get there.

Travel clothes for women: must-haves all stylish ladies should travel with

Now that you’re thinking about the best travel clothes for women, below are some of the best options for pants, tops, dresses, skirts, shoes and accessories to choose from this season, as well as a travel capsule wardrobe.

1. The best travel purse ever

Let’s start with your bag. Your carry-on purse for travel needs to hold more than you normally would carry.

Documents, valuables, your iPad or some magazines and maybe a small makeup kit are some things you should have in your bag.

A tote is great for travel because it’s so easy to load up. But a crossbody bag is also excellent, especially for keeping it secure when you need your hands free for other things.

Safety and security will be a key priority when you travel. You want to make sure that even if you are in busy markets or in places where pick pocketing may be a problem, that your belongings are secure.

The Travelon brand is highly recommended for travel bags with anti-theft features.

Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Crossbody Bag |

Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Crossbody Bag

Or, you could try the Baggallini crossbody (below), which comes in a good choice of colors, and has an anti-theft design. Reviewers say it is the perfect size and weight for travel.

Baggallini Securtex Anti-Theft Free Time Crossbody Bag |

Baggallini Securtex Anti-Theft Free Time Crossbody Bag

The TUMI tote is another stylish option that would be perfect for weekends at home or travelling.

TUMI Voyageur Valetta Medium Tote |

TUMI Voyageur Valetta Medium Tote

And, for packing your suitcase, investing in some packing cubes means you can easily organize everything so you can put together your outfits upon arrival without any rummaging through everything you’ve packed.

BAGSMART Compression Packing Cubes |

BAGSMART Compression Packing Cubes

Also check our top 10 picks of the best purses for travel.

2. Travel scarf or shawl

A scarf or shawl ALWAYS travels with me, even in summer. Airlines don’t hand out blankets or pillows on flights as much anymore, particularly if you’re traveling in short-haul or domestic economy.

A scarf or shawl will keep you warm and comfortable, work as an airplane pillow when rolled up and will add some chic to your outfit when you arrive.

A blanket style could be the perfect option because you can use it as a blanket or head rest on the plane. Then, when you arrive, you can use as a shawl to keep you warm on chilly evenings, or as a beach towel or a picnic blanket.

Or another great choice, particularly if you are heading to a destination where you don’t want your valuables in plain sight if to choose a travel scarf with a hidden pocket, such as the infinity scarf (below).

Travel clothes for women - ELZAMA Infinity Scarf With Hidden Zipper Pocket |

elzama Infinity Scarf With Hidden Zipper Pocket

Stylish travel clothes for women over 40 |

Sheree @shesheshow above opts for a navy outfit and adds a pop of color with her pink scarf.

Get her look with this similar set, sneakers, suitcase, tote, scarf and sunglasses.

Travel clothes for women - poncho |

PULI Cross Front Poncho

Here’s a tutorial and video for you on how to style a scarf.

3. Best travel shoes

Choose a pair of flats that are comfortable.

Bear in mind that you are likely to have to take your shoes off to go through security. So, you may prefer to have a slip-on style rather than laces.

I would make sure your travel shoes double up as really comfortable walking shoes. The Sperry sneaker (below) come in a choice of colors and neutrals, and feature a molded footbed so they should keep you comfortable while travelling and sightseeng.

Sperry Crest Vibe Platform Sneaker |

Sperry Crest Vibe Platform Sneaker

A pair of white sneakers is a classic that will go with everything from your shorts to your summer dresses, and the Vionic sneakers (below) also have great arch support.

Vionic Winny Sneakers |

Vionic Winny Sneakers

We also love the slip-ons below which come in a good choice of colors and will keep your feet cool and feature an interesting, on-trend sole. Slip-ons are a great idea at the airport in case you need to take your shoes off for security.

Ilse Jacobsen Tulip Slip-Ons |

Ilse Jacobsen Tulip Slip-Ons

Silver shoes are a good travel choice because metallics act as a neutral and will go with everything else in your closet so you don’t need to travel with too many pairs of shoes.

DADAWEN Platform Oxfords Shoe |

DADAWEN Platform Oxfords Shoe

4. Women’s travel shirts

A great button-down isn’t just a good travel option for men. It can look great worn with pants for your journey. Then, you can wear with shorts or over your swimsuit or your dress as a cover-up when you arrive for your vacation.

Travel clothes for women - J.Crew Wren Linen Shirt |

J.Crew Wren Linen Shirt

Travel clothes for women - Boden Sienna Linen Shirt |

Boden Sienna Linen Shirt

Travel clothes for women - Claudia wears a shirt with statement sleeves |

Claudia above opts for a beautiful shirt with statement sleeves.

Recreate her outfit with this similar shirt (another option here), jeans, sneakers, handbag and belt.

5. Travel t-shirt

T-shirts can be the basic core of any wardrobe, and your travel closet is no exception. You can wear them to travel in and team them with shorts and skirts when you arrive. Or, you can wear it instead of a pajama top to sleep in.

I’d stick to quality fabric without any logos on the front, so you can team with lots of pieces from your suitcase. Opt for something you can dress up with a statement necklace or scarf, or down just with sneakers and shorts.

Travel clothes for women - Cinq à Sept Lorainne Silk T-Shirt |

Cinq à Sept Lorainne Silk T-Shirt

Travel clothes for women - Boden Wrap Front Jersey Top |

Boden Wrap Front Jersey Top

Or, you might want a sleeveless option that you could dress up or down on warm days and evenings.

Travel clothes for women - FRAME Savannah Silk Tank |

FRAME Savannah Silk Tank

A casual tank top will be perfect for sightseeing.

Travel clothes for women - IRO Tekkio Knot V-Neck Top |

IRO Tekkio Knot V-Neck Top

6. Flying clothes: Travel cardigan

No matter where you are traveling, you are likely to need a cover-up in case it gets a little chilly on your journey, or for when the sun goes down in the evening.

If you choose a cardigan in a neutral shade, it should go with most outfits in your suitcase.

Travel clothes for women - Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Cocoon Cardigan |

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Cocoon Cardigan

Travel clothes for women - J.Crew Cotton Blend Cardigan Sweater |

J.Crew Cotton Blend Cardigan Sweater

The Lock and Love cardigan (below) can either be worn open as a cardigan, or closed by knotting the ends so it looks more like a draped top.

Travel clothes for women - Lock and Love Draped Open Front Cardigan |

Lock and Love Draped Open Front Cardigan

7. Lightweight women’s jacket for traveling

You won’t want to be taking too many jackets on vacation with you as they take up suitcase space, so make sure the one you do choose is comfortable and versatile.

Of course, the best travel jacket for you will depend very much on where you are going. While a blazer will be perfect for the south of France, for example, you are unlikely to want such a dressed-up option on a safari in South Africa.

If you choose a blazer, I think you can wear it beautifully with pants and a pair of sneakers for the plane. Then, for a night out on vacation, you could team up with sandals or heels.

Natural fiber like linen will crease, but I think that’s part of the charm of linen blazers. Or you could opt for a piece with a wool mix for cooler climates, or in a polyester mix if you are worried about it creasing.

The J.Crew blazer (below) looks smart, but the relaxed linen fabric keeps it comfortable.

J.Crew Helena Linen Blend Blazer |

J.Crew Helena Linen Blend Blazer

You could also think about a denim jacket, which would go well over your summer dresses.

Ronny Kobo June Denim Jacket |

Ronny Kobo June Denim Jacket

Or, if you love a sporty look, choose a sweater you can pop over your T-shirts when it is cool.

Stellae Dux Fleece Cargo Half-Zip Crop Sweater |

Stellae Dux Fleece Cargo Half-Zip Crop Sweater

Stylish travel clothes for women over 40 |

Psyche @economyofstyle above chooses a stylish travel outfit featuring cuffed pants and a lightweight jacket.

Check out this similar tank top, jacket (another option here), pants, sandals, tote, suitcase and sunglasses.

You may also like our article on how to fit a blazer.

8. The best women’s travel pants

Many of you will prefer to travel in a pair of pants rather than a dress. I would tend to avoid jeans as they aren’t particularly comfortable if you want to have a snooze on the plane!

A pair of drawstring pants, such as the ones by Lenny Niemeyer (below) is a good option for both traveling and sightseeing.

Lenny Niemeyer Swim Destinos Printed Drawstring Pants |

Lenny Niemeyer Swim Destinos Printed Drawstring Pants

It’s a good idea to look for pants that have an elasticated waist so you don’t feel constricted during your journey. Another option could be the wide leg pants (below) which should keep you cool if you’re heading off on a sunny vacation.

Eileen Fisher Wide-Leg Linen Pants |

Eileen Fisher Wide-Leg Linen Pants

COS’s striped pants (below) also feature an elasticated waist, and look great dressed up or down.

COS Pinstriped Straight-Leg Pants |

COS Pinstriped Straight-Leg Pants

There are more elasticated waist options in this article on the best pants and skirts to fit and hide your belly.

9. Best pants for traveling: Travel leggings

Or, how about choosing a comfy pair of leggings to travel in? You can wear it with a loose tunic to make sure you’re comfortable.

Bandier Center Stage High-Rise Leggings |

Bandier Center Stage High-Rise Leggings

10. The perfect travel dresses

Do you prefer traveling in pants, or do you prefer the feeling of coolness and freedom you get from a comfortable dress?

If you do choose a dress, we would look for one in flexible, stretchy fabric such as jersey so you don’t feel restricted on your journey.

Boden Chloe Notch Jersey Midi Dress |

Boden Chloe Notch Jersey Midi Dress

Boden Amelie Jersey Midi Dress |

Boden Amelie Jersey Midi Dress

Or, you could wear a shorter dress like the J.Crew linen dress (below) over your leggings. Then simply wear with your sandals or pop over your swimsuit when you arrive.

J.Crew Bungalow Popover Linen Dress |

J.Crew Bungalow Popover Linen Dress

Travel clothes for women - Susanne in a print dress |

Susanne @textelle above (read her style interview here) looks lovely in her print knee-length dress. You could always wear leggings underneath while on the plane.

Steal her look with this similar dress (other options here and here), sneakers and bag.

11. Travel skirts

Skirts can be a great staple in your travel closet. You could opt for a cotton A-line knee-length style for an easy style to wear with sneakers. Midi or maxi lengths also look relaxed and stylish on vacation.

For traveling, we would stick with a knee-length or a midi. You don’t want trailing skirts to get stuck anywhere while you board and deal with your luggage.

Boden Rosaline Jersey Skirt |

Boden Rosaline Jersey Skirt

Splendid Demi Striped Linen-Blend Maxi Skirt |

Splendid Demi Striped Linen-Blend Maxi Skirt

Best travel clothes for women

Now that you have a good plan for your travel outfits, below are more stylish travel looks for you, to give you some inspiration according to your style personality.

Airplane outfits for the classic and casual woman

This classic and comfortable travel look starts with a relaxed-fit pair of pants or jeans and a pair of sneakers.

For your casual look, choose a t-shirt or shirt, and add a denim jacket to keep you warm. You could also add the travel scarf we featured earlier to add a little polish and extra warmth to your travel look!

Casual and classic travel clothes for women |

Ronny Kobo June Denim JacketIRO Tekkio Knot V-Neck TopEileen Fisher Wide-Leg Linen PantsDADAWEN Platform Oxfords ShoeTravelon Anti-Theft Heritage Crossbody BagAlexander McQueen Beam Small Stud Earrings

Plane clothes for a modern-chic style

A modern-chic look can be one of the most comfortable and easy to pull off. Go with monotone neutral colors with an occasional splash of color.

Tailoring is important and comes in the form of cropped pants, or a silhouette that is a little more fitted. It’s the most minimal of all the styles and can mix and match quite well with other pieces. Add a cardigan or the linen-mix blazer we featured earlier if you want another layer.

Modern travel clothes for women |

Cinq à Sept Lorainne Silk T-ShirtLenny Niemeyer Swim Destinos Printed Drawstring PantsTUMI Voyageur Valetta Medium ToteVionic Winny SneakersEttika Triple-Layered Chain Necklace

Travel clothes for women - Greetje wears a red and khaki outfit |

Greetje @no_fear_of_fashion above (read her style interview here) wears an outfit that you could wear on the plane, and then for sightseeing.

Steal her look with this similar top, trousers, sneakers, tote, belt and scarf.

Plane outfits for long haul travel: What to wear on a long flight

While all of the travel clothes above are very versatile, if you are traveling long haul, you are likely to want to try to get some sleep.

Therefore, comfort is especially important. You could choose a stylish leisure set which is as comfy as pajamas, but looks more like daywear. You can always wear as separates when you get to your destination.

The leisure set (below) comes in a choice of five colors. Reviewers describe it as a fantastic outfit for the price.

Plane outfit for long haul travel |

TAOVK Woolen Sweater SetDADAWEN Platform Oxfords ShoeVera Bradley Hardside Rolling SuitcaseAlexander McQueen Beam Small Stud Earrings

Travel wear for a sporty look

Take advantage of the latest yoga-chic athletic trend! This includes state-of-the-art fabrics that are durable, comfortable and look good.

Choose a yoga-style boot-cut athletic bottom or a tight capri or legging. Many, like the one featured, are higher-waisted and have a built-in band to hide the belly.

Layer with a longer-length lightweight pullover, tunic or sweater to have a very chic athletic look that also hides flaws well.

The short coat below would also look great worn over a long T-shirt dress.

Sporty travel clothes for women |

Stellae Dux Fleece Cargo Half-Zip Crop SweaterIRO Tekkio Knot V-Neck TopBandier Center Stage High-Rise LeggingsVionic Winny SneakersTravelon Anti-Theft Heritage Crossbody BagAcne Studios Carliy Twill Baseball Cap

Travel clothes for women - Abi in a sweater and jeans |

Abi @stealmystyle40 above chooses a versatile casual outfit of sneakers and a hoodie, and adds a pop of color with her sneakers.

Recreate her outfit with this similar hoodie, jeans, sneakers, tote and cap.

Best travel outfits for warm climates

Of course, what you wear and what you pack will vary depending on where you are traveling to. For warmer climates, a loose-fit dress in a natural fabric can be a stylish, cool choice. If you’re heading somewhere warm, a light-colored, neutral outfit can look great. You could dress it up for evenings out with some statement gold jewelry.

Best travel outfit for a warm climate |

Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Cocoon CardiganBoden Amelie Jersey Midi DressSperry Crest Vibe Platform SneakerBaggallini Securtex Anti-Theft Free Time Crossbody BagAlexander McQueen Beam Small Stud Earrings

Travel clothes for cold climates

For cooler weather, you’ll want to ensure that your travel closet includes a warm, but packable jacket which doesn’t take up too much space.

You may also want to pack some thermals that you can wear under your clothes and as pajamas.

Thermajane thermal set |

Thermajane Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set

Travel clothes for cold climates |

Moose Knuckles Air Down Quilted JacketPolo Ralph Lauren Julianna Cashmere Cable-Knit SweaterBALEAF Fleece Lined Thermal LeggingsSorel Joan Now Chelsea BootsBaggallini Securtex Anti-Theft Free Time Crossbody Bagelzama Infinity Scarf With Hidden Zipper Pocket

Travel clothes for business trips

What about if you aren’t traveling for leisure, but for business? A comfy jumpsuit can be a good option. You can wear it with a cozy cardigan and slip-on shoes for traveling, and then switch to a blazer and heels for your business meeting. Or opt for a smart elasticated pair of pants and a linen blazer.

Travel clothes for business trips |

J.Crew Helena Linen Blend BlazerFRAME Savannah Silk TankCOS Pinstriped Straight-Leg PantsBadgley Mischka Cam FlatsSamsonite Mobile Office BagMajorica Tender Knot Necklace

a belt can be really useful

A belt is a very useful accessory when traveling. You can use it to cinch dresses or tunics to create different looks when you reach your destination.

RISANTRY Leather Belt |

RISANTRY Leather Belt

There are more tips and tricks here on how to wear a belt for the most stylish effect.

9 travel outfits using the pieces featured above

You can put together the travel clothes, shoes and accessories used above into a capsule closet (below) to give you plenty of different looks during your journey and while on vacation.

Stylish travel outfits |

shop the best travel outfits here:

Below are past season travel capsules which should still give you plenty of inspiration.

Stylish travel outfits |
Stylish travel outfits |
Stylish travel capsule wardrobe |
Stylish travel capsule wardrobe |

Read our ultimate guide to creating a capsule wardrobe that works best for you.

Best brands for travelling

What do you consider the most stylish travel clothes for women? What are your go-to travel outfits?

Continue reading:

  1. The Best Travel Gifts For Women
  2. 10 Of The Best Travel Purses For Vacation And Every Day Use
  3. Cruise Clothing Essentials: What To Pack For A Cruise
  4. Travel Light: 10 Days In Carry-On Luggage

Like this article on the best travel clothes for women over 40? Share it on Pinterest

Stylish travel clothes for women over 40 |

Feature image by Psyche @economyofstyle


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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