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.
I know that travel is still harder at the moment, but more and more of the world is opening up. Many of us can’t wait to travel again, even if you do have lots of forms to fill in. If you are going on a trip soon, 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 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.
I’m wearing comfy airy pants (similar here and here) and I make the outfit more stylish with Rollies shoes (similar pair here).
When it’s a bit cooler I will add a short stylish jacket too in stretch fabric like this one.
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)
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.
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.
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. This one below comes in a range of colors, from classic neutrals to stripes.
Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag
Or, you could try the SUKRY 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.
SUKRY Nylon Crossbody Bag with Anti theft RFID Pocket
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).
elzama Infinity Scarf With Hidden Zipper Pocket
Abi @stealmystyle40 above opts for a comfy outfit in neutral shades that would keep you cozy on your flight. Then you could wear your scarf as a shawl over your shoulders when you get to your vacation spot.
Get her look with this similar cardigan (other options here and here), pants (another option here), sneakers, tote and scarf.
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 Lauren Ralph Lauren 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.
Lauren Ralph Lauren Jinny Sneaker
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.
Bianstore Oversized Linen Shirt
Eileen Fisher Classic Collar Easy Linen Button-Up Shirt
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. I like the interest created by the draped wrap style of the top below.
Or, you might want a sleeveless option that you could dress up or down on warm days and evenings.
Eileen Fisher Sleeveless Mock Neck Silk Tunic Top
A casual tank top will be perfect for sightseeing.
Sheree @shesheshow above opts for a navy outfit and adds a pop of color with her pink scarf.
Check out this similar top, pants, sneakers, luggage, tote, scarf and sunglasses.
6. 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, I would look for one in flexible, stretchy fabric such as jersey so you don’t feel restricted on your journey, just like this dress from COS.
You could wear it with sneakers for your journey and then dress up with heels or sandals when you reach your destination. You can always take a belt to create different daytime and evening looks.
COS Pleated Midi T-Shirt Dress
GIBSONLOOK Belted Pocket T-Shirt Dress
7. 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 draped cardigan in a neutral shade, it should go with most outfits in your suitcase. The Lock and Love cardigan (below) can either be worn open as a cardigan, or closed so it looks more like a draped top.
Lock and Love Draped Open Front Cardigan
Anne Klein Monterey Space Dyed Open Front Cardigan
8. 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 rag & bone blazer (below) looks smart, but the relaxed linen fabric keeps it comfortable.
rag & bone Foster Linen Blend Blazer
You could also think about a denim jacket, which would go well over your summer dresses.
L’AGENCE Janelle Raw Cut Slim Denim Jacket
You may also like our article on how to fit a blazer.
9. 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 JEN7 by 7 For All Mankind pants (below) is a good option for both traveling and sightseeing.
JEN7 by 7 For All Makind The Traveler Drawstring Tencel®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 pleated pants (below) which should keep you cool if you’re heading off on a sunny vacation.
Psyche @economyofstyle above chooses a coordinated set that is perfect for plane travel. Then you can wear as pajamas, or separates when you arrive.
Recreate her outfit with this similar sweater set (exact pieces: top here and wide pants here), coat, sneakers, tote (another option here) and cap.
There are more elasticated waist options in this article on the best pants and skirts to fit and hide your belly.
10. 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.
Beyond Yoga Beyond Space Dye High Waist Pocket Leggings
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, I would stick with a knee-length or a midi. You don’t want trailing skirts to be getting stuck anywhere while you board and deal with your luggage.
Loveappella Roll Top Maxi Skirt
Vince Cotton & Linen Blend Utiility 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, with a scarf to add a little polish to your travel look!
L’AGENCE Janelle Raw Cut Slim Denim Jacket – Bianstore Oversized Linen Shirt – Beyond Yoga Beyond Space Dye High Waist Pocket Leggings – Lauren Ralph Lauren Jinny Sneaker – Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag – elzama Infinity Scarf With Hidden Zipper Pocket
Susan @susan_unefemme above (read her style interview here) chooses a classic outfit of jeans with a blazer. She adds an on-trend element to her look by wearing the collar of her sweater over her jacket.
She is wearing a blazer from Cinq à Sept, half zip sweater from Open Edit, jeans from rag & bone, and sneakers from Paul Green.
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.
rag & bone Foster Linen Blend Blazer – Eileen Fisher Sleeveless Mock Neck Silk Tunic Top – COS Pleated Pants – Lauren Ralph Lauren Jinny Sneaker – Vera Bradley Cotton Weekender Travel Bag
For more style inspiration on how to wear your pair of loafers, see our article on the best loafers for women over 40.
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.
Sweaty Betty Fast Lane Running Jacket – COS Ribbed Tank Top – Beyond Yoga Beyond Space Dye High Waist Pocket Leggings – adidas The Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe – SUKRY Nylon Crossbody Bag with Anti theft RFID Pocket
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.
Beth @styleatacertainage above (read her stlye interview here) chooses a monochrome look for her travel outfit.
Get her look with this similar hoodie set, sneakers, luggage, tote and crossbody bag.
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.
GIBSONLOOK Belted Pocket T-Shirt Dress – Lauren Ralph Lauren Jinny Sneaker – SUKRY Nylon Crossbody Bag with Anti-theft RFID Pocket – COS Oversized Link Satin Ribbon Necklace
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 Ultra Soft Thermal Underwear Long Johns Set
Wantdo Packable Down Jacket Lightweight Puffer Jacket – COS Half-Zip Sweater – Beyond Yoga Beyond Space Dye High Waist Pocket Leggings – Sorel Out ‘N About III Classic Boot – DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage
Claudia @beafitmom.nl above chooses a stylish look ideal for walking or hiking on a cool weather trip.
Recreate her outfit with this similar jacket (another option here), leggings, boots, backpack and fedora.
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.
rag & bone Foster Linen Blend Blazer – COS Pleated Jumpsuit – Massimo Dutti Ballet Flats – DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage – COS Oversized Link Satin Ribbon 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.
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.
shop SOME OF THE items above here:
Below is a past season travel capsule which should still give you plenty of inspiration.
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?
- The Best Travel Gifts For Women
- 10 Of The Best Travel Purses For Vacation And Every Day Use
- Cruise Clothing Essentials: What To Pack For A Cruise
- Travel Light: 10 Days In Carry-On Luggage
Like this article on the best travel clothes for women over 40? Share it on Pinterest
Feature image by Sheree @shesheshow
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I am visiting Portugal this June. I’m curious where you lived and
if you have any “must see” places.
Great decision! Portugal is beautiful. I still live here (in Luz, which I love) although I travel a lot but I’m here in spring and autumn. Honestly all of Portugal is beautiful so hopefully you have some time to explore. There are 3 articles where I talk about my experiences in Portugal on this page https://40plusstyle.com/?s=portugal
I was wondering where the jean jacket could be found.
The link to the jean jacket has been added. Here is a direct link https://amzn.to/3MWqtdC
Where did you get that amazing tshirt you are wearing in your picture? I’m not a tshirt person but I would wear that one in a minute!
I got that from Zara a few seasons back.
If one is flying long-distance and has a problem with not just ankles but also feet swelling from extended sitting, be sure to wear shoes that allow for that. When I travelled overseas in winter months, I used to wear low-heeled boots that were a half- or full-size bigger, filled up with a couple layers of heavy socks. If my feet swelled in flight, I could always take off a pair of socks to accommodate them. (This layering also kept my feet warm and blister-free while doing a lot of walking after arrival.)
Just to let you know the clothing links for luxe dress and travel pants don’t work and an amazon search isn’t bringing them up.
They are all working now.