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.

Travel clothes for women

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

I believe that dressing fashionably 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.

stylish travel clothes for women | 40plusstyle.com

I’m wearing comfy airy pants (similar ones here) and I make the outfit more stylish with my silver Rollies shoes.

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

travel clothes for women - Abi wearing a loose fitting travel dress | 40plusstyle.com

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 just by looking at them, 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.

Abi (above) wears a dress that could do double duty for travelling and for day trips while on vacation. You could pop a cardigan over the top and wear with sneakers for a journey and then style with sandals when you arrive.

Check out this dress that has the same style (and a lot of print options too) from Amazon, and wear it with this similar pair of slides, handbag, sunglasses and hat.

2. The best fit for your travel wear

travel clothes for women - Joy wears a loose neutral dress and denim jacket for travelling | 40plusstyle.com

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!

Joy (above) looks ultra chic and comfortable in her loose-fitting dress, styled with a denim jacket for extra warmth.

Check out this similar maxi dress, denim jacket, sandals, hat and necklace.

3. What to wear when traveling – Color

travel clothes for women - Gail wearing utility cargo pants and a black t-shirt | 40plusstyle.com

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.

Gail (above) opts for a low-key, yet stylish option which would be perfect for travelling.

Steal her look with this similar tee, pants, sneakers and bucket hat.

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 funkier patterns like leopard print.

travel clothes for women -Travel purse for women | 40plusstyle.com

Travelon anti-theft crossbody bag

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 travelling 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 - Travel scarf for women over 40 | 40plausstyle.com

WAYPOINT GOODS infinity scarf with hidden zipper pocket

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.

Travel shoes for sightseeing | 40plusstyle.com

TOMS slip-on

9. Travel t-shirt

travel clothes for women - Josephine wears a black and white outfit for travelling | 40plusstyle.com

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

Josephine (above) chooses a loose fit t-shirt and styles it in a classic way with black pants and white sneakers.

Recreate her look with this similar top, jogger pants, sneakers and hat.

travel clothes for women - travel t-shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Romwe tie front t-shirt

8. 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 - Nanushka asymmetrical tie shirt | 40plusstyle.com

Nanushka asymmetrical tie shirt

4. The perfect travel dresses

Do you prefer traveling in pants, or do your 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.

COS t-shirt dress

5. Lightweight women’s jacket for travelling

Patricia wears a utility jacket and jeans | 40plusstyle.com

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 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 with sandals or heels.

A 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 blazer from Frank and Oak (below) is specifically designed to be packable.

Patricia (above) looks lovely in her versatile safari jacket, which also has plenty of handy pockets.

Check out this similar t-shirt, jacket, jeans, espadrille sandals, rattan bag, belt, earrings, necklace and sunglasses.

Frank and Oak packable blazer | 40plusstyle.com

Frank and Oak packable blazer

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

6. Flying clothes: Travel cardigan

No matter where you are travelling, 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 Bobeau cardigan (below) has a stylish, airy, chiffon insert at the back.

Bobeau drape cardigan | 40plusstyle.com

Bobeau drape cardigan

5. 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 Paige (below) are a good option for both travelling and sightseeing.

comfortable travel pants for women | 40plusstyle.com

PAIGE drawstring waist pants

Another good tip is to look for pants which have an elasticated waist so you don’t feel constricted during your journey.

Zella flowy crop wide leg pants | 40plusstyle.com

Zella flowy crop wide leg pants

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

Best pants for travelling: Travel leggings

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

Lyssé high waist leggings | 40plusstyle.com

Lyssé high waist leggings

7. 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 travelling, 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.

The Tommy Bahama midi skirt ties at the waist and won’t dig-in anywhere if you are trying to snooze on your journey. It has an interesting asymmetrical hemline and is designed to fit any body shape.

Travel skirt | 40plusstyle.com

Tommy Bahama midi skirt

9 travel outfits using the pieces featured above

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

Stylish Travel Clothes for Women Capsule | 40plusstyle.com

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

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

Psyche wearing a white and blue travel outfit | 40plusstyle.com

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 comfortable t-shirt, either plain or with some interesting design detail or pattern and top it with a classic, stretch or knit jacket to add a little polish to your travel look!

Psyche (above) chooses an all-white look, which will be beautiful on vacation, topped with a baby blue blazer.

Steal her look with this similar v-neck top, pants, blazer, sneakers, necklace, suitcase and tote.

stylish travel outfits for the casual woman | 40plusstyle.com

Gibson notch collar blazerTory Burch logo t-shirtPAIGE drawstring waist pantsConverse Chuck Taylor sneakerTed Baker London spinner suitcase

The best travel clothes for a feminine look

For a more feminine, romantic look, you could choose a floral top with a pastel jacket.

Or, a nicely chosen fit and flare style dress in a good jersey, knit or stretch fabric is a great travel outfit.

It’s far more comfortable and forgiving than you think! You can always add capri leggings underneath if you want to layer it or wear tights to cover your legs.

feminine stylish travel outfits | 40plusstyle.com

Caslon drape collar knit blazerTed Baker London floral front topZella wide leg crop pantsTory Burch sneakerTed Baker London spinner suitcase

Plane clothes for a modern-chic style

Kay wearing a neutral travel outfit | 40plusstyle.com

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.

Kay (above) chooses a stylish, minimal palette of neutral tones.

Recreate her outfit with this similar mock neck top, jacket, jeans, booties, suitcase, handbag, necklace and sunglasses.

modern stylish travel wardrobe | 40plusstyle.com

MBJ drape vest cardiganEileen Fisher linen tunicLyssé high waist leggingsCOACH loaferDELSEY Paris spinner luggageShop Pop Fashion infinity scarf

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.

sporty travel clothes for women | 40plusstyle.com

Zella packable anorakMadewell t-shirtLyssé high waist leggingsP448 sneakerHerschel Supply Co. packing case

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 travelling 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.

VNVNE rib-Knit pullover sweater top & pants | 40plusstyle.com

VNVNE rib-Knit pullover sweater top & pants

Best travel outfits for warm climates

Of course, what you wear and what you pack will vary depending on where you are travelling to. For warmer climates, a loose-fit dress in a natural fabric can be a stylish, cool choice.

COS dress with contrast hem | 40plusstyle.com

COS dress with contrast hem

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.

Patagonia water resistant jacket | 40plusstyle.com

Patagonia water resistant jacket

Travel clothes for business trips

How about if you aren’t travelling for leisure, but for business? A comfy jumpsuit can be a good option. You can wear with a cozy cardigan and slip-on shoes for travelling, and then switch to a blazer and heels for your business meeting.

Tommy Bahama jumpsuit | 40plusstyle.com

Tommy Bahama jumpsuit

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

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Stylish travel clothes for women | 40plusstyle.com

Feature image by Psyche

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