The glamorous image of travel we’re sold by airlines and travel agents is rarely the case in reality. Whatever the trimmings on offer, a long haul flight is still essentially an extended period of time spent in a metal container with hundreds of strangers.
With that in mind, it is vital when decided what to wear on a long haul flight that you choose items that are going to make life as enjoyable as possible for the duration of the flight. Items like these…
A long haul flight usually involves walking the tightrope between wanting to get a decent sleep and not wanting to feel like you’ve invited the aforementioned hundreds of strangers into your bedroom. So, you need an outfit that’s comfy enough to allow you to relax, while being smart enough that you can walk through the cabin without becoming a laughing stock.
A hoody is a good idea for a long haul flight since it is essentially socially acceptable loungewear. It can be easily slipped on and off, and will provide warmth in their air-conditioned environment without being too overpowering. If you really want to push the boat out in search of comfort on the plane, Sunspel makes 100% cashmere wool hoodies for men and women. They perfectly straddle the divide between style and comfort to create a slice of luxury loungewear that will set you back £425. You won’t have to look far to find a less pricey woollen hoody.
Whether you opt for full loungewear and choose sweatpants that are in keeping with your hoody, or go for something slightly smarter but still relaxed, like a pair of chinos, choose comfortable, breathable fabrics for your legs.
For a long haul flight you need shoes that are comfy enough to wear for a long time (including during any brisk walks through the airport) and easy enough to slip on and off during the flight. Brands like Keds, Toms and Tods all offer good options for men and women across a broad spectrum of budgets.
Flight socks are a must to protect against the dangers of long haul flights, but they tend to be a last-minute buy from an airport pharmacy and often lose effectiveness after a couple of wears. You could opt for socks that benefits from a bit more engineering, such as the 2XU Flight Compression Socks (available for men and women), which encourage circulation in the lower limbs. They’re available for £30 per pair.
If you want to get some rest during a daytime flight or you don’t want to be disturbed every time the cabin lights are turned up, an eye mask is a good idea on a long haul flight. The lavender-infused Silkskin eye mask (£42) comes highly recommended as a therapeutic option. For something a bit more special design-wise, you could check out the stylish eye masks for men and women by Otis Batterbee, which are priced at £50 and are also lavender-infused.
After going to all that effort to enjoy a comfortable flight, you will also want some ear plugs to block out the chatter, engine noise and other disturbances and drift into a relaxing sleep. That's where our very own Flare Audio ISOLATE® ear protection (from £24.99) comes in useful. Given that you might be using your ear plugs for an extended period of time, ISOLATE® MiNi - 33% smaller but 100% as effective - might be the appropriate option.
Both products use dense metal to block direct sound from entering your ear, but still allow you to hear details in sound through bone conduction. The result is that it will feel like someone has turned down the volume dial on your flight.