Comfortable and Stylish on the Airplane? Ladies, It’s Possible

I’ve been told I can’t wear my jammies on the plane. I’ve done so anyway, though with certain limitations. I wear the penguin flannel pants and a long sleeved t-shirt; I don’t go for the full on two piece set with the pink elephants. I change on the plane — and I change back into my street clothes before we land. I wear jammies on long haul flights only. I bring slippers, too; I toss my shoes up into the overhead bin right when I board. I fly coach, mostly, and it’s damned uncomfortable. Changing in to my jammies helps me relax and enjoy the flight as much as I possibly can given the situation.

But the jammies, they’re still considered a nonstarter by folks who have opinions about what to wear where. A person should dress presentably for flying, “they” say. I fail to see where the sweats with a word on the butt fit in to this scheme, and yes, people are still wearing those, I see them nearly every time I fly. I don’t understand why I can’t wear my jammies, yet the high school tennis team can wear track suits and flip flops. Whatever.

Still, in a play to dress like a grown-up (and to support my failed attempts to charm way into frequent flyer lounges and upgrades), I’ve been on the hunt for clothes that look nice but feel like pajamas. Here are a few items that totally make the cut for looking cute and dressed like an adult but are still perfectly comfortable for slouching in your coach seat while wondering where the hell is transporter travel, already, and what is WITH coach seats, anyway? A-hem.

Horny Toad Traipse Trousers: I want, like, nine pairs of these pants. They’re cut like something between a pair of jeans and a pair of cargo pants without the bulky side pockets. But they’re made out of a cotton knit that’s soft and a little stretchy and feels like your favorite sweats. You totally look like you’re wearing Actual Trousers but ho-ho, you feel like you’re wearing yoga pants. The zip front and snap fly hide the drawstring waist and they’ve got the same five pockets that your jeans have. They’re $95.00 from Horny Toad, they come in two colors, and I wear mine all the damn time now, including on planes.Nau Randygoat Hoody: Yeah, I’m still a sucker for merino, while I’m hearing that alpaca is the Next Big Thing. This hoody from Nau, once you get past the slightly weird name, is a fine substitute for that worn out sweatshirt you’re wearing. It’s got a big shawl collar that doubles as a hood. It’s big and drape-y and soft without being overly bulky. You can absolutely curl up and take a nap in this thing, it’s somewhere between a wooly blanket and that old soft t-shirt, but it doesn’t look like you pulled it off the top of the laundry basket before pulling it on. It’s pricey at $180, but you’ll have it for a good long while. And yes, it washes up just fine, just don’t put it in the dryer.

Icebreaker Maya Skirt: I’m still freaked out by the sight of that guy in boxers wearing a ram’s head at the Icebreaker booth at the Outdoor Retailer show. But not so freaked out that I am prepared to break up with their clothing. The Maya skirt, which I can’t find on their website (but is still available on Amazon) has a wide, flat, waist band and is made from a super fine merino (again with the merino) knit. It’s the one skirt I own that competes with my penguin jammies for comfort and because it’s made from a beautiful material, it looks great. It’s been through the wash lots — again, don’t put it in the dryer — and it’s still got a nice shape. Amazon lists it at up to $75.00, but there are some great clearance prices to be had if you shop around.