How To Do ‘Airport Chic’ If You’re Not A Victoria’s Secret Model

Yes, it is possible. And we're going to help you get there.


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

It's one of life's great struggles, really. How to look good when you've just come off a flight – and are no doubt two or three wines down, sleep-deprived, puffy as an anaconda post-snack, and perhaps just the weeniest bit whiffy. (Some flights are really long, OK?)

At the same time, one of the biggest avenues of celebrity streetstyle has become 'airport chic'. Where wily little slebs always look really slim and shiny and trendy when at an aeropuerto – because they have a really good arsenal of products, sinews and most likely a first class seat.

Well, we can't give you that. We can't ensure that you won't be on a 4am Sleazyjet flight, either, when you next hit the airport.

But what we* can* give you is a slew of handy hints in how to look if not radiant when traversing through the airport, perhaps a little bit less grotty. And because it's totally unachievable and would thus nullify the attempt of this entire piece, you will not see one picture of a Saint Laurent-clad Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. And you won't see any heels at all. Because, let's be honest, you are not going to be wearing heels on a flight. And if you are, then that is some mad glamour skills and we want to meet you.

Firstly, let's talk hair

No matter what you do, your hair always feels both flat and greasy, post-flight. Alexa's got the right idea with two diddy little plaits. Plaits will mean that you basically don't have to give them a second's thought – plus, does anyone else find that their body temperature oscillates wildly on a plane and a freezing snooze can be swiftly followed by a sweaty neck and damp mane? Consider this your solution. To avoid looking too much like an overgrown toddler, pair the plaits with a Sharon Stone-y white blazerand some Supergas, like Alexa. Dead comfy and understated French-style, too.


And on the subject of hair, what about hats?

Suki's retro aesthetic lends itself best to headgear, particularly a wide-brim hat which works nicely with a swing coat (on this occasion, rendered in denim). We are a fan of this one, which is very practicool with its drawcord attachment. If you don't have a shaggy mane/fringe situation going on, may we suggest the smaller-brimmed fedora, which won't leave you looking like a trichologically-challenged human parasol. On a sidenote: Planes do get cold (or hot – see point above), so if you are doing bare legs, maybe pack some pantaloons to change into for snoozing in your hand luggage.


As for clothes, try this for an ultra-cool combo

This might be our most favourite look of Emma Roberts' *ever. *A pop art print of Warhol's tongue, combined with skinny jeans, Chloe's studded Susannah boots, and '90s accoutrements such as a black-thong necklace and round plastic glasses is really random and therefore wonderful. The handbag is glorious, too, but let's not be greedy. The best bits to emulate for summer travelling are a white tee with a pastel Palm Beach palette, loose fit duster coatand some round glasses with tortoiseshell rims.


TBH, a plaid shirt should always be in your hand luggage

If you asked us who did casual airport chic the best, we would scream KATE BOSWORTH and then collapse. We're not suggesting you will manage the flawless red lipstick application, but you can pick up a few tricks. Kate either has a really strong jacket (a Topshop shearling or fringed suede number) or shirt, plus a great pair of ankle boots when travelling. Her grungey Saint Laurent tartan shirtand shiny-black, pointed ankle boots work whatever the season. Wear a long-sleeved tee underneath in case you get hot and want to tie the shirt around your waist.


But that's not to say you can't do some airport sassiness

Casusal basics, these. Jeans, boots and a shirt – but then a saucy little floral crop top, worn with a chunky chain to give it a bit of grown up nonchalance. Georgia May makes everything look gorgeous, let's be honest, but a crop top (that you'd have definitely worn aged ten and therefore will be completely embracing once again) and open shirt is a very good way to segue an outfit that you put on in the very hot country into the not-so-hot nation (UK). On levels of equal sassiness, is that little leopard-print carry-on. Don't mind if we do.


And in summary: Black 'lounge wear' is a flying failsafe

Who doesn't have just the most enormous soft spot for Mary Kate and Ashley? When they were five, they wore matching scrunchies and leg warmers. Aged 27, they wear matching all-black outfits, very often with an XL coat that they could quite feasibly fit inside five times over (see MK), thrown over the top to ritz things up. Try LnA for super-comfy and black jersey separates a la Olsens. Also, take note of the differing hairittudes, too. Exhibit a shows how beach hair can work while exhibit b shows how a ton of serum and a severe middle part can transform your planehead into an elegant low pony.


Follow Pandora on Twitter @pinsykes

Pictures: Getty, Rex

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us