Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle

Pajamas on the plane: A journey finding a cute and casual airplane outfit

Spring break is coming up and you know what that means — it’s time to start planning the clothes to pack for upcoming trips.

Ariana Lim | Senior Graphic Artist

While I practically already have my suitcase packed, I’m struggling to figure out what to wear for the plane ride. This spring break, I’m traveling to Paris, and the grand total of travel time, including the layover in Dublin, is around nine hours. It’s going to be a long day, to say the least. 

I’ve worn my fair share of athleisure and comfy clothes on regional flights, but since I’m arriving in Paris during mid-day, I’m wondering whether I need to level up my fashion game. Is it acceptable to wear pajamas, leggings or sweatpants? Is wearing athleisure inappropriate in Europe? Are my pajamas easily identifiable as sleepwear? 

Amid my search for an acceptable airplane outfit, I fell into a small crisis and decided to do some research. While I was trying to find out if wearing nice clothes on the plane truly mattered — due to rumors suggesting possible upgrades based on your outfit — I found that a lot of airlines have dress codes that flight attendants can enforce. 

Both American and United Airlines’ dress code regulations, as seen in their “Conditions of Carriage,” prohibit bare feet, improperly clothed individuals and obscene clothing. Passengers who violate these codes are not dressed appropriately and can be moved from the plane.

Given my Paris trip is in March, I’m not too concerned with the aforementioned clauses, since I plan to layer my clothing. So, my search for more information about the dress codes didn’t make deciding what to wear any easier. 

After searching multiple Parisian fashion guides, including Conde Nast’s “What to Wear in Paris, According to French Fashion Designer Jeanne Damas,” I decided my best move would be to find a good pair of jeans or a pair of comfortable cargos with an oversized sweater. 

So, I decided to venture out into Boston to find a new pair of “go-to” traveling pants.

Luckily numerous stores in Boston cater to every budget. Here’s a list of what I found — ranging from most affordable to most expensive: 

Goodwill: 965 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Massachusetts

Before emptying my entire bank account on new clothing, I always make sure to browse my local Goodwill to see if there are any hidden fashion treasures I can find. 

Thrifting is not only a more sustainable option, but it also offers the chance to find some unique pieces of clothing. I will admit, though, that there have been plenty of times when I’ve tried to find clothing at thrift stores and am left with nothing. 

To break it down, the pros of Goodwill are the affordability, the sustainability and the one-of-a-kind pieces you can come across. The cons include the lack of available sizing and the struggle to find exactly what you’re looking for. 

Old Navy: 430 Washington St., Boston, Massachusetts 

At Old Navy, I found a variety of pants that were cute, yet comfortable. One of the options I found was tailored cargo pants in three different colors. Even better, they are currently on sale for $28. Old Navy also carries a variety of linen, cargo and tailored trouser pants. 

So, let’s break it down. 

The pros: a variety of sizes, colors and types of pants. The cons: the options are very basic.

Madewell: 329 Newbury St., Boston, Massachusetts

At Madewell, there were a variety of pants to choose from: jeans, cargos and trousers. The price range was a bit higher, ranging from about $79 to $118. 

There were numerous cuts and styles to choose from in each category of pants, with a variety of springtime colors. 

In all, the pros are the multitude of styles to choose from and the vibrant colors. The cons, though, are the higher price ranges and less originality among the basic pieces, compared to those at a thrift store like Goodwill. 

Anthropologie: 82 Newbury St., Boston, Massachusetts

Anthropologie is always one of my must-sees on Newbury Street. Anytime I visit, I am sure there is something bright, patterned or unique on display. I never leave disappointed. 

One of the gems I found was the $88 Parachute Pants that come in a variety of shades, from bright to darker, neutral tones. For Anthropologie, the pros include the diverse options of colors and pant styles, offering uniqueness. The one giant con, however, is the steep pricing. 

I hope you found this list helpful — especially if you have a long plane journey planned for spring break like me. If you can’t find what you’re looking for and all else fails, you can always shop online or, you know, stick with your good ol’ pajamas!

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