Flying Soon? Why You Should Rethink Wearing Your Favorite Pair Of Leggings On The Plane

If you've been on a flight that's lasted more than five hours, you know that comfort is key. You want to get some quality rest time in, have food that you enjoy, and hopefully reach your destination without feeling completely worn out. Add to that the stress of having to have all your documents in order every time you pass through security, answering probing questions, or finding gates at an airport built like a maze. Anxiety while flying is a real thing.  

There's very little you can control by way of comfort when you're on a flight. Yes, the food and drinks make the experience a little less distressing, and exploring new airports can add a thrilling touch to it all, but it's very rare that you're extremely comfortable all the way through. Unless you've mastered the art of sleeping upright or by some stroke of luck get an empty seat next to you, the journey is going to have moments of discomfort.

What you wear on a flight automatically becomes top priority, especially if you're looking at a 32-hour flying plus layover time before you reach your final destination. An airport can be a colorful runway of sweatpants, pantsuits, and even people in shorts, but did you know that leggings — an article of clothing that seems to be a favorite for a lot of travelers — aren't actually a good choice to wear on a plane? Here's why. 

Leggings can be restrictive

Leggings are made of materials that aren't breathable (think spandex, polyester, nylon), per Panaprium. You want clothing that's going to let air in and keep you and your skin comfortable on the plane. The tight fit of leggings can irritate your skin because of friction, especially when you're moving around trying to get comfortable. Another downside is the level of constriction you're going to be putting on your legs and abdominal area for long periods of time. From general discomfort and bloating to hindering proper digestion, you're leaving room for unnecessary problems. 

Aviation expert Christine Negroni told The Sun that wearing clothes with synthetic fibers can pose safety concerns in the unfortunate likelihood of a fire on the flight. "... I avoid all artificial fibres because they are more likely to burn and stick to you if there is a fire," she explained. If you're worried about the environment, the biodegradable nature of legging material might be enough of a reason to choose something else for travel.

In 2017, United Airlines banned two girls wearing leggings from boarding one of their flights (via New York Daily News). It was later revealed that the passengers did not conform to one of the flight's clothing rules for employees or pass riders on "company benefit travel." If you fall under those categories, you may want to read up on your particular airline's recommendations for what you're supposed to wear. Some airlines also have rules on provocative clothing.

What to wear instead

If you were to get on YouTube, several travel enthusiasts would tell you of things you should never wear on an airplane. They'd also give great advice on travel efficient clothing that can make you look stylish as well. The general consensus is definitely on comfort, breathability, and layering (because we all know how cold planes and airports can get). Even if you're heading to a tropical destination, you would be wise to carry a shawl, cardigan, and socks with you to be worn for the duration of your flight. Socks also come in handy when you have to take off your shoes during security checks unless you're fine with standing barefoot on unhygienic airport floors. Even if you're carrying a pair of flip-flops to change into after you've boarded the flight, making sure you wear socks with your slippers before using the restroom is just common sense. There's no need to get into the details of what might be on those bathroom floors.

Choose tops and pants that aren't constricting and allow for easy movement. Stylish doesn't always have to mean figure-hugging. If you want to wear jeans, go for your most comfortable pair. When it comes to material, think cotton, linen, or even wool. They're all super comfortable and also keep your skin hydrated. 

Flying can be nerve-racking. By thinking ahead when it comes to clothing, you can set yourself up for comfort, at least in areas that are within your control.