By Air, Land and Sea: A Girl’s Guide to Travel Style

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Travel style, much like our dream vacays, has a lot of moving parts, a lot of options and alternatives to consider. Depending on the point of origin, destination and all stops in between, travel outfits must accomplish the near impossible: versatility coupled with comfort, utility and most importantly, our own personal style.

Below is a guideline for what to wear during the journey. Just a few decades ago, appropriate travel attire was expected. Passengers dressed up, wore fur and suits, they may have even smoked on planes. The clothes and style of the time made for a much prettier, aesthetic view at the designated cruising altitude. But traveling in style does not have to cancel comfort. Check out these items and tricks for a more enjoyable ride. And besides, if we are told to dress for the job we want, why not apply the same notion to the vacation we desire?

5. By Air

travelstyle1.jpg Roma Duster Coat via Apiece Apart, $495

When taking to the sky, whether a one-hour puddle jumper or a cross-continental expedition, layers are key. Not only does this expand the trip’s future outfit options, but let’s be honest, cabins are cold and those navy blankets are few and far between. A longer statement coat, i.e. a mid-length duster or trench, works as an ideal cover-up and takes the pressure off what you were beneath, whether a casual jumpsuit or a patterned midi skirt. All over patterns are great for planes, and even trains for that matter, since they are less likely to highlight wrinkles in the fabric. Also, a scarf may double as a layer and makeshift pillow if your seatback is giving you trouble. Be sure to keep the jewels and metallic cuffs to a minimum if only to expedite time spent at security checks, though. If a red-eye has you bloodshot and bleary, an oversized pair of sunglasses covers all traces, and upon arrival, those same frames give any look a polished, finished style—even if the static electricity has gotten to your bangs.

travelstyle2.jpg Lucy Folk Sweet N’ Low Sunglasses via TenOverSix, $350

4. By Rail

travelstyle3.jpg Tangled Up Cardigan via Nasty Gal, $68

Although train travel may closer resemble Carrie and Samantha’s classically dismal cross country trip in Sex and the City than the fantastic whimsy of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, there is still a touch of romance when riding the rails. When the lead engine pulls into the station, be sure to grab a window seat and enjoy the sights. Train travel, with its unexpected turns, fast pace and old world allure calls for chunky, soft sweaters made of viscose or cotton. And depending on your sleeping arrangements, maximum coverage, such as high-waisted jeans and longer skirt hems, allows you to feel confident and covered in case you do decide to doze. Slip-on oxfords afford easier balance and let’s be honest, socks or no, loafers give any pair of jeans, athleisurewear or skirt a preppy put-together vibe, so when you do make it to your final stop, with just a hop and a skip to the platform, you are ready to hit the ground running for whatever adventure awaits.

travelstyle4.jpg Patent Loafer via Everlane, $175

3. By Sea

travelstyle5.jpg Amelie Dress via Reformation, $98

Boat outfits are some of the most iconic and by far the quickest way to get your head in the vacation game. Still, there is an art to being boat ready and boat friendly. Ocean, lake or river, the weather can oscillate quickly between a best friend with rays of sunshine and warm southerly breezes to the worst frenemy you know, so chambray shirts are a great way to layer up without being thick and heavy if you get splashed. Boat shoes are an absolute must, not only for your balance on the rocky waves but also to keep the boats deck pristine and your toes splinter free on the docks. Don’t forget a light scarf to wipe the water stains off your sunglasses or used as a cover-up between sunblock applications. And of course, if the weather calls for it, a bathing suit might be a good idea, too!

travelstyle6.jpg Silkandy Giraffe Scarf via Gnossem, $85.02

2. By Road

travelstyle7.jpg Grey Matea Weekender via Zady, $362

The key to a successful road trip is a killer music playlist and the right attire. If your travel calls for unexpected stops and off-road hikes, breathable, easy-going options work best. Oversized basic tees can be dressed up or played down depending on the trip—just make sure you to pack a pair of basic black pants if the city is calling you, or a pair of denim cutoffs to get you from point a to point be at the next turn-off. The perfect weekender bag doubles as a purse and can hold more than the average backpack, making for all the little odds and ends a road trip calls for, i.e. snacks, magazines and phone chargers, easily accessible from the back seat. But either way, no matter where the road takes you, be sure to stretch your legs and keep the blood flowing. No trip needs a dead leg.

travelstyle8.jpg Crop Top via Madewell, $35

1. By Sofa

travelstyle9.jpg Beach Sweat via LNA, $143

Staycations are the absolute perfect time to whip out those cropped fashion sweats and get luxurious while couching it. When a trip’s focus is more about a change to your state of mind rather than a change in locale, wearing what makes you happy and free is key. So if that pair of gold zipped sweatpants has your name on them, get to it. And if you do decide to leave the house, a pair of ankle boots and oversized blazer elevates the look but keeps the vacation brain rolling. Next time you are staying in town and turning off your phone, be sure to grab a pullover, your comfiest bottoms and the most important staycation accessory of all: your latest Netflix obsession.

travelstyle10.jpg Cropped Pullover via Rachel Comey, $276