Intern Post: Alison Travel Wear

Tomorrow afternoon, as soon as I’m relieved of my interning duties, I will be sprinting to Union Station for the Acela up the Northeast Corridor. A lovely weekend outside of the Beltway awaits me, and I can hardly wait. What I can wait for, however, is the second-hand embarrassment I often feel when traveling. Whether train, plane, or automobile, some women just can’t seem to look presentable.  

I get it; there are all sorts of impediments to feeling and looking good. There’s no leg room; the temperature hovers somewhere between Absolute Zero and bitterly frigid; the air will dry out every last drop of moisture from your exposed skin, yet simultaneously force your face to breakout as if you have the Bubonic plague and leave your hair greasier than you thought possible. If you’re flying, you inevitably attempt to smuggle on enough facial moisturizer, body lotion, dry shampoo and lip balm to combat these last ills only to be singled out for a personal screening, which of course leads to your cherished products being thrown in the garbage bin because they’re over 3 oz. or don’t fit in a quart-sized Ziploc bag.

“If I’m going to look like trash anyway,” you think… But no, dear reader, you mustn’t allow yourself to go down that dark and dangerous path of thought. The inconveniences and discomforts of travel are hardly an excuse to let everything else fall apart, and it’s far too many times I have seen otherwise well-dressed women show up at Terminal D in sweatpants, Uggs, and a t-shirt. In fact, I’ve even been that woman… although I was traveling to Nationals with my high school crew team at the tender age of 16, if that makes a difference.

With traveling comes great responsibility, and it’s far too easy to allow yourself the belief that function takes precedent over form when you plan on spending a couple of hours in transit. And this is coming from someone who takes the role of function very seriously.

There are far too many ways to look put-together and be totally comfortable while traveling, so stop fighting it and listen up.

On a plane, you have to be aware of security. Nobody likes the person who takes three years to remove every bangle and belt and absurd shoe, so go easy on the accessories. This is a good rule for traveling in general, though: whether you face TSA or not, you’re simply going to be more comfortable the simlpler you keep things. And remember, you’re going to be freezing at some point and sweating at another, so layers help. I like a comfortable pair of stretch knit pants like these from DvF – no belt required, and no uncomfortable grommeting digging into your back during the flight like jeans.

Diane von Furstenberg Knit Suiting Pants (Saks Fifth Avenue, $245)

 Pair with an interesting top, a cardigan, and, to fight off the mid-flight chills, an oversized scarf or wrap. And don’t forget simple shoes – please no straps, buckles, laces, because you’re only holding me up behind you. I like a pair of ballerina flats.

Short-sleeve Braided Top (Banana Republic, $49.50)

Madewell Oversize Cardigan (ShopBop, $88)

Refined Silk-Cashmere Wrap (J. Crew, $75)


 Studded Faux-Leater Ballet Flats (Old Navy, $17)

Finally, my top trick for staying fresh and looking good while traveling: Boots No. 7 Quick Thinking 4-in-1 Wipes. This fabulous British drugstore brand finally made its way across the pond a couple of years ago and is now sold exclusively at Target. I highly recommend these wipes for cleansing, toning, moisturizing, removing makeup, and generally helping you keep a fresh face during your travels. Still not ready to face the world once you disembark? A big pair of paparazzi-blockers will do the trick, even for the everywoman like you and me.

 Boots No. 7 Quick-Thinking 4-in-1 Wipes (Target, $6.29)

Carrie Sunglasses (Fred Flare, $11)



    leave a comment

  1. Allison says:

    I like the outfit, although knit pants scare me. You have to a. be thin/fit enough that I am not seeing any gross rolls etc through those things (Sorry to be harsh, but stretch fabric is a privelidge not a right) b. wearing appropriate underwear and c. wearing knit PANTS not the leggings that are thin and become see through when stetched. We have all stood behind the square bottomed women with floral granny panties under her stretched out (and now see through) leggings. cringe. I think a good rule of thumb is to always wearing a shirt/tunic that covers your bum when you are wearing pants that are not knit or legging-ish.

    August 13, 2010/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    • that are knit or legging-ish
    August 13, 2010/Reply
  3. Leila says:

    Fabulous post! I have to admit that I tend to let my fashion/style standards go by the way side when I am traveling. This outfit is fairly easy to put together and for the most part I already have all of those items of clothing. Allison–amen, sister! Shirts long enough to cover the booty are a must when wearing leggings, which I think I;d wear over the knit pants which I dont think are flattering and of course I can't afford the DvF ones in this post.

    August 13, 2010/Reply
  4. Bethany says:

    Im wearing almost exactly what you put on my flight to Boston this evening from D.C. ­čÖé

    August 13, 2010/Reply
  5. Hillicious says:

    Do you still row?

    August 13, 2010/Reply
  6. Suburban Sweetheart says:

    Ah, yes, I always travel in my $250 pants & good cashmere scarf. Quite practical for hours spent sitting.

    August 13, 2010/Reply
  7. J says:

    This made me laugh…I definitely get you on the Bubonic plague. Traveling a few weeks ago wreaked the worst type of havoc on my face. Totally love the sunglasses!

    August 14, 2010/Reply
  8. Rory says:

    I love Boots! They seem to discontinue their stuff fast, though. I swear I go back to get something a month or so later, it's no longer there.

    August 14, 2010/Reply
  9. Maggie says:

    Amen to the woes of wearing jeans on the plane! I wore a similar outfit to the one shown on my last flight, except I went with a pair of “jeggings” (I shopped around to get a pair in a more substantial fabric – I'm afraid of leggings, too), paired with ballet flats, a tunic and a wrap/scarf.

    August 17, 2010/Reply
  10. J Bird says:

    Great looks! You did the perfect job of varying price points throughout the pieces, although the dvf's are way high for black leggings, even in a 10th Commandment post. The glass are my favorite part! Bravo.

    August 17, 2010/Reply
  11. Andrea says:

    Thank you! I hated it in college when people rolled out of bed in sweats and wore them to class. But it was college, you are in your own little world there. But the airport frumps have always brought out the worst of my ' I am silently judging you right now' tendencies. I get it, you're on a long flight and you want to be comfortable but were the fuzzy slippers really necessary to highlight your printed pajama pants?

    August 17, 2010/Reply