0 soft pant options for wearing on a flight when travelling overseas

10 soft pant options for wearing on a flight when travelling overseas

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, Travel 28 Comments

The power of a soft pant can never be underestimated. Never, I tell you.

A comfortable pant arrangement is the ultimate for lounging at home or a casual out-of-the-home look but when it comes to travelling on an international flight, there simply is no better solution than styling up a soft pant.

Soft pant options for wearing on a flight are numerous. There are leggings, ponte pants, fancy tracksuit pants, drop-crotch pants, pleated modal pants, linen pants and cotton mix pants.

The fabric and style you choose will in part depend on your travel destination and how long you’ll be in the air or in transit. A personal preference for a particular style will also come into play.

The key common denominator in choosing a soft pant for flying is the comfort factor. It must be as high as the altitude you’re flying.

Most of us are squishing into a confined space for the duration. You don’t want to be fiddling about with how your pant might be sitting. And you don’t want uncomfortable zips and buttons digging into any part of you.

If you’re prone to swelling like I am then you want pants that adjust to said swelling. And you might want to wear compression tights underneath. I usually make do with just compression socks but am contemplating the full tight for our next long-haul trip.

The longer the flight, the more likely you’re going to feel the cold. Me? I can feel it on a two-hour flight. HAH. So even if I’m travelling to a warm/hot destination I’ll often wear long pants. The weight of the fabric in these may be lighter than if I were travelling long-haul and to a cooler destination but they will be pants all the same.

I’ve toyed with the idea of wearing a t-shirt dress but seem to always revert to the soft pant. Maybe a t-shirt dress and leggings would be a good compromise? Then you could remove the leggings at your (warm) destination. 

The below 10 soft pant options for wearing on a flight offer something for most travelling Stylers.

10 soft pant options for wearing on a flight

0 soft pant options for wearing on a flight when travelling overseas | Styling You

1. Metalicus leggings $129.95 (leggings – like these and #2 and #3 – CAN be pants on a flight. Just wear a top that covers front and back bottoms)

2. Katies ponte pant $34.97 on sale (thicker than a normal legging weight, I like this style for long travel)

3. O2 Bamboo leggings $39.95 (lighter in weight than ponte, these are great for shorter flights or worn with a t-shirt dress)

4. wYse pleated pant $165 (the modal is these is super soft – you feel like you’re wearing pjs)

5. Sussan textured ponte jogger $89.95 (stepping into fancy tracky territory here. Great if you prefer a non-leggings look but still seek comfort)

6. Bohemian Traders drop crotch pant $139 (drop crotch pants may be polarising but there is so much to be said for their comfort. Keep your top half streamlined to balance out)

7. Bird Keepers chambray pant $69.95 (this lightweight fabric will serve you well onboard as well as at your mild weather destination)

8. Betty Basics pant $29.95 (when a tracky pant looks this good for this less you know you’re on to a winner)

9. Mela Purdie boot pant $309 (need to arrive at your destination looking pristine and ready for business? These are the pants for you. Comfort plus uncrushable style guaranteed)

10. Adrift cropped linen pant $89.99 (if heading to a tropical destination these are the pants for you so that you remain cool on arrival)

What to wear with your soft pant on a flight

It’s all in the layers. I start with a t-shirt or long-sleeve tee and then add a cashmere wrap or scarf and a jacket or cardi. The jacket is mostly for when disembarking as the wrap will provide the warmth in flight. If the scarf or wrap is patterned or dark in colour I find it hides all manner of inflight meal spills. Please tell me, I’m nto alone here in my inability to eat with coordination from a small tray?

On my feet, I wear FRANKiE4 Footwear sneakers. The NAT sneakers I can wear without laces because they have a gusseted tongue. They are easy to get on and off if required at security checkpoints. Bag-wise, I’ll follow the guide I wrote here.

So tell me, what do you wear on an international flight? Are you a fan of the soft pant? What style do you like best to wear?

PS. There are more how-to-pack tips, tricks and ideas in my new e-book: Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer 



Nikki Parkinson from Styling You’s latest e-book, Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer (How to Plan For Your Next Escape), has you sorted on the dreaded “what to pack” question for your next trip.

What you’ll find in the 51-page e-book:

  • Simple tips to help you plan and pack for any travel destination or situation.
  • What clothing, footwear and accessories should take up the most space in your suitcase?
  • How to minimise your essential beauty product kit.
  • Which extras should you invest in to make your trip away less stressful.
  • Specific capsule travel wardrobe advice and examples for multiple destinations.
  • Advice for domestic getaways – weekends away, a beach holiday, road trips and conferences.
  • Advice for international getaways – northern hemisphere spring, summer, autumn, winter, tropical and sub-tropical island destinations.
  • Advice for what to wear on a flight – short and long haul.
  • Why travel insurance is as essential as your passport.
  • A printable checklist to help you pack and plan your next trip.

For more information, visit HERE.

  • RachelinOz

    Massive fan of soft trousers for travel days (actually – everyday, year round in Qld). I have the Betty basics in black and love them. Just bought a navy linen/viscose pair from M&S and like them so much I think I will get the lighter blue too. Guilt free at $30! M&S seem to have a few versions in both tapered and straight leg styles, printed and plain, and for the price they’re a good way to try if you’re not sure if you would wear them as often as I do. Repurpose as pjs if they’re too casual for out and about, in Europe for example. Bonus – these all go up to a UK 22 (AU20), some to UK28.
    I’m very tempted by the wYse trousers, love that pattern!
    For a cooler weather option, how about these? http://www.winserlondon.com/winser-london-sale/casual-luxe-lounge-pants.html
    Thanks Nikki for keeping it real. Jeans just don’t work for 30+ hour travel ‘days’ but being comfy on a flight does not mean sloppily dressed!

  • Lesley Harrison

    I have a pair of super soft and super stretchy Rockmans black jeans (last year) that are just like wearing leggings, jeggings,tights, but look so much smarter if not petite.Layers on the top and i have Arcopedico black ankle boots – unbelievably light, smart and comfortable for endless walking (best thing I have bought for ages). Jeans and boots both super versatile for endless wearing 3 months in Europe.

  • Emma

    Definitely a tshirt dress, legging, scarf, cardi/soft jacket and slip on shoes for any length flights! Mix and match depending on leaving, arrival and inflight temps. Always throw in a pair if sock for the plane too.

  • Cindi

    Last time I flew I tried the tshirt dress with leggings option. It was great as it was cool when we left here, but warm at our destination. I was able to slip off my leggings on the plane before landing, and be ready for the warm weather. The leggings also kept me warm onboard the plane. Slip on shoes, a light cardi and a big scarf to use as a blanket completed my outfit. Lots of scrolling on Pinterest helped me decide, but now I have your fabulous travel guide – thanks Nikki!

  • Amanda Garven

    I love a soft pant and also a t shirt dress for travel. I have the Susan pontes and also the O bamboo leggings. They are both fantastic. I have just bought these ones from Rockmans, they are in store now and very comfy. Also look a little dressy but feel like trackpants! Perfect travel or round the house pants!


    also these are similar, different at bottom of leg and no zippers.


  • Metalicus have been my go to for all my recent trips but I am eyeing of those wYse ones for my upcoming trip to Paris (accompanied by my recent purchase of Frankie4 NAT sneakers!)

  • Tali

    I love Uniqlo jeans leggings for flights, super comfortable and stretchy and look good even after 14 hours on air.

  • Maria

    My travel is usually shorthaul to GC from here in Wellington, so I prefer to wear plain black cotton leggings or black yoga pants from MAX Fashions. I wear the latter with a black peep toe flat with bling from Ziera brand. I have a black s/s soft top that works with the yoga pants , also from MAX;s with silver stud design which dresses it up a little.But also wear a couple of other longer tops that work too. WE take just carry on and now our eldest son who meets us ,says we look like relaxed seasoned travellers 🙂

  • Bree Dixon

    I wear Ponte Pants that I purchased from Suzanne Grae…or my bamboo pants that I purchased from The Ecco Store in Albury. So comfy for very long flights.

  • Your timing is spot on – I’m flying to the UK next month and no matter how many times I do it, it always feels like the flight that never ends. I’ve got some Katies jeggings that I love the extra comfort of the soft pant option. I feel some pre flight shopping coming on! And as for those in flight spills, I don’t think I’ve ever come off a plane spill-less!

    • It does always feel like a forever flight Sammie … good luck and save travels!

  • merilyn

    thanks nikki!
    always on the job!
    I live in pants and have every variety available! … depending on the mood of the moment and or occasion!
    I usually wear a light ponte on a flight as it has the stretch and give whilst traveling!
    definitely a flat easy to remove shoe or ankle boot!
    I thought I was the only one managing to drop stuff all over me! … mr m too!;))
    oh dear! at least we are not alone hun!
    have a good one! much love m:)X

  • Kathryn

    Great post Nikki. I’m a fan of soft pants on a long flight, I have a great pair from Metalicus that I’ve worn the last few times. Loose draped style, not snug. And yes – layering! Dresses can be good. Buttons and zips kill comfort when you’re sitting for a long time. I’m heading to Cairns today……in a loose cotton frock and a scarf.

    • Happy travels – I’m off to Melbourne – same outfit as it’s actually hot!

  • Miss Chardy

    I really do need to get on board the soft pant movement – always late to the party!!!!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Love a soft pant Nikki all these are great Xx

  • Kathryn

    Hi Nikki, love these ideas. I get cold on even short flights so always take something to cover me up. I always spill the food, always. A patterned scarf is my must have to catch or cover. Comfy shoes and I am set. Have a good hump day x