(Yes, that title is probably the most painful pun of the century. No, I'm not sorry ;) )
Let me clear up something for you right now. I hate flying. I love traveling - seeing new things, eating new food, learning about history/social differences/cultures in other countries and sneaking closer to people so I can listen to their accents... But I hate flying. Once you've done the St. Louis to Auckland circuit a few times - which if you get good flights is still a 4 hours in a small tin can followed by 13 hours in an overlarge, very cold tin can (not to mention you have to go through security twice and usually after running through the airport so you're nice and sweaty), and the last time I did that I had a 9 hour layover in LA - I guess the novelty wears off.
I have a hard time with temperature regulation, my 6' and leggy self does not lend comfort to economy airplane seating nor my wallet to first class, and I have just enough social anxiety to keep me from asking the person next to me to move just so I can take a lap and stretch my legs. I could actually probably write an entire blog post on the list of things I don't like about airplanes, but you're probably not here for that...
I think everything I hate about plane travel probably boils down to one word: uncomfortable. There's a lot about the whole situation that's uncomfortable, and clothes should not be on that list. To that end I have created what is, for me, the ultimate tried-and-tested long-haul travel outfit - and it's head to toe me-made!*
*Shoes. I need to learn to make shoes.
A few of these things haven't made it to the blog on their own yet, and a few you've seen before - but I thought I'd put it all together in one place! I wore this outfit for the long haul flight in both directions on our trip back to visit my parents this year, and it was everything I wanted in a travel outfit. In its entirety, it consists of the following:
Merino T-Shirt, merino joggers, lightweight merino layering cardigan with the big pockets, handknit socks, merino wireless bralette, and merino undies.
I also brought along my freshly-finished and yet-unblogged Snoqualmie to be used either as the deliciously warm cardigan that she is, or as a pillow in case of naps.
The key here is in the layering - I'm travelling from the hottest part of the year to the coldest part of the year, and trying to maintain feeling in my fingers and toes despite the evil masterminds at Boeing deciding to make the thermostat on a 747 go all the way down to 'arctic tundra'. I designed this outfit with that in mind, right down to the details on the individual garments. The cuffs of the cardigan are extra long so I can pull them down over my hands, but the cardigan is lightweight enough that it's not unbearable if I'm warm. The pant cuffs are also long enough that they cover my ankles even when I curl my legs up, and I included a drawstring to tie as well as the elastic, as well as zipper pockets to prevent things falling out (or getting stolen). The pants can be worn at waist- or hip- height. The shirt's long and just a bit loose in the body, and the bra is my new wireless draft in merino for extra comfort.
Pinterest has a plethora of suggestions on what the 'perfect long haul travel outfit' consists of (A lot of brand-name bags, weird floaty scarves, and those neck pillows you see precariously tethered to articles of luggage as people run to catch their flights through crowded halls) and although some of them looked like they were written by people who've never flown a mile in economy class in their lives, there are a few good tips. Of course, it'll depend on where you're going (the weather and your plans when you get there) and your personal opinions on whether 'leggings' and 'pants' are interchangeable concepts, but generally, as long as it's comfortable then you'll be comfortable and that's kind of the whole point.
So far, I've worn this outfit from Auckland to St. Louis and back, and from Auckland to Queenstown and back, and it has served its purpose beautifully. I'm not sure whether I'll keep the cardigan at its current length - it's great for travel, but it feels a bit oversized for regular daywear so I'm feeling a bit torn. It's not like I live the jet set life every weekend, and my road trip outfit requirements are different than my airplane ones too. I am, however, really excited to share the details of my wireless bralette in a coming-soon post, along with the canvas backpack you may spy in some of the photos!
As for what's in the bag - well, let's just say as long as there's a knitting project and a backup knitting project in there, I'll be a happy camper.
Sewing with knits is always quick win for comfortable clothes, and I'm pretty happy with the amount of wear that this entire outfit has gotten - not only as an outfit, but as components of other outfits. Do you have a favorite travel outfit, or required items in your carry-on?