The perfect airport outfit—that ever-elusive blend of coziness and style—can be tricky. Luckily, GQ‘s Best Stuff has compiled a definitive checklist to help take the guesswork out of getting dressed for takeoff.
Around these parts, we follow celebrities and their approach to airport dressing very closely. The thinking there is that these are people practically travel for a living, so they must know a thing or two about looking good from baggage check to baggage claim. And thanks to our meticulous studies, we’ve reached ninja levels of mastery when it comes to the very important, very specific genre of airport dressing. Well, we’re taking what we’ve learned and distilling it down to its essence. This 9-item checklist of go-to’s is everything you’ll need to travel in comfort and style—just make sure you’ve got your passport.
The Updated Bad Boy Staple
Closed leather Jacket
With its ribbed cuffs and hem, it’s quilted interior, it’s zip front and shearling collar, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better wear-everywhere, goes-with-everything jacket. It’s one-part rockstar, one-part road warrior, but still 100% sophisticated. It’s the perfect outer layer to keep you warm and add a bit of dressed-up energy to your outfit, and can easily pair with a variety of personal aesthetics, from swaggy streetwear enthusiasts to more traditional dressers.
The Mid-Weight Must-Have
Helmet Lang denim jacket
Dressing in layers is the key to getting through winter. Strip off and pile on what you need when you need it as temps dip and rise throughout the day. This theory is even more relevant while traveling, where you can easily go from freezing to boiling and back again while you’re up in the air. A denim jacket is the perfect mid-weight layer, and this worn-in, faded version from Helmut Lang is offhandedly cool and undeniably utilitarian.
The Cozy Boy Standby
John Elliott “Hooded Villain” sweatshirt
We’ve already alerted you to the fact that John Elliott’s raglan sleeve hoodie is pretty much the best hoodie out there. It’s soft and cozy but also has enough attitude to turn heads, in the right way. It’s another perfect mid layer (wedged between your tee and your jacket) that provides warmth and comfort and packs a lot of streetwear swagger. It’s casual but, thanks to Elliott’s top-tier engineering, it doesn’t look like you’ve rolled up in last night’s pajamas.
The Timeless Take on the Modern Carry-On
Hugo Boss Weekender bag
A word of advice: unless you absolutely have to, try to fit everything into a carry-on. Something sleek and sophisticated, minimalist but not boring. Something like this bag, a hybrid of a classic duffel and a throwback doctor’s medicine bag, making it both modern and timeless. It has just enough room for your to stash a few days worth of sick outfits—i.e. the Goldilocks “just right” size—but packaged in a versatile and elegant exterior that’s understated but eye-catching.
The Carry-Everything Pants
Presidents “Mission” trouser
Every man’s mantra, before he leaves his house, should be: keys, phone, wallet. Now you’ll have a place for that essential trio and room for much more, thanks to these multi-pocketed but not-too-baggy cargo pants. They’re perfectly on-trend and tricked out with pockets for the extra stash of accoutrement that become so important while hitting the plane, like headphones and chargers, a snack and place to stow away your boarding pass. It can all be hidden from view in these stylish, slouchy-but-not-sloppy casual pants.
The Always Stylish, Always Comfy Sneaker
Vans “98 DX Anaheim Factory” slip-ons
Don’t be the guy at the security line holding things up by untying his chunky boots. Come prepared and wear an easy-off pair of slip-on shoes. Luckily for you, this no-brainer style is currently trending, meaning a ton of brands have a pair of laceless sneaker for you to slide in and out of with no fuss. Naturally, we like the originals from the Cali surf/skate brand Vans, who can do no wrong in our eyes. An added bonus? You can slide them off once you’ve reached 30,000 feet, no problem.
The Sweaters-For-Your-Feet Socks
Anonymous ism socks
Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact, and when you’re traveling, that can make all the difference. For instance, a nubby pair of socks can be just the thing to make a trip in a plane feel a little bit closer to chilling at home on your couch. And with a marled, textured pair from a Japanese brand with serious sock credentials, you’ll get that homey feel delivered in superior style. Just make sure you have some good Netflix shows queued up, and a couple hours in the air can feel like your average weekend binge-fest.
The Laptop Bag With Sexy Vibes
Incase laptop case
With twenty years of experience, this California-based brand has cornered the market on streamlined, functional accessories for your computer. This matte black carrying case features a lined interior and a minimalist aesthetic that mirrors the minimalist-chic aesthetic popularized by Silicon Valley locals (think of this as a pair of Common Projects for your laptop). It’s an instant way to say you’re in-the-know without being showy about it.
The Minimalist’s Must-Have Earphones
Master & Dynamic “MW60” Wireless Over Ear Headphones
Your tech toys should be tricked out with all the bells and whistles, but that doesn’t mean they should be ostentatious in their design. These over-ear headphones are just that. And as you’re dealing with crowded airport lines and waits for delayed flights, these are the perfect thing to slip on and create your own aural bubble—to help you catch up on some podcasts or listen to some of 2017’s hottest tunes—and distance you from the airport hubbub around you.
The Skin Saving Salve
Anthony Logistics hand cream
One thing about holiday traveling that’s not always immediately noticeable is that it’s incredibly taxing on your skin. From winter’s moisture-zapping chill to the dehydrating act of sitting in a plane for hours, you need to keep your whole body fully moisturized. And while that definitely means chugging water, for your skin that means slathering on some nice nourishing cream. Anthony Logistics does just that, packing a wallop of moisture into a lightweight cream packaged in an attractive, masculine tube. Looking good is great, but, let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter if you have cracked, dry hands.