Vacation season is here, and with it comes the question: What to pack? But before you start stuffing your suitcase, let’s not forget those all-important airport outfits. Of course you want to be cute and comfy, but it’’ also worth thinking about what can save you time—and thus some nerves—at TSA.
So here are six no-gos for your airport outfit to have the easiest journey. Safe travels!
1. Oversized fashion
Sure, maxiskirts and dresses, hoodies, and loose jackets and/or pants are comfortable, especially for long-haul flights. However, they can lead to longer checks by security because they make it easier to hide stuff. Oversized sweatshirts or jackets usually need to be taken off before you go through a scanner, which can take up valuable time if you’re in a hurry to get to your gate.
Try: Either stow your big sweater in your carry-on luggage and take it out on the plane, or wear sweatshirts, tops, and pants with an elastic waistband or high-stretch content that’s comfortable but relatively close-fitting.
2. Shoes with metal details, thick soles, and laces
At most airports, security is strict about shoes—especially styles with chunky soles that could theoretically hide items or high-top sneakers that cover the ankle. Metal details such as studs or buckles also often set off the alarm. You’ll often be asked to take these shoes off, which can be extremely annoying and time-consuming, especially if they’re lace-ups.
Try: Simple loafers, ballerinas, espadrilles, or slip-on sneakers without laces are much faster to put on and take off. Best case scenario: You don’t even have to take them off with TSA PreCheck.
3. Too many hair accessories
It’s better to leave elaborate hairdos for your destination. A style with lots of metal—like clips or barrettes—can set off the detectors at the security check. You might even be asked to remove them, which can be laborious and take up a lot of time.
Try: Keep your hair down at the security check or in a loose ponytail.
4. Clothes with lots of pockets or details
Thanks to their many pockets, army and cargo pants are definitely practical for traveling—but less suitable for flying: The many zippers and metal details can quickly set off an alarm, and it’s easy to forget to remove all items (e.g. lighters) from the pockets.
Try: Sweat or track pants are also comfortable options when it comes to airport outfits, and they have fewer pockets and details.
5. Lots of jewelry
Do you love statement pieces? Sorry, but you should do without them on the plane. Rings, necklaces, bracelets, and large earrings made of silver, gold, or other metals can set off the alarms at the security check and then have to be removed. Again, that takes away time that could be spent getting a snack or drink before you reach your gate.
Try: If you don’t want to do without your jewelry, consider wearing accessories made of plastic or non-metal materials. Otherwise, simply put your jewelry back on when you arrive at your destination.
6. Too much perfume
Admittedly, this tip won’t really save you any time, but could save you some headaches. Because when long lines form at security during the vacation season, the air can get stale. If several different fragrances are mixed, you might start feeling unwell—and the long line, as well as your flight, quickly turns into an ordeal.