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The Anatomy of an Airport Outfit

Based on the LAX celebrity parade, our definitive guide.

As frequent flyers, we like to think we’ve got the airport outfit down to a science (it only takes one studded moto jacket incident to learn the hard way what constitutes a “weapon”). But we’re only human, and whenever we spot a well-heeled jetsetter on the cover of US Weekly—fine, page 76 of US Weekly. It’s a weakness—we can’t help but think we could step up our tarmac-dressing game.

With a little guidance from stylist Cher Coulter, we broke down the travel outfit into three extremely scientific categories: The Model, The Movie Star, and The Jetsetter. But there are certain rules that apply to elevating any airport outfit (pun always intended).

“I prefer to avoid a ridiculously high heel, opting instead for a low heel, structured boot, or sneaker,” says Coulter. “I love to pair with a great warm sweater, as being wrapped up is the ultimate comfort. A pair of shades to hide tired eyes are a plus, as are layers as you may be traveling from warm to cold environments, or vice versa.”

Here’s our prescription for styling the don’t-look-at-me-I’m-famous LAX ensemble. (Not that we’ll be adopting the oh-so-incognito formula of ball cap + indoor sunglasses + entourage of suspiciously large gentlemen anytime soon. But you get the gist.)

 


 

The Model

If anyone knows how to rock a sweatpant in public, it’s the model-off-duty set. Take a page from the Book of Delevingne and opt for drop-crotch joggers instead of skinny jeans, or tuck a Radarte sweatshirt under a buttery leather moto jacket for maximum cozy, à la Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Just add over-ear headphones, airplane emojis and cryptic destination clues (“I’m in love with the Caicos”).

 


 

The Movie Star

In an effort to mask such airport essentials as bed head and yesterday’s eyeliner, we’ve already adopted the quintessential celebrity wide-brim-hat-and-sunnies uniform. But to taking the look to Vanessa Hudgens heights requires an embellished ankle boot, slice n’ diced denim and an oversized fur coat—or, if you’re feeling more Margot Robbie, the classic brogues + a Breton stripe + knee-grazing trench is failsafe back up.

 


 

The Jetsetter

…As in the freaks of nature seemingly unfazed by pulling a 60-pound suitcase in six inch heels (we pity the poor airport employee who has to ask Kim K to pad barefoot through the metal detector). The Kardashian-Beckham-Kerrs tend to opt for monochrome ensembles, turtlenecks, and the token Louis Vuitton roller for good measure. Top off with a cashmere toque (Google that Canadianism) and a leather Céline of questionable overhead-compartment proportions and you’ll have the paparazzi shouting various names beginning with K in your direction (the dream, right?).

 

—Chelsey Burnside

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