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Even though Covid and flu season are here, I have a couple of US trips on my travel agenda this fall, and other than my N95 mask, I’m thinking about what to wear. Travelling is hard work, and I want to make it as easy as I can which means only packing clothes I know I will wear. No “I’ll pack this just in case.” Just surefire essentials that will fit into one carryon suitcase and one personal carryon item which is either a tote or a medium size duffle bag.

Here are some suggestions for what to pack that you can also wear on the plane.

If your style is elevated casual, a great way to look pulled together is to keep your travel colors (carryon luggage and tote included) to a minimum with neutral colors like grey, black, navy, brown and white. Not a “Rainbow Brite” mixture of pink, red, yellow, blue and green. On long flights I wear nice-looking, relaxed fit pants with elastic in the waist. Nothing sloppy that looks like you’ve been working in the yard. I know you don’t do that, but we’ve all seen women who do. On shorter flights, I might wear black pants I can wear again during my trip or Spanx, black, faux leather leggings. They’re smart and more upscale looking than fabric leggings, plus they act as a compression garment for our legs when we fly. 

Since airports and planes are often cold, and both of my upcoming trips are in parts of the country that don’t see extreme weather in the fall, layering makes the most sense, starting with a long sweater or blazer that will cover my backside, especially if I’m wearing leggings.

I ordered this longer Palmer Tweed Blazer from Banana Republic. You know how I’ve fallen in love with the new Banana Republic. Their recent rebranding features the iconic styles and high-quality fabric that have defined the brand since its beginning, 45 years ago. 

A wrap or a long duster would also be perfect to wear over pants or leggings. For the flight, I would add a long-sleeved cotton tee or lightweight sweater underneath and a couple of simple, gold, necklaces of varying lengths that TSA won’t make you remove. Later you could pair the same outerwear and dark pants or faux leather leggings with a crisp, long-sleeved white shirt. Fold back the cuffs, add a statement necklace, and you have a great look for dinner at a nice restaurant. 

The most important piece of our travel wardrobe is shoes. I continue to be amazed at how many women decide to wear their new shoes while they’re traveling and wind up with blisters for the rest of the trip. 

TIP: If you want to wear your new shoes, make sure you break them in by wearing them around the house with a thick pair of cotton socks every day for a week.

I never thought I’d stop wearing heels or fall in love with low top sneakers (not trainers or tennis shoes), but I’ve done both, and it’s made all the difference in how I think about putting an outfit together. I still want to be fashionable, so my sneakers often have a touch of something that makes them look more elevated as well. I love my white, Ralph Lauren sneakers with a discrete hint of gold.

For my trips this fall, I’ve ordered this black and white Elliot sneaker from The Office of Angela Scott.

If you don’t know this fabulous, elevated, California-based brand then let me introduce you. This shoe makes me think of saddle shoes, and the black areas are suede and the shoes have a removable insole. They also come in rust and white. Their shoes are expensive, but unlike anything else you’ll ever find. The Elliot sneaker and the Palmer Tweed Blazer are my only new purchases for the rest of the year, so I can justify it. You’ve heard me say it before, but quality over quantity is how I’ve built a great wardrobe over the years. 

I’m still wearing classic pieces I bought 30 years ago.

If you want an option other than sneakers, ballet flats are in style. Unfortunately, they don’t give me the support I need to keep the bottom of my feet from hurting, but for those of you who can comfortably wear flats, here are some great options.

The last thing you’ll need is a sturdy black tote that will fit over the handle of your carryon luggage. Make sure you buy a tote that’s lightweight, so it doesn’t become a burden when you add a book, your iPad, maybe a makeup case, toiletries, and a small purse.

Happy trails, my friends! I hope this great fall wardrobe for women over 50 was helpful.

FYI, I’m not compensated by any of the brands I mention, however sometimes I receive a small commission on the sale of a few items. Think pennies, not dollars.

Love, Brenda


  • Arlo September 16, 2023 at 8:43 am

    Brenda I love your choices for sneakers. Think that’s where I’m going wrong. I buy tennis shoes and they always look clunky on my feet. You also say low top sneakers. I need to make sure I know the difference. Do you mean there are high tops like the kids wear?

    • 1010ParkPlace September 17, 2023 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Arlo, I know what you mean. Tennis shoes make my feet look humongous. Sneakers come in several different styles and yes, they can have high tops like the kids wear, but you probably want low tops and ones that don’t have such big soles. Look for ones that have insoles you can remove. If you have a custom insole, you can put yours in instead. xoxox, Brenda

  • Annie Mirth September 16, 2023 at 9:12 am

    You’re better at thinking through what goes with what than I am. That’s why I over pack. I get frustrated and just dump everything that I could possibly need in and there’s no way I can make one carryon work with this approach.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 17, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I get that, Annie. I think it takes practice. Have you tried putting outfits together and laying them out on your bed? That way you can see what else a top or pair of pants will go with and what shoes and accessories you need. I think it might help. Good luck! Brenda

  • Susan September 16, 2023 at 10:04 am


  • Susanne September 16, 2023 at 12:01 pm

    You have such great style Brenda! I always enjoy what you wear and your choices.,Thise black and white sneakers are the bomb!

    • 1010ParkPlace September 17, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you, Susanne. Aren’t they great? I ordered two pairs so I’m hoping one of them will fit my super narrow feet. Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment. Brenda

  • sharon September 16, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    I love the shoe line called AGL, Italian and pricey but sooo good looking! Love your blog and especially like the travel tips.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 17, 2023 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Sharon! Glad you like my blog. Thank you for letting me know and thanks for sharing the AGL line. I didn’t know about them, but they’re very good looking and run the gamut from fashion forward to conservative. I’ll keep my eye on them because they’re great! xoxox, Brenda

  • Colleen September 16, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Brenda,

    Your Banana Republic blazer is perfect. I always feel pulled together wearing a blazer. Like you, I have many old classic pieces in my closet. Please stay healthy on your trips and write about them later on the blog.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 17, 2023 at 3:42 pm

      Hi sweet lady! How are you? I always love seeing you here. You’re going to like my upcoming trips because with each one I’ve been invited to do something special. I won’t tell you any more about them, but rest assured I’ll share them with you. Thanks! xoxox, Brenda

  • Marci Carter September 16, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    I’m always shocked when I see women over 50 who are dressed badly when they travel. It’s almost like the younger set are the fashionistas and our older crowd have stopped trying. Thank you for being a bright light in steering us in the right direction.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 18, 2023 at 9:23 am

      I’m inclined to agree with you, Marci. I’m shocked at the percentage of women over 50 who either don’t care how they look or don’t know how to put themselves together. I wonder if their self esteem is in the bottom of the barrel? Brenda

  • Sharon September 16, 2023 at 4:30 pm

    Women over 50 wearing ripped jeans and hats on the back of their heads. They’re trying too hard to look young and it just doesn’t work.

    • 1010ParkPlace September 18, 2023 at 9:28 am

      LOL! Yes! Remember when we would have been too embarrassed to wear jeans with a hole in them? And the hats on the back of the head… For starters, they don’t protect our face and neck from the sun. I understand that every generation wants to put their stamp on things, but that doesn’t mean we should follow them. xoxox, Brenda

  • Josephine Floyd September 16, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    You send like me with my packing , we always take a medium size suitcase each to France for 3 months most years.
    No wheel on just a handbag for my iPad and lipstick .
    Now we re older ,gliding through 80 we keep the weight of each suitcase down to 15 kg. I am always complimented on clothes and can mix and match differently each day . Of course there are then the purchases which require buying another bag for the journey home.
    Thankyou for your great blogs I always read them with great enjoyment , cheers Jo

  • 1010ParkPlace September 18, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Hi Jo! Your strength and zest for life inspire me! Seriously! It’s so easy to get conservative with the things we do and withdraw from life as we get older, but you’re doing the opposite. I’ve said this before, but I wish we lived closer to one another. We’d be fast friends. xoxox, Brenda

  • Jeanne September 22, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Hi, I always enjoy your blog.. I wish I could just manage a carry on but I have a bulky C-pap machine plus mask and hose. They take up about a quarter of my carry on. I think you use an C-pap, too? If so, how do you manage that?
    I just returned from the east coast where I sweated in one location for several days and then visited the mountains and I was quite cold in the other location. Always challenging to pack during shoulder season, the weather is usually unpredictable. I did overpack but not too much. I use the Eagle Creek board packing system and it works well for me.
    I wore a sweater coat on the plane, knit top & silver Josef Seibel low tops. I recently bought a pair of comfy jeans @ J Jill that were almost like a pj jean! Where have these been all my life? They looked great and kept their shape after many wearings. I wore them cuffed or you could wear them longer. My husband even commented positively about them (unusual)!
    Toiletries are challenging for me even though I decant stuff into small containers. Makeup items take up space & I haven’t found a really good set of makeup brushes so I take full size ones.
    I’m looking forward to hearing about your trip and what you actually wore.

  • Sandra Sallin September 30, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    Great ideas Brenda. I’ll be going to Israel and I’ll be both in the desert and Jerusalem. So I need it all. Love your ideas. Wonderful taste.

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