As a person whose home is a 15-hour flight away, I have an optimized list of exactly what I need in order to make my frequent long hauls less strenuous. Noise-cancelling headphones? Packed. Meditation programs? Downloaded. Travel pillow? Already on my neck. But for the longest time, I struggled to stay warm in freezing airplane cabins. I would bundle up in thick jogger pants and a warm hoodie but still shiver, or I would bring a thick blanket scarf that created so much static in the dry and cold cabin that I kept accidentally zapping my fellow passengers.
After too many frigid flights where I would timidly ask the flight attendants for extra blankets (and usually get rejected), I went on the hunt for an additional layer to wear under my hoodie and joggers. My plan was to find something tight and thin that would fit under my clothes comfortably, but also something with thermal insulation that would team up with my hoodie to keep me warm.
So when I came across this thin microfiber top-and-bottom set lined with fleece and designed for optimal heat insulation on Amazon, I added it to my shopping cart without hesitation. What attracted me most to this thermal fleece set was the number of glowing reviews praising its thin, soft material; most reviewers also described it as an easy fit under clothes. When I left my apartment wearing the set in preparation to board a flight back home to Taiwan last December, I was pleasantly surprised that I was already warm. It was a cold winter day in New York City with temperatures in the mid-30s, but as I waited on the sidewalk for my Uber to the airport, I was sweating a little under my coat. However, the fleece top wicked away moisture well enough that I wasn’t itching to take the thermals off.
When I got on the predictably freezing plane, I didn’t shiver as much as I usually would; passengers around me took out scarves, hand warmers, and thick woolen socks. I put on the airline blanket and fell asleep shortly after the pilot dimmed the cabin lights, feeling just as cozy as I would at home in my own bed, and when I landed many, many hours later, I walked out of the airport terminal fully satisfied that I had my solution to staying warm on my frequent (and frequently frosty) flights.
One year out and many wears later – I’ve never flown without the thermal fleece-lined set under my airport outfit since then – each piece has yet to lose its original shape and softness. And with winter soon upon us again, I expect to be wearing it under my everyday outfits as well.
To buy: amazon.com, $18