Pond LA Essential Hoodie
Credit: Courtesy of Pond Los Angeles

Why This Hoodie With a Hidden Feature Has Become My Go-to Outfit for Flying

You won't want to take it off even after you land.
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If such a thing as the perfect plane uniform exists, I have found it. Comfortable, stylish, and functional, the Essential Hoodie from Pond Los Angeles is "the one" — the one sweatshirt I will bring with me on all my flights from now on. 

There are different schools of thought when it comes to travel outfits: Do you give in to wearing the most comfortable clothing possible in transit? Or choose a put-together ensemble that allows you to jet straight from the airport to sightseeing and other post-flight activities? With the Essential Hoodie, you don't have to choose — you can do both. The tunic-length, oversized fit is perfect for wearing over leggings or joggers for maximum comfort, but also looks great over a pair of jeans or even dressed up with a dress or skirt. 

Pond LA Essential Hoodie
Credit: Courtesy of Pond Los Angeles

To buy: pondla.com, $128

Since airport and airplane thermostats are always set to seemingly freezing temperatures, and plane blankets are thinner, scratchier, and possibly dirtier than I'd like, I always fly with a piece of clothing that keeps me warm and also basically doubles as a blanket. The Essential Hoodie's super-soft brushed interior makes it feel like you've wrapped yourself in a snuggly fleece throw every time you pull it on. Plus, the lightweight fabric provides warmth without overheating or being too bulky. 

And to the extent that a sweatshirt can help you catch some notoriously difficult shuteye on a flight, Pond L.A. has done it: The hoodie has a built-in eye mask to pull over your eyes whenever you're ready to doze off into dreamland. The roomy hood even fits over a pair of large over-ear noise-canceling headphones (another in-flight essential, I might add) so you can drown out the shrieking baby a couple rows back and sleep in peace. 

Pond LA Essential Hoodie
Credit: Courtesy of Pond Los Angeles

To buy: pondla.com, $128

The Essential hoodie also includes one other genius feature, perhaps my favorite: a hidden sheath sewn inside the large front pocket. This small but super useful feature solves a problem I've always struggled with while flying: where to put your phone? Hold it in your hands, leave it in the seat-front pocket (god knows when those were last cleaned), tuck it between your legs, or leave it in your carry-on? The options are all less than ideal. Inevitably I end up dropping my phone or it falls out of my lap while I'm sleeping. Now I just stow my cell phone in the hidden pocket and it stays put the entire flight — even on bathroom runs. It's also great for keeping your passport or ID handy while going through airport security

Pond LA Essential Hoodie
Credit: Courtesy of Pond Los Angeles

Pond Los Angeles's commitment to fair wages and supporting local small businesses is another reason to love the product. The hoodie's cotton blend fleece is spun right in Los Angeles, made in small batches to reduce waste, and each garment is handmade by a female-owned manufacturer in L.A. 

While the hoodie's on-trend styling certainly works for everyday wear (and believe me, I wear mine constantly), it's become my preferred in-flight outfit because of these travel-minded details that make the often not-so-glamorous flying experience feel just that much cozier. Pond Los Angeles founder Daphne Chen summarized it best: "We took a quintessential travel piece and added some thoughtful details to make traveling easier…[The Essential Hoodie] is the perfect in-flight essential created to help you feel well-rested upon arrival and ready for adventures." 

I recently wore my Essential Hoodie on two 12-plus-hour travel days to and from Europe and can attest that it was the most comfortable I've been while flying. But you don't have to just take my word for it. One reviewer writes, "I was able to use it recently for the first time on an early morning flight and let me tell you, it is EVERYTHING I was looking for and more. It's comfy, cozy, oversized, and the eye covers make you feel like you're in a whole other world and not packed like a sardine on a plane. My over ear headphones fit perfectly under it and I got the best sleep I've had on a plane — EVER!" 

To buy: pondla.com, $128

Karen Chen is always planning her next great escape and loves the beach more than anyone else you know. See her prove it on Instagram @karenichen.

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