Home » You’re Going To Spend Eight Hours Behind the Wheel. What Are You Wearing?

You’re Going To Spend Eight Hours Behind the Wheel. What Are You Wearing?

Attractive Man Driving A Car
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Obviously, one wants to be comfortable when traveling in any mode, and The Google will happily return many articles on how to dress for the airport and the pressurized-aluminum-tube experience you’ve signed up for. But car travel is a little different; for starters, you don’t have to care about being a decent human being for the sake of your fellow travelers, so not only are shorts and sandals perfectly acceptable, so is completely nude. Also, you don’t need to worry about carrying anything on you (particularly difficulty while naked), as the glovebox, center console, and assorted cubbies offer more than ample capacity for wallet, sunglasses, snacks, etc.
Choices

Shout out to anyone going this hard for the drive to their niece’s graduation. Deets at Outfit Trends, Alex Costa’s Instagram via Pinterest, and Condé Nast Traveler if you’re so inclined. I would be if I were young, thin, and good looking. Zero for three!

But back to our question: what are you wearing for an 8-hour (or longer) driving sesh? You’re going to have to get out and refill or recharge your ride, so that’s a wrinkle (ugh) to consider if it’s cold and/or rainy on your route. Is there a certain level of sartorial sophistication you demand of yourself for dining at a Mos Eisely-esque “travel center,” or a stroll amongst the beaver-themed trinkets at Bucc-Ee’s while you stretch your legs?

Bucc Ees Pulled Pork

If you’re grabbing a pulled-pork sandwich for the second leg of your drive after topping off at Bucc-Ee’s, the best fashion choice you can make is bib. Image: Bucc-Ee’s

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What about your copilot, if not traveling solo—do they affect your apparel choices? I always make sure I’m dressed as warmly or coolly as my wife, because if I’m in short sleeves and she’s wearing a sweater, the AC will be absolutely cranked and I’m going to be shivering. And vice-versa, wherein I roast because she’s cold. “The rule is the driver controls all the settings.” Yeah, not in my car. Or house. Or life. Which reminds me, this Sunday is Mothers’ Day. Get your acts together now, fellow partners-to-moms!

But for now,

You’re Going To Spend Eight Hours Behind the Wheel. What Are You Wearing?

To the comments!

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nemebean
nemebean
18 days ago

For long drives always something light. I run hot anyway, but even in the winter if I’m driving with the heat on for that long I’m going to overheat eventually. My biggest clothing mistakes (at least in a car) are always over-dressing.

Scott
Scott
19 days ago

It’s been quite a while since I’ve road tripped anywhere, and I haven’t even worn pants really since before the pandemic. I took the opportunity presented by the not-quite-global-apocalypse to make the middle-aged switch from jeans to overalls, and haven’t gone back. So, if I were road tripping these days, overalls, with their baggy fit, absence of a waistband or belt, and tons of pockets would be the garment of choice, topped by either a short sleeve cotton or long sleeve flannel shirt depending on the weather (and plaid in both cases).

Back when I used to drive cross country, or to Alaska, etc… I favored cargo shorts and loose t-shirts in summer (usually with some VW-related logo on them) or sweatpants and fleece tops if it was colder.

King Caddy
King Caddy
20 days ago

8 hours? So that’s just jeans, a full cotton t-shirt with a flannel, jacket, or sweater at hand, canvas denim slacks are also acceptable. Anything without a constricting waistline.

Shoes are either slip on boot, or lightweight shoes of some athletic variety. Never found driving shoes all that useful aside from the heel.

Polarized sunglasses.

8 hours & need to be fancy? –
Non-iron slacks in hopefully a light wool, but realistically a breathable poly blend, cotton undershirt, cotton collared shirt with sleeves rolled up and tie hanging in back, light vest to cover lower back (you will have wrinkles, you just need to cover them), and a blazer/dress coat on a hanger, or a sweater of some kind. Footwear is and will always be pull-on boots as I can take them off and wear slip ons or drive barefoot. Thin belt is also key. So keep the belt loops small.

Sgtyukon
Sgtyukon
20 days ago

I used to wear sandals (Teva) while driving long distance. Then one day, I had to stop and use the restroom in a gas station. I have never worn sandals while driving long distance again. I hope I don’t have to explain why. I wear hiking boots most of the time to support my crumby feet, but their Vibram soles and their weight rule them out for long road trips. Then, I wear sneakers.

I do put my wallet in the door pocket, but while console and glove box are available, I do like access to pockets for things like my handkerchief, lip balm and car keys. So, I prefer cargo pants or shorts, and a hoodie sweatshirt with one of those kangaroo pockets

stefthepef
stefthepef
21 days ago

Same thing I usually do: jeans, a t-shirt and shoes that are comfortable to drive in.

My codrivers, the Puffalumps, might wear a silly hat. Might. Mostly they’re naked like some kind of animals.

Texa
Texa
20 days ago
Reply to  stefthepef

I dress as always, but I make sure I’m not wearing uncomfortable shoes. I have some used up sneakers with soles so worn that they aren’t watertight anymore and these are my driving shoes. Excellent pedal feel during track days and road trips alike.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
21 days ago

For this time of year, it’s a t-shirt, cargo shorts (so I don’t have to worry with a purse), and a pair of those webbed slip-on sandals that have a sneaker-like footbed. My mom will be joining me on my next road trip; she dresses in layers — at least one t-shirt with a light jacket on top — along with some kind of athletic pants and some comfy shoes.

Myk-El
Myk-El
21 days ago

I’ve been spending my summers in the Colorado mountains the last few years which necessitates a long drive from the home base in Tucson. So one day to ABQ, 2nd day to the house west of Denver in the foothills. My last two cars have had leather seats so despite this happening in May when it’s warm, shorts are a no-go. I wear some tech pants I got at Costco. Fairly lightweight, look decent and keep me from sticking to the seat. And a T-shirt. I usually keep a rain jacket available, but that’s about it.

I was no stranger to long drives in cold weather with the times before I moved to the desert. We really liked those puffer jackets you could stuff into small spaces when they became common. Warm enough for when we got out of the car, easy to stow and not take up huge space when in the car. But I can promise I was also wearing a good flannel shirt (t-shirt under) and good pants and usually thick/warm socks.

William Sheldon
William Sheldon
21 days ago

I have crossed the plains from Eastern Upstate NY to Golden CO now more times than i can recall. 30>x>20.
I find that i prefer to be very slightly chilly, as i am more asute if im not warm and comfy. As such, i wear sturdy but light shoes or sandals, breathable shorts and a high vis yellow or orange t-shirt juuust in case. High vis yellow has a tendency to be more visible than orange at dawn/dusk. Better to be seen out there on americas long straight sleepy highways!

IWannaGoFast
IWannaGoFast
21 days ago

My wife and I have done several 12 hr trips from South Carolina to Michigan. Unless its the during the (maybe) one week of freezing weather here in SC, I’m in comfy athletic shorts and t-shirt with sandals. I can’t understand why someone would want to drive with a parka on if you have properly working climate control in your car.

MDMK
MDMK
21 days ago

At least on cloth seats, modern track pants that allow air circulation and protect the legs from the hot sun are the best for long drives followed by khakis. Jeans aren’t great for long drives but more acceptable if they’re old and well worn.

GhosnInABox
GhosnInABox
21 days ago

Adidas tracksuit, baby. Poppa been smooth since days of Underoos.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
21 days ago

Yeah, with my wife running the AC on summer vacation drive I’ll be wearing parka, mittens, and mukluks. She’ll be in shorts and tank top.

tommytipover
tommytipover
21 days ago
Reply to  Balloondoggle

Winter time, I’m dressing light, because she’s going to have the heat cranked. Opposite come summer.

GranulatedMiscarriage
GranulatedMiscarriage
21 days ago

The dudes in the model pics look painfully ridiculous.

On an 8-hour drive, I’ll wear the same outfit I wear for an 8-hour shift at work: mankini and Uggs.

ghostpedalsyndrome
ghostpedalsyndrome
21 days ago

I like your style.

Protodite
Protodite
22 days ago

Either my full red or full white Boast tennis warmup suit, and likely Stubbs slippers – kick those off as soon as I get in the car enjoy the shoeless 3 pedal experience

Last edited 22 days ago by Protodite
parsko
parsko
22 days ago

8 Hole Doc Martens, tighty whiteys, and a scarf.

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
21 days ago
Reply to  parsko

Silk scarf? Accessorize with a leather helmet and goggles. So dashing!

ghostpedalsyndrome
ghostpedalsyndrome
22 days ago

Usually if I’m taking an eight hour trip its a toss up between my ghillie suit and my gimp suit.
Depends on the destination.

TomMetcalf
TomMetcalf
21 days ago

I thought I saw a shrubbery driving down the highway last week. Must have been you

Balloondoggle
Balloondoggle
21 days ago
Reply to  TomMetcalf

He was on his way to visit the Knights Who Say Ni.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
22 days ago

Is driving 8 hours something usual? That’s like a day ending in -y for me, although it was only 6 hours today.

The answer is whatever the hell you usually wear, it’s sitting in a cushy seat in an air conditioned box for 8 hours, not exactly climbing Mt Everest.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
22 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Unusual – still can’t get the hang of that edit feature

ghostpedalsyndrome
ghostpedalsyndrome
21 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

It’s cool. Nobody noticed. You got your point across just fine.

ghostpedalsyndrome
ghostpedalsyndrome
21 days ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yup. And I don’t even need a rear window to do it. Decent side view mirrors will do just fine.
Are we talking about driving outfits?
Who cares?
Driving footwear however, I’m all ears.

Timothy Carter
Timothy Carter
22 days ago

Clothes ha ha

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