The Worst Things to Wear to an Airport, According to a TSA Agent

Kat Collings

We’re always in pursuit of further refining our ensembles for every destination, whether it’s the airport or the office. And while we’ve done enough traveling to have a general idea of what works and what doesn’t at the airport—those lace-up sandals were awesome until we held up an impatient line of people trying to take them off—we figured there’s still a thing or two we can learn from a true expert. Enter Kimberly Pruitt, a former TSA agent who spent more than five years working as a security officer at Los Angeles International Airport. We sat down with Pruitt to learn the surprising items that always seem to cause an issue when going through security. After you read Pruitt’s tips, we guarantee you’ll rethink your next airport look… After all, no one wants to be the one holding up the security line, right?

Scroll down to check out what not to wear to the airport to ensure your next traveling experience is that much smoother.

What Not to Wear: Maxi Dresses and Skirts

“If you are opposed to getting patted down, then wearing a maxi skirt or dress isn’t your best bet, because the officer will have to check you are not hiding anything under your skirt,” Pruitt tells us.

What to Wear Instead: Loose-Fitting Pants or Leggings

Moon River Striped Trousers ($59)

Tumi Extended Trip Packing Case ($795)

What Not to Wear: Lots of Bobby Pins

“Believe it or not, too many bobby pins will set off the metal detector. If you’re looking to maintain your hair and skip the pat-down, I would suggest getting dolled up after screening,” says Pruitt.

What to Wear Instead: Simple Hair Ties or a Soft Headband

Slip The Knot Headband ($69)

Kitsch Mesh Hair Ties ($12)

What Not to Wear: Cargo Pants or Shorts

“Cargo pants and shorts are one of the most difficult items of clothing at the airport,” Pruitt advises. “All the different pockets become a major hassle because they almost always set off the alarm. When being told by an officer to remove everything from your pockets, there is always a lighter or set of keys that you’ve forgotten in a hidden pocket.”

What to Wear Instead: Pants or Shorts With Minimal Pockets

BB Dakota Spin City Bike Shorts ($48)

Nike Free TR 3 Champagne Crinkled Leather-Trimmed Flyknit Sneakers ($65)

What Not to Wear: Metal Bracelets and Necklaces

“Large metal bracelets and necklaces will set off the metal detector,” Pruitt says. “The biggest problem item is the Cartier Love bracelet. These bracelets can only be removed with a screwdriver, so they become an issue when going through security. It might be wise to put your jewelry on after screening to avoid a pat-down.”

What to Wear Instead: Jewelry… But Pack It Away and Put It on After Security

Gift Boutique WOLF Caroline Zip Travel Case ($80)

Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Carry On Travel Kit ($25)

Shop More Travel-Friendly Pieces

Monogram Horizons Tee ($65)

A graphic tee will give your look an interesting element without sacrificing comfort.

Donni Thermal Trio Scarf ($185)

Never fly without a scarf.

Alo High-Waist Airbrushed Leggings ($82)

These high-waisted leggings are so flattering.

Danse Lente Young Tote Bag in Ocra ($520)

Simple yet chic.

Calvin Klein Underwear Statement 1981 Stretch-Jersey Soft-Cup Bra ($45)

No underwires here.

Dear Frances Lounge Loafers ($295)

These will be easy to slide on and off through security. See what we did there?

RtA Finn Shell Track Pants ($195)

Two words: supremely comfortable.

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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