Thinking about what to bring for a winter trip can be a pain in the behinds amirite? Trying to pack clothes that will be warm enough yet make you look somewhat nice in your travel photos, while figuring out how the heck to fit all this bulk in your suitcase, is bananas. Have no stress! This post provides some cold destination outfit inspirations to help you with ideas on what to pack. There are two versions. The first winter packing list contains classic cold weather essentials. It is for girls who want to travel as light as possible. The second version incorporates add-on pieces, for ladies who want to bring more options for a luxurious and stylish vaca.
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Golden Tips For Dressing in Winter
Having grown up in Canada where winter is like -1000 degrees, I’ve spent my fair share of time in cold places. Have you ever cried because it’s so cold, only to have your tears freeze into ice on your face? Ya…It’s about survival people! I have only in recent years made peace with winter again. Just came back from the Snow Festival in Hokkaido, Japan and can say that I had an awesome time. Anyways! Before we get to the official lists, here are some general advices for staying comfortable and stylish in the winter.
Invest in winter outerwear and shoes
Although I happily buy a lot of fast fashion goods, when it comes to winter outerwear, I would not cheap out. It’s so important to invest in a good quality jacket that will protect you when the weather gets rough. As for shoes, they must be able to keep your feet warm. Bonus if they are water proof. Remember, wet toes = frozen toes = sad toes.
I cannot live without thermals in winter. It is always the base layer. My go-to is the Heattech line from Uniqlo. Their tops and bottoms are thin, light, and so warm. The best part is that they wick away moisture, which means that sweat would not turn back to haunt you when you go from somewhere hot to somewhere cold.
Use heat packs
I discovered this secret weapon when I spent my first winter in Japan. There are several kinds of heat pack, but my favourite is the kind that you can stick on the inner sides of your clothing. The little packets give off heat and last all day! I usually like to stick one on my lower tummy and one on my back, but you can stick them everywhere. Calves, chest, buttocks, go crazy!
So we’ve come a bit on to the style side of recommendations. Winter wear doesn’t have to be drab. It can be cozy, luxurious and fun. Experiment with textures like faux fur, knits, and wool. Adding a fuzzy jacket or fur trimmed coat to your collection would definitely upgrade the stylish factor of your wardrobe.
Add a pop of colour
When not playing with texture, I like to add a little colour to my outfit, like a bright coloured scarf, hat, or mittens. They always look great in photos, especially when contrasted with a white snowy background. It makes you, the subject, totally stand out!
Layering is key
Layers are awesome both functionally and stylistically. I pretty much always have 3-4 layers on in the winter. Thermal + long sleeve shirt + sweater /cardigan+ coat. You can control your temperature by adding or removing layers. As well, this is where you can get creative with mixing textures and colors for a fabulous ootd.
Without further ado, here are some ideas for your winter vacation packing list. Revise as needed for your trip!
The Essentialist Winter Packing List
This list is dedicated to the minimalists who want to bring as less as possible yet still look put together and chic on a cold weather trip.
Thermals (x2): As I mentioned, Heattech is a life-saver!
Long sleeve shirt (x3): A cute long sleeve can be worn on its own for days that are less cold, and worn as a layer under sweaters when it gets freezing. Pack a few options depending on the length of your trip.
Turtleneck sweater (x1): No scarf needed because your neck would already be warm! I used to think turtlenecks are for old people, but came to see how classy and chic they can look. Partially thanks to the movie Love Actually. So many turtlenecks in this movie! Have you ever watched it?
Wool cardigan (x1): A cardigan can be quickly thrown on to add some warmth and style. Merino wool is my recommendation. It’s super soft and breathable.
Sweatshirt pull over (x1): An extra comfortable shirt that you can rock in a casual setting or even as PJ.
Fleece lined leggings (x2): These thick leggings are stretchy so you can be fully mobile. Choose a solid pair, and perhaps a pair with a fun color/pattern to change things up a bit.
Outer wear and shoes
Heavy jacket (x1): If you are planning to travel with just one jacket, it better be a good one. Look for solid insulation and a classic style.
Water proof boots (x1): Prepare for rain or snow with shoes that will keep your feet dry.
Beanie (x1): Keep your head protected from the wind. Also another chance to add that pop of colour I keep yapping about.
Big scarf (x1): A scarf that’s big enough to double as a shawl/blanket is the best. We love multifunctional!
Winter gloves (x1): You will for sure have your hands out for taking photos, so having a good pair of gloves is important. Bonus if they are touch pad friendly for using your phone.
Wool socks (x1 million): Again, never neglect your feet. They are the closest contact to the cold ground. Keep them nice and dry always.
Heat packs (x1 million): Or heaven in a packet, as I like to call them. Ok you don’t actually have to bring a million of them. Pack as many as you need for your trip.
Satchel: AKA a cross body purse, it’s very handy for storing your little items like wallet, phone, and keys.
Sun glasses: It can get very bright in the winter sometimes. You may find yourself with a hard time opening your eyes if there’s sun shining on snow. So don’t leave your shades at home.
The Luxurista Packing List
Oh you fancy huh? This list contains add-on items from the Essentialist Packing List above. It’s for those who want to have ample options for some lit ootd shots! So if you are willing to pack a couple more items, check out these ideas.
Classic style sweater (x1): Preferably cashmere. It’s just such a comforting and luxurious material!
Button up shirt (x1): A stable that can be mixed and matched in many ways. I.e. Layer it under a sweater, and finish with a pair of jeans and booties. Bam! You’ve got yourself a clean and chic outfit.
Sweater dress (x1): For pants haters *raise hand, you can still rock a sweater dress. Keep warm with a pair of insulated tights, and knee/thigh high boots.
Circle skirt (x1): Who said skirts are only for summer? Look for skirts with double layers when choosing one for winter. Again, tights and boots are key in staying warm. A knee length circle skirt looks romantic and stylish with a button up and/or a sweater!
Tights (x2): An essential if you plan to wear skirts or sweater dresses. Bring two pairs for back up.
Teddy coat (x1): As the name suggest, this coat is so fuzzy it feels like getting a hug from a teddy bear!
Wool coat (x1): If you are going somewhere with milder winter, like south of Europe, you can get away with a thinner jacket. A wool coat is timeless in fashion. Pick an eye-popping color like red to stand out.
Over the knees boots (x1): Thigh highs are definitely sassy, but they also keep your legs as snug as a bug! Suede is recommended.
Walking booties (x1): A pair of short booties for everyday sightseeing walking purposes.
Ear muffs (x1): Feel like a snow bunny in a pair of faux fur earmuffs.
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Sendai is lit! Literally 😍 Sendai, Japan is famous for a couple of things. One of them being the gorgeous Pageant of Starlight Illumination that takes place on the downtown Jozenji street in December. More than 600,000 golden lights lining the trees! And among them, there is one pink light. If you're so lucky to find it, it will bless your love life 😜 My second year at this event and I am still blown away by the beauty! #visitmiyagi #sendaigram #explorejapan
Headband (x1): An easy cute option that will keep your ears cozy yet take up barely any room in your suitcase.
Beret (x1): This French style hat will never go out of style. It’s a piece that you can use to accessorize many different outfits.
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