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Embarking on a winter journey? The key to enjoying your winter travels is packing and wearing the right layers for warmth. Additionally, its helpful to use a framework like the Travelista 12 method as your foundation for planning a winter travel capsule wardrobe. This guide will walk you through creating a functional, stylish winter travel capsule wardrobe, ensuring you’re prepared for every winter trip occasion. The capsule shown was created with a European destination in mind, swap out the clothing for items that fit into your winter destination and style.
PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL CAPSULE WARDROBE
Check the Weather: Before anything else, research the weather conditions for your destinations. This is crucial, since winter clothing can be bulky. You want to make sure you are packing the right items for the weather conditions of your destination.
Packing According to Your Itinerary: Tailor your wardrobe to your planned activities. Will you be attending formal events, exploring cities, or engaging in outdoor adventures? Each requires different apparel choices.
Cultural Considerations: Be aware of the cultural norms and dress codes of your destinations. This is crucial for respectful and hassle-free travel.
PACK LIGHT AND FUNCTIONAL LAYERS
Instead of relying on bulky clothing to keep you warm you will instead pack light layers for warmth. Functional layers will add up to warmth and wearing light layers of clothing provides just as much warmth as bulky layers.
In extreme temperatures you will want to wear a base layer under your travel outfit. In this case, your winter travel outfits will consist of a base layer, a mid/insulating layer and finally your weatherproof outer layer. It’s a simple system and every item should be chosen with functionality first in mind and style second.
In terms of travel style considerations, only your outermost layers will be visible. Choose an outer layer with functionality in mind first based on your travel destination and your travel needs. Then consider each subsequent layer accordingly because it may not always be visible. Similarly, all other layers should be chosen with their functionality first and style second. Read my “Ultimate Guide to Winter Layering” post for an in-depth look at winter layers.
1 DRESS: Belted Black Dress
WINTER TRAVEL CAPSULE WARDROBE KEY ITEMS
The key things that winterize this capsule are a winter- jacket or coat. If you expect rain or snow, choose a jacket that will repel or resist water. A jacket that is wind-proof will also provide additional warmth. In extreme temperatures this can be layered over the puffer jacket. If the weather warms up you can just rely on the puffer jacket. This gives you options if and when the temperatures fluctuate.
In extremely cold temperatures you MUST pack base layers. These are layers that you wear under your clothes and they are literally your first layer of protection against the cold. I explore the concept and different types of base layers in this blog post, “The Travelista Guide to Cold Weather Layering”.
Cashmere or merino wool sweaters provide warmth without the bulk. Lately, I’ve been wearing cashmere sweaters more than merino. They are luxuriously soft and warm without feeling overheated. In an effort to be more sustainable and budget-friendly I’ve been purchasing through sites like poshmark, but I’m curious to try the Quince versions. J. Crew also occasionally offers their cashmere sweaters on sale.
Another layer that I’m recommending after some personal experimentation is wool trousers. In the past, I would have considered these a bit matronly or better suited for work wear but perhaps with the rise of the “quiet luxury” trend trousers are quickly becoming a staple. Paired with chunky boots or sneakers they become a bit more modern. They can also easily be dressed up. More importantly for winter travel, wool provides an additional layer of warmth for your legs. In very cold temperatures, a loose pair will leave room for wearing a base layer of leggings underneath.
Waterproof boots ensure your feet stay dry during winter travel conditions. Not to be overlooked are wool socks. I cannot say enough wonderful things about wool socks, they keep your feet warm and dry by wicking away moisture. They also resist odors so you can wear them on repeat.
WINTER TRAVEL CAPSULE WARDROBE FINAL THOUGHTS
Use the Travelista 12 method to transform winter travel packing from a daunting task into an enjoyable experience. By focusing on versatile layers, functional fashion, and mindful packing, you’re not just preparing a suitcase; you’re curating a travel experience that is both stylish and practical.
Remember, successful winter travel is not about the quantity of items you pack, but the versatility and adaptability of each piece. With these tips and your travel capsule in tow, you’re all set to embark on your winter adventures with confidence and ease. Happy travels!