Europe in the winter: picture frost-tipped church spires, snowy cobblestones, the warm smell of freshly baked pastries and, of course, a lot of elegantly dressed Europeans. As beautiful as Europe is during the winter months, it’s also intimidating for the average traveler. You want to look as refined as those around you, but since, as a tourist, you’ll be spending much of your time outdoors, you also need to pack warm.
Luckily, there are ways of packing for both warmth and style. This article will look at how to throw together the perfect suitcase for winter travel in Europe, covering dress tips as well as an example packing list.
Layering Is Key
Where fashion and warmth are concerned. Not only does layering allow you to better customize your wardrobe for the day’s weather, but it also looks great. Winter in Europe is famously fickle, varying widely between places and changing at the drop of a hat. For this reason, you want to leave your big parka at home and go for a wardrobe that’s built around a thermal base layer (more on that in a moment), a versatile middle layer and a stylish outer layer.
Your base layer is like the workhorse of your outfit: it needs to be strong and reliable. To ensure strength and reliability, go for thermal socks, underwear and tops. If you look hard enough, you’ll find that look great (because every once and a while you want to flash a little ankle under your boots!) and keep your feet warm too. With a solid, thermal base layer, everything else is window dressing!
Give Shoes the Boot
Winter isn’t the time for flats, and it certainly isn’t the time for heels. When packing for your winter trip, do as the Europeans do and stick to boots. They are more versatile, allowing you to glide effortlessly over even the most uneven cobblestone street, without sacrificing style. Check out of stylish winter boots for inspiration, but remember to choose a pair suited to your destination(s).
Example Packing List
Here’s an example of a versatile packing list that you can take anywhere from the south of France to the fjords of Norway:
- A few pairs of thermal underwear
- A few pairs of thermal socks
- A couple thermal tops
- A cardigan
- A sweater dress
- A pair of jeans
- A pair of “going out” pants
- A stylish coat
- A scarf, hat and gloves
- A pair of stylish and warm boots
- And some lotion and lip balm (because the cold, dry weather can be harsh on your skin).
Warmth should be your number one priority, with style coming in at a close second. Layer your clothes, choosing a thermal base layer, and steer clear of impractical footwear. Follow this packing template for a mix of warmth and style that will have you feeling and looking your best this winter. Europe, here you come!