As a little girl, I’d look for any excuse to wear my trendy denim vest to school in the dead of winter. My mum would stop me at the door and tell me to bundle up – not only for my health but also to look smart. I scoffed at this logic back then, claiming that fashion was about risk-taking. But in the case of dressing for the cold, I’ve come to realise that practicality matters just as much as originality. The idea that you should sacrifice your comfort for the sake of fashion is ludicrous, especially when these trade-offs aren’t even necessary. It’s easy to dress smart and look sharp with the right items in your closet.
I’ll be travelling over the holidays, and I’m hoping to pack as light as possible without compromising my chunky wool sweaters. The key is quality (and versatility) over quantity – select the items that both look good with others and look good alone. From Budapest to Berlin, here’s what will be in my suitcase:
- A classic white button-down shirt: perfect for any occasion. Wear under a sweater for added warmth; pair with jeans and booties for dinner and drinks at the bar.
- Layering pieces that also work as going-out tops: long-sleeve knits, crop-tops, and snug turtlenecks.
- Sweaters, including at least one turtleneck (the sweater of the season) and one simple pullover.
- Dark skinny jeans for day & night.
- A warm coat, preferably down – warmer and more weather-resistant than wool.
- Comfortable and stylish flat black booties (and thick wool socks!).
- A small purse, big enough to fit your wallet, keys, and phone and small enough to restrict you from carrying around inessentials.
- Winter accessories: a chunky scarf, warm gloves, and hat/earmuff.
Tips: As an added incentive to pack light, leave some room in your luggage for purchases abroad. Also, limiting the number of items you pack shouldn’t cancel out creativity. Try a turtleneck under a sleeveless knit for 90s quirk, or wear your white shirt unbuttoned as a substitute for a cardigan. Channel that spirit of adventure to your sartorial selections. Bon voyage!