Winter Style: How I Dressed During Winter Travels In Europe
What’s your winter style when traveling to cold places?
When I was researching for my round the world trip, I would look at photos and packing tips from women travelers. It’s hard to pack for a few days let alone for a long-term trip around the world. I loathed the idea of packing a lot of tech fabric clothing and looking unstylish. I know, I know!!! I can be superficial. But it’s a serious question on some people’s minds, right? I decided to share a post about winter style and make some suggestions if you plan on traveling to Europe in the winter.
Before I left for Europe I thought I would zip through the continent in 2 months and come back home before it got too cold. My original plan was to travel and have a year-round summer. That did not happen. AT ALL. I had to postpone the European portion of my trip because my mother passed away from cancer and I had to put my trip on pause. In the end, I did go to Europe but I left in mid-October and traveled through the beginning of February. Let’s say I was ill packed and I was not prepared for the cold destinations I visited.
I remember starting to feel the chill come when I was in Madrid. There was nothing I could do about the weather and I didn’t have enough warm clothes. I went to Madrid’s Salamanca neighborhood and made a beeline to H&M. I remember buying a chunky cardigan sweater and a long sleeve shirt from Zara. Luckily there are a lot of high-street (aka budget-friendly) shops like H&M, Zara, Mango, Uniqlo, TopShop, Forever 21, and other European retailers that helped me remain warm and stylish at the same time. As much as I wanted to buy designer items in Europe, it’s almost senseless for a round the world trip. When you pack things for a long-term trip, you’re wearing things over and over again to the point of wearing them out. By the time you get home, you have the strongest desire to set fire to most of the things you packed. I did!
Here are a few photos of my Europe winter style:
Bundled up in front of the Louvre in Paris
It wasn’t quite winter temperatures in Paris but it very brisk. I wore a billion layers underneath my clothes. You have to remember I was traveling for several months and only had one bag. I packed a Women’s Nike Sportswear Gore-Tex jacket to protect me from rain which I didn’t experience a lot of. The circle scarf was by Brixton. It came with me from California. My pants are khakis by Isabel Marant and to keep warm I wore tights or heat tech long underwear by Muji. White leather Chuck Taylors by Converse. Tote bag by Hudsons Bay Co.
That’s the best winter style tip I can share is LAYERS!
Freezing in Bruges, Belgium. Beanie by Brixton
In front of the IAmsterdam sign. Wearing every and all layers possible.
I didn’t take too many photos of myself when I was in Europe (the woes of a solo traveler) but most of them, I look like the photo above and below:
Lots of layers!!
While I was traveling in Europe I bought two thick, chunky cardigans, a big wool scarf, and beanie from H&M. I bought some Heat Tech long underwear, a flannel, and cord pants by Uniqlo. In Germany my friend, Ines loaned me a winter coat because she felt sorry for me. Ha! My favorite item that I bought in Europe was a thick fleece long hoodie by Dunderdon seen below:
In London. Not as cold as the rest of Europe except my last day when it snowed
Dunderdon hoodie (Photo courtesy of Dunderdon)
Not too cold in Spain in January
Spain is quite south compared to the rest of Europe so it wasn’t as cold as say the Czech Republic and Germany. I spent Christmas and New Years in San Sebastian. It was very brisk because it’s on the coast but it was not freezing while I was there. I wore heavy layers and bundled up in my scarf and gloves while exploring around. I was okay without a heavy jacket as seen above. If you do plan on going to Northern Europe to Germany for the Christmas markets, I do recommend something heavier. I have a Uniqlo puffy jacket and I would definitely recommend something like that since it’s budget-friendly and then you could layer underneath with their fleece-lined Heat Tech layers.
After Europe, I circled back to Australia and Asia. If you’re wondering what happened to my clothes, I gave them most of them to my friend Kori in London. She was a starving student doing her Masters and was more than happy to get some new clothes. I did end up mailing some things home to California via Royal Mail. It was summer in Australia and I did not want to carry all that weight. I didn’t know what my plan was but I knew I didn’t need beanies, scarves, and sweaters.
A few tips I suggest for winter style in Europe:
- Layers! Definitely, invest in some thermal layers especially fleece-lined leggings!
- A nice warm coat. I had a rainproof jacket that did me no good. I suggest more of a long puffy long coat that you can layer underneath
- You may not love them but I do….turtlenecks keep your neck warm
- Scarf and gloves/mitts
- This isn’t about fashion but don’t wet (shampoo) your hair unless you have access to a dryer or time to dry it. Having a cold or wet head in the winter is the worst! If you’re in a pinch, dry shampoo or a hat is your friend!
- Beanies and headwear!
- Heavy duty socks. I buy brands like Wig Wam that make negative degree weather socks. They last forever too!
- Don’t worry too much about packing a lot of warm clothes, you can shop along the way. I’m not a lover of fast fashion shops but in a pinch sometimes they are the best