Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had had a great holiday. I ended up going back to San Francisco to celebrate Christmas with some family this season, which was really special. One of the things Tom and I desire as each year passes is to continue to experience new things, grow and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In the past, we’ve selected warmer climates to travel to, but seeing that we’re based in Southern California, it’s not difficult to stumble across destinations that are colder than home. Packing for colder climates usually means heavier bags and thicker items. Below are 5 ways I pack for colder climates.
More thin layers
When you pack, select items you can wear various ways and can also be layered to create different looks. A cotton shirt or turtleneck is great to wear under vests and sweaters. On this trip, I wore a black turtleneck under my faux fur vest and on another day, I wore one under a tank top, sweater, sleeveless duster and coat. Don’t be afraid to only pack less of the thicker pieces and more lighter ones. As long as you can layer them various ways, you’ll be able to stay warm. This will help you create various looks. When you pack too many sweaters and bulky items, you remain limited in options when you travel for more than a few days. Three long sleeves or layers usually end up being as big as one sweater, after all. A cami over a long sleeve shirt, or a turtleneck under a strapless (or spaghetti strap) jumpsuit are ways to create layers and different looks.
Emphasis on Warm Accessories
Great accessories will keep you warm and help finish off the look. A couple of great scarves and gloves go a long way in helping you stay warm and can make or break your outfit. You can wear a $20 shirt and $10 pair of jeans and great accessories will elevate your look, but also keep you warm. I often select black gloves and neutral tones to compliment my bag or shoes. I love pom beanie and faux fur hats. The beanie is fun, while faux fur is so luxurious looking. Both create different looks and are small enough to pack. To save room, I put mine inside of a purse that I’m packing,as it also helps keep the shape of your handbag.
Being Selective With the Handbags
Since winter packing often means more space is taken up in the luggage, I usually only take about 2 purses or handbags with me. Honestly, I’d love to pack more because I love handbags, but when you travel for long periods of time, as I do from time to time, one or two are all you really want to bring because dragging around a big bag city to city is not fun. Three things to consider when packing purses or handbags:
1) One that can handle bad weather, so make sure that your bag is weather-proofed with a protective spray/treatment
2) It holds what you need it to hold, such as camera, phone, ID, gloves, hat (if needed)
3) You have a bag that goes with all your outfits. Neutrals are often the best. I often travel with the bag I’m wearing in this post, and at night I have a really tiny crossbody bag I got at a Gucci boutique at the airport years ago, that just barely fits my phone and a few cards, but is a neutral color and easy to pack.
Staying Warm in Flight
This may seem kind of ridiculous, but I always get cold on the plane, and while I usually stick with a good long cardigan, a soft scarf and comfortable slacks and shoes for the flight, I choose to wear my heaviest pieces in-flight to destinations that are colder, so I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’ll fit in my bag. This way I ensure I have it with me and have room for whatever I may buy at my destination.
Travelling usually means walking more than usual, am I right? Most of my shoes and boots are either flats or 4” to 5” high. Shoes always take up the most space in my bag, so being selective and minimizing the amount you pack. In the past, Tom and I would run together wherever we travelled. Even in Florence, we ran past the crowds at Ponte Vecchio and into the residential areas. This time there was no running involved. I packed two pairs of shoes: a pair of nice classic pumps for a nice dinner/event, and a comfortable pair of leather boots to walk around in throughout the day.
On this last trip to San Francisco, I packed this jewel tone blue coat. Tom and I spent many hours walking in full leather Mephisto shoes for a couple of days. I had first heard of this brand many years ago and often seen them in shops with other popular branded footwear, including Nikes and Ecco. We never owned a pair, but heard they were really comfortable. Tom ordered the Melchior classic oxford black leather shoes made with two types of fine leather. It features a cushioning insole, flexible midsole and natural rubber shock absorbing outsole. I requested for Jamie boots. They are made of buttery soft leather with contrast patented leather on the back of the boots.
In the past, I really enjoyed wearing 4” heels even on trips around large cities, but lower heels are on trend and my ankles had grown weak from sports and workouts involving agility training over the years. I wanted oxfords and lower boots for lengthier trips. The test on true comfort came when we decided to wear them for the entire day for the first time on a trip around The Palace of Fine Arts, which you can see from my prior post here, into J-Town and through the Golden Gate Park.
I have grown pretty comfortable wearing heels for hours in a day, but both Tom and I were surprised at how great our feet still felt after 7 hours of being on our feet. The soft cushion soles absorbed all the impact at the heels for both of us. Even more, our backs and bodies didn’t feel as tired. Tom is a size 14, so it’s not easy finding comfortable leather shoes. We really love the classic look of both of these and found the workmanship to be fantastic.
What do you think of our boots? How many shoes would you pack on a trip with colder climates? What are your own packing tips? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ.