Packing for below freezing temperatures can be difficult, especially with the need for so many layers. I'm not one to ever over pack... I actually love to pack light & efficiently. Over the past 2 winters, I've perfected the art of packing for a winter trip, mainly because I've visited a lot of cold places. I went to San Francisco, Portland, NYC, & Vancouver last year & Boston this year over the holidays. I always pack one small, carry-on size suitcase + a small travel duffel. My luggage is Lipault Paris, from Samsonite. 

My most important tips for packing smart:

  • Pack heavy jackets & sweaters on the bottom.
  • Pack lighter items onto the top.
  • Fill small spaces with socks, a hat & gloves.
  • Only bring 1 or 2 pairs of shoes & make them boots.
  • Bring 1 or 2 NEUTRAL colored scarves.

For my trip to Boston over the holidays, the temperatures were in the low teens & there were scattered snow showers. I was there for 5 days. Below are the 11 necessities I packed...

1. ONE Wool Jacket

The Whimsical Wool Jacket from my shop,, is my favorite to wear on the plane. It's warm, yet lightweight & looks great with my other plane go-to's (dark jeans & a neutral long sleeve top). A few other cute, lightweight wool coats I've come across:

2. ONE Winter Jacket

I have quite a few winter jackets that I love. One is a black Parka from Patagonia, similar to this:

Another is this soft blush, quilted jacket, with a removable faux fur hood, by Susan Graver:

For this trip, I packed the second one. It's really warm & has a removable hood, which was perfect for the days it snowed.

3. TWO Scarves

I always pack one or two scarves, always infinity, because I think they're the cutest, easiest to style, & warmest for super cold days.

This scarf is from my shop as well - it's a snow white, faux fur infinity scarf that I carry with me on every trip. A few other scarves I love:

4. TWO Pullover Sweaters

For this trip, I packed 2 pullover sweaters. I love a good cardigan, but they aren't warm enough for a winter vacation. 

5. TWO Long Sleeve Tops

I packed 2, neutral long-sleeve tops. I wore an olive one on the plane & packed a gray one. Fitted, not super thick, long-sleeve tops are perfect for layering under a sweater, over a tank, or under a fur vest. 

6. TWO Pairs of Jeans + ONE Pair of Sweatpants

I wore my dark denim jeans on the plane & packed one pair of black jeans. My favorite jeans are  I also packed a pair of black skinny sweatpants (from GUESS) for the plane ride home.

7. ONE Basic Tank

I ALWAYS pack a plain black, fitted, thin strap tank. It goes under my sweaters & long-sleeve tops. 

8. ONE Pair of Tall Socks

I also always pack one pair of thick, tall black socks. I wear these under my jeans & layer another pair of short socks on top. If you're going skiing, I'd recommend thermal, long underwear.

9. TWO Hats

For this trip, I packed a North Face black knit beanie & a tan/pink faux fur beanie (similar style below). Both are warm & go well with all of the outfits I packed.

10. TWO Pairs of Boots

I have a pair of boots from Nordstrom that I never take off my feet. They're Blondo waterproof ankle boots in black (see below). They go with everything - jeans, skirts, dresses. They look good with casual outfits & more formal outfits. And they're warm (specially with 2 layers of socks underneath). I also pack a brown pair of boots as well, so I can switch it up. Those are a little taller, over the ankle. For this trip, I wasn't actually going skiing or going to be walking around in the snow. If I were, I would have packed my go-to black boots + a pair of snow boots.

11. ONE Pair of Gloves

I have two favorite pairs of gloves - one black faux fur trimmed pair & one black tech-touch pair (by North Face). I packed the tech-touch pair for this trip, because they're a little more practical for everyday use. 


A few other basic necessities I would never want to forget for any vacay: moisturizer, sunscreen, vaseline (for my lips), sunglasses, & a small cross-body bag. 

Hope you enjoyed reading! Let me know what you pack for winter getaways & your favorite brands in the comments below!
xo, Leah

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