What to Pack for Europe in the Winter

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Are you traveling to Europe in the winter and wondering what to pack?  Here’s what to pack to for Europe to look chic and stay warm- and not look like a tourist!  With this simple color scheme (black, camel, brown, white/cream) everything can be mixed, matched, and layered- and you will easily fit in with the locals!  This is what I packed for our recent trip to Germany and France and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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What to Pack for Europe in the Winter

  1. 2 pairs of jeans- I brought a pair of my favorite kick crop jeans (tts) and a pair of wide leg jeans (size down in this particular pair).  Most people in Europe are not wearing skinny jeans anymore, so I’d definitely go with wide leg or kick crops.
  2. 1 pair of Chelsea bootsthis brown pair of Born Chelsea boots is so comfortable and they work well with many different styles of pants.  I have the brown pair and they run true to size.  I love them so much that I just ordered them in black!  They are currently on sale for $139 here.  I saw lots of Chelsea boots while in Europe- they are definitely a popular and practical option!
  3. Sweater blazer– the perfect layering piece for warmth, and it also helps dress up a simple t-shirt.  My sweater blazer is old from J.Crew but this blazer is a similar option.
  4. Long Wool Coat– I prefer camel coat because it works well with black and brown.  My tie belt camel coat is old from H&M, though this camel coat is similar.  A belted coat helps give a heavy coat some shape.
  5. Large Tote– I love a tote that is large enough to hold waters, papers, and everything else I may need.  My large Longchamp Le Pliage Tote is over 10 years old- it’s the best because it’s simple and lightweight and goes with black and brown.  It also wipes clean because the bag is made of nylon.  A must-have on trips!
  6. 1 pair of pop top mittensthis practical style of mittens is the best because you don’t have to fully remove your mitten when you need to use your phone or eat a snack- you just fold the top down.  Mine are old from J.Crew Factory.
  7. Simple white button down shirt– A plain white button down shirt is always timeless and I love how they helps elevate a simple pair of jeans.  The one I took to Europe is old from J.Crew, this white button down would give a similar look though!
  8. Tights– A pair of tights are a perfect way to stay warmer in the winter.  I wore them under my pants every day while we were in Europe.  If you need something even warmer, look into a pair of fleece lined tights!
  9. Warm boot socksthese boot socks are my favorite to wear with Chelsea boots.  I like this taller version for wearing with higher boots.
  10. Chunky sneakers– Chunky sneakers with white socks are very in!  My chunky sneakers are old from Walmart but this pair of chunky sneakers from Madewell looks similar.
  11. Simple black long sleeve t-shirt– A boatneck makes a t-shirt look a little dressier than it is!
  12. Simple black turtleneck– It’s impossible to not look chic in a black turtleneck.  Mine is a bodysuit from lulu’s and it runs true to size.
  13. Fleece turtleneck–  The weather can be very cold in Europe in the winter so a fleece turtleneck is a must.  These Dudley Stephens fleece turtlenecks are warm and look chic.  I prefer the terry fabric, and I’d recommend black, camel, or cream/off-white for a winter capsule wardrobe.
  14. Warm Beanie– Any neutral color will do- I think this beanie looks cute.  Mine is old from Old Navy.
  15. Gold hoop earrings– These gold French twist hoops are simple and they look great with casual outfits as well as dressier outfits.
  16. Versatile Scarf– My Burberry scarf is over a decade old.  It’s a timeless wardrobe staple for me that I know I’ll have for the rest of my life!  This Burberry scarf seems to be the current version.
  17. Long black puffer coat– You probably only need one coat for a trip (just bring 2 scarves if you want to change up your look a bit), but I enjoyed having my long black puffer coat in addition to my long camel coat.  My coat is over a decade old from J.Crew but this coat is similar.
  18. Beret– This hat was a little adventurous for me but I really enjoyed wearing it!  My 6 year old wore one a few times too.

What I Packed that I Shouldn’t Have

A dress- I was overly optimistic and it was just too cold and our trip was too casual.

Too many shoes- I brought 2 pairs of chunkier soled loafers (black and silver) and only wore the black pair once.  I love them but the boots were much more practical with the weather and the amount of walking we did.

One too many Dudley Stephens fleeces-  One fleece was essential- two was too many for a week-long trip.

What I’m Glad I Packed that You Didn’t See

A Robe– After a long day of sightseeing in the cold I always enjoy putting on a robe over my pajamas.  LAKE Pajamas makes my favorite PJs and robes.

Slippers–  I hate walking around with bare feet or just with socks on, especially in a hotel.  I always travel with slippers!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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