Packing for Winter from a Tropical Place.


My flight to Europe is this week (this Friday evening, to be exact), and I am torn.

I have a reasonable amount of clothes in my wardrobe, but these are mostly summer-ish clothes suitable for the 30°C weather we usually experience in Singapore. I am going to places where it’s 10°C (Spain) and 3°C (London). Polyester is not going to cut it.

I have a few things suitable for autumn, and I’ll just put them on all at once to brace myself for winter (e.g: 2 sweaters and my lightly padded windbreaker). I have thermal underwear but I think they look quite unattractive, so I usually leave that at home (a waste of money, now that I think about it). On a relatively warm day in winter (wonder?) land, I whip out the dresses which are too warm to be worn in Singapore. These are usually made of a wool mix so wearing them in Singapore would be akin to committing suicide. But these are just perfect for a warm winter day! My legs are usually the problem; I don’t layer – just jeans! – and sometimes, my legs get a little too cold for comfort.

Then I read this article about packing for a holiday. And I sigh. These tips are for women who travel in warmer climates!

Or are they? Can I really pull off a trip in the northern hemisphere during winter wearing nothing but dresses (and sweaters) the whole time? Are tights + dresses (with sneakers/boots) good enough for a 5°C-type weather? I would love to pack one less pair of jeans. Dresses are much prettier anyway – I am perpetually in dresses/skirts when I am in Singapore and it would be nice to be able to do the same when I am travelling and not freeze my ass off while looking pretty.

Another benefit of bringing dresses which weigh less and take up less space: I am flying easyjet from Bilbao to London and I don’t have much baggage space – 20kg! – (unlike the generous 30kg Emirates is giving me!). I am also thinking of the stuff I might buy in Spain. (Who goes to Spain without buying shoes?)

Is it really possible to travel to a country experiencing winter with only dresses + tights in my backpack?

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4 Responses to Packing for Winter from a Tropical Place.

  1. Yes, it is absolutely possible. I’m a “dress girl” myself. Here is what I do:
    * wear dress snow boots in the winter – these go with dresses but are warm
    * use long underwear, but cut for under street clothing. I use 3/4 sleeve scoop-neck ultra-fine weave silkies.
    * leggings, absolutely. And did you know that there are things called “skating tights” that are a thermal weave?
    * layer, layer, layer, layer.
    * always make sure you have a waterproof/windproof outer layer. I enjoy the longer trench coats (there are light weight ones out there)

    • Therese says:

      Hey, thanks for those tips! I’m in Dubai now and it’s too late but these will definitely come in handy when I travel elsewhere cold.

      I’m wearing heattech leggings from uniqlo. I hope they work. I guess I have to do more shopping! 😀

  2. Heya! As the writer of the original dress article let me reassure you: I live in Europe (in between England and Italy), and stand by my dress assertions! You just need to embrace the art of layering. Bare legs and arms would be suicide, but as long as you have an array of tights or leggings (maybe some woolly socks too if it’s very cold) and cardigans, jumpers and a good coat, you should be absolutely fine 🙂
    Enjoy your trip!

    • Therese says:

      Hey! Thanks for clarifying this! I was in tights most of the time when I was in Europe! I had 2 of those Uniqlo heattech leggings on most of the time. I was still cold. My cousin calls me a tropical flower. =\ I shall try your tips the next time I swing by the winterlands.

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