The Wardrobe Diaries #2 : minimalist winter packing

(ENG only) Traveling in winter can be a huge hassle: layers, big bulky clothes and boots definitely have a bigger volume compared to the easy breezy light clothes we pack when traveling in summer or to warm destinations. I used to think that the bulkier the clothes, the warmer I would be. And I couldn’t be more wrong. Packing smart is the key and this is an art that I have been able to master during the years, especially since living abroad. Traveling in winter though doesn’t have to be complicated: you don’t need to pack tons of layers and plenty of bulky and chunky sweaters in order to stay warm, but the key is packing the right pieces and more importantly fabrics, and you will still be able to enjoy your holiday, stay toasty warm, look put together while fitting everything into a carry on suitcase. And to me this, my friends, it’s a real win win! 😊

I’ve made a trip to my hometown to visit my family and friends for Xmas. Everything fitted into my carry on back pack with room to spare. The trip was for 8 days and 7 nights, so not a very long trip, but this is pretty much what I would have packed for even a longer travel (if I would have stayed for longer than 10-12 days, I’d probably would have thrown in an extra sweater or an open cardigan, but you get the idea).

Here’s what I’ve packed:

– 2 fitted cami tops. They are perfect as a first layer if it’s really cold.

– basic tops and t-shirts. 2 t-shirts (1 back, 1 white), 1 grey long sleeve and 1 turtleneck black long sleeve. I normally like to stick to natural materials that are breathable and easy to wash, like cotton.

– 2 button downs. I’ve picked my usual denim shirt and a dressier option, with a cute polka dot print and made of cupro, so it’s nice and breathable and feels luxurious as silk. They work very well on their own or layered on tops too, for warmth.

– 2 sweaters. A nice red cashmere blend one (red is a nice pop of color and felt appropriate for the holidays) and a black fleece one (made of recycled plastic bottles, how cool is that?). Both very comfortable and warm, I wore the bulkiest one (fleece) for the travel days, to save space in my bag.

– 1 dress. Basic colored, it could work well on its own and as a sort of tunic top paired with pants.

– 3 bottoms. 1 pair of very comfortable, stretchy skinny jeans (worn on travels days), 1 pair of comfy pants (they are technically yoga pants, but can work as a dressy option too) and a pair of thick tights (they can be layered under pants if it’s really cold).

– undies and pjs. 1 pj (for one week it’s absolutely enough, since I always go to bed nice and clean and I usually change my pjs every week), 2 bras, 4 pairs of socks, 4 undies (I also had an extra set on for the travel day). I did laundry halfway through at my parents’ so I didn’t have to worry about bringing 8x of everything.

– 1 pair of shoes. Yes, just one. Of course I didn’t have to worry about packing it into my bag since it was the only one I had with me. I chose a thick but comfortable pair of waterproof Chelsea boots that could easily pair with everything I had with me and of course work well in any weather situation I might have encountered.

– accessories. 1 ring, 1 pair of earrings, 2 necklaces, 1 thin braided belt. Using some simple accessories can transform the look of an outfit and give it a bit of a “twist”.

– outerwear. 1 outdoor parka jacket (waterproof and windproof), 1 oversized scarf and 1 knitted headband. Just 1x of everything is more than enough to stay nice and warm and look presentable too. Everything is black (that’s usually my preference), so everything matches and it’s less of a hassle to be on the go with.

– extra layer. As a bonus layer, I’ve thrown into my bag also my foldable puffer vest, just in case (usually I try to avoid “just in case items”, but this takes no space at all and it can be extremely good to have it on hand if temperatures outside get frosty).

Here’s just some of the outfits I’ve created (and I might have created!! The perks of having a small wardrobe, eheheheh):


  1. ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt (Everlane) , grey long sleeve top (thrifted), black yoga pants (Mandala Yoga), vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens) , geometrical necklace (Estonian local handicraft store)
  2. Denim shirt from Replay, black turtleneck long sleeve top (thrifted), Authentic Stretch High Rise Skinny Jeans (Everlane) in washed black, vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens) , geometrical necklace (Estonian local handicraft store)


3) Polka Dot Oversized Shirt (Everlane, currently on sale!), red cashmere blend sweater (thrifted), Authentic Stretch High Rise Skinny Jeans (Everlane), vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens), chunky necklace (thrifted)

4) black turtleneck long sleeve top (thrifted),  red cashmere blend sweater (thrifted), black yoga pants (Mandala Yoga), vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens)


5) black ReNew Fleece Sweatshirt (Everlane),Polka Dot Oversized Shirt (Everlane, currently on sale!), Authentic Stretch High Rise Skinny Jeans (Everlane), vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens), chunky necklace (thrifted)

6) black/grey turtleneck dress (thrifted), Authentic Stretch High Rise Skinny Jeans (Everlane), vegan chelsea boots (Dr. Martens)

(for some reason I forgot to take a picture of an outfit I created using tights, but you get the point of how versatile everything can be even when traveling with just a carry on bag).

Of course I also had toiletries and other items, but this is it for the clothes I’ve packed. If you want to have a glimpse into this small winter travel wardrobe and also take a look at how I’ve packed everything into my backpack, you can check my video “Packing light for winter travel | Minimalist winter packing in a carry on”:

How do you like to pack when traveling in winter or when headed to cold destinations?




Disclaimer: This post is NOT sponsored. However, by clicking on the links above, you support the work I do with my blog and Youtube channel at no extra cost for you. Also, for more information on the ethical brands that I support and I work with, you can check the following links to their websites:
Everlane  |  Organic Basics
Thank you. ❤


  1. Once again, amazing packing advice.
    My fav combination is pic 3; shirt, maroon sweater, pants- I like the combination on you, the necklace makes it look even better.
    We will be traveling again soon in Feb through to March. One cold destination – Berlin, and two warm ones – Thailand & UAE.
    This guide is so applicable for our Berlin trip. Cant wait to pack now.
    I will be doing;
    Toiletries, Make up, iPad, Journal, pens.
    2 bra, 4 panties, 2 tank top, 2 socks, 2 sweater, 1 regular pants, thermal top and pants, 1 set of workout clothes, 1 (gym) sneakers, 1 fleece jacket.
    1 winter jacket, 1 fleece tights, 1 sweater, 1 scarf, 1 boots and underwear (which I will be wearing on the plane)
    Will be using my ReKanken for cabin bag and a medium/small checked suitcase.
    My jacket and thermals are from Patagonia and all basic bras, panties and tank tops are from Organic Basics – as recommended by you.

    Thanks Jenny fo another wonderful post, I hope you are feeling much better now and recovering well.


    • Thank you, I’m happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed this post!! It sounds like you have everything already well planned and organized for your trip! 🙂
      I am feeling much better now, thank you! ❤ If you have any questions about Berlin let me know! 🙂


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