Long gone are the days of throwing a bikini and a book in your suitcase for a trip. Unless you’re jetting off to far away tropical destinations, anywhere near to home will require winter weekend away outfits.
If you’re wondering what to pack (without taking your whole wardrobe to cover any eventuality) this is your guide to compiling a compact, warm wardrobe.
My best investment piece to date is an AWAY expandable carry-on suitcase. Spending almost £200 on luggage seems steep, but this little case is worth every penny. Mine looks almost brand new after plenty of wear and it fits within the size regulations of every airline. And trust me, it really is expandable – great if, like myself, you can’t go away without the kitchen sink. Packing cubes are also essential for keeping your case neat and making room for those last minute extras.
I highly recommend Amazon’s multipack of seven varying pouches. If you already have too many suitcases, look no further than the Bozer backpack for one or two night stays. It has a super handy laptop sleeve, side pockets and varying compartments for all your knick knacks. Plus seriously comfy straps! Job done.
Don’t take more than one pair of jeans. Forget black, grey, flares and skinnies – stick to a true blue straight cut to go with the rest of your capsule wardrobe. Weekday is my go-to for great fitting jeans at a fair price – the high waist Rowe style in Honest Blue is one of their top sellers. I also rate Mango’s denim selection, especially for long legs. H&M’s vintage straight high pair are also on my wish list.
Throw in one pair of trusty leather trousers to spice up your options. Some of the best on the high street come from M&S – the leather look, straight leg pair also come in khaki and in petite, regular or long lengths. Free People’s vegan style with contrasting seams is super flattering in a wide-leg cut. Or for those who hate black, Zara does a buttery-soft, chocolate high waist style for under £35.
A cross body bag
Cross body bags will allow you to go hands free, yet keep your belongings close at all times. I like the roomy recycled, nylon style from COS in navy. White Stuff’s khaki Winnie bag has even more compartments.
My top pick would be the Gabine leather saddle bag from Charles & Keith. It sold out twice previously for good reason and it comes with two interchangeable straps – use the sexier shoulder length at night. The best bargain all-rounder comes from Mango. This black quilted cross body is a steal for under £30 (£29.99, mango.com).
Wear your boots (but pack your trainers!)
Chunky stomper boots can easily be styled up or down with jeans or tights. Stick to black and other neutrals to keep them versatile. Ego’s Steele pair are my top pick. The extra thick sole gives the illusion of longer legs. The chunky Chelsea boot at Schuh comes in both beige and khaki. For a biker edge, try Dune’s buckled version.
Don’t forget a trusty pair of white trainers too. Veja’s leather ‘Esplar’ design will go with every outfit you pack. Or for a chunkier retro design, the 425’s from New Balance are a must-have.
Make sure to squeeze a pair of colour-pop heels into your case to upgrade your evening attire.
This sculptural, lilac, cut-out design will look perfect peeping out from under your leather trousers. If you dare to bare your toes in the cold, these strappy orange mid-heels are a must-have statement buy. Or invest in this pair of minimal naked-sandals. My top pick are Zara’s power-pink mules. All will elevate your look instantly.
You can transform winter weekend away outfits with the right jewels – simply adding a jazzy earring will make a daytime look dinner-party ready.
For a hint of colour, try these twisted blue hoops. Pearl girls look no further than Orelia’s statement bow pair. Or go for these green and gold beauties from Oliver Bonas. Chuck in a chain necklace too – layer it over a thick jumper or a plain t-shirt to add a luxe edge.
I don’t go anywhere without my Arket beanie once the temperature drops. It comes in fourteen colours, including a cornflower blue, dusty green and the ultimate neutral beige.
I also highly recommend Uniqlo’s Heattech scarf in a light greige shade. It rolls up tightly and fits well under bulkier coats. Also consider the cashmere blend scarf at a bargain price in the sale – run, don’t walk.
‘Jeans and a nice top’ is the look to stick to for winter weekend away outfits. Aim for thin, thermal layers like bodysuits and long sleeved tops that can be worn under other knits and then worn alone at night. Cut out styles are a go-to.
Saint + Sofia’s ‘Reveal’ ribbed roll neck comes in black, white and burgundy. Or pick the ‘Lydia’ knit top in ultramarine. I also love this show stopping asymmetric style from & Other Stories.
For the best bodysuit you can buy, try Intimissimi’s modal and cashmere blend long sleeved staple. You’ll find one of these in many a Fashion Editor’s wardrobe.
One chunky knit
Choose a single statement sweater to take with you – no need to pack them all. Opt for monochrome stripes to achieve that off-duty nautical look. Lindex stock a cosy patterned roll neck in beige and dark grey. Or try this boxy-fit mohair blend jumper in a jolly cerise.
For almost all destinations it’s best to wear your biggest, warmest coat and take a second alternative option for icy evenings. I would suggest a puffer for daytime wear, as most are also waterproof. For country pursuits with walks on the agenda try a technical jacket like Columbia’s Puffect black cropped version.
For a windy, chilly city like Copenhagen I recommend a longer style for mooching around. The recycled Thermowarmth™ padded parka in mocha has a Scandi minimal edge and it’s brilliant value.
For a style statement, I rate New Look’s boxy iteration in Kermit green or cobalt blue for under £40. For the ultimate edgy puffer, opt for the ultra-cropped, pleather jacket from Reserved.
Pack your second option in a tote if it won’t fit in your case. Fold up a smart woollen style for nights out – H&M’s tie-belt coat which comes in four perfect neutrals and would look great over your jeans and heels. If you can afford to splurge, the double-breasted, navy wool-mix style from the Premium Selection is a classic that will work for many winters to come. Or roll up a fun faux-fur, fluffy jacket instead for dry but chilly nights. I love Monki’s zipped oversized jacket in black, white or green. I also have my eye on River Island’s purple borg number.