Winter Packing Guide for Two Weeks in France

One of my dreams is coming true. This coming December I will be traveling to France for the first time ever, and I am so so happy!! We got fortunate finding a cheap flight with Norwegian airlines where we’re only allowed to bring on a carry-on, so our backpacks have fit the carry-on required size. We’re each bringing the TLS Mother Lode by Ebags so the number of items I can fit is limited! I am taking it as a challenge, and I am excited to share with you all my packing list!

To help you prepare for your winter trip, here’s a list of must-have items to put in your suitcase or carry-on. I wasn’t able to find some of the exact items for the some of the photos, but I’ve linked everything below!

Before I jump in, I wanted to share a little tip. It’s a bit of extra work, but I think it’ll give you some peace of mind knowing that the outfits you pack actually make sense and go together. How to accomplish it? Lay out all your clothes on your bed and then try on the pants with each top you chose and then do it with the sweater. It’ll help you visualize each item outfit and it’ll help you decide if maybe you have to switch for a different color. You can also snap a photo, so you later remember each outfit combination.

Ok, let’s go!

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WINTER COAT
It’s big and bulky, but NECESSARY. You’ll need a winter coat if you’re traveling in winter. A heavy black pea coat is a warm and fashionable option. Since winter coats take up so much room in your suitcase, you’ll want to pick one heavy-duty, goes-with-everything jacket. To seriously save space, consider using a vacuum-packed space bag to squeeze in your bulky garments, and wear your winter coat on the plane to save space in your luggage. (#1) This is the coat I am bringing.

SWEATERS
Break out the cable knit sweaters, cardigans and fleece tops. It’s a good idea to bring a few t-shirts too, both short-sleeve and long-sleeve, so you can layer-up to stay warm. My two chunky sweaters for the trip are this beautiful chunky green knit sweater and this (similar to the picture) (#2) cable-knit cream cardigan. I also will travel with this super (#3) cozy gray sweater from H&M.

SHIRTS & BLOUSES
When you’re picking which tops to bring, remember that in winter, you’ll have your coat on 85% (or more) of the time. So the key here is remember to layer and pick colors that also go with your pants. Stripes is always a go-to choice because it really goes with everything. Great options for (#11) striped black and white long-sleeve shirt, and a (#9) mustard color long-sleeve shirt and in (#12) white, and (#10) black. Chambray shirts are very easy to pair with essentially any pair of pants, these are some options from (#4) JCrew, and Target.

I am also choosing to pack 2-3 nicer going-out tops for when we go to grab drinks or dinner at a nice place. These are the three blouses I am packing: brown floral top from Francescas’s, this blue-lace peplum top from Vici, and this (#13) ivory bell-sleeve shirt from JCrew, I also love this option as well: (#5) front-bow shirt.

PANTS
Pack jeans and heavier slacks for this trip. i love black, and it goes with everything. Pack a black pair of jeans and dark colored pants to easily mix and match with all your tops and sweaters.A pair of tights or leggings to layer under your pants is also a good choice. My go-to pants for this trip are: these black and (so comfortable) (#6) skinny jeans from Francesca’s, or similar. To add some color to my palette, I am bringing my favorite (#7) burgundy pants from Banana Republic. Dark jeans are always a good choice (#8) from Loft.

BOOTS
Comfortable shoes are key since you’ll be walking a lot! So, don’t leave home without them. You’ll want a pair of waterproof, leather boots with a nice lining inside. (#14) These are mine, and the ones pictures above and here is a similar option in leather.

I am not sure I’ll use these, but (#15) black ballet flats are always a nice alternative in case it’s not too cold. And if you’re bringing black tights, you can use them too!

SCARF AND HAT
Winter is a great time to break out your colorful scarves and knit hats. Don’t shy away from those big, blanket-like scarves – i really think they’re the best. Thick socks are a must too.
Here are is (#18) my scarf for the trip, my socks and my (#16) beanie.

In this round up i didn’t include underwear, so of course we can’t forget that. A good idea is to also pack these in a compact baggie. Here is an option I love.

ACCESORIES
Purse
Remember that if you’re going to be walking a lot, you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. I recommend a simple/small (#19) cross-body bag that you can easily carry with you all day. A small backpack is also nice especially if you think you’ll buy little cockshies along the way.

Sunglasses
I LOVE my Kapten & Son (#17) sunglasses, so I’ll definitely be bringing mine along.

Portable charger
I’ll probably rely on my iPhone to take most of the pictures, so my phone’s battery I know won’t last me the whole day. I invested on a portable charger to keep with me.

Packing Cubes
To make my life easier, I rely on my favorite packing cubes! They really make organizing your clothes so much easier and makes your set up so much more compact. These are the ones I use.

Toiletries & Cosmetics
I know this category is more subjective because we all have different makeup routines. I also realize that toiletries really do take a lot of room but don’t fret! Rely on a good toiletry bag that isn’t bulky and is relatively flat. Anything that' isn’t bulky is your friend. Here are some options for makeup bags, Option 1, Option 2, Option 3.
Among my must have items in my toiletry bag: day cream moisturizer with SPF, lip balm, and eye drops.

What are your packing essentials? Tell me in the comments!