Post # 1
I have a confession to make. I’ve lived my entire life in the SF bay area, and because I’m a big wimp I sometimes I go on tropical vacations to avoid the 40 degree winter. As a result, I’ve only seen snow a handful of times in my life, and I don’t own any winter wear. My husband and I are planning to spend 2 weeks over Christmas in Rome and London, and now that I’m starting to plan for it, I’m stumped about what to bring. Bees, help me out! What do I need to get?
I own this jacket, will it be enough?
Post # 2
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
We fly out on Thanksgiving Day (Nov 27) for London and we will be visiting Paris and Amsterdam during our two weeks overseas.
Your jacket looks perfect! I am wearing a wool coat I have had for a few years but I need to treat it with waterproofing before we leave because my husband says it’s pretty much always raining or misting in the UK that time of year. I also plan to pack a fleece, a wool hat, and wool gloves. If you’re lucky and shop now you might be able to pick some up on clearance like I did from a local department store. I only paid $2 each for my hat and gloves and they also had woven scarves for $2-5. I already have 4 scarves at home I plan to pack.
Other than that I am limited to a carryon so I am packing light. 1 pair of black dress pants, 1 pair of jeans, 1 black skirt, 2 pairs of tights, 1 pair of pantyhose (to wear under pants), 4 long sleeve shirts, 2-3 undershirts for layering, 1 black sweater, 1 black sportcoat, 1 pair boots, 1 pair of tennis shoes, 7 pairs of underwear and socks, and 1 pajama set.
Post # 4
I lived in London last year around Christmas, and I did an awful job packing. I tried to bring a bunch of cute tops, and once I got there I just wished I would have packed warm stuff. It’s going to be fairly wet in England, make sure you’re very waterproof! Especially your shoes. It’s no fun being a tourist with freezing cold toes. Gloves would be good as well, again, waterproof! I had a pair of leather ones that were a life saver. Rome will be cold too, I went last feb. and I froze my butt off. So, a bunch of sweaters and waterproof things! A bunch of the girls I was traveling with brought a bunch of different scarves so that their outfits looked different every day since they had a jacket on at all times.
Hope that helps! Those space saver bags are awesome if you’re packing a bunch of sweaters. They have them at Bed Bath and Beyond, and they’re awesome. Have fun on your trip!
Post # 5
Thank you for the lists ladies! I’m glad to hear that my jacket will be okay. I was worried I’d have to buy a down coat or something, which I’d never use again. I’ll have to pick up gloves, a scarf, and some undershirts. I imagine they’ll have them at rei.
Post # 6
The weather in London will probably be a lot colder than in Rome. But your jacket looks like it should be enough… Enjoy your trip!
Post # 7
I’m from Arizona, and I find the winters in England to be pretty mild. I spent all of December 2012 here, and then I moved here in February, so I’ve had a taste! You don’t need anything for super cold weather like you would back east. It’s more important to keep out the wet!
The most important thing is good shoes. This past winter was the wettest yet, and they say next winter likely will be too. You’ll be walking through puddles, and if you’re in a park or in the country, you’ll be walking through mud. I have a great pair of boots from Crocs. They are like wellies in that they are a solid piece of rubber material on the outside. Then on the inside they are warm fleece. Plus they are a bit more sturdy than typical wellies, so they are good for walking a lot. You definitely want some waterproof boots!
I also am a big fan of knee-high socks. That, or wear tights under all your trousers. On top I’d typically do a sweater and any waterproof jacket (with a hood!). If I am wearing a thinner top, then I’d go for a thicker waterproof. I wouldn’t bring more than one non-waterproof jacket. Most of the time you’ll want protection from the rain, but it might be nice to have one alternative for the sunny days.
My hands are always cold no matter what, so gloves are a must. Again, don’t opt for a thin cotton pair – get ones that will propel the water.
Post # 8
London will have wet cold, Rome more of a dry cold. I have seen both.
I recommend layers, lots of them, with a waterproof outer layer. Don’t wear actual waterproofs/ plastic though, because that way you are likely to end up with fungal infections. Leather is a good outer layer. Try to stick with natural fabrics. Avoid anything which sticks to your body and/or causes you to sweat… the sweat will be retained underneath the layers and is unhygienic. A case in point is tights… avoid wearing multiple pairs etc under layers of clothing… that’s how you get thrush. Knee or thigh high cotton socks under trousers are much better.
This also applied to shoes: goretex boots or leather shoes are much better than wellington boots, which don’t allow your feet to breathe and can encourage foot fungus. If you go hiking in the countryside in England on a wet day, only the little kids will be in wellington boots. The adults will wear goretex or leather shoes/boots… the reason the kids aren’t wearing them is because it’s too expensive to keep replacing shoes like that as their feet grow. This is why, when we were kids, my parents made us dry between every toe with a towel, and we had to pay special attention to drying our feet and attending to our toenails… it’s because we were wearing plastic shoes!
Post # 9
Having been in Europe in the winter, and survived subzero several Beijing winters, I can confidently say that the key is layering. My secret weapon is the Uniqlo Heat Tech range – they are super thin, super comfortable thermals that are undetectable under normal sweaters, shirts and even jeans/pants. They come in tank tops, long-sleeved tops in a variety of necklines, leggings and even singlets with built-in bras. They are an absolute godsend, and in the coldest of cold winters I would wear two layers of Heat Tech, with a sweater and coat over the top. That way you can dress relatively normally (read: cute and not like a Michelin Man) but be toasty at the same time.
The two item I’d recommend is a Canada Goose jacket (although your North Face will suffice, with layers). I have the ankle-length Canada Goose and I could basically wear a t-shirt and shorts underneath and still be super warm. Last but not least, some really good rain boots – Hunters are comfortable and chic.
Post # 10
I live in the UK and its honestly not that bad. Your coat is perfect, bring a hat, some gloves and some wolly socks and you will be fine. We had such a mild winter this year, no snow, it hardly even rained, it was just a bit chilly. But over christmas its generally just cold… in october/november we get more of the rain
But then no one can predict the weather
Post # 11
I don’t live in the UK, but we head over every last week of January (from the Netherlands). This year I took a wool coat but ended up only really wearing my hoodies and sweatshirts.
One thing to keep in mind is it’s always raining and “misting” in both the UK and NL. Seriously, there’s days where there’s not one drop of water but you can end up soaked to the bone. I personally hate those days. LOL
Normally here in the NL, unless it’s seriously cold (I mean under 0 celsius type cold) I’m in hiking boots, jeans and a hoodie/sweater. If the wool coat comes out I have a scarf and gloves as well. 😉
Just don’t forget an umbrella.
Post # 12
I live in the Uk and my tip is LAYER! Sometimes I wear 4 layers up top (before a coat!) and 2-3 on the bottom. For example;
Vest – thin long sleeve – thin short sleeve – jumper/cardi
Long socks – leggings – jeans/cargos
Post # 13
The weather in the UK could be wet, cold and wet, cold and dry or just dampish but not freezing. Every winter is unhelpfully different. In 2012 we had a freezing cold, snowy winter. Last winter we had truly EPIC quantities of rain and half the country was, quite literally underwater!
Your North Face coat will be fine but you will need layers. Start with a thin, thermal vest and work upwards. Go for natural fabrics if possible – like wool jumpers and add warm shirts. Lined boots are good too. Be aware that unlike REALLY cold places – I was in Berlin a few years back in the winter and that was seriously cold – buildings are often poorly heated and drafty so keeping cosy indoors may be as important as keeping warm outside.
If you don’t pack enough clothes you can buy anything you need cheaply enough though.
Rome will be cold too. And quite possibly wet. But not as cold or as wet as the UK!
Post # 14
Thanks for all of the tips! Some of your descriptions are kind of scary, but I hope that these boots I got will help! On the plus side, it sounds like I don’t have to worry about looking fashionable.