No sooner do I hit my stride in navigating summer, then BOOM! it’s time to get ready for winter. I know, winter is still in the distance, but it’s getting closer and closer. And if you plan on traveling this winter, now is a good time to assess your needs. For most of you, this will be a no-brainer, but for those of us in the warmer states where cold temperatures are rare and short-lived, this can seem daunting.
The first item we need to get right is (yup, here I go again) are our shoes. Happy feet equals happy traveller. That you need comfortable walking shoes is a given, but in the winter months, these need to do double, or triple duty. In addition to getting you through the day, your shoes also need to keep your feet dry and warm. Happily, there are several shoes/boots that will do just that, plus do it style.
Yes, I have my own go-to favorites: Aquatalia, La Canadienne and Cole Haan shoes are comfortable, water-proof, warm and stylish. I love boots, and will usually travel with a pair. I wear mine on the plane so I can travel carry-on only. While I am comfortable wearing my boots on the plane, I know lots of people do not like to do so. In that case, just zip them off once you’re on board and exchange them for a light weight foldable ballet shoe or slippers or heavy socks that you’ve packed just for travel comfort.
These are just some examples. You should note, that these designers make shoes and boots that are not all-weather, too, so just be sure to check out their water proof or weather proof models.
A special note to all my California readers who, I know, love their Hunter boots. It doesn’t take much rain for us all to go running to our closets for our beloved Hunters. But, girls, beware, these things, as well as all rubber or plastic boots, will shoot the chill air from your toes to your torso. If these boots are to be your boot of choice, please make sure you purchase the boot sock liners
The next most important item is your coat. Here I tend to favor a good, wool coat. Wool is warm and the styles are almost infinite. You can choose whichever color or style you like, and find one in your budget.
You can go elegant and classic with this Diane von Furstenberg camel wrap with hidden closures http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/diane-von-furtstenberg-wool-blend-maxi-wrap-coat/4400871?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=CAMEL
Or you can go retro with a Kate Spade pea coat
These are just a couple of ideas, but the looks and colors go on and on. The main thing to remember is to look for buttons that will keep the coat closed when the wind whips around and a collar that you can pull up for extra warmth on your neck. A beautiful, warm scarf will help to keep the collar in place.
I know that many opt for down when traveling. Yes, down is light, but I don’t need to pack my wool coat. Outer wear can be carried on and doesn’t count as luggage, so the weight question is moot for me. Down can get crushed when traveling, which reduces loft, which means not so warm. There may be areas where the fill is uneven leaving cold spots. The other issue for me is rain. Wool can take a fairly heavy dose of rain as compared to down. There are several water resistant down jackets out there, but the operative word is “resistant.” I don’t want to be a tester while traveling. But if I were to travel with down, I would choose a coat that was labeled “waterproof.”
Or this Patagonia coat with detachable waterproof shell.
Don’t forget, that in colder weather, layers are your friends. A silk cami or t-shirt to start, with a shirt and then a pull-over on top. On my bottom half, I like a wool skirt. I’m always warmer in a skirt than in pants. I think the fabric of a wool skirt keeps in some body heat, but pants or slacks leave each leg on their own in the wind..brrr. These items, along with your weather proof shoes and well buttoned coat and you should be good to go. Plus, don’t forget those winter essentials: scarf, hat and gloves (leather with a wool or cashmere lining are my favorite: leather stops the wind, wool keeps me warm).