What to wear on snow

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winter.

I’ve been cooped up in my house for far too long. It’s time to get out there and experience the magic that is snow!

But what should I wear? Is it cold? Do I need to bundle up? Should I bring an extra layer?

Don’t worry—we’ve got all your answers right here.

You’ll want to wear layers that are warm but not bulky; think cozy sweaters, hats, scarves, leggings, and boots. If you’re going to be outside for a while, make sure you bring an extra sweater or coat just in case the weather changes quickly.

What to wear on snow

The weather outside is frightful, but the heat inside is so delightful.

It’s time to cozy up with a warm drink and some wintery fun. Whether you’re staying in and playing video games or going out and making snow angels, we’ve got some tips on what to wear when you’re out in the cold!

Whether you’re heading out on a winter vacation, or just spending a day in the snow, your wardrobe can make all the difference in how much fun you have. Here are some tips for dressing for the cold and snow!

Clothing Essentials For your First Trip To The Snow

  • Start with an under-layer.
  • Add Warm Layers.
  • Top Layer.
  • Snow Boots.
  • Beanies.
  • Balaclava.
  • Ski Gloves.
  • Socks

CLOTHING ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR FIRST TRIP TO THE SNOW
August 21st, 2020

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THINKING ABOUT HEADING TO THE SNOW FOR A DAY? KNOWING WHAT TO PACK FOR THE SNOW IS A CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE.
To make things easier for you, we’ve listed a few important clothing essentials that will make your time at the snow an enjoyable one.

In this article
START WITH AN UNDER-LAYER
ADD WARM LAYERS
TOP LAYER
SNOW BOOTS
BEANIES
BALACLAVA
SKI GLOVES
SOCKS
SUNGLASSES
START WITH AN UNDER-LAYER
ADD WARM LAYERS
TOP LAYER
SNOW BOOTS
BEANIES
BALACLAVA
SKI GLOVES
SOCKS
SUNGLASSES
START WITH AN UNDER-LAYER
Lightweight, breathable underlayers, such as thermals, fleece and merino wool are essential for keeping you warm and dry during those really icy, cold days. If your outer layer were to get wet from either falling over or from constant snowfall, the last thing you would want is for it to soak right through to your skin. You would freeze, and that’s why this layer is so important for both top and bottom.

Even if you’re just planning a casual outing around the resort or mountain your under layer will protect you from the elements you may experience throughout the day.

ADD WARM LAYERS
Now it’s time to add layers. Function matters! The last thing you want is to keep piling on clothes before you realise you can’t move. Selecting the right quality gear is important – it will allow you to move freely while protecting you from the constant change in weather conditions.

This layer is called your insulating layer. For this, you can choose between a sweater, a turtleneck, or an insulating shirt – anything that’s designed to keep you warm. If you own any vests or hoodies, these are also great alternatives to keep you warm.

If the weather is particularly cold, a fleece layer or soft-shell jacket is essential to make it through those colder days. If you find yourself getting too hot, wearing underlayers with zippers makes it much easier for you to remove items of clothing, without having to take everything else off.

a woman cross-country skiing
TOP LAYER
The most important layer you will own is your outer layer, your ski jacket, and pants. This is where you can choose your style, just so long as it’s warm. Your main jacket and pants are insulated and usually waterproof, helping protect you from the wind, snow, and rain that you might incur.

You can choose from a range of different styles for both jackets and pants, but I suggest you look into gear that is waterproof, breathable, windproof, and seam-sealed.

To make it through those colder winter days, you’ll be reliant on the clothing that you buy. Good quality clothing will make for a more pleasant trip. However, items like these can get expensive, so if you’re wanting to trial the snow for the first time but don’t want to buy everything straight away, consider hiring your snow gear. It’s considerably more affordable and it means you will have less to pack into the car!

SNOW BOOTS
Now if there’s anything that will stop you from having a good time, it’s having soaking wet, freezing cold feet. Snow boots are designed to make sure that snow won’t find it’s way into your boot. They work to keep your feet insulated and warm, with a breathable waterproof lining that will also help to keep them dry.

Ideally, you want your boots to have a durable rubber tread that allows you to have stability and grip when walking on the snow, otherwise, your feet will slip from underneath you constantly.

women walking with snow gear on
BEANIES
Wearing a beanie is one of the quickest and easiest ways to stay warm. A comfortable, soft and breathable merino wool beanie will help protect your ears from the cold and help to regulate your body temperature, keeping you warmer for longer.

BALACLAVA
For extreme winter conditions and perhaps to keep the young ones happy, a balaclava can provide an extra layer of warmth that can make all the difference on those particularly cold, windy days. It will provide extra protection on your face, ears and lips.

SKI GLOVES
Whether you’re skiing or just taking a stroll through the mountain, gloves are a necessity. If you’re wanting to keep your hands warm and protected, mittens are the way to go, especially if you’re bringing along kids.

Look for gloves that will secure and tighten around your wrist. This will help to trap warmth inside your gloves and keep out unwanted snow.

SOCKS
There’s nothing worse than having cold, wet feet for the duration of your time on the snow. A base layer and an insulating layer, such as thin wool or synthetic socks, are often the perfect solution for keeping your feet warm enough throughout the course of the day.

SUNGLASSES
Perhaps one of the most important purchases you will make are your sunglasses. No matter how many times you’ve been cross-country skiing, from beginner through to advanced, sunglasses are an essential part of your protection.

Sunglasses will protect your eyes from different weather conditions, such as; UV rays, glare, wind and snow, which if not taken into consideration could potentially lead to blindness or damage to your eyes, we definitely want to avoid this!

Lake Mountain is the closest ski resort to Melbourne (just a two hour drive from the CBD). It’s the perfect little mountain to take your family to experience snow for the first time. We’d love to see you there when the time is right!

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What to wear on snowy day

If you’re like us, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about what to wear on a snowy day. And that’s fine—it’s a fun topic! But we know it can be hard to find great advice on the internet.

That’s why we decided to write this blog post for you: to help you find out the perfect outfit for your next snow day.

Winter is here!

You may be thinking, “I’m not ready for this.” Well, you are. You just don’t know it yet.

It’s time to stop being afraid of the snow and embrace it. The beauty and wonder that comes with a winter wonderland is something you should never miss out on—and we want to help you enjoy it!

What to Wear in the Snow: Packing List and Packing Tips
what-to-wear-in-the-snow
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Snow trips require expert packing, as it’s not easy fitting thick coats into a small bag. We’re sharing our expert tips on what to wear in the snow along with a snow packing list!

What to Wear in the Snow
Written By: Sebrin Elms

Table Of Contents

It’s that time of year when we start preparing for wintery, wonderland travel. Snowy slopes, cozy cabins, and charming little towns with twinkling lights are just some of the backdrops we can expect this season.

But one thing that makes us want to give up and book a trip to Bali? The idea of packing all of those snow clothes in a single suitcase and knowing exactly what to wear in the snow! The video below might help get you started.

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Get started on preparing for winter travel with this video!

It’s important to note that bulky fabrics won’t necessarily make you feel warmer! You have to choose the right cold weather fabrics and layer your items strategically.

But before you can pack, you need to know what to wear in the snow.

What to Wear in the Snow

Fashion in the snow is actually doable (and can be super adorable). Dress like a snow bunny or a high fashion hiker amongst the white powder with the help of our snowy style guide.

Unless you’re hiking the frozen tundras of the North Pole, snowy attire is almost always about layers. You’ll most definitely need a weatherproof jacket, a sweater or thermals, and a regular shirt to add to your travel capsule wardrobe.

Depending on how cold or snowy the climate, you can go with jeans (and even tights underneath to keep you warm) or snow pants if it’s really cold. Pair them with a merino wool base or cotton long-sleeve t-shirt, and layer with a sweater. You also can explore more on what winter clothing to choose by watching the video below.

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This video can help you plan a packable winter wardrobe!

Now you can finish with accessories! Suede mittens with faux fur trim, cute ear muffs, a chunky knit scarf and cute cabin socks are just some of the accessories that can help dress up your layers upon layers of snow proof clothing. Just make sure that fashion meets functionality.

Odds are you will be going out on the town for one night, even if it is freezing. Wear a sweater dress with long sleeves or is forgiving so that you can wear tights underneath without the seams showing through. Bundle up with ankle boots and accessories, including your scarves, mittens and jackets. Give it all to coat check when you arrive!

Alex’s Snow Packing List

Now that you have some great ideas on what types of clothing to wear, it helps to know the specific layers to bring to stay warm. When editor-in-chief Alex visited Park City, Utah for a week-long wintry stay in a Deer Valley cabin, she wanted to bring cute cozy clothing to spend lazy days in the cabin, enjoying the view, and being surrounded by nature.

TFG readers have been asking about what she brought specifically, so she’s sharing her most vital items for one week in the snow that kept her toasty warm, which you could use as a template for your own winter trips!

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

Columbia Carson Pass II Jacket | Also at Columbia

Columbia Carson Pass II Parka

​​The Columbia Carson Pass II is one of the most popular coats on the blog! It’s durable and water-resistant, which makes it perfect for adventurous trips and cold, wet weather. And since the fabric is reinforced, it won’t easily rip or snag!

It’s waterproof and breathable at the same time, so it doesn’t feel too bulky to pack. The adjustable storm hood keeps you covered yet on those chilly-sunny days you can easily remove it.

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

In Columbia Jacket and Cashmere Wool Hat

Alex gives her mini-review, “I not only wore it the during a winter Utah trip, but also my National Parks road trip earlier this year when I transitioned from chilly Colorado to more desert climates like Vegas and Utah, and it kept me SOO warm!”

Overall, it has a modern but classic fit, which means it’s suitable for a range of motion and is ideal to wear outdoors to explore or hike around. Available in sizes XS-XXL and 1X-3X.

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

UGG Wilde Waterproof Leather Boot

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UGG Wilde Waterproof Boots

The Wilde leather waterproof boots are so versatile and can be paired with pants, skirts, or jeans to give an edge to your outfit.

They have the waterproof element while still looking stylish and they’re an easy, go-to pair of shoes for travel in winter, autumn, and even spring in cooler climates!

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

j Crew Margot 100% Merino Wool Sweater

J. Crew Margot Merino Wool Sweater

If you’ve been reading TFG for a while, you know how obsessed we are with J. Crew! Alex fell in love with the Tippi sweater which currently doesn’t have many sizes left, but the Margot crewneck sweater has become the #1 winter choice for many readers. This comes in many gorgeous colors, so there is a color to suit everyone, and it’s soft as well as durable. It’s offered in inclusive sizing too (XXXS-3X)!

One reader says, “I love my sweaters, as they are incredibly soft. I’m a little obsessed now.” Another one adds, “I only get my merino wool sweaters from J. Crew, as they are such great quality.”

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

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Angelina Brushed Fleece Lined Leggings

Angelina Fleece Lined Leggings

A highly popular reader pick, the Angelina fleece leggings are seamless and feel smooth like hosiery yet keep you warm!

Alex’s short review says, “I ordered a pair of these myself when I spent the winter in Shelter Island in San Diego living on a boat. Even though Southern California weather is quite moderate, it feels bitter cold when you’re on a boat directly over the water in the open air and without much insulation. Paired with the matching fleece long sleeved top, a down jacket, and my Ugg boots, these were incredible and kept me comfortable for boat life.”

Though It’s one universal size, most users say “they’re super stretchy and could fit a wide range of people.” Comes in one size or queen size.

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

Terramar Thermasilk Pointelle Top | Terramar Thermasilk Pointelle Pant

Terramar Thermasilk Warm Base Layer Top and Bottoms

While fleece leggings are definitely a must, the most vital item above all is thermals. Wearing them underneath everything allows the body to retain constant warmth.

If you’re looking for a layering item, consider the silk Terramar base layer top that can keep your body warm, but also wick away sweat during any winter activity. It also doesn’t retain odors!

Most of the time, it’s better to buy your thermals in a set, so don’t forget you can pick up the Terramar silk bottoms to create your own set!

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While merino wool clothing makes great base layers, so does silk. And these are a must-have for TFG readers! Both the tops and bottoms are available in sizes XS-XL.

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

Kirkland Quarter Trail Merino Wool Socks

Kirkland Merino Wool Socks

TFG readers and editor-in-chief Alex adore Kirkland’s merino wool socks for their softness, comfort, and warmth factor. One reader shares, “I wash them in cold water and hang them to air dry, but they have held up really well and keep my feet warm, too.”

They come in a pack of four and you can choose from several different patterns and colors. With a cushioned footbed and reinforced heel and toe, these socks will last all season long!

She also brought these other warm pieces that are worth mentioning:

Old Navy Sherpa sweater (similar)
Halogen Cashmere V-Neck Sweater
J. Crew Cashmere Turtle Neck Sweater (similar)
Carovia Fleece Lined Leggings
Ice Breaker Thermal Top + Thermal Bottom (extra set)

To read more about her snowy one-week trip to Park City, Utah, and see her entire packing list, you can find it here!

If you’re interested in other ideas, here’s a sample winter capsule wardrobe:

what-to-wear-in-the-snow-packing-list

Sweater | Thermals | Longsleeve | Pullover | Baselayer | Pants 1 | Pants 2 | Jeans | Dress 1 | Dress 2 | Coat | Jacket | Boots 1 | Boots 2 | Beanie | Backpack

Sample Snow Packing List

2-3 jackets (puffer, parka and waterproof)
2-3 sweaters
1-2 thermals
5 tops
4 bottoms (1 waterproof pair, 2 jeans, 1 thermal or tights)
1-2 pajama sets (preferably sweats)
1-2 light jackets/wraps (depending on weather, 1 rainproof option)
1 dress
3 pairs of shoes (Snow boots, booties and sneakers)
Accessories (scarves, beanies, ear muffs, gloves, mittens, socks, tights etc.)

How to Pack for a Snow Trip

Now that you know what to wear in the snow, it’s time to figure out how to pack all those layers and big jackets!

Here’s a quick summary on how to pack for a snow trip:

Pick the Right Suitcase
Start With the Boots
Add Dense Fabrics
Start Adding Accessories
Finish With Items You Can Squish

Snow boots, heavy jackets and large sweaters take up a lot of packing room and the idea that we can get all of this in a single bag is quite frightening. But fear not, fashionistas! We can help you pack fashionable necessities that will make you look like cute little snow bunnies all while saving money and major luggage hassles.

To help you make the most of your winter gear and limited luggage space, start by reading these general tips on packing for winter travel:

Winter Packing List for Cold Weather
How to Pack for Cold Weather
How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather
Extreme Cold Weather Clothing Strategies
The Secret to Packing Light in Winter
The Best Travel Shoes for Winter

how-to-pack-for-a-snow-trip

Osprey Ozone Wheeled Luggage

Pick the Right Suitcase

You’d think the bigger the better would serve you best with all of these heavy snow items. But the last thing you’re going to want to do is lug a heavy suitcase in the snow.

Unless you’re taking a Christmas cruise or have your own personal valet, you’re going to want medium-sized luggage so your arms don’t fall off carrying your bag. But the real question is: should you do hard or soft luggage?

In my experience, soft luggage tends to offer more space in last-minute packing situations. Hard luggage is great for reminding us what we really need and forces us not to overpack. But since we have bigger items that we need to squeeze in our gear, soft luggage is usually best. Or, consider a flexible rolling suitcase or a large backpack.

Discover the top luggage brands for travel and why they love them!

how-to-pack-for-a-snow-trip

Sorel Snow Angel Boot

Start With the Boots

When deciding what to wear in the snow, you’re definitely going to need snow boots or rain boots that work as snow boots. Unfortunately, these are the least forgiving items when it comes to packing space.

First, gather all of your bras, undies, scarves and mittens that you know you’ll bring with you. Shoves them to capacity in those boots (roll, fold or just shove in there). Then pack your boots. To help save some space, place one boot in your bag to make it look like an “L” shape. Then, put the other boot upside down and facing its other half.

It should make a loose looking rectangle frame. Not only will this save space but will help build a frame for your suitcase (which is incredibly useful in the event that you’re using soft luggage). If you’re struggling to figure what types of winter shoes to pack, the video below might help!

Watch this video to learn the best winter shoes to take with you!

If possible, only bring a single pair of snow boots. You could always bring a pair of sneakers for light weather days or event booties for a night out on the town. But you don’t want to pack extra boots you don’t need.

Not exactly recommended, since new shoes should be broken in before a trip so you know they are comfortable, but if you really need two pairs, try waiting to buy a pair when you arrive. They’ll be brand new, in fashion with local trends, and save space in your bag.

Here’s the best women’s waterproof leather boots for travel!

what-to-wear-in-the-snow

Compass Rose Packing Cubes

Compress Fabrics When Possible

Much like snow boots, heavier fabrics aren’t forgiving when it comes to packing. They’re bulky and there aren’t many ingenious ways to fold them in your bag. This can include snow pants, coats, or heavy sweaters.

Generally, bulky sweaters take up a lot of room in a suitcase, which is why it’s better to choose a warm, yet packable fabric like merino wool. As an example, the J. Crew Margot Sweater is 100% merino wool and rolls up small in packing cubes to compress your clothing as shown in the packing video below.

Learn hacks with packing cubes in the video above or watch the entire five-part YouTube series!

With items already in packing cubes, just place them in around your already packed snow boots. To save as much space as possible, try wearing your bigger items at the airport. I always bring my heavy or large jackets on the plane in case I get cold or can use them as a pillow. And if you’re looking for other packing organizers, read these tips!

However, there’s actually may be the odd occasion where you may need to pack a little more, depending on the destination or activities you’ll be doing. In that case, what should you do?

To give more illustration, when editor-in-chief Alex embarked on her Park City, Utah ski trip, she had to account for not only taking her usual lightweight but warm winter clothes, she also brought clothing that was more thick and plush.

She was traveling with five other people, some of which were skiing, and four of which checked bags. Even though her traveling party rented a large Suburban to drive from Salt Lake City airport to Deer Valley, a group of six people plus coats, luggage, and personal items quickly got cramped!

Yet, with her lightweight clothing and heavier items, she still managed to pack carryon only! Her BIG secret? Compression bags!

TAKE A LOOK AT THE INSTAGRAM VIDEO BELOW TO SEE ALEX’S STEP BY STEP PROCESS AND LEARN HOW SHE USED COMPRESSION BAGS TO DOWNSIZE AND PACK ALL OF HER WINTER GEAR:

Note: We DO NOT recommend compression bags for fast-paced multi-stop trips, they’re great for a single destination when all you have to do is unpack and repack one time. For more multi-stop trips, we recommend using a set of packing cubes and the Compass Rose ones are color and number coded so it’s easy to organize clothing if you’re having to unpack and repack frequently.

Read this post for even more guidance on how to use compression bags to pack winter clothing!

how-to-pack-for-a-snow-trip

Icebreaker Merino Top and Leggings

Start Adding Accessories

Most of the prime real estate in your luggage should be filled with snow gear and boots at this point. But you might notice there are still a few available slots and layers.

Depending if you’re checking a bag or using this as a carryon, this is when you can start adding some of those last-minute things you know you’ll need but can maneuver a lot better.

This can include light shirts, pajamas, makeup and toiletries, hair tools, and any remaining socks, scarves and hats you couldn’t fit in your boots. Start finding spare pockets and spaces to add these items you can’t live without.

how-to-pack-for-a-snow-trip

Nomad Lane Bento Personal Carryon Bag and Compass Rose Packing Cubes

Alternatively, if you’re bringing a personal item onboard, choosing something multi-use like the Nomad Lane Bento Bag, gives some extra packing options, allowing you spread spread accessories that you may even use in-flight, like toiletries, scarves, or hats, as well as fitting in electronics.

Here’s a list of our favorite thermal layers to ensure you pack light and stay warm!

how-to-pack-for-a-snow-trip

32 Degrees Ultralight Packable Down Jacket

Finish With Items You Can Squish

Odds are you have a puffer jacket you have to bring, or an extra sweater, but can’t seem to fit it all. Fold the items as best as you can (those puffer jackets are a beast to fold!), place them at the top, inside part of your pack and fold over your suitcase top.

Finally, sit on your suitcase and have a friend help you zip! This might not be the most glamorous way to pack, but you’ll definitely get your last minute items in there.

Another option for outerwear is to choose a packable down jacket which can fit better into your luggage, yet still keep you toasty. And remember: where you’re traveling is cold! Since you’re most likely going to wear layers to and from the airport, you could also wear a down jacket which will inevitably save room in your bag overall.

Read this guide on packing winter jackets!

What are your tips on what to wear in the snow? Share your snow packing list in the comments below!

For more packing strategies, please read the following:

Arctic Clothing: Extreme Cold Weather Gear for Women
Long Term Travel Tips: Transitioning from Hot to Cold Weather
The Easy Packing Solution for Trips with Cold and Warm Destinations
Traveling from Cold to Hot Climates: My Layering Strategy

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We hope you liked this snow packing list and tips on what to wear in the snow. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

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