Your winter birthday is coming up, and you’re wondering what to wear. You don’t want to look like you put no effort into planning what to wear, but you also don’t want to look like you tried too hard. You want to look like the best version of yourself: confident, comfortable, and cozy enough that people can see how much love you put into your outfit. We get it. We’ve been there. That’s why we’ve created this guide for how to dress for winter birthdays—so you can look great without having to worry about what everyone else thinks! It’s that time of year again: the holidays are approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear on your next winter birthday. The weather outside may be frightful, but your outfit doesn’t have to be! We’ve rounded up all your favorite winter trends in one place, so you can pull together a look that’s warm, cozy, and ready for anything this season brings.

What to Wear on Winter Birthday

It’s winter, and that means it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll wear on your birthday. Maybe you’re going out with friends, or maybe it’s a birthday dinner with family. Either way, you want to look good in whatever you choose to wear.

But how do you know what’s right? Well, we’re here to help! Read on for our guide to dressing for winter birthdays—and don’t forget that if you need some extra inspiration, [website name] is always here for you!

Winter is here, and it’s time to celebrate!

Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or just want to feel like it’s winter in July, we’ve got some great ideas for what to wear on your party day.
Looking for a winter birthday outfit idea? Then this post is for you! As a December baby in my 30s, I now have some experience dressing for winter birthdays in a variety of climates.

Now, when it comes to my birthday, I tend to use this as an excuse to be a little over-the-top with what I wear. I mean, it’s my day to be a princess… right? So, dresses, tulle skirts and high heels are more my forte for my birthday outfits. I’ll also include a few more casual outfits too.

I’ll start with dresses, then skirts, then jeans/leggings outfits and end with this year’s birthday outfit! Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Invest in a Nice Pea Coat, Swing Coat or Trench Coat

ModCloth burnt orange swing coat
Now, if you are spending your birthday in a cold climate, it’s tempting to just wear your puffer jacket over your birthday outfit and call it a night. However, if you really want to stand out and have that “put together look” – having a “nice” coat is a great idea (for any occasion, not just your birthday). This could be a pea coat or trench coat, or a swing coat – like mine. (Click here to shop the coat above.)

I’m personally a fan of Collectif’s collection of outerwear (that’s where the coat above is from). Their selection ranges from classic/vintage style coats and jackets to some REALLY over-the-top designs. Either way, you’re sure to make an entrance to your birthday party!

1.) Long-sleeved Top + Tulle Midi Skirt

3D Leaf Double-Layered Mesh Tulle Midi Skirt in Cream

This is going to be my birthday outfit for this year (2021). My husband and I are going to a nice restaurant in Green Bay, Wisconsin – keeping it kind of low-key as my birthday falls on a weeknight this year…plus, we’re really celebrating after Christmas at a fancy-schmancy spa (which only requires a bathrobe + slippers)! The weather on my birthday is supposed to be unusually warm, though, so I might ditch the boots and just wear my pumps instead.

2.) Velvet Dress with Over-the-Knee Boots

This was my birthday outfit 2 years ago. At this time of year, velvet will never look out of place, plus it can be super comfortable. I wore this birthday outfit to a nice dinner here in Appleton, Wisconsin, and then to see a performance of The Phantom of the Opera. After the show, we explored a couple of new bars in downtown Appleton. It was super cold and also snowy! I was really grateful to be wearing tall boots and thick tights!
Shein Red Cape for my winter birthday outfit in New York City

3.) Dramatic Cape Dress with Booties

You’re sure to get noticed in an outfit like this! This vibrant red cape dress was a hit for my birthday several years ago in New York City. We stopped in the East Village for a drink at a bar I had been meaning to try… and then went to see the interactive play, Sleep No More. (If you’re ever in NYC, it is such a COOL experience.)

4.) Classy Cape Dress with Booties – Monochromatic Black Outfit

I had joked that I wore all black this day to mourn the end of my 20s, as this was my 30th birthday outfit. I was living in Moscow, Russia at the time and, of course, it was COLD. This cape dress isn’t the warmest dress in my wardrobe, but I paired it with fleece-lined tights and a warm pea coat, and I was fine!
My Experience Ordering Inexpensive Evening Gowns Online

5.) Evening Gown + Leather Pumps

If there is ever a day to break out an evening gown, it going to be my birthday! This year is a little more low-key for activities, though… so, maybe next year?
Click here for the full outfit post.
Byron Lars Dress – 5 Tips for Shopping on Anthropologie
6.) Sparkly Kimono-Style Dress + Knee High Boots

This outfit also doubled as my New Year’s Eve outfit that year! This sparkly Byron Lars dress is one of the most unique dresses in my wardrobe. Plus, it’s a little thicker than most on this list. I can easily pair it with my boots or a pair of heels.
7.) Edgy Animal Print Dress with Tulle + Booties

You have to have a little fun some years with your birthday outfits! This was one of those years where I wanted to get a little crazy with my outfit choice. So, tulle and animal print it was! I even wore this outfit for a holiday party that year… because why not?! (As you can see too, I have REALLY gotten my monies worth out of these black wedge booties over the years!)
A-Line ModCloth Dress
8.) Retro Skater Dress + Black & White Pumps – Pattern Mixing

Again, if there is a day to experiment with pattern and print mixing, it might as well be your birthday! I wasn’t sure if this outfit would be “too much,” but it is still one of the most popular outfits on my blog! This was also one of my first “birthday outfits” I featured on my blog. We had gone out for a night of fun at a local piano bar in Appleton, Wisconsin (that isn’t there anymore, unfortunately). I had to even get up on stage at one point that night! It was the perfect night to wear something a little more retro and slap on some red lipstick.
9.) Classic V-Neck with Retro Heels

Ok, so this was actually worn for my anniversary celebration with my husband last year at Hotel Retlaw in Fond du Lac. However, that’s only a couple weeks after my birthday! (And we have Christmas in there too – lots of celebrations all at one time in our house.) So, I’m including this as an outfit idea too, as it would work equally well for a birthday celebration for a fellow vintage-style lover.


10.) Metallic Skirt With Cardigan + Knee-High Boots

Winter is the perfect time to break out a metallic skirt! I had fleece-lined tights on under this skirt, as the weather in Wisconsin is always quite frigid at this time of year… even if there isn’t any snow. Wearing knee-high boots also provided an extra layer of warmth. I could of also paired a black scarf with this outfit, but I opted for the sparkly necklace for that celebration.

Just to show that this skirt can work in a warmer climate, too! This was over my birthday in Sydney, Australia. Which, December is summer in Sydney… so, I was sweating in this outfit. However, this outfit could easily be paired with a black long-sleeve top or chunky sweater too.

11.) All Black With a Colorful Midi Skirt

This is a fun outfit that could work with a variety of midi skirts – it doesn’t need to be a floral one. Wearing a black turtle neck with black tights and high heels creates an awesome contrast against a colorful midi skirt… especially if there is some snow on the ground!

12.) Tulle Skirt + Heels – Princess Outfit

This outfit is a similar concept to the one above, but with white instead of black. Plus, there isn’t a better day of the year to look like a princess! A tulle skirt with a shiny pair of heels… this outfit really only needs a birthday tiara to complete the princess look!

13.) Puff-Sleeved Top + High-Waisted Jeans

Puff sleeved tops are having a moment right now, and that little extra drama in your outfit can be perfect for a birthday celebration. I liked wearing this top with jeans, but it could easily work with a skirt as well.

14.) Faux Leather Leggings + Tunic

Now, this outfit would absolutely need a cardigan or fun blazer for the dead of winter! But, faux leather leggings can be a great addition to an outfit to wear out at night. I’m a big fan of my new Spanx faux leather leggings. This outfit could also be paired with combat boots if the snow is deep.

15.) Cardigan + Stretchy Jeans

If comfort is the name of the game for you, then you can’t go wrong with stretchy jeans (or jeggings) and a cozy cardigan + scarf! I think an outfit like this can absolutely look nice for a birthday celebration, while still being practical and comfortable. Wearing black jeans or even colored jeans can be a nice way to spice up an outfit with a cardigan. Blue jeans are nice, but I like to pair them with a more dramatic top when it comes to birthday celebrations (like that puff-sleeved one above).
Bonus: PJs!

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!

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.

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!

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!

Columbia Carson Pass II Jacket | Also at Columbia

​​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

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

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.”

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 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!

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.

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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