Winter Holiday Capsule Wardrobe Planning

These holidays we are off to Japan, going on our first family holiday to a cold location. All of our previous holidays have been to hot tropical locations, which made it so easy to pack lightly, so I have found planning this holiday capsule wardrobe more problematic than I am used too. Just the type of items needed for a winter sojourn mean less compact luggage by their very nature. This is coupled with the fact that despite us having a "winter" season, a Perth winter's temps are often around the temperatures that many European locales experience in their summers!! So, I have had to buy a lot of items specific to this trip, such as thermals, proper winter coats, and hats, gloves and scarves.

Like any capsule wardrobe, it is helpful to start with a colour palette, and then to carefully consider each item to make sure that it can work in many different outfits. For a holiday wardrobe, I like to pack darker colours, as they tend to show dirt and grime much less, which will give you much more wear out of your items that don't need to be laundered each day.

For this trip, we are going to Tokyo for a week, and then up to Sapporo for the week of skiing. Since for the first part of the trip I will be in a major cosmopolitan city, I decided to pack a monochrome wardrobe of black and grey, which is a) not out of my comfort zone, b) will look appropriate, and c) will be practical. For the second week skiing I would have loved to be in the snow in a array of winter whites, like this:

img: Pink Peonies
but, while I adore the look, shades of white are just not going to work for me, and neither is packing a second capsule just for the resort, since any extra space will be taken up by actual ski gear! So, black and grey it is, with clothes that will transition from urban Tokyo to apres ski in a ski lodge. Layers are key; from my time time in Japan previously, I know that while it may be near freezing outside, shops, restaurants and hotels keep the central heating pumping indoors. So, I will be toting a lot of my Eileen Fisher silk basics that pack into next to nothing, but still look appropriate if I start stripping of layers. Layers will also be vital for my airplane outfit, as we will be leaving in the peak of summer (and while Perth winters may be mild, we more than make up for it with our stinking hot summers) and then 15 hours later touching down in the middle of winter.

Airplane Outfit

My planned outfit, as you can see, is all about comfort, while still maintaining some style. When leaving Perth, I will be in cashmere track pants, my black matte silk jersey Eileen Fisher tunic tank, and my EF merino double faced cardigan jacket, paired with my Sorel Toronto snow boots. In my backpack will be the grey and black Ann Taylor wool/cashmere poncho (similar) which I will pop on once we hop on the plane (that way I can do away with the scratchy airplane blanket) and the merino wool Eileen Fisher tunic sweater, just in case the aircon is blasting on the plane. I forgot to include in the collage above my foldable ballet flats which I will pull out after take off.  The backpack will also hold my Lands End Primaloft coat (which packs down to hardly anything) (similar), wool knitted hat, and gloves, ready to be popped on as we exit in Tokyo. The poncho comes off, and converts into a looped scarf.

When I travel, I only ever take 3 pairs of shoes, which for previous holidays has usually been a pair of trainers, a comfy pair of sandals and a dressy pair of sandals. Sticking to three pairs for this trip was much trickier, but even more important due to space and weight limitations. It meant carefully considering my priorities for this trip, and in this case my priorities were staying warm, dry, comfortable and safe. This meant no heels, and shoes that would be safe on potentially slippery paths. It also meant that one of the shoes needed to be suitable for wearing in the snow when we head to the ski resort.

Cold weather shoes and accessories

So, the three pairs I ended up deciding on were the Tory Burch Minnie Travel ballet flats, my fave Reebok v Melody Ehsani trainers, and the Sorel Toronto Lace Wedge snow boots (I'm not counting the little wedge as a heel!!). Hopefully, these three meet all my needs, keep me warm and toasty, and still let me be a little bit stylish!!

Limited space also means that I will be limiting the amount of accessories that I will be bringing. If you are a long time reader, then you know that jewellery and accessories have played a big part in my summer holiday capsules. This time round, I am only planning to take a couple of rings and one pair of earrings, since I am assuming that the majority of the time any jewellery will be covered up by gloves, hats and outerwear. Instead, I am planning on taking 3 scarves, two hats and one pair of gloves. (This is extra to the ski gloves and fleece scarf for when we are skiing). Two of my scarves are from Mimco, a great Australian brand whom I have a number of pieces from. The one on the left is silk and embellished with cascades of beads (similar), which I plan to use to dress up my basic outfits for evenings. The one on the right is a silk/wool blend with tassels, and can be worn so many ways. Lastly, I have the Ann Taylor poncho from my airplane outfit, which can be worn as a poncho or as a neck scarf, and will be great for cold days spent mostly outside.

I am also taking two hats, the first a hand knitted wool beanie with fur pom pom purchased from the seller All Is Yay on Etsy, and the second a faux fur Cossack style hat from Marks and Spencer for a bit of glam! Finally, I am taking these gloves from Lands End, the Polartec Powerstretch Active Glove. These gloves are amazing - I wear them at least once a week when I take Irini to iceskating and they keep my hands so warm. The tech touch feature on thumb and finger actually works so I can still use my phone, and the matte finish means the gloves cross over from ultra casual to smart casual with ease.

Now onto the clothes themselves!

Winter Holiday Capsule Wardrobe

I pretty much followed a 3x3x3 formula, so three sweaters, three tops and three pants, with a faux fur vest, two coats, a dressy silk blouse, and 4 silk underlayers (that can be worn on their own), thrown in for good measure, and everything able to be layered with each other. I cannot stress how important it is to try on your clothes before you go - there were two tops I was seriously considering, but both had dropped shoulders and were so uncomfortable under another sweater or a coat. You don't want to be discovering this fact when you are already away!!

Stay tuned, as I will post some outfit ideas later in the week.


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