Before I had Allegra, hubby and I used to take many a city break each year and I became somewhat of an expert minimalist packer. To those of you that know me IRL this may come as a shock to you, considering ‘just in case’ and ‘variety is the spice of life’ has always been my motto when it comes to my wardrobe. However, don’t be fooled, when it comes to packing for city breaks, it’s a whole different ball game and who has the time to be overwhelmed with options when you’ve only got a two or three night stay at your destination?
The key to packing for city breaks is to establish your core pieces before you even consider anything else, to go for pieces that can be worn from day to night, casually and dressed up and try to avoid anything that creases easily. There is something refreshing about packing light, so in typical Mum a Porter style, the clothes you pack should be the ones that can do the absolute most for you, so you don’t really need to over pack. This is especially important when packing for a winter city break when the items we pack are bulkier.
So, here’s my absolute fashion must haves when packing for a winter city break:
1. A Pair of Jeans
A pair of jeans that I am likely to wear on the plane or at least wear a couple of times whilst I am at my destination is paramount. Black skinny jeans are always pretty fail safe because they work well with just about any shoe and look sexy and dressy enough to be worn out in the evening. Knowing me, I would probably pack a second jean of a different shape too, because I don’t always love myself in a skinny jean, but this isn’t completely necessary.
2. A Coat
2. A coat in a neutral colour, leopard print (because it’s basically a neutral now) or black will to go with everything. I would be likely to choose between a pea coat or a fur coat, because I find them both so versatile, very easily worn from day to night and these are generally my go-to outerwear options on a day to day basis anyhow.
3. A Good Boot
Flat, comfortable and good looking boots are imperative. We’ll all have some old pair of black boots knocking about our wardrobes that we like to wear so we can save our good boots for best. But when I am exploring a new city there are lots of little stop offs that are completely unplanned; cafes, bars, cute or cool restaurants where I will also want to look either cute or cool. Doctor Martens or equivalents, a biker or cowboy boot or any stomping boot will do the trick. Even better is, these style boots work perfectly with floaty dresses worn with tights and black leather trousers in the evenings if you’re going somewhere a little more cool than elegant.
4. A Cross Body Bag
A good size cross body bag is an absolute must on a city break. I want to have my hands free whilst I am exploring so I can take pictures, eat street food and all that good stuff without having to worry about not having enough hands. I find a bag that is roomy, but not too big is best to transition easily from day to night.
5. A Knit Jumper
A jumper, again in a neutral colour and one that can be layered over any shirts or t-shirts that I might pack. And of course one that isn’t too oversized or chunky so it can fit comfortably beneath my coat and doesn’t have me sweating to death whilst I am sight seeing.
6. A Silky Shirt
3. A silk (or silk like) shirt, ideally in a dark colour, this just makes it more wearable, without having to worry about it getting stained or grubby. I also always like to pack pieces that I can wear more than once, should I need to. Just because you never know!
7. A Pair of Heels
A pair of heels for the evening. Although in London I wear my sandals all year round, I tend to go more for heeled boots when I am on city breaks throughout the colder months. Not everyone everywhere considers it sane to wear barely there sandals all year round and it most certainly isn’t practical. Heeled boots and if not, a pair of neutral coloured court shoes will do the trick. If going for a court shoe, opt for a pair with a block heel or some support around the ankle just for that added extra security and functionality.
8. Winter Accessories
Lastly, the accessories. I never wear jeans without a belt – ever! So an everyday belt is a must. I would then consider a belt that can potentially add a little detail to my evening outfit.
Hat, scarf and gloves are a necessity if it’s likely to be cold. A hat for the day, because hats look good and if it’s rainy or ridiculously cold and I’m wandering the city streets, I will want a hat on. I will also want some leather gloves, lined if it’s freezing, because I love leather gloves and they look so good worn with a fur coat. Admittedly I am not a big scarf person, but if I were in the market for a new scarf it would very likely be leopard print or a heritage check print.
9. Some Variables
The variables really depend on your style and what you already have in your wardrobe. For me I would go for a more trend led or statement piece for the evenings, like a patterned blouse or bodysuit. An animal print midaxi or jumper dress that I know can be worn throughout the day if I am going for a nice lunch and want to be slightly dressier, but can also be worn in the evenings with a more glamorous shoe.
A pair of leather leggings that can be worn with your silk shirt or jumper, if you decide you don’t want to wear jeans one day. A small clutch bag is good if the bag you’re carrying throughout the day doesn’t work well as an evening bag and then I would maybe take a small box of jewellery that I can play around with. I never travel with my good jewellery, apart from my watch and wedding rings, so my box is mostly full of costume jewellery – which I love!
I think I’ve covered just about everything I’d pack for a city break in terms of fashion, apart from t-shirts, underwear and sunglasses, which you don’t need me to tell you to pack! You could also consider packing a pair of trainers too… for me a flat boot is as good as, if not better, but this is all about working for your style.
I really hope those of you jetting off on any city breaks soon have found this useful and feel free to request any future posts, just comment below or DM on Instagram.
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Thank you for reading! x