A Holiday Packing List 2021

Packing for Holidays

At picture of a brick wall with a holiday wreath in the center and below laid out in rows are the clothes to pack for the holidays.

Turtleneck | Bodysuit | Blouse | Sweatshirt | Striped Sweater | Oversized Sweater | Cardigan | Denim | Black Pants | Trousers | Dress | Wool Coat | Pyjamas | Bra | Socks | Underwear | Earrings | Knit Hat | Scarf | High Boots | Sneakers | Warm Boots | Black Purse | Tote |

As you have already sat down to your Thanksgiving dinners and have made your game plans for Black Friday shopping tomorrow and are heading to bed (or most likely in bed already), I probably should have scheduled this Holiday packing list for last week instead.

The obsessive and controlling part of my brain had other plans and wanted to make sure that I completed the last post in the Dressing for your Body Shape Series posts before I jumped back to something else though.

That being said, I also probably shouldn’t have posted tonight since it is a holiday and 65% of my readers are based in the U.S. and no one is going to read it…I should actually be sitting here counting down for the Zara sale.

I’m trying really hard not to buy anything from it though because the Zara sale scares me.

It’s such a crazy, competitive, and adrenaline pumping sale. If you tend to get aggressively competitive then it is probably best to skip it because it is just going to piss you off.

Anyway, packing for the holidays doesn’t have to be difficult, so whether you are visiting friends, or family, or looking to get away for a few days during the holiday season this post might be for you.

This holiday packing list can be used for any colder month that is a short duration stay, and if done correctly will fit in a small carry-on bag. And if honed down really well you should be able to get it all into a weekender.

I love this weekender.

When packing for holidays in the colder weather do layers.

And if you are really looking to keep warm Uniqlo has some fantastic basics from their Heattech line this year. This turtleneck and long sleeve are VERY soft and comfortable. It isn’t online, but in the store the turtleneck comes in a beautiful green colour.

I bought it for my teen who is always cold, and she loves it. Although mustard yellow is nice if you are looking for a splash of colour. Otherwise, I’d stick with black, grey, cream, or white.

Packing for the holidays means that you might have parties to attend, so make sure that you have a few party option types of outfits that you can mix and match within your suitcase.

In most cases, trousers, and a nice top will suffice but sometimes you want just a little bit more which is why I included the black dress that will look fab with the kitten heel high boots (maybe for New Years). But it will also be great with some leggings/stirrups and cold weather boots.

It is easy to wear, and easy to dress down which makes it usable and versatile.

It probably wasn’t the brightest idea putting this out just before the biggest sale weekend of the year, but many of the pieces that I included are either already on sale, or predicted to be on sale within the next 24 hours so I hope it doesn’t all see out too quickly.

It’s a hard time of year to keep stuff in stock, especially with the supply chain issues right now. I’m not finding as much variety to choose from as in previous years.

What shoes should you pack?

Great question me, thanks for asking. In pretty much any travel situation when you pack for holidays you don’t need to bring any more than 3 pairs of shoes. That includes the pair you will be wearing.

In this instance, because there is tentatively crappier winter weather I opted for 3 pairs when it could have easily been just two. I always like to have a warmer boot for inclement weather.

That doesn’t mean a hefty pair of winter Sorels, but something warmer, with a thick sole that has a tread, that will keep your feet more comfortable than regular shoes.

So in this instance, I am including three pairs. One will be worn for travel and the other two will be packed.

This is reminding me that I need to find some shorter winter boots. I have the high, hardy ones but I would like something less substantial.

Do you need a winter coat?

This is where I would insert one of those flow charts that start with: Is there going to be winter weather? Yes? Bring. winter coat. No? Bring whatever weather-appropriate coat you think will work best.

But in reality, unless you are going to be experiencing blizzards, and windchills of minus 30 you’ll be fine with a wool coat and winter accessories. Wearing a knit hat makes all the difference in the world when comes to staying warm.

I’d say pop over to the Zara sale since they have some beautiful wool coats included but my cart was literally all sold out as soon as the sale started. Those Zara shoppers are FAST.

Will you need to pack extras?

Once again it depends on where you are going. Extra clothes? No.

Are you going to need to bring your own pillows and blankets? Do you need to bring a hostess gift? Presents?

If you are visiting friends or family then probably yes, you will need extras. If you are staying in a hotel or Airbnb then probably not much more than your clothes and toiletries.

But when in doubt, always ask.

Stay safe.

Travel Holiday Outfits

A white background with seven outfits laid out for what to wear for various holiday outings.

Women’s Travel Outfits

A white background with 12 outfits for the holidays bulit form the pieces of the holiday packing list.

Turtleneck | Bodysuit | Blouse | Sweatshirt | Striped Sweater | Oversized Sweater | Cardigan | Denim | Black Pants | Trousers | Dress | Wool Coat | Pyjamas | Bra | Socks | Underwear | Earrings | Knit Hat | Scarf | High Boots | Sneakers | Warm Boots | Black Purse | Tote |

You might also like:
What to Pack for the Holidays
How to Pack for Christmas in New York
What to Pack for a Month in Europe over Christmas


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Sara is the founder and creative behind livelovesara. A George Brown College Fashion Styling Graduate, she provides advice on finding your personal style regardless of age and budget. She is always on the hunt for the perfect wardrobe piece and is a vintage and thrifting enthusiast who can't wait to share her newest finds. She is also trying to learn French.

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