Layering Tips for Winter Travel

As the weather drops, it's time to layer up. Read these tips to pack smart, versatile, and warm layers that don't add bulk.

Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, winter is upon us and up in Canada, that means it’s time to add some layers. Often, we think about adding layers over our outfits, but there are also ways to layer under our clothes that add warmth without adding bulk. Below, I’ve put into writing some winter styling tips which are also great for travel because they allow you to pack light and versatile clothing that will keep you toasty warm.

Layering Tip #1: Turtlenecks Under Dresses 

winter layering tips for travel

You don’t have to pack away your pretty summer dresses if you layer them over warm thin knit shirts. My favourites are merino wool blend turtlenecks, which I own in a variety of colours. Paired with some thick wool stockings, I’m pretty warm and don’t feel like I’ve added too much bulk to a dress.

Shop: Machine Washable Merino Mock Neck in Navy, Chiffon Bell Sleeve Dress in Black Floral, Recycled Wool-Blend Belted Coat – Dark Green 

Looking for more winter packing guides? Check out these past winter blog posts. 

Layering Tip #2: Merino or HeatTech Tank Tops 

winter layering tips for travel

If a silky shirt feels too cold against your skin, try building your outfit on the warm foundation of a performance tank top or bra. The temperature-regulating base layers are small but mighty and make for a good undershirt for sweaters too. 

Shop: Performance wool base layer, Uniqlo HeatTech shirts

Layering Tip #3: Layer Spring Jackets

winter layering tips for travel

Wear your denim and leather jackets like a blazer and layer them between sweaters and overcoats. The contrast in textures is interesting and it gives you more options when you’re moving between temperatures throughout the day. 

Layering Tip #4: Silk is a Great Base Layer

winter layering tips for travel

Silk is great and I’m not just talking about blouses but performance base layers too! You can get great thin long sleeve shirts to wear under sweaters and tops, which adds a temperature-regulating layer to keep you comfortable.

Shop: Silk base layers, wool socks, soft wool grey sweater, down parka, metallic booties

Layering Tip #5: Wear a Packaway Vest Under a Wool Coat 

winter layering tips for travel

To extend the wearability of my wool coats, I like to layer them over a thin down puffy vest. Backpackers will tell you vests are awesome because they give you the most warmth and freedom of movement. In fact, when your core temperature starts to drop, the body reduces blood flow to your extremities and increases blood flow to the core to protect your organs. By keeping your core insulated and warm, your blood flows consistently to your extremities, keeping them warmer too (which is good because gloves are a bit of a hassle).

Shop: Cocoon coat, down vest

Layering Tip #6: Wear Longjohns or Tights Under Your Pants  

winter layering tips for travel

Shop: Cocoon coat, wool tights, down vest, thermal base layer

Even if your pants are wool, it’s nice to have an extra little layer of comfort on your skin, which you can get with silk, wool, or synthetic longjohns. Also, don’t skimp on good socks. Choose comfortable wool socks, they’re worth the investment. 

Layering Tip #7: Play with Shapes

winter layering tips for travel
winter layering tips for travel

The fun thing about layering is you can add interesting elements with different textures and shapes. If you have a long vest, a blanket coat, a cape, or something else, why not try layering it over a puffy coat, blazer, or chunky knit. Play with proportions a bit. Winter is too long to stick to one look. 

Shop: Down coat

Do you experience a rainy winter season? Feel like none of this applies to the slushy weather in your city? Read my tips for rain and stormy-weather packing. 

Happy Travels xox

Share me

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on pocket

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on pocket

Follow me


About the author

Hi, my name is Andrea and I'm a digital content creator. I'm obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. Follow my adventures as I share my tips for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on!

Browse Blog Categories

Download my printable packing planner

Blog to Inbox

Subscribe to get new posts by email

Articles, reviews, recommended readings, and more. 

Join 1,427 other subscribers

Olympia - 1

Recent Posts

More Posts

Welcome to The Capsule Suitcase

Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m a digital content creator who works in tech, loves fashion, and travels a lot. I’m obsessed with packing light without sacrificing an ounce of style. This blog was born from a desire to share my tips and tricks from years of business travel and travelling on a budget. Follow my adventures as I share advice for curating the perfect travel capsule wardrobe that fits in a carry-on, travelling comfortably without breaking the bank, and staying healthy along the way. 

This blog contains affiliate links, which I use in part to fund this project. I never endorse products I do not genuinely like and will always disclose partnerships, gifted items, and ads. 

Thanks for supporting The Capsule Suitcase!

Media Kit

Learn more about my rates, sponsorships, sending products for review, and media placement opportunities.

Privacy Policy

Clcik here to read the privacy policy, affiliate disclosure policy, and comment policy.


Shop my top picks for travel gear, products, and nomad-friendly buys.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe to The Capsule Suitcase

Get notified by email about new articles as they come out. 

Join 1,427 other subscribers