The most exciting part about a trip is the holiday itself. The least? Well, it’s gotta be the preparation before that. Packing can be such a pain — especially when you’re heading to places notorious for their cold winters during this period, such as the United States, South Korea or Northern Italy.

Dressing for the cold means piling on the layers. And when it comes to Fall fashion, it’s so hard to resist that wool knit or sweater in various designs, that leather jacket for less chilly afternoons, and a long coat for windy evenings. Not to mention the multiple scarfs you just have to bring along to pair with different combinations. Before you know it, your luggage is jammed to the gills. But it doesn’t always have to end with you being penalised for excess baggage.

We’re here to help you out with this #firstworldproblem with six packing tips that we religiously abide by. After all, we all want bag allowance for our shopping, no? Here’s what you should keep in mind when you’re packing for your year-end vacays.

1. Minimise the inner wear

Do you really need three sets of long-johns for a week in Paris? Or ten pullovers for every occasion? Cut down on the unnecessary garments. While good quality long-johns are a top choice for keeping you snug during winter, they are bulky and often take up too much luggage space.

Instead, go for Uniqlo’s heat technology inner wear — two will suffice for a week’s worth. They work the same way as long-johns and are much lighter in nature. If you foresee being indoors for the most part, put one on and top it off with a turtleneck sweater, a pair of wool pants and a coat that will keep you warm and stylish. You’ll only have to remove your coat while touring the museums.

2. The Rule of Thirds

Yes, this term is no stranger to photography majors. But no, we’re not here to sharpen your visual composition skills. This rule applies to the amount you have to pack — that is, keep it to just three for each category. Three pullovers and three pairs of wool trousers? That’s nine outfits right there.

Having three of each clothing article will help force you to pack more efficiently and streamline your looks. Since you have to shortlist three out of the 20 pullovers you have, you have no choice but to cut back on unnecessary pieces. Do you really need the neon sweater that you can only ever pair with that pinstriped wool skirt? Definitely not. After all, you’ll have to maximise what you bring to curate a week’s, perhaps even two, worth of style-savvy outfits. Which brings us to our next point…

P.S: This rule does not apply to undergarments.

Read more on the next page. 

3. Bring the basics

As much as we love a colour-block patchwork jumper, or a blue oversized parka à la Balenciaga, basics work wonders because of their versatility. With this small pool of staples, you can mix and match to form a variety of looks and be assured they don’t clash. So simplify your colour palette and think of colours such as black, white, grey, navy and camel. Those with bright hues and ostentatious prints? Leave them at home. If you must have that leopard print item? Just one is enough.

4. More coats rather than knits

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t skimp on, it’s outerwear. Contrary to popular belief, coats are actually your most essential items since they are the ones getting the most air time (that means they appear in most photos). Bring a few to switch out every day, ranging from a thicker coat to a lighter trench. Sacrifice a sweater — you can reuse knits and jumpers and no one would be the wiser. And make sure your coats come in muted hues for easy styling.

What we’d suggest: a classic (and safe option) such as this camel cashmere coat from Totême, a coloured but versatile wool coat (we love this piece by COS), and a black long-line wool pea coat.

5. Wear or hand carry the bulkiest clothing article

Save room by wearing or carrying your bulkiest items on the flight, such as your lined wool coat and chunky booties. While this may be annoying for a moment during the security screening process, it gives you extra space in your luggage for other necessities. Plus, you’ll arrive at your destination dressed for the elements. Hey, you even get a little extra protection from the chilly air on-flight.

6. Don’t forget the accessories

Instead of stuffing your luggage with multiple outer wear pieces to change your look every day, why not try the lighter and simpler option: Accessories. You can style the same nude sweater with various cute hats, shades, scarves and statement jewellery — like this pair of hoops with pearls from Alighieri or a unique choker from Bjørg Jewellery. You’d instantly turn one clothing item into countless unique looks.