Sponsored

Packing for the Holidays

Packing for the Holidays

Are you going anywhere over the holidays? J. Crew just launched their winter collection, and it’s full of beautiful, effortless looks that would be great for traveling. Here’s my dream packing list, including this cashmere sweater

Packing for the Holidays

1. Suede block heels that won’t kill your feet.
2. Velvet ruffle-hem dress with the perfect amount of swing.
3. Gold hoops.
4. Camel cashmere sweater that looks cool with everything.
5. Oversized cardigan to cuddle up.
6. Ribbed pom-pom beanie.
7. Pretty clutch.
8. Perfect fit V-neck.
9. Delicate initial necklace.
10. Long-sleeve T-shirt for easy layering.
11. Drapey wrap top for dinners out.
12. Shearling slippers for late-night hangouts.
13. Flannel pajamas.
14. High-rise jeans that work overtime.
15. Suede boots to dress up any outfit.
16. Animal-print loafers.

Packing for the Holidays

Camel cashmere sweater. High-rise jeans. Animal-print loafers. Cashmere scarf.

One thing I’ve learned about packing for a winter trip is the importance of bringing versatile basics, like great jeans, soft sweaters (this camel crewneck is one of my favorites) and warm accessories (like this scarf or cardigan). It feels so good when your suitcase is stocked with pieces you’ll want to reach for again and again.

Packing for the Holidays

Flannel pajamas. Shearling slippers.

But the #1 thing to bring on vacation? Pajamas! An oversized set is so comfy for padding around in the mornings and opening presents with everyone. This cozy flannel pair is does just the trick. (Bonus: makes a very appreciated gift ;)

Packing for the Holidays

Velvet dress. Animal-print clutch. Gold hoops. Suede block heels.

For holiday parties, I’d love to top off this jewel-toned velvet number (or jumpsuit!) with gold hoops and a bright red lipstick for an easy nighttime look.

Packing for the Holidays

Thoughts? Where are you traveling this year? See the full J. Crew collection here, if you’d like. (These are so adorable, too.)

(At top, I’m wearing this cashmere sweater, these jeans, these sneakers and holding this beautiful coat. Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by J.Crew, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. Katie says...

    Bought JCrew’s red flannel pajama set a few years ago and I love it! It’s so cozy and classy and really well made. I love that green patterned set, too.

  2. Terry says...

    I hate to ask, but what size did you take in the cashmere sweater? I ordered both a small and medium because I wasn’t sure of the fit. J crew had so many reviews. Thanks!

  3. Andrea says...

    Thank you so much for all your helpful tips and recommendations :
    Marti – I will definitely try Fat Hen!
    WB – Will hoodies be enough for the drizzle instead of umbrella?
    Katie – maybe a sperry boots?
    Belle – I’ve read your blog and will try to see everything you’ve been to!

    I really appreciate it!

    • Katie says...

      Those would be perfect. :) Have the best time!!

  4. Maria Castro-Castillo says...

    Beautiful selection! By the way, the Dior lipstick suits you fabulously!

  5. Dana says...

    Cute cute cute!

  6. Sarah says...

    Ah, J. Crew, you always stay classy. Thankfully (for my wallet’s sake) I’m 22 weeks pregnant, otherwise I would buy the whole collection! We’re traveling to San Diego next week- any reader tips for fun activities with extended family, including 3.5 year old and 20 month old boys? We’re staying in Mission Bay.
    Xo

    • You are going to love San Diego! It’s not exactly warm in the winter but definitely not freezing like a lot of the country. Your littles will love the boardwalk and carnival at Mission Bay! You should go shopping in North Park and eat at Station Tavern in South Park (they have a playground for kids). Definitely watch the planes take off while eating outside at Liberty Station as well! I hope you enjoy your visit.

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you so much, Staci! We’re definitely excited for some California sunshine!

    • Try a walk through Balboa Park. There are tons of museums for adults and kids :)

    • Sarah says...

      Thank you, Liz! The park and museums look amazing!

  7. Amanda says...

    I’m travelling to NY for Christmas all the way from Australia! It’s my first “proper” winter experience and I’m so confused about what to pack! Do you guys just layer up every day? How many sweaters do I *need*? Are snow boots even a thing? How the heck do you pack a coat in a suitcase and still have room for other stuff?

    • oh Amanda! It’s going to be okay! Layers are what is key! Take a few sweaters- they’re bulky but if you wear something underneath them you can wear them a few times for different events. Bring more long sleeved undershirts, flannels, etc, than anything. You can throw whatever on top and be cozy! Two warm sweaters should be fine as long as they are neutral.
      WEAR THE COAT AND BOOTS ON THE PLANE! It will be so worth it, and worse comes to worse you can stuff it under the seat or use it as a blanket. If you have to put your boots in your suitcase- fill them with socks and underthings to make more space!
      Snow boots are only if there’s snow on the ground- otherwise a good pair of knee-high boots should be fine. If there is snow- short booties are usually cheaper to find in the snow boot variety. Also in a pinch rainboots with really warm fleece socks work too!

      -Coming from a lady who now lives in the Northeast! Snow is real!
      Good luck! You got this!

    • Sasha says...

      Warm hat and mittens too.

      Snow boots yes, and any other shoes should be waterproof – snow melts to slush.

      I hope a northern hemisphere Christmas is so much fun for you! ! Hot cocoa always helps.

  8. Katie says...

    My husband and I are spending our first (married) Christmas together stormwatching on the Washington coast! I’m so excited and will probably pack five pairs of pajamas to cuddle up in and enjoy the views from our hotel. Those Shearling slippers looks sooo comfy!

  9. Lili says...

    Hello!

    I just moved from LA to Canada (Calgary, to be exact) for a little adventure and I’m struggling to find warm clothing that’s both functional and chic (and won’t break the bank!) Any suggestions?

    • Carolyn Reny says...

      Aritzia!!

    • Laurel Hammond says...

      Poshmark!

    • Sasha says...

      Mountain equipment co-op?

  10. Andrea says...

    Hi COJ editors and readers!
    I came from a tropical country and will be visiting Seattle this coming weekend. Itinerary includes museums, boardwalk, shopping and hiking.
    Would appreciate your attire recommendations.

    • Marti says...

      Layers! Although Seattle will most likely be overcast and rainy while you are there, the sun can come out in an instant so you’ll want to be able to take off your rain jacket and not get too chilly. Mid-weight sweaters will be the perfect in-between layer to throw over a t-shirt or blouse! Also, a comfy pair of boots to walk around in will keep your feet dry, which is a top priority when you’re walking through puddles. It wouldn’t hurt to throw a light scarf into your bag, just in case you’re exploring at night.
      Also, check out The Fat Hen for breakfast (try the ricotta or avocado toast!). I try to make it there whenever I visit. Have fun!

    • wb says...

      rainwear, comfy hiking boots and socks. Good shoes for walking, standing around in–hopefully rain resistant. Most say don’t bring an umbrella, but it’s been saving me lately. Despite the forecast, notice what a beautiful place it is. Enjoy.

    • Katie says...

      What Joanna’s wearing in that bottom picture would probably be appropriate, except for the shoes. You will probably want boots if you have them because it’s going to be drizzly this weekend. It’s supposed to be in the forties, so you’ll probably want a decent jacket–a trench or Patagonia (which you’ll see everywhere.) Don’t stress, we’re pretty low key in the best possible way. Have fun! :)

    • Sasha says...

      A WARM rain coat. The high humidity makes it feel very cold. Warm wool socks.

  11. Lauren says...

    More importantly let’s talk about how Away makes the best carry on suitcases of all time

    • andreea says...

      Truth! I have the red one and my wife has the black one and we are never going baaaacccckkkkk to whatever it was we did before Away!!!

    • Haley says...

      My current carry on just broke this weekend and I’m thinking about gettting an away! Do you guys have the regular carry on or the bigger carry on? I’m usually a heavy packer so like the idea of the bigger one but want to make sure it still fits easily in the overhead compartments.

  12. Jacqueline says...

    We’re travelling to Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi) and Cambodia (Siem Rep) and the weather is so varied! Cold in the north and warm in the south. I am struggling to find shoes that will work with everything and of course a lot of layers!
    PS as I’ve been planning and booking I’ve found myself wishing I had a community of trustworthy and like-minded people to get travel advice from as all the websites now are mostly sponsored content. Then it hit me, I wish I could ask CoJ readers! So, if anyone has recommendations (hotels, activities, restaurants) for a food loving couple please please please share!

    • Holly says...

      HI! I live in the SE Asia region and share your struggle. For most trips I pack 1 pair of sporty shoes that I don’t mind getting wet, 1 pair of rubber flip flops, and one pair of cute walking sandals for evenings (also that I don’t mind getting wet). For Siem Reap keep in mind that you’ll need to have your knees and shoulders covered in the temples-when I was there last January I wore leggings and a long flowy T shirt that covered my shoulders but still felt cute. OH and be aware that when you land in Siem Reap the airport/Visa processing staff can be quite gruff. Be sure to have your forms filled out and cash ready before you go through the line!

      You will love Hanoi! Don’t miss the Old Quarter, and eat allll of the food! :-)

    • Rachel says...

      I stayed in Hanoi years ago and made a friend there who has since become a remarkable travel agent. I hope to visit the region again one day and go on one of her adventures. Her name is Dung (pronounced Zoom). Have fun! http://zoomzoomtravelvn.com/

    • Jessica says...

      You need to join the Facebook group Our Tribe Travels! Check it out and start asking away!

    • Jacqueline says...

      Thank you all!

  13. M says...

    Any tips for packing velvet in a suitcase without crushing/ damaging it?

  14. Maria says...

    For the airport, I have a self-imposed rule of no jeans on flights longer than 5 hours: with all the water retention I get all I’m doing is stretching my jeans & feeling uncomfortable. But even if I’m not wearing them I pack them because well, jeans. On the plane I also always take a jumper, linen in the summer and cashmere in the winter. And shoes must be comfortable and roomy, so it’s either really old flats or runners. On the packing side of things, I used to pack a LBD because it is almost a rule of packing (right?), but have recently discovered that the combo nice (black) top + tight (black) skirt will work just as well, if not better: takes up pretty much as much room, and it is much more versatile, as I can dress down the top with aforementioned jeans, or shorts, and the skirt with t-shirts.
    Whilst on the subject of clothes, I would love to see a post on what everyone is planning to wear/usually wears for Christmas – I always spend it the southern hemisphere (so sundresses), but this year I’m spending it in the cold and am absolutely clueless as to what to wear!

    • I’m going back to Oregon for Christmas where it’s usually cold and sometimes frosty or wet. I usually wear tall boots, thick tights and a long sleeved sweater/brocade dress with a scarf and peacoat! The inside is usually warm enough to just wear the dress- but getting from place to place can be chilly!

    • Maria says...

      Thank you! I’m thinking of wearing a velvet dress with tights and boots, but was worried that it might be either over or under dressed – your outfit reassures me that mine should probably fit the bill haha! :)

  15. I LOVE all these J.Crew picks – their Tibi sweater is my go to when traveling for the holidays.

    I’m thrilled because we just booked a trip to Paris for Christmas to visit my in-laws! It’s going to beautiful that time of year, but I just realized (because of your post!) that I’ll have to really consider holiday parties and dinners out (ack!) which I didn’t think about until now. That’s going to require some seriously versatile pieces so I better start planning. I’ve never spent Christmas anywhere but my family home, so it should be so fun and different!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun, eva! paris will be so beautiful over the holidays!

  16. Jenny says...

    Great post, but can you tell me the lipstick you’re wearing in the main photos of you with the suitcase? Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you, jenny! it’s actually Dior in rose montaigne — my friend gemma gave it to me for my birthday. http://bit.ly/2zYciUe

  17. K says...

    While the clothes are lovey, I also love the close-up of your gallery wall. What a beautiful collection of family photos! – I strive to create something similar in my house.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, K! that is so nice of you to say ;)

  18. Kaitlin says...

    I love the star print that J Crew has been doing lately – I bought a beautiful 3/4 length sweater with this motif last season and it will be a favourite for the next few years <3

    • Jessica Cuellar says...

      Me too! I’ve been kicking myself that I didn’t buy the starry themed sweatshirt with puffed sleeves (anne of green gables forever) when i tried it on last week.

  19. Amy G. says...

    I have the cashmere sweater in burgundy, I just bought it!!!!!

  20. Heather says...

    My holiday travels won’t involve anything fancy, so I’m not worried about the clothes. I DID just learn that we are flying and not driving, so what I really need is a good carry on bag!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i really love the away ones!

    • Heather says...

      Is that what’s in your photo? I like it!

  21. Maywyn says...

    The J.Crew Falling Star earrings are gorgeous! Top 10 on gift list

  22. Sasha says...

    My husband and I are traveling to Costa Rica !!! 2nd honeymoon, his 50th and my 45th. We are beyond excited. So even though it may be below zero and deep snow, I’m wearing flip flops to the airport. And since we’re only taking carry on back packs, just bikinis, sun dresses and sunscreen.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES!!!!!!! how fun, sasha!

    • Sasha says...

      Thank you J!!!

  23. My Uniqlo down jacket is on my pack list. Folds down to nothing for travelling, stupidly warm when wearing. I picked up a pair of burgundy velvet pants over the weekend that felt “wintery holiday” to me. I can pair with a black turtleneck and black patent loafers or with a silky blouse and some heels.
    Those leopard loafers–wow! Love them!!

    • Jen says...

      Your outfit options sound great! Very day to night.

  24. Cooper says...

    I’m headed to Sedona and Joshua Tree National Park for a week! My challenge is that I hate paying airline baggage fees, so I’m once again attempting to pack a week’s worth of stuff in a large purse! Packing mix-and-match pieces, bringing only the essential shoes, and wearing the bulkiest layers (including a blanket scarf!) on the plane is a must :) Another pro-tip is that reading material and cameras don’t count as personal items, so you can carry books and bulky camera bags separately from your purse/backpack.

  25. Lily says...

    Pretty! We go to Pennsylvania every year for the holidays so the warm accessories are KEY. Will be bringing heat tech layers from uniqlo.

  26. Em says...

    I love the outfit you’re wearing in this post, Jo! And I completely agree with the pajamas recommendation – a nice, comfy pair is a must-have when visiting extended family, especially since so many holiday events involve pajama attire! :)

  27. Love the velvet dress! I’ve seen a lot of velvet in stores this season, it seem to be trending for the winter.

  28. Katharine van der Hoorn says...

    I am so in love with those jeans. I just texted my mother and my sister because they are so damned cute. I always travel with extra shirts and tide to go, because, well, toddler.

  29. I love my ankle length jeans, but feel weird wearing them when temperatures dip. I don’t mind my ankles being cold, but wonder if everyone else is staring at them wondering why they aren’t covered up! Do you wear yours all through the winter (when it’s not snowy out, obvs)? Oh, first world problems.

    • Susan says...

      I think that’s why sock boots were invented.

    • Sarah says...

      I would love a post on styling cropped pants and jeans and winter!

  30. Oh I love that cashmere sweater! It really is an everyday sweater. I’m probably not traveling anywhere this year. It’s not clothing and maybe a bit TMI, but I typically pack Fiber One bars when I travel. Holidays at my family usually involves a lot of food I don’t eat regularly and this helps me adjust to all that and be able to be comfortable.

  31. Sarah says...

    You look so cute in that sweater, Jo! I’m going to order those pajamas, they look way better than the ratty tee and shorts I usually wear. My in-laws don’t need to see that lol.

  32. Rachel Damroth says...

    Hi Jo! Love love love your blog and the outfits you have put together for winter travels! I’m in the market for a new carry-on roller suitcase and am curious as to the one you have pictured here (and if you would recommend it!). Thanks so much and safe travels!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! i love love love this suitcase — it’s from awaytravel.com xoxo

    • seconding the Away suitcase!! I just got one and it was perfect on a trip to Paris. love it and plan to buy the larger size too.

  33. K says...

    You should add a click to buy all in XYZ size button! Great suggestions!

  34. London says...

    Traveling home to Seattle from new-home in Dallas this year. Packing lots of things that layer (because we are no longer used to cold or wet), and everything in neutrals: navy, white, black, olive. When I get cold I still want everything to look clean and matched.

    Bringing dressy tennis shoes (for in-between outings) and fancy flats to mix and match with everything (because my then-boyfriend/now-husband and I learned the lesson early on in our relationship that uncomfortable shoes cause stupid fights).

    • shannon says...

      Lol at the fights because of shoe pain! We had the same issue for years when I would get tired and/or hungry while traveling. We now have more frequent snack stops and naps, with a lot fewer arguments.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha same! #uncomfyshoefights