Packing for The Netherlands, Germany & France at Christmastime

I’ve received a few comments asking if I would share what I will be wearing during my upcoming trip to Germany. I’ll be packing the usual suspects: pants, sweaters, turtlenecks, scarves and boots, but I’m finding packing for this trip a lot more challenging.

The problem is sweaters are really fat and fluffy, so they take up a lot of space. But I love sweaters so I’m determined to take several, even if I have to sit on my suitcase to get it closed. The good thing is, sweaters don’t weigh very much so I don’t have to worry about the suitcase being over the weight limit.

Below you’ll find a few of the clothes I hope to take to stay warm in while in Germany, although there may be some last minute additions and subtractions as I begin packing.

Warning: If you’re offended by travelers who check a large suitcase when traveling, you may want to skip this post because I don’t pack light. After trips to 7 different countries over the past 2 years, I feel like I have a pretty good handle now on what works best for my needs when traveling.

If an item is still available, I’ll link out to it. If I can’t locate it, I’ll link to the store where I purchased it and/or another item that’s similar. Some things I’ve had for a few years, so the exact same item may no longer be available.

Remember this sweater shared in a post recently?

Blue Fair Isle Sweater


It will make the trip and I’ve paired it with black jeans/jeggings (looks good with dark blue jeggings, too) an ivory turtleneck and my  favorite waterproof boots for travel.  They saved me during the monsoons I encountered in Italy and since then they go with me on every trip, no matter the time of year. They are so comfortable, I’ve bought them in four different colors. I recommend buying them a half-size up if you wear fairly thick socks. I always buy them 1/2 size up and that works great.

Sweater looks great with jeggings and I love how it looks and feels on.

Source: Sweater/Boots/Jeans.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 18


I just purchased this top from Orvis recently and I do love it. It comes in a bunch of different colors. I’m taking two scarves on this trip: 1 red and 1 plaid. I think they will see a lot of wear on this trip!

Source: Shirt/Black Jeans/Scarf.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 01


Turtleneck is available here: Turtleneck.

Red Plaid Collar


Unfortunately, this L.L. Bean sweater is no longer available. I keep hoping they will restock their sold out items, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Does L.L. Bean ever do that? I’ve never shopped with them a lot until this year, so not sure.

I’m not sure if I’ll take these duck boots along, but I am going to take at least one pair of duck boots since they are great for snowy/messy conditions.

Find these here: Boots/Jeans/Turtleneck.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 05


Just recently purchased this sweater and I absolutely love it! I couldn’t wait for the trip and have already worn it twice. It’s comfortable and looks great with or without a shirt underneath. It would look great with any of the boots below.

I’m not sure if I’ll take white jeans or not. I know a lot of folks are wearing white jeans in the winter now. I see them for sale in all the stores during the winter. If I don’t wear the sweater with white jeans, I’ll probably wear it with black jeans. I have it paired with both below.

Black Boots/Sweater/Jeans/Turtleneck/Brown Boots/Similar Buffalo Plaid Boots.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 07


I love Barbour and was so excited to find this sweater by them. Though wool, it’s incredibly soft and not heavy at all. I ordered it in my usual size and that worked great. It’s designed to be loose and roomy. I have been wearing it with blue jeggings, but it looks great with white jeggings or jeans, too.

Find these here: Sweater/Similar Boots/Jeans

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 17


This is my first cashmere turtleneck and it feels luxurious. I saw them at the Ralph Lauren site, but the price was more than what I wanted to pay. Was thrilled to find this one on sale here for a much better price: Sweater. I’m thinking of pairing it with these heavy-weight, navy and red plaid slim-legged pants purchased at Talbots last winter.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 13


I shared this sweater a while back. Every single time I wear this sweater, total strangers stop me with compliments and to ask where I found it.

Ralph Lauren Polo Bear Sweater & Prince Charles Edward Tartan Flannel Shirt


I usually pair it with a red plaid flannel shirt. Find these here: Sweater/Flannel Shirt and Flannel Shirt/Scarf.

It’s a Boy’s size Large. I’ve discovered I can wear Boy’s Large and Extra Large at the Ralph Lauren website. Save a lot of $ that way, too! 🙂

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 10


This is another Boy’s sweater, only in this style I took the XL size.

Ralph Lauren Reindeer Cotton Wool Sweater


I normally wear it with jeans and either a winter-white turtleneck or a plaid, flannel shirt. I think it will be perfect for this trip. I don’t think the sweater is still available but if it is, it came from here: Sweater/Jeans/Flannel Shirt.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 03


I just purchased this shirt when it was on sale…again it’s a Boy’s XL and fits great! For reference, I normally wear a size 6 shirt and either a Small or Medium sweater, depending on the brand and style sweater.

It’s much prettier in person than my photo shows. I love plaid so it was calling my name. I will wear it under my black, L.L. Bean Fisherman’s sweater with black jeans, if it goes on the trip.

Find these here: Jeans/ Sweater/Similar Shirt/ Scarf

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 02


I shared this top in an earlier post. It’s fleece, but the fleece is on the inside. Love that!

L.L. Bean Fair Isle Pullover


It looks great with blue denim and the large front pocket works great for stashing away keys and sunglasses when you run into the grocery store.

Find these here: Jeans/Sweater/Boots

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 15


I just purchased these a couple of days ago and they arrived today. I thought they would work well under heavy sweaters and not be too bulky, especially when wearing a down coat. They are available here: Turtleneck Bodysuit

Clothes for Travel to Germany During December Cold Weather 2


Another item that will be making the trip are these fleece lined tights. I’ve been wearing them under my jeans and jeggings for the past month and love them. They are incredibly warm. You’ll find them here: Tights.

Update: I just tried these tights and like them even better than the ones above. The waist is a bit tighter so they stay up better. You’ll find the tighter ones here: Tights.

Fleece Lined Tights


Of course, I’ll be taking along the down coat I just purchased. You can read more about it in this post: Down Parka for Very Cold Weather.

Coat is available here: Hooded Down Parka.

Update: Didn’t take this coat afterall because Germany was having unseasonably warm weather in the 50’s so no need for a really warm coat on this trip.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 11


I think it will look cute paired with my heritage check scarf that I blogged about here: Burberry Scarf: Fake vs Real and How to Avoid Getting Scammed.

Scarf is available here and it appears they are still offering free monogramming on all their scarves: Check Scarf.

So those are some of the items that will probably make the trip to Germany, if I can squeeze the fluffy sweaters inside my suitcase. There will be one more post from home, then after that you’ll be touring Germany with me. I can’t wait to take you to there at Christmastime! Don’t forget your snow boots and long underwear! 😉

I’ll be sharing photos on Instagram each day, so if you’re not already following BNOTP on Instagram, you can do that here: Between Naps On The Porch on Instagram. If you would like to subscribe for email updates that let you know when a new post is up here on the blog (it’s free!) you can do that here: Subscribe for Post Updates.

Planning a trip sometime soon? Check out this previous post for items that always take without fail when I travel: 5 Items I Always Take When Traveling Internationally.

Clothes for Travel to Germany in December 12


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  1. Excited for you Susan and I’m looking forward to seeing all the beautiful pictures. I know you will have the most amazing time. Stay warm (with the clothes you are taking that shouldn’t be a problem) and stay safe. XxOo

    • p.s. Just looked at the weather forecast for some of the towns you will be visiting and it looks like you will be having daytime temps in the high 40’s and nighttime temps in the high 30’s to low 40’s. Sounds perfect to me. Enjoy.

    • Umm, maybe I won’t need my down coat. Just my luck if I don’t take it, it will get really cold. lol Thanks for letting me know, Vikki! Merry Christmas to you! XX

  2. Well thought out!! Being prepared!! franki

  3. You certainly have updated your closet this year and it all looks amazing! I couldn’t believe I was seeing the turtleneck body suit. Those were so popular WAY back in the 70s when I was in my early to mid 30s. I had them in several colors. I had no idea they were back in production, but am glad to see them again. I probably won’t be wearing them any time soon, but then again, I just may get one and relive my youth. 🙂

    • Thanks, Pat! I really badly needed to, especially the sweater part of things…and the flannel shirts. I know! I was so surprised to find those. I was concerned that my thicker turtlenecks would be too bulky and hot under both a sweater and a down coat because I’ve read the Canada Goose coats are so warm, you don’t need sweater under them at all. So I started looking to see if I could find a light weight turtleneck that would give that turtleneck appearance but not be bulky or too warm, and I found those. I think I’ll take a couple with me on this trip, just in case I need them instead of my typical turtleneck sweaters.

  4. Kim JEFFERSON says

    and the award for Best Dressed is…… Susan. I love all your outfits. You may want to try Space Saver Travel Vacuum Free Storage bags to cut the bulk of your sweaters. I love them. Have fun, what a great time of year to go. We traveled through these areas a couple years ago, It was beautiful.
    I can’t wait to see your pictures

    • Thanks so much, Kim! I was thinking about those today, but I was wondering about what you do when it’s time to return?

      • Kim JEFFERSON says

        The bags have a zip seal at the top and a tab that opens on the side. You put clothing items in the bag and roll out the air, close tab, and the air is kept out. No need for vacuum.

  5. Where was your long underwear? lol Beautiful coat. Love all the pairing you did. What about the turtle neck body suits…when a potty break is necessary? Will you need gloves? So many things to think of? Excited for you and your adventure.

    • lol I forgot to mention I was taking along some fleece lined tights I’ve been wearing under my jeans this winter, so I just added them to the post. They are sooo warm! Thanks for reminding me of those, Kathleen.
      Oh, the turtleneck body suits open with two snaps. I’m taking them along in case my thicker turtlenecks are too warm under a sweater and a down coat. Thanks, Kathleen…can’t wait to share the adventure with you!

  6. Susan, thanks for sharing your wardrobe with us. There was a reason you purchased those new sweaters, you just weren’t aware of it at the time. Lol.
    From the looks of those beautiful combinations, you will stay toasty warm.
    Have a marvelous trip and enjoy the new friends as you celebrate Christmas abroad. Doesn’t that sound delightful? Joyful wishes for a safe trip. MaryEllen. xoxo

    • Thanks, MaryEllen! I wasn’t thinking about Germany but glad to have those sweaters now. lol
      Since I can’t be with family this year, this is a good consolation prize. 😉

  7. I love the Teva waterproof boots. Some reviews said they ran a little small. Would you advise going up a half size?

    • Brenda, you definitely want to go a 1/2 size, especially when wearing socks. I normally wear a 7 in most shoes, and the 7 1/2 in the boots fits just right with socks.

  8. As always you will be the cutest one. Have a good time.

  9. donna a zoltanski says

    Fashionista! You are going to be well-dressed and warm. I love that coat! The scarf paired with the pretty color coat is perfection. Thanks for taking us along….will certainly enjoy the beautiful pictures.

  10. Susan…. have a wonderful trip . If you have never been Germany is magical ay Christmas ….the markets and the food !! Love all your outfits too ! Travel safe! Sue

  11. I will never be a carry-on only person. For one thing I can’t lift the bag into the overhead compartment. For another thing, if I lived out of a little bag for 2 weeks I would be ready to burn everything in a bonfire after 5 days. It’s not a big deal to me to check a bag and the only time my suitcase was delayed in the last 25 years, it was delivered to my rented flat in London by 7:00 that night.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip and get upgraded both directions.

  12. Those Teva boots are great. I bought a pair after you first told us about them. They really are comfortable. I wore them in England and Scotland last spring even though it never rained. Looking forward to your trip and the pictures. Have fun!

  13. Looking at all those outfits make me feel warm and cozy from here, but I especially love that first selection. Have a great and magical time.

  14. I use space bags they really work . They come in different sizes. Target has then. Have a great trip. I am looking forward to seeing pictures.

  15. LOL. Those turtleneck bodysuits bring back some dreadful memories of a my long torso and the struggle to keep that thing snapped up! Your itinerary sounds amazing and you will look amazing

    • I just tried on the ones that arrived today and they are nice and big. They have two strong snaps, so I don’t think they unsnap. lol I love that they will stay tucked in! 🙂

  16. You are going to be the best dressed traveler on the trip! All of your outfits are beautifully coordinated and stylish. Have a fabulous trip! Merry Christmas!

  17. Have you tried using the vacuum seal bags? The kind that you squish the air out of instead of vacuuming should work well. I have used it on pillows and quilts when flying.

    • Oh, Debby–you just reminded me, I think I have some of those around here, but I’ve never used them. I’m off to look for those now. Hope I can find them! Thanks!

  18. Cyndi Raines says

    Great choices and I would take the coat, especially since you hate the cold. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. (My motto on most everything, lol) The most merriest of travels for you Susan! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  19. Have an awesome trip!

  20. Elizabeth A. Barnhill says

    Have you thought about using space bags for your sweaters? You know the kind you can vacuum out the air or, in a smaller bag such as for your sweaters, you roll up the bag to force the air out. They use WAY less space that way.

  21. Bobbi Duncan says

    Great selection of clothes, Susan–warm and stylish. I love those button down turtlenecks and glad they’re making a comeback. You will be stylin and profilin, my dear. Have a wonderful trip and the very merriest of Christmases.

  22. Love the wardrobe fashionista. I don’t know if LLBean still sells silk turtlenecks but silk & silk lined coats keep you really warm. We all wish you a great trip and look forward to the pictures. Really excited for you.
    Merry Christmas

  23. Melissa Mash says

    Have a wonderful trip! You might want to look into UNIQLO products. They are undergarments made with a Japanese technology that makes them very warm. They have turtlenecks, t-shirts and leggings that are thin enough to go under any pants and shirts. They have “extra warm” which is great for outdoors. Someone just told me about them and I’ve been very pleased as I really feel the cold. Plus they are so thin they take up no room in the suitcase! Safe travels!

  24. I know you will have an excellent time. The Markets are something special to that part of the world. I lived there for six years when my husband was in the military and we loved the Christmas markets and visited several times every year. The atmosphere is enchanting, especially at night with all the lights. Have a great trip and we all look forward to “traveling along with you”!!! Merry Christmas.

  25. Dawne Marie says

    Love all your travel wear! So exciting. Don’t forget gloves. It’s going to be a great holiday trip. Can’t wait to go on the cyber journey with you.
    Thank you Susan for all you do. I’m always excited to open your posts. Have the Merriest of Christmases and Happiest New Year!

  26. Hi Susan, I see too many sweaters that look the same. You could save a little space for a skirt? a dress? for special occasions? Who knows a prince might ask you for a dance.
    Happy travels, Gina

  27. Love the outfits..looks like you are prepared for anything. Have a wonderful time…take lots of pictures!!

  28. Don’t hesitate to take warm cloths! I was so glad we opted for a large checked bag in order to each take an extra pair of boots and our parkas, so we had two coats. The parkas actually packed pretty compactly. We were other boots and long wool coats on the plane. Long underwear was a must. Ours is very tissue thin, breathable that we use when skiing. This for a trip to Quebec City where it was unseasonably cold , a high of 13! U can do with fewer sweaters if u have the proper under and outer layers.

    • Re the skiing long underwear, DITTO. All ski retailers pretty well sell it. As a Canadian it is one winter staple you do not want to do without when temperatures dip well below the zero mark. (Lightweight and comfortable, yet provides warmth.) -Brenda-

  29. Beth Freeby says

    Yes, silks are an essential for me even in usually balmy Texas. I wear the camis’ or sleeveless undershirts all the time in the winter. Gotta stay warm!
    Unlined leather gloves here are an essential as well, but I’d wear lined ones over there. You’ll have a great trip I’m sure!

  30. Ann E Seigman says

    Hello Susan, thank you for sharing the outfits that you will be wearing. You put things together so well! I just love looking at them. You will be the envy of the other ladies on the ship!

    I have a question…I love the sweaters, but I must be allergic to wool, I always itch so when I wear it; does wool ever affect you that way? I absolutely love the sweaters, but I would be afraid that I would constantly be itching!

    Thank you again for sharing this post and make some wonderful memories! Ann

  31. Robin Lambert says

    I use compression bags (roll the air out, might need to sit in them) for bulky things like sweaters, and your down coat. Saves a lot of space. I also use one for dirty clothes. And have you tried packing cubes? They keep you organized; you don’t have to search for socks and underthings, even shirts.

  32. Don’t apologize for your luggage. I totally understand needing your “stuff” and wanting to be sure to be warm and prepared. I visited Prague earlier this month with a day trip to Dresden for the market there. It was enchanting. I suggest that you take with you a tote of some sort (mine was a Christmasy one with bells) to carry your purchases while you roam the market. So much of what you will buy is fragile so be sure to bring bubble wrap, or ask them to wrap for travel and they will. Be sure to have a good bag for your carry on to bring home your gifts safely. I can’t wait to see where you go and what you bring back.

  33. KAREN SEDMAK says


  34. Love all your clothing choices. Have an incredible time!
    Merry Christmas

  35. Hi Susan,
    I live in Belgium very close to the German border and we have a very mild but also very wet winter this year. Do not forget an umbrella.
    This year I’m visiting the Merode Castle Xmas market. These privately held markets are usually much better than the town markets so if you have any opportunity to visit one, do not hesitate to pay the entrance fee you won’t regret it.
    Enjoy your trip,

  36. Linda Nixon says

    Cute cute cute. If you are on your trip on Christmas Day will you be wearing some fancy Christmas something? I just saw a commercial for the Peloton and made me wonder if you are still using yours. I haven’t seen you mention it lately. You must be with all of those little sizes. Have a good trip and Merry C!HRISTmas

  37. Juanita in OH says

    Have a wonderful, wonderful time, Susan! I LOVE your clothing choices and the coat is super fabulous, I LOVE the color. Paris??? Oh my goodness, it is the dream place for me; unfortunately, it will always remain a dream. Your photos will help me a great deal. TFS and cyber hugs. Happy Holidays.

  38. Well….you’ve done it again! Made me go shopping! Just ordered boots and the fleece jacket. Sigh….would love to shop WITH you!
    Are you traveling solo? A river cruise? I did solo trip to Italy for 7 weeks. Traveled the country from top to bottom. Awesome and wonderful “me” time!!!
    Have a blast!

  39. Susan, Living in the land of snow, sleet, slush and rain I’d advise against the white jeans. Any splashes from the ground will show. There’s a reason we Northerners look so dreary all winter-its protective coloration. Have a great time.

  40. Linda Lennard says

    What fun!! My son, wife and two grandsons are in Italy, Germany and Austria for two weeks during Christmas. They said it was freezing cold in Germany and Austria with lots of snow. A little better today. They made it to Florence, Italy. They will be spending Christmas in northern Italy. Have a safe trip and stay warm!

  41. Don’t forget to try the gluhwein (Germany) and poffertjes (NL)! I also advise against white jeans, the bottoms won’t be white for long. Have fun!!

  42. Enjoy Your Trip! Will you be coming to Berlin? Please contact me if you do! I live in germanys capital and would love to meet you!

  43. When we went to Germany two Christmases ago, our host insisted we pack in just a carry on! I likewise like to pack a lot, but I took the challenge. I did it and had plenty! I went for basic blacks and packed colorful scarves as you did! You find that winter pictures can be pretty blah if there isn’t a punch of colors. I love your red coat – that will make your pictures amazing! Have such a wonderful time. We are planning a return trip in December 2018! It is just magical at Christmas.

  44. Your wardrobe looks great – and I am with you, not a light packer! Wishing you a fabulous trip and a Merry Christmas !

  45. Have a most safe and wonderful trip Susan!!! How amazing it must be to spend the Holidays in such romantic and enchanting places!!!

  46. It hurt me to know how sick you have been. I hope you are continuing to mend.
    I love the short brown booties. Do you mind telling me the name brand?
    Happy New Year, Susan.

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