Jai and I have had a very busy 2018 so far: We spent a month traveling through England and Iceland on our “Euro Honeymoon”, where we had did some once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing, spent time with my UK side of the family, and attended two wedding celebrations with my relatives who were unable to travel to America for our wedding. It was incredible in so many ways – and it was also a little different from your typical honeymoon, so I was a little stumped when it came to packing. Newlyweds are usually packing bikinis to jet off to some tropical location, rather than bundling up for the cold climates on our list! I wanted to find clothes that would keep us warm while still looking cute and honeymoon-worthy, so I put out a call for ideas and was pleasantly surprised to discover some of the best travel-friendly, cold-weather-suitable pieces I’ve ever come across! With many Americans planning to travel for the Royal Wedding this month, and Iceland becoming one of 2018’s most popular travel destinations, I wanted to share my travel-tested recommendations to keep you stylish and snug on your cool adventures!
How Cold is it, Anyway?
One of the most incredible moments of our trip was when we saw the Northern Lights in Iceland. It was truly a bucket list moment and we were so lucky to have gotten a glimpse of them! It was also the coldest moment of the trip – actually, of my entire life! Our tour took place late at night, and we followed the lights to two different locations, getting off the bus in remote spots with nothing but snow and rock surrounding us. We would stand outside admiring the lights and taking photos, and then quickly run back on the heated tour bus to thaw out! What struck me is how the cold would sneak up – I would feel fine one moment, and the next instant, it would hit me like a freight train. My (Gloved!) fingers got so cold that they went numb to the point of being very painful – I’d never experienced that one before. All this to say, I was very grateful to have found so many fashionable and WARM clothing options to bring along on the trip!
RAVEAN Heated Jackets
Jai and I instantly fell in love with the his-and-hers jackets we received from RAVEAN. A stylish, warm coat is hard to find, so I was thrilled to see the sleek look of these classic black windbreakers. But the best part? These jackets are heated! Powered by a 12V Lithium Ion Battery that fits snugly inside a pocket, you can control the temperature level with a button on the jacket’s collar. The battery also works as a mega phone charger, which is seriously awesome! These heated jackets were so wonderful to have during many frigid days on our trip.
Full disclosure: We did experience a malfunction on the battery pack on one of these jackets. RAVEAN were great about replacing the battery and we haven’t had any further issues; it appears to have been a fluke defect.
Layering is important for staying warm in frigid conditions. SAXX make a line of activewear and undergarments for men that are perfect for layering and designed to comfortably retain warmth, such as the Blacksheep Boxer Brief and Thermoflyte Long Sleeve Top.
One of the highlights of our trip was the opportunity to celebrate our wedding with family in the UK who were unable to be with us in person during our US wedding ceremony. One of our challenges while packing was finding nice, suitable outfits that wouldn’t take up too much space in our suitcases – so I was thrilled to discover Bluffworks!
Bluffworks are a men’s clothing line that boast the first “Travel Suit” that I’ve ever seen. This men’s formalwear set includes dress pants and shirts with a matching, sharp blazer available in a variety of classic colors – and there’s something very special that makes these pieces stand out. All three components of the outfit are truly wrinkle-free! Jai received a Gramercy Blazer and Pants in Gotham Grey, paired with a Meridian Dress Shirt in Peak Blue Tattersall. He threw them into his suitcase, then shoved them into a smaller backpack after we got to England so that he could bring them along to my aunt and uncle’s house for a weekend. He pulled them out, put them on, and I took the photos you see above. NO IRONING! NO WRINKLES! I was truly stunned – I’ve bought Jai “Wrinkle free” shirts before that still require some level of careful hanging or quick ironing. Not with Bluffworks! Meanwhile, I had to borrow ask my aunt where her ironing board was so that I could iron the pretty dress I brought to wear myself. I pointed at Jai’s suit and told her that it had come all the way from America with no ironing, and she was absolutely amazed!
But wait, there’s more! Bluffworks suits are also MACHINE WASHABLE! Every other suit that either of us have owned in our lives has required dry cleaning. I can’t believe how truly “Wash and wear” this suit is, because it looks like a million bucks – like it was tailored to Jai. And yet, there is no ironing, no fuss, and we can throw it into the WASHING MACHINE to clean it – talk about easy maintenance while you’re traveling!
In addition to that, this suit is not bulky and folds up easily in your suitcase – another huge plus. Their clothes also feature hidden, zippered pockets for securely storing items such as wallets and passports. Jai’s suit was not only ideal for wearing at our wedding celebrations, but the shirt and pants were also great mix-and-match pieces for wearing casually, which gives fantastic versatility when you’re traveling and need to make efficient use of your suitcase space.
As someone who travels for work constantly, I am hoping that someday Bluffworks will come out with a line of suits for women, as well! As someone who wears business suits on airplanes all through the year, I would be over the moon to find something like Bluffworks that you could wear on a plane, toss in your suitcase, and still look put together and wrinkle-free – and then toss into your washing machine when you get home!! (Don’t even ask how much Dryel I go through in a year…) Not to mention the extreme lack of pockets in women’s suits! Bluffworks, there is a huge untapped market for your amazing suits and I can’t wait to see what new products you will bring out, especially in the ladies market, hint hint! 😉
Secret Celebrity Shoes
When you’re traveling, you’re naturally going to spend a lot of time on your feet tromping through airports and sightseeing. And when Jai and I are in Europe, we opt to take advantage of public transportation rather than going through the extra expense and hassle of renting a car – which means that we do a lot more walking in England than we do in America. This requires shoes that are practical, comfortable, and also warm – which is no easy feat to find in women’s shoes, never mind one that is also stylish! So I was very pleased to discover Secret Celebrity, a brand designed to give you the Hollywood look – no matter where in the world you may be.
I packed a pair of their Serendipity hidden wedge sneaker/booties into my suitcase, and they served me very well! Whether you’re walking through Brontë country or making your way over volcanic rock in Iceland, these boots can keep you comfortable, cozy, and cute! In fact, when I was unpacking my suitcase, my family noticed the boots and commented on how nice they were. So if you want celebrity-caliber compliments while wearing a practical shoe, you need Secret Celebrity!
What are your travel essentials?