A winter trip to the Urals: What to Pack?

Fashion Lifestyle Perm Russia Travel

I forgot what, November weather was like in Perm, Russia. Back in New York or Boston, November is like a rollercoaster, one day it’s cold and snowing, and the next day its fifty degrees and spring has arrived. However, that’s not the case in Russia. The eleventh month of the year marks the beginning of a long winter. Meaning below freezing temperatures, bitter wind, never-ending blizzards, sidewalks paved with ice, and knee-high snow. Of course, at first it’s beautiful, but the weather and the lack of clean streets can present some significant challenges. 

For example how not to get dirty getting out of the car that has mud and snow dripping for all its side. Or how not fall on your ass while walking on a frozen dirty walkway. 

Yes, in Russia once it snows the streets get a dirt treatment, sounds like a spa treatment right? Well, it’s not. The sand-like slat in America gets layered on top of snow and ice for cars to be able to drive without slipping and crashing. One major downfall of this process is that the sand doesn’t melt and warmer weather is a recipe for disaster. The result is icy, muddy, slushy roads and sidewalks that we as pedestrians have to maneuver around. Nothing gets clean, therefore choosing the right clothing to pack is crucial. 

Now to packing: I don’t usually say this, but don’t pack anything too nice because boy oh boy you’re going to regret it. As well keep in mind that the water (for washing your clothing) is exceptionally harsh, and has a bad effect on delicate clothing. Pack wisely, really put a lot of thought into what you’re going to wear and take a few extras (just in case if you do get dirty.) 

The list of what I brought:

Shoes

In my case, I packed three pairs of shoes. One by Aqua a leopard print ankle booty, ( in Russia this was a risky fashion statement that not a lot of people would wear). A pair of Blundstone’s (Australian shoe company) great for muddy and rainy days. The third pair was unnecessary, but I took them anyway (who doesn’t like a good pair of heels.) A medium-high heel from an unknowing brand purchased in TJX to wear to the opera or ballet.  

Pants/ Leggings:

For pants, I chose to bring along a few comfy leggings from this amazing  Italian company called Calzedonia. I brought with me two leggings — one, a red-hot, leather looking, formfitting high waisted legging. The other pair was black, high waisted and with zippers at the bottom. Both were stunning and comfortable to wear with their cashmere blend tights. Unfortunately, I believe they are all sold out online for both pairs. However, they have many similar options available in-store and online. Denim is something I can’t travel without. Therefore I took my favorite light denim from Sandro. Purchased on sale at Bloomingdales. The only regret here is that I didn’t wear them that much because they got dirty too quickly. The last pair I took was a dark grey Dolce and Gabbana wool pant. This pant I have had for ages, and I believe I got them at Century 21 a fantastic department store. 

Skirts:

Personal I have been obsessed with leather-like garments these past two winter seasons. One of them being skirts. A great place to find cute and stylish clothes for less would be Zara. As for something warm I purchased a Helmut Lang cashmere, wool blend skirt. Warm, light and stylish was all I need, and it didn’t take up much room in my suitcase. 

Dresses:

The only two dresses I brought with me, a white wool Chole dress for those going to the opera nights, and a Dolce and Gabbana black cotton knitted dress for a family event. 

Sweaters: 

Now with the temperatures being well below zero and snow coming down every single day I decided to bring a lot of sweaters. I mean if a warm coat wasn’t going to keep me warm then a wool sweater was undoubtedly going to do the trick. I spared no expense in purchasing a few good options. Here are my top picks for this season: 

Coats:

I took with me two jackets — one that I wore during my fourteen-hour flight and one that I mainly purchased for the freezing temperatures. The coat that I traveled in was from MaxMara. A navy blue, robe-style light wool jacket. It was great to wear with a thick sweater and to wrap a shawl from Roots around. Going to Russia and not bringing a warm coat wasn’t an option. I went to Aritzia to purchase their “The Super Puffer Jacket” medium length in a silver metallic color. Review of the super puffer: I love the jacket it’s super warm and fashionable, but the metallic color probably has been painted on top of the material. After three weeks of wearing it, the color has washed off around the sleeves and zipper. I expected a bit more, for $250. 

Scarf:

The only scarf I took on this trip was a YSL light blue scarf that went perfectly with my blue coat. As well, a shawl from Roots, a Canadian company that has the warmest winter clothing and create quality. 

Bags:

With baggage restrictions, I decided to take only two purses on the trip. One was from Zara, a black clutch that could be warm around the waist as a belt, without any straps, cross body. The second bag I took was similar to a Bao Bao Issey Miyake bag. 
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