Every Singaporean child dreams of frolicking in the snow, and I’m certain this longing follows many of us into adulthood. While we still have Snow City at Jurong as a more affordable alternative, visiting a country with a temperate climate in winter is something that’s probably on your bucket list.
Before you hop onto an airplane for a white Christmas, ask yourself: Are you sure that you know how to dress for a winter climate? Are you aware of the beauty precautions you’ll need to take when facing an unfamiliar environment? Take a look at some of the Singaporean winter tourist essentials that you need to bring on your snowy holiday.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that winter climates will dry out your skin faster than you can say “moisturiser”. Suitable skincare items are a definite essential: You’ll need a combination of night creams, moisturisers, body butter and balms to help your skin to deal with the unfamiliar environment and keep you looking fresh and fierce. Read this for a must-have beauty list for winter travel.
If you’re the person who doesn’t care to carry around bottles of skincare, the one non-negotiable item is chapstick. If you don’t wear chapstick in winter, you might as well kiss your lips goodbye (on second thought, your lips wouldn’t be in any condition to kiss anything at all, anyway). I personally recommend slathering on a layer of Aquaphor or Vaseline petroleum jelly.
Preparing your winter wear isn’t simply a matter of throwing on layer after layer of coats and sweaters. You need to know how cold it’s going to be and how tolerant you are of the cold in the first place.
If it’s your first time, it’s always better to be “kiasu” and pack as much as you can, as winter can get much colder than us tropical folk can imagine!
Underwear: Long johns, better known as long or thermal underwear, are absolutely essential. Yes, they’re pretty ugly, but no one will be looking under all the layers that you’re going to have to put on! Tights and leggings are other must-haves, and you’ll understand why once you master the art of layering.
Sweaters: This is fairly obvious, but more for wearing indoors rather than on the street. You may think that it’ll be comfortable to wear anything you want in the confines of your hotel or Airbnb room, but trust me when I say that you’ll want some sweaters for indoor wear. Go for wool, as cotton will not retain heat as effectively. Also, wool in winter is so chic.
Hats: Whether they’re beanies or berets, hats are another essential for your winter wonderland adventure. Many winter newbies often focus on layering up for the body, and forget about keeping their heads warm. Be sure to keep those ears nice and toasty!
Scarves: One of the more exciting things about winter is being able to wear all the chic winter wear that we can’t possibly pull off comfortably in sunny Singapore. Scarves are a beautiful way to accessorise, and the styling options you have are endless! In colder countries where the wind can get frightfully chafing, don a heavier wool scarf to keep your neck (and in extreme climates, the lower half of your face) warm and comfy. If you aren’t that cold, a stylish silk scarf would work well.
Coats and layering: The must-have stylish coat to own during winter would be the timeless trench coat. While thick military-style jackets and anoraks are warm and chic as well, trench coats in a versatile camel hue are the easiest to match when styling your winter outfit, and arguably one of the most effective articles of clothing when it comes to keeping comfortably warm. However, if you want something a little different, go with a navy overcoat, which is one of my favourite trends this year.
As you might have gleaned by now, mastering the art of layering is essential during the winter months! It’s a good idea to pull on thin layers rather than thick solid pieces. Try out some of the many layering options out there, like throwing on a jacket over dungarees and a turtleneck; or a trenchcoat over a sweater plus dress and stockings; or a coat over a blazer over a blouse. The combinations are endless, so just have fun with it.
Winter fashion tip: If you want to wear ripped jeans in winter, simply wear nude stockings under your jeans!
Fur: You can wear fur. Fur coats, fur collars and fabulous mink are options on the table (all faux, of course). Seriously, need I say more?
Boots are the way to go in deep winter, and I’m not saying this just from a fashion perspective. Many of us tropical kids do not realise that while snow looks puffy and powdery, it will melt and result in horribly wet and freezing feet. It’s advisable to wear sturdy boots that will keep your feet dry, and if possible, spray your boots with a waterproofing spray. If you want a stylish boost in height, wear heeled boots.
Don’t forget to pack a cosy pair of long socks or thermal socks. A stylish woman sporting heeled knee-high boots would stop even Jack Frost in his tracks. Not only will these keep you warm, but knee-high boots will release anyone’s inner ice goddess! Get ready to strut, girl,
As with any holiday, your bag should have enough space to hold everything you need while out and about. When in winter, it’s not a bad idea to carry a bag that is fairly waterproof, like a gym bag or a bag that can zip tight. Also, avoid bags with external pockets or flaps that can be easily opened. Tourists are the prime targets of pickpockets, so keep your valuables close at hand.
Many winter first timers have trouble adjusting their bodies to the climate, and falling sick quickly is not uncommon. Flu, cold and fever pills are just some things you must bring, aside from any personal medication that you are required to take. Antihistamines are also advisable, and downing vitamin C pills are a good way of keeping your immunity game strong. No one wants to spend their holiday sick in their hotel bed!