Winter clothes

How To Stay Warm And Toasty Without Looking Bulky For Your Winter Vacation


Cheng Sim •  Nov 17, 2023

Now that the year-end holidays are here, you must be excited to fly out for your winter vacation! The promise of soft powdery snow and invigorating cool breeze will give you a chance to wear that stylish winter jacket, which is a rare opportunity for anyone living in tropical countries. However, packing for a cold climate is a different ball game for travellers. Besides stuffing your suitcase with winter coats and boots, it’s challenging to determine if you’ve packed enough to stay warm on your trip. Not to worry because our winter style guide is here to help! Based on various temperature ranges, we’ll show you the number of pieces you need to pack and how to stay warm without looking like a ball. But first, let’s get to know the different fabrics that will or will not keep you warm during winter.

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Choose your fabrics wisely

A Muslim woman on the moutains

There’s more to winter wear than just shopping for a jacket that looks good on you. Familiarise yourself with various fabrics, so you won’t end up layering many clothes (which may not be of much help) to stay warm.

  • Cotton: While it’s fairly durable and breathable, wearing cotton is not the best option for intense winter as it absorbs moisture easily.
  • Denim: Since it provides minimal warmth, get denim with fleece lining for a casual cool outfit.
  • Leather: As a durable style statement, leather shields from most weather conditions. But you need to invest in leather apparel with fleece lining for added warmth.
  • Faux fur: It can be pricey, but this stylish and durable apparel is enough to keep you warm during cool weather.
  • Wool: Be sure to pick winter wear made from good quality wool as it’ll be more durable and water-resistant (great for snow).
  • Merino wool: Soft and lightweight, merino wool is good for winter as the fabric fibres can retain heat efficiently
  • Cashmere: Cashmere winter wear doesn’t come cheap, but it has air pockets for great insulation.
  • Fleece: Fleece is the cosiest fabric for winter because it’s as warm as wool and feels lightweight too

P.S.Check out our guide on how to survive your first winter vacay!

Invest in quality innerwear

Besides wearing the right fabric for winter, investing in good quality innerwear is important because it’s the piece closest to your body. Look for one that insulates your body heat and protects you from the intense cold. If you’re planning to add thermal-based wear to your winter wardrobe, shop for HEATTECH innerwear at UNIQLO!

Which HEATTECH should I get?

Uniqlo Heattech

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Designed by UNIQLO, HEATTECH uses an innovative material that absorbs moisture from your body and transforms its kinetic energy into heat. Ultra-thin and comfortable, this thermal-based wear won’t add bulk to your layers, so you can move around easily while staying warm! There are three types of HEATTECH that’ll help you stay cozy in various cold temperatures. Be sure to get the right one!

  • HEATTECH: Perfect for chilly weather
  • HEATTECH Ultra Warm: Ideal for very cold days
  • HEATTECH Extra Warm: Best for snowy weather
Heattech by Uniqlo

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Since HEATTECH is a must-have for your winter wardrobe, we’ll show you which thermal-base wear to buy and how to layer it with your favourite winter outfit! Before we begin, here are the building blocks for your winter wear:

  • Base layer: Thermal-base wear
  • Mid-layer: Vest or knitwear (optional for cool weather)
  • Outer layer: Jackets or winter coats
  • Bottoms: Long pants with inner lining

Perfect for chilly weather

A Muslim woman in a white cardigan

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

For a glimpse of the cold weather, imagine the seasonal holidays in Tokyo when you’re enjoying the view of the beautiful cherry blossoms or autumn foliage. While the weather is perfect for sweaters, it’s best to stay warm and cosy.

How many layers to wear?

  • 1 base layer
  • 1 outer layer
  • 1 pair of bottoms with inner leggings or tights
Uniqlo Menswear

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Base layer: Choose a thin, yet warm thermal-based wear such as this women’s HEATTECH bra scoop neck t-shirt or men's HEATTECH fleece long sleeve t-shirt. For guys who are wearing t-shirts with varying necklines or sleeves, the HEATTECH crew neck short sleeves t-shirt or v-neck long sleeve t-shirt will come in handy.

Outer layer: Since the day promises cool weather, get long sleeve knitwear, sweaters or coats. We recommend getting apparel made from merino wool, cashmere or fleece — for instance, this women's JWA windproof outer printed fleece jacket or hybrid down jacket. You can also amplify your style with a seamless down parka.

Bottoms: If you’re planning to wear your favourite jeans or skirt, slip on a pair of women's HEATTECH leggings underneath. For guys, you can wear the men's HEATTECH warm-lined pants for extra warmth. UNIQLO’s HEATTECH line also has a pair of women's pile-lined sweat pants and HEATTECH ultra stretch high-rise denim leggings pants if you wish to skip the layering. Guys can cosy up in a pair of HEATTECHwarm lined pants.

P.S. Heading to Japan for winter?You'll need these useful tips!

Ideal for very cold days

A Muslim woman in a padded jacket

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

If it feels like the beginning of winter, it’s time to get extra warm with your winter outfit. This is the best time to add mid-layers because you never know when a cold gust of wind hits you!

How many layers to wear?

  • 1 base layer
  • 1 mid-layer
  • 1 outer layer
  • 1 pair of bottoms with inner leggings or tights
Man in a padded jacket

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Base layer: Everything starts with good thermal-base wear. For female travellers, the HEATTECH turtleneck long-sleeve t-shirt is your best friend since the neck is one of the first areas of the body to feel cold. Otherwise, the Uniqlo and Mame Kurogouchi HEATTECH wool blend turtleneck long-sleeve t-shirt is good too! Male travellers can protect themselves from the cold with this men's HEATTECH fleece long sleeve t-shirt or HEATTECH crew neck short sleeves t-shirt. You can try out the HEATTECH Extra Warm selections at the UNIQLO store to find the right fit.

Mid-layer: Mid-layers will protect you from the extreme cold. Here’s where long sleeves knitwear or sweaters will come to the rescue. Pick neutral shades such as beige or white, so they’ll match perfectly with any outer layer you’ll have on.

Outer layer: Wear a jacket with a bold colour, so you’ll stand out in the cold. For ladies, choose a stylish piece such as this down oversized parka or recycled down jacket. For men, you may like this hybrid down parka or windproof outer fleece hoodie for a walk around town.

Bottoms: Any apparel with inner linings is important during winter. Since it’ll be colder than usual, female travellers can pair their long pants or jeans with HEATTECH leggings . If you’re really afraid of the cold, you can match those leggings with a pair of HEATTECH warm-lined pants. Not to worry, guys! HEATTECH Extra Warm tights are available for men.

Best for snowy weather

Muslim woman wearing a fur hooded coat

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Embracing the cold, biting wind during winter is a challenge, especially when it’s snowy outside. We suggest going ultra warm to shield yourself from extremely cold climates.

How many layers to wear?

  • 1 base layer
  • 2 mid-layers
  • 1 outer layer
  • 1 pair of bottoms with inner leggings or tights
Man in a fur jacket

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Base layer: When embracing the intense cold, get thermal-based wear from the HEATTECH Ultra Warm line. Besides keeping you warm, it also has a moisture-wicking property that’ll help you stay fresh while skiing, snowboarding or enjoying other winter activities! Depending on your mid-layer, the high-neck or crew-neck long sleeve t-shirt will be great for ladies whereas the gents can seek warmth from a turtle-neck or crew-neck long sleeve t-shirt. You can feel how cosy the HEATTECH Ultra Warm is when you shop at the UNIQLO store!

Mid-layer: When piling on two mid-layers, remove excess bulk by wearing a vest. Women can pair their knitwears with ultra-light down vest. Men, on the other hand, can layer their sweaters with a guy’s version of the ultra-light down vest or compact vest. With fewer layers around the sleeves, you can move around easily and play in the snow!

Outer layer: Choose winter coats that are water repellent (in case of snow) and have amazing heat retention. Ladies can step out with an ultra-warm short coat or seamless down short coat. Men can ditch the jacket for this ultra-warm coat or hybrid down parka on a very cold day.

Bottoms: Layering your pants with inner lining won’t be enough for the intense cold. We recommend women to match this pair of women's pile-lined sweat pants with ultra-warm leggings. Men also have their HEATTECH warm-lined pants that go well with these ultra-warm tights.

P.S. Still undecided about where you should go for your winter vacay?Check out these 10 awesome destinations!

Get your winter accessories

Woman in winter clothing on a mountain

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Keep your winter outfit extra warm and toasty with these accessories! It’s all about finding the right pair of gloves and socks before flying off to your next winter destination.

Cap: Keep your head nice and covered with this HEATTECH ribbed beanie. Be sure to get one that is well-insulated and stretchable, so it’ll fit perfectly! If you’re wearing a hijab, look for a pashmina shawl to stay warm. Otherwise, opt for a chiffon headscarf and wear it with a beanie and earmuffs.

Gloves: Find a pair that has a fleece lining such as this unisex HEATTECH lined stretch gloved . It’ll give you a snug fit and keep your little fingers warm.

Socks: To keep your feet from freezing, go for insulated socks that have bio-warming features such as these women’s HEATTECH socks and men’s HEATTECH pile short socks. Opt for a pair with contoured heel construction, so it’ll provide a comfortable fit.

Boots: Falling down a slippery slope is not a good look for anyone, so get a pair of slip-on boots with good traction. Additionally, find one with fleece lining to keep your little toes nice and warm.

A grey scarf on a mannequin

Credit: Uniqlo Malaysia on Facebook

Scarves: Besides being a style accessory, the right scarf should protect you from the cold, and this knitted hooded scarf fits the bill! Made from bio-warming material, this well-insulated scarf feels soft on your skin, and you can wear it day and night. From thermal-base innerwear to winter coats, that’s everything you need to know about packing for different temperatures! We hope this winter-style guide will come in handy for your next cold-weather escape. If you’re planning to build your winter wardrobe, make your way to UNIQLO to shop for all of your winter essentials!

This article is brought to you by UNIQLO Malaysia.