Pack smarter and look sharper on your trip

Focus on your coats and basic pieces to create a variety of stylish looks

The most exciting part about a trip is the holiday itself.

The least? The preparation.

Packing can be such a pain - especially when you are heading to countries notorious for their cold winters during this period, such as the US, South Korea or Northern Italy.

Dressing for the cold means piling on the layers.

When it comes to fall fashion, it is so hard to resist that wool knit or sweater in various designs, that leather jacket for less chilly afternoons and that long coat for windy evenings - not to mention the multiple scarfs you just need to pair with different combinations.

Before you know it, your suitcase is jammed to the gills. But it doesn't always have to end with you being penalised for excess luggage.

Abide by these six packing tips and save that baggage allowance for your shopping.

Minimise your inner wear

Do you really need three sets of long johns for a week in Paris? Or 10 pullovers for every occasion? Cut down on the unnecessary garments.

While good quality thermal underwear is a top choice for keeping you snug during winter, they are bulky and often take up too much luggage space.

Instead, go for Uniqlo's heat technology inner wear - two will suffice for a week. They work the same way as long johns and are much lighter in nature.

If you foresee being indoors for the most part, put one on and top it off with a turtleneck sweater, a pair of wool pants and a coat that will keep you warm and stylish.

The rule of thirds

This applies to the amount you have to pack - keep it to just three for each category. Three pullovers and three pairs of wool trousers? That is nine outfits right there.

Having three of each clothing article will help force you to pack more efficiently and streamline your looks. Since you have to shortlist three out of the 20 pullovers you have, you have no choice but to cut back on unnecessary pieces.

Bring the basics

As much as we love a colour-block patchwork jumper or a blue oversized parka, basics work wonders because of their versatility.

With this small pool of staples, you can mix and match to form a variety of looks and be assured they don't clash. So simplify your colour palette and think of colours such as black, white, grey, navy and camel.

Those with bright hues and ostentatious prints? Leave them at home. If you must have leopard print, one item is enough.

More coats over more knits

If there is one thing you should not skimp on, it is outer wear. Coats are actually your most essential items since they are the ones getting the most air time (that means they appear in most photos).

Bring a few to switch out every day, ranging from a thicker coat to a lighter trench. Sacrifice a sweater - you can reuse knits and jumpers and nobody will notice. And make sure your coats come in muted hues for easy styling.

Wear or hand-carry the bulkiest clothing article

Save room by wearing or carrying your bulkiest items on the flight, such as your lined wool coat and chunky booties.

While this may be annoying for a moment during the security screening process, it gives you extra space in your luggage for other necessities. Plus, you will arrive at your destination dressed for the elements.

You even get a little extra protection from the chilly on-board air conditioning.

Don't forget the accessories

Instead of stuffing your luggage with multiple outerwear pieces to change your look, why not try the lighter and simpler option: accessories. You can style the same nude sweater with cute hats, shades, scarves and statement jewellery - instantly turning one clothing item into many unique looks.

This article first appeared on Her World Online (