Because wearing your old college sweatshirts just won't cut it.

Open Suitcase with Winter Clothes
Credit: LeszekCzerwonka/Getty Images

Christmas is almost here, which means it's time to start packing up to head home for the holidays. Despite what you and your family have planned, you can pretty much count on the main event of the holiday weekend to be Christmas dinner. No doubt, you'll probably run into some old friends or your high school boyfriend. So it's important to make sure you're dressed to impress your friends and loved ones during the most wonderful time of the year.

The good news is that you won't need to pack up your entire closet. Here, we've done the hard work for you, selecting the 12 weekend wardrobe essentials you'll need to bring along with you to your family's home. Best part? Depending on how much of an expert you are at rolling and folding, all of these winter and travel staples can easily fit in one suitcase. Plus, you can easily mix and match some of these items to ensure you have enough outfits and accessories to last from Christmas Eve until the day after Christmas.

Make-Up Bag

You shouldn't have to abandon your usual morning beauty routine just because you're back in the comfort of your old home. Pack a cute, small, bag to house your favorite tools and sample products.


If your hometown is in the South, then you're already aware of how fickle the weather can be here. The best option for layering when it gets chilly is with pretty scarves. This way, your neck stays warm and cozy, but you'll also look effortlessly stylish.

A Fuzzy Blanket

Flying? You're going to want to pack an extra blanket because most airplane cabins are cold. It'll also give you a sense of your old home away from home.

An Oversized Sweater

A chunky knit is great for layering and dressing up in different ways. You can also lounge around in it for the entire holiday weekend, and no one will judge you for it.

One Fancy Dress

You should pack a nice dress, even if your family Christmas dinners are usually laid back and casual. Besides, if you're planning on staying through New Year's, it'll save you from having to buy a new formal dress for a night out on the town.

Your Go-to Purse

Make sure to pack a handbag that will complement all of your outfits and hold all of the necessary items, like your keys, money, credit cards, plane ticket, charger, etc.

Winter Coat

Unless your final destination is in the Sunshine State, you'll definitely need a winter coat. A nice shearling coat, pea coat, or suede jacket should keep you warm when out and about soaking up the Christmas spirit.

Ankle Boots and Socks

Pack a few pairs of socks that can be worn with a classic ankle bootie. And if there's room, bring along an extra snuggly pair to keep your feet toasty while relaxing on the couch. Don't forget to pack a versatile pair of ankle boots that you can mix and match with various outfits.

A Simple Pair of Pearl Earrings

No matter what you're wearing, you can't go wrong with pearl earrings. And we're sure Mama will appreciate you wearing her heirloom pair.

A Pair of Comfy Flats

Flats are a lifesaver, especially when it comes to getting through airport security quickly. If you plan on exploring or doing more shopping while at home, your favorite pair of loafers, oxfords, or ballet flats will come in handy.

Your Favorite Book

Once the hoopla of unwrapping presents dies down, having a good book to turn to will keep you entertained for the weekend (and on the plane).

Flannel Pajamas

If your family's annual holiday tradition is opening presents before breakfast, you'll need a stylish pair of pajamas to walk around in as you rip open your gifts.

WATCH: How to Pack for a Weekend Trip

Along with these winter travel essentials, don't forget to pack the presents you plan to give to your family and friends. After a long flight, the last thing you should have to worry about is finding a last-minute gift.