Travelling to Sapporo and thinking of What to Wear?
An essential piece of information that people sometimes forget when travelling: taking the weather into consideration. Filipinos, especially first-time travellers, have a lower tolerance for cold weather. Most of the jackets sold in local department stores prioritize fashion instead of functionality, as well. So, if you think that polyester jacket is enough to get you through winter abroad, think again!
The fashion scene in Japan is pretty experimental but leans towards the more conservative side. The top designers from the country focus on avant garde pieces that lessen the emphasis on curves and sexiness. The common theme is a certain androgyny in the pieces from oversized jackets to wide legged and high waisted pants.
Here, I’ll be discussing the weather forecasts per season in Sapporo and what’s the best thing to wear for each one. Remember, there are various styles to choose from, and this is just a frame of reference to help you decide on yours!
Spring (March to May)
Around this season, Sapporo is in full bloom while the breeze still carries the chill of winter! If you want to see the cherry blossoms, visit during Golden Week which is around late April to early May! Once the cherry blossoms bloom, the other trees follow suit and it makes for a beautiful experience! Temperatures around this time range from 7-20℃, so at the lowest, you’ll be shivering in thermal wear, and at the highest, it’ll feel like an air-conditioned room everywhere you go.
You’ll want to wear a few thin layers over a breezy shirt so you can moderate your body temperature throughout the day. Silky camisoles paired with popcorn cardigans are making their way through stores. You might want to grab yourself a few before they sell out. For a more masculine look, a loose shirt and a flannel never fail. Unless you’re used to cooler weather, pack thick coats for an extra layer of warmth!
Sharply-tailored unisex pants are making waves on the runway and are a great confidence booster. They won’t look strange on the streets of Hokkaido and they’re comfortable enough for a long day’s walk. Cycling shorts are still a trend, too, if that’s your thing. I personally prefer pleated or ruffled skirts like this Ay! Caramba linen skirt from Luxesaint!
Hokkaido in the spring time might make you want to wear strappy heels with long flowy sundresses (and you could, I’m not stopping you!), but that might not be the practical choice. The temperature can drop in the early morning and be pretty warm around noon. Sneakers or ankle boots are the way to go, what with the unpredictable chill. You and your feet will thank us later!
Fanny packs all around! Chances are everyone and their brother have a fanny pack to keep their stuff in as they go about their day. If that doesn’t match your aesthetic, a small sling bag with all your essentials is the way to go! Oddly enough, spring in Hokkaido may bring rain. So, don’t forget to pack a small foldable umbrella, just in case!
Sample Spring Outfit:
Summer (June to August)
Sapporo has one of the best summers and I don’t say this lightly! There’s no sticky humid rainy season during this time. And, even if the days can get pretty hot, the nights are actually pretty cool enough for you to wear a thin sweater! There are plenty of activities to do in Sapporo during the summer so you’ll need to be in clothes you’re comfortable to walk around in a lot! In Sapporo, the temperature is at a comfortable 20-32℃, so, unlike the Philippines, it won’t be a sticky humid heat! Even if the temperature goes above 30℃ (and it seldom does!), the air will be cool enough that you won’t have to break a sweat.
For the summer, do it like Meghan Markle and look through eco-friendly brands that use organic materials for the dresses and tops! You’ll look fashion-forward while also making an eco-conscious statement!
Though the country is pretty experimental when it comes to fashion, they’re also pretty conservative. Instead of short shorts, your best bet is to wear wide leg flowy pants. It’s the more practical choice if you have any tattoos that you want to hide or when you don’t want to appear disrespectful. If you’re tired of wearing pants, long pleated skirts are also
The great thing about the fashion scene in the country is that you can basically wear whatever you want, but your shoes will always make a bigger statement. They really prioritize individuality and imagination in all their outfits. Faux snakeskin boots with that pleated skirt? Go for it! Slides are also a huge thing in Japan right now, which brings us back to the comfort wear trend.
Accessories in the winter are more utilitarian, but in the summer? You can go all out! Wide-brimmed hat, check. Sunglasses, check. Fashion scarves, check. You can also add a bright statement bag to any dull and drab outfit to make it look ready for a day on the streets!
Sample Summer Outfit:
What’s trending for Spring/Summer 2019?
- Colors of the sun – My favorite trend this season is the arrival of warm colors like reds and bright oranges. Mustard yellow and dusty pinks are still the rage so incorporate some of those shades into your wardrobe.
- Sharply-tailored pants – Wide legs, high waists, overall clean structured pants are one of the major shifts in macro trends over the past year. It looks like we’re finally saying goodbye to the uncomfortable skinny jeans and welcoming the A-line silhouette of the wide-legged pants!
- Ruching – I’ve always been a fan of ruffles and bows so I love that fashion lines have incorporated more ruching on their dresses. I also love that it pairs well with whatever body shape you have!
- Neon – *gasp* The trend we all thought was dead has come back again this 2019! Celebrities have been sporting midi dresses in bright orange to full-on highlighter green tracksuits. If that’s something you want to jump right in to, be warned! It’s almost impossible to pull off for regular streetwear, but you *can* try!
Autumn (September to November)
Thin cardigans and boots might be enough to get you through autumn in Tokyo, but it won’t prepare you for autumn in Hokkaido! Sapporo’s temperature drops quickly around late September, especially at night. First time Filipino travellers need to bundle up extra well because our bodies aren’t used to colder climates. But you don’t have to compromise on looking amazing either! Here’s what to wear for autumn in Sapporo:
Heat Tech or thermal shirts topped with thick padded long coats are the way to go! Don’t be afraid to layer on undershirts, T-shirts, sweaters, vests, and weather-proof jackets. Fleece-lined jackets are a must-have and pairs well with just about any top!
If the weather is forgiving enough, go for denim pants! You can also have a layer of thick tights underneath for extra warmth. Snow pants might be necessary in case of extreme temperatures, as well. Lastly, never forget to pack extra thermal underwear. Those will be your lifesaver!
The first snow falls around mid- to late October. If you’re travelling to Sapporo around that time, be sure to pack a pair of snow boots or rain boots that also work as snow boots. Note: shoewear can get pretty bulky in your luggage, so pack a pair that goes well with most of your outfits. If you have enough room, however, throw in some fashionable boots or sneakers to glam up your wardrobe!
No matter how warm your body is, if your hands, face, and ears are exposed, you will still feel the chill. Pack a couple of fleece-lined gloves, wool scarves, and cute ear muffs to protect yourself from the elements! You can also purchase winter accessories like umbrellas, masks, and hokkairo (hand warmers) in convenience stores.
Sample Autumn Outfit:
Winter (December to March)
Winter has come and you must prepare yourselves for temperatures between -1℃ to -8℃ (30℉ to 21℉)! Not unlike the autumn season, your best chance of surviving winter in Hokkaido is to layer on clothes! But just thick and bulky clothes won’t keep you warm. You’ll have to consider the kinds of fabric you’ll be layering to insulate your temperature.
Start with a cotton or wool base. That’s your thermal shirts or sweaters. Then, top it with a puffer jacket and coat. Be sure to also have a weatherproof jacket ready just in case!
Snow pants over a pair of thick tights will get you through the coldest of the season. Jeans will be your friend when the temperature lets up a little bit.
Snow boots will be your best friend through the ice and sleet! If you plan on going to Hokkaido in mid-March, pack a pair of rain boots for when the snow starts to melt. Note: shoewear can get pretty bulky in your luggage, so pack a pair that goes well with most of your outfits. If you have enough room, however, throw in some fashionable boots or sneakers to glam up your wardrobe!
You can go with what I told you for autumn, but if I may suggest: try on some suede gloves with faux fur details or a thick knitted scarf! The cold shouldn’t keep you from dressing up your outfit. Be sure to avoid inefficient winter wear as it takes up too much luggage space, and you won’t even get much use out of them!
Sample Winter Outfits from me and #MyTravelPALs :
What’s trending for Fall/Winter ‘18 & ‘19?
- Easywear – Vogue France says that “easywear continues to be big, we’ll still be wrapping up warm in cozy clothes that make us feel safe.” The overall trend lessens the emphasis on seduction and more on individuality.
- Long-padded coats – A favorite winter staple has been dressed up from chic to avant garde on the runway, but plenty of influencers are getting in on the trend. Either way, we welcome the arrival of these fashion plus function piece!
- Sheepskin Coats – You’ve seen them in a dozen muted colors like coffee, beige, black, and terracotta, and they look amazing in every single one. Fleece coats give you that extra bit of warmth you’ll need for the chilly winters of Sapporo!
- Faux Leather – Plenty of brands are dropping real leather for the more animal-friendly alternative, and we love it! Faux leather, whether they’re boots or jackets, give an edginess to your look without actually harming anyone (or any animal!)
How do I Pack Winter Wear?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on packing clothes for the winter!
- Depending on the duration of your stay, a medium-sized soft suitcase is most often a safe bet. It’s easy enough for you to carry if you’re travelling alone, and it gives you more mobility than a hard suitcase.
- Start with your boots! Since these are your bulkiest items, make some use out of them. Fill them up with bras, undies, undershirts, and socks. Use up all that extra space! Then, line up the boots at the bottom of your suitcase like two tetris pieces, making a kind of rectangle. That’ll be the base for where you start packing!
- The second most-stubborn thing to pack are your dense fabrics. These are your knitted sweaters and denim pants, and are pretty bulky even when folded. Try rolling or a combination of folding and rolling to shrink them down as best as you can. Place these over and around your boots.
- Pack your jackets and thermal wear next. These are still pretty thick but are soft enough to be folded and rolled easily. Make sure you stuff them hard into the sides and corners.
- If you still have some room, pack the things you can’t live without but thought were too unnecessary to pack. Use up all the extra spaces and gaps in between for your make up, perfume, extra socks and underwear, your chargers, and maybe a couple of books!
- Consider wearing your bulkiest items on your person to the airport. If you wanted to bring another pair of boots, a thick padded long coat, or a cute new bonnet, try wearing them for the trip. Chances are it’ll be cold in the airport, on the plane, and at your destination!
We’re a month into the new year and there are plenty of places for you to go and plenty of sights to see! Add Sapporo to your travel bucket list, and be prepared for all seasons!
Philippine Airlines Now has direct flights from Manila to Sapporo, with its direct flights, and know you knowing what to wear for every season, you can now visit Hokkaido with nothing holding you back!
Want more articles like this? Tell me which country you’d like me to write about next in the comments!