What to Wear in Vermont in October: Essential Packing Tips for Fall Trips

October in Vermont is nothing short of magical. The fall foliage paints the landscape in vibrant hues of red, orange, and yellow, making it a prime destination for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and anyone seeking the quintessential autumn experience. However, packing for a trip to Vermont in October can be a bit daunting due to the unpredictable weather. From chilly mornings to mild afternoons and possibly even an early snowfall, you need to be prepared for a variety of conditions. As a recent traveler to this picturesque state, I’d like to share my insights and recommendations on what to wear during your Vermont adventure in October.

Understanding Vermont’s October Weather

What to Wear in Vermont in the Fall - living after midnite

Temperature Ranges

October in Vermont typically sees temperatures ranging from 30°F (-1°C) in the early morning and evening to around 60°F (15°C) during the day. The weather can vary significantly, so it’s essential to dress in layers to adjust to these fluctuations.

Possible Weather Conditions

  • Sunny Days: Pleasant and mild, perfect for hiking and sightseeing.
  • Rainy Days: Expect occasional showers, which can make the terrain slippery.
  • Frosty Mornings and Evenings: Chilly temperatures are common, requiring warm clothing.
  • Early Snow: In some areas, especially at higher elevations, you might encounter early snowfall.

Essential Clothing Items

Fall Colors In Vermont - Julia Berolzheimer

Layering Basics

Layering is the key to staying comfortable in Vermont’s variable October weather. Here’s a breakdown of essential layers:

  1. Base Layer: This is your first layer of defense against the cold. Choose moisture-wicking fabrics like merino wool or synthetic materials to keep sweat away from your body.
  2. Mid Layer: This layer provides insulation. Fleece jackets, down vests, and wool sweaters are excellent choices.
  3. Outer Layer: Protect yourself from wind and rain with a waterproof and windproof jacket. A packable down coat is also useful for unexpected cold snaps.

Base Layer Recommendations

  • Merino Wool Long Sleeve Shirt: Keeps you warm and dry. Brands like Icebreaker and Smartwool offer excellent options.
  • Thermal Leggings: These can be worn under jeans or hiking pants for extra warmth.

Mid Layer Recommendations

  • Fleece Jacket: Lightweight and warm. Patagonia and The North Face have great selections.
  • Down Vest: Adds warmth without bulk. Look for options from brands like Uniqlo or Arc’teryx.
  • Wool Sweater: Stylish and functional. Consider options from L.L. Bean or Pendleton.

Outer Layer Recommendations

  • Waterproof Jacket: Essential for rainy days. Brands like Columbia and Marmot offer durable options.
  • Packable Down Coat: Convenient and warm, perfect for unexpected cold weather. Check out options from Patagonia or Mountain Hardwear.

Footwear Essentials

Fall Colors In Vermont - Julia Berolzheimer

Hiking Boots

A sturdy pair of waterproof hiking boots is a must for exploring Vermont’s trails. They provide support and keep your feet dry. Brands like Merrell and Salomon are known for their reliable hiking footwear.

Waterproof Boots

For rainy days and muddy conditions, a pair of waterproof boots, such as those from Hunter or Bogs, will keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Casual Sneakers

Comfortable sneakers are perfect for strolling around quaint towns like Stowe and Woodstock. Choose a pair with good support for all-day wear.

Insulated Socks

Warm, moisture-wicking socks are crucial. Look for wool or synthetic options from brands like Darn Tough (a Vermont-based company) or Smartwool.

Accessories to Pack

What to Wear in Vermont in the Fall - living after midnite

Hats and Gloves

  • Beanie: A warm beanie will keep your head and ears cozy.
  • Wide-Brim Hat: Useful for sunny days to protect your face from the sun.
  • Gloves: Lightweight gloves for chilly mornings and evenings.


A warm scarf adds both style and warmth. Opt for wool or cashmere for the best insulation.


Even in fall, the sun can be bright. Protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses.


A compact, travel-friendly umbrella can be a lifesaver during unexpected showers.

Outfit Ideas for Different Activities

Fall Outfits To Vermont: What To Wear - Elvie in the City

Hiking and Outdoor Adventures

For hiking in Vermont’s beautiful landscapes, comfort and practicality are key.

Example Outfit:

  • Base Layer: Merino wool long sleeve shirt.
  • Mid Layer: Fleece jacket.
  • Outer Layer: Waterproof jacket.
  • Bottoms: Thermal leggings under hiking pants.
  • Footwear: Waterproof hiking boots.
  • Accessories: Beanie, insulated socks, gloves, and a scarf.

Exploring Quaint Towns

When visiting Vermont’s charming towns, blend comfort with a bit of style.

Example Outfit:

  • Top: Wool sweater over a thermal shirt.
  • Bottoms: High-waisted jeans.
  • Footwear: Casual sneakers.
  • Outerwear: Plaid peacoat.
  • Accessories: Wide-brim hat, scarf, and a crossbody bag.

Dining Out and Evening Events

For evenings out, you’ll want to look stylish while staying warm.

Example Outfit:

  • Top: Dressy blouse.
  • Bottoms: Dark jeans or a skirt with thermal leggings.
  • Footwear: Suede booties.
  • Outerwear: Chic overcoat or packable down coat.
  • Accessories: Statement necklace, gloves, and a beanie.

Packing List Recap

Visit Vermont in Fall to Make the Most of the Season


  • 1 Heavier Coat
  • 1 Lightweight Coat
  • 1 Packable Down Coat
  • 1 Dress
  • 1 Scarf
  • 2 Long Sleeve Shirts
  • 2 Sweaters
  • 1 Dressy Top
  • 1 Pair of Leggings
  • 2 Pairs of Jeans
  • Suede Booties
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Sneakers


  • Umbrella
  • Hat (Beanie and Wide-Brim Hat)
  • Insulated Socks
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses

Tips for Renting Clothes

Visit Vermont in Fall to Make the Most of the Season

If you prefer not to buy new clothes for the trip, consider using a clothing rental service like nuuly. Renting allows you to access stylish and high-quality clothing without the commitment of purchasing. This is especially useful for items like coats, which you may not need frequently if you live in a warmer climate.

Benefits of Renting Clothes

  • Cost-Effective: Save money by renting rather than buying new items.
  • Variety: Access to a wide range of styles and brands.
  • Convenience: Avoid the hassle of storing seasonal clothing.


Packing for a trip to Vermont in October requires a bit of planning, but with the right clothing and accessories, you can stay comfortable and stylish no matter what the weather throws at you. Remember to layer your clothing, prioritize waterproof and warm options, and consider renting items to save space and money. Enjoy the breathtaking fall scenery, charming towns, and outdoor adventures that Vermont has to offer!