I'm looking to travel light but expect it to be 32F when I'm there. Any thoughts on smart clothing to wear?
Look at lightweight “technical” clothes, maybe from an outdoor activity/sports shop. Layering a long-sleeved inner layer with some fleeces under a light but warm waterproof top layer would be ideal.
It’ll be cold and quite possibly wet. February can be the bleakest month of all in this part of Europe.
Amsterdam is pretty far north, and you also have weather patterns coming off the ocean. Dress for highs in low 40's and lows in the low 30's. It rains 10 days in February on average.
The temperature isn't always the issue in the Netherlands. There's a reason they have all those windmills rather than an alternate technology. It is always windy there. A cold wet wind off the North Sea can be biting and unpleasant, so be prepared with a true wind breaker and waterproof, not shower proof.
I visited Amsterdam in mid-April and the day temps never got above 45, so I typically wore a long sleeve thermal tee, mid-weight wool sweater (these 2 layers were perfect for indoors) and my outer layer was a Calvin Klein lined & hooded waterproof coat that came to the top of my thigh--and of course wool mittens and scarf. No hat because I have a lot of hair to keep my head warm. Thick Smartwool socks and comfy Fly London walking boots--like you, I like to look smart when traveling and this worked for me.
Honestly, it was so cold and I was so layered up that I could have worn the same top for the whole week--you'll be fine with 2 or 3 tees and maybe 2 sweaters, depends on your idea of traveling light. I also brought a fleece high-collar close-fitting jacket that was a third layer under the coat on the days I was outside for many hours, such as going to Keukenhof.
Hello, you might consider the Skhoop Original Insulated long over-skirt that can be ordered through REI. I took one on the 2015 RS Paris tour in late February and it really helped keep my legs warm and dry on the cold, windy, and rainy days of which there were many. Especially good for boat rides. The right side unzips all the way, so you can put it on easily over your pants and tuck up under your coat. Its very lightweight and can be rolled and kept in your day pack, and doubles as a throw. I always wear tall leather boots in a motorcycle style with a heavy sole. Great for cobble streets.
excellent suggestion Kath. I will be looking at REI when I'm done with lodging reservations. I'm interested in being warm but don't want to look like the Michelin man either.