Y'all are concerned about packing for cold weather. Having lived in Texas the first 30 years of my life and now near Tucson for the past 17, I totally get your dilemma.
I do have some experience with traveling in cold, wet and baaaad weather. You don’t have to travel in the winter months to be cold in Europe.
You've received lots of good advice about packing and being prepared for that. I couldn't do what most people suggest because I can't wear wool. Period. Just the thought of the Cashmere and Merino that so many recommend says "hair shirt torture" to me. So I stick to fleece, blends, synthetics and thin Supima cotton, which by the way, dries very quickly.
One surprising exception is the Sockwell socks I mentioned in my earlier post. Somehow my feet, ankles and calves don't mind the typical blend of about 32% Merino Wool, 31% Rayon from Bamboo, 32% Stretch Nylon, 5% Spandex.
I much prefer synthetic fillers to down. Having lost a lot of weight over the past couple of years, I had to replace almost all my clothes. (Pobrecito, eh? 😉) During that process, I was very price fixated, shopping only sales and discounted items at Eddie Bauer and Land's End.
I was determined to be especially frugal in buying cold and wet weather clothing (which is needed rarely at home but always in the Pacific North West and usually when I'm in Europe). Someone on the forum mentioned Amazon Essentials. I took the bait and found a treasure trove for fleece and synthetic packable puffer jackets. I was most pleased that they had zippable outside pockets and deep inside ones. Something that the much-more-expensive-even-on-sale EB jackets I tried and returned lacked.
So I'm providing the links (embedded in the bolded names like Sockwell above) in case y'all might be interested. They are all for layering or outerwear jackets.
Amazon Essentials Fleece. I have 3 full zip hooded ones (in ivory, charcoal heather and purple) and 2 full zip plain ones (in yellow and black).
I have 3 full zip lightweight puffer jackets including 2 hooded ones (dark yellow and olive) and 1 plain one (red).
Hooded puffer jacket.
Plain puffer jacket.
Having dissed Eddie Bauer, I must confess that I've been a customer for decades and do get so many garments from them that I get awards points.
Relevant to this discussion are rain jackets. Being a PNW company, EB does know rain.
Over the past couple of years, I've bought 3 to replace the 5 various brands and styles Goodwill got because they were all too big.
The Rainfoil Packable Jacket is the style I chose, but there are many other good options. I first got it in black and loden. Then, being a sucker for purple, in deep eggplant when that color appeared.
For my summer trip to Ireland and Wales, I will definitely take one of the rain jackets and one of the fleeces. Whether I take a puffer jacket or not will depend on weather predictions and other layering choices.