Winter is here for better or worse. Let’s hope for better! That means it’s time to get geared up for the season of cold, dry air, whipping winds, and snow. I love snow but the other two I could do without for sure. But I have to be prepared for it and luckily I know how. Kind of. Eh I’m still getting the hang of it.
But just because I’m still adjusting doesn’t mean I don’t know how to stay warm. I believe I have everything I need to survive this winter and I am going to share what I do to stay warm. Am I going to share them with you? Uh yeah duh because no one should be cold this winter. We need to do our best to stay warm!
A Heavy Coat – If you get nothing else, get a big, thick coat. You don’t have to get one that is overly bulky or makes you feel like marshmallow though. This is my heavy coat and it’s not super thick or bulky but it’s so, so warm. When shopping for a coat, go long. My L.L. Bean coat (shown) hits just above the knee and it’s the perfect length for those negative wind chill days.
My other need is to get one with a hood. Granted most of them do but I use a hood more than a hat or earmuffs. Actually I barely use those just the hood and I’m good! Also when you’re researching it’s important to look at the level of warmth. A lot of brands have guides that tell you how cold it can be when you wear the coat. L.L. Bean was my choice because they make quality products and this was one of the warmest coats in their guide.
Sturdy Winter Boots – If you get nothing else get winter boots. I know I just said this about a coat, but good boots are another must. These are the two key pieces that will keep you warm, and the warmest boots are these Sorel boots. There are plenty of styles but these boots are for those super cold, bitter days. I got mine last year and wear them when the temperatures are in the single digits (or lower) and when we get a lot of snow. They keep your feet warm, dry, and cozy!
Cozy Accessories – Now when you go outside it’s important to have everything covered: hands, legs, feet, arms, ears, eyes. Okay maybe not eyes but if I could I would. There’s no other feeling like when your eyes are so cold they feel like marbles in your eye sockets. Anyway my point is to cover up everything you can. This includes but is not limited to: scarves, earmuffs, hats, ski masks, and gloves.
I usually just wear a thick scarf around my neck then pull up the hood of my coat. Blanket scarves can also be a huge lifesaver, and on the coldest days I wear earmuffs as well. I always wear gloves because my hands are always cold and gloves just kind of soften the blow of frozen air. My gloves are knit (2017 versions) but have an inner layer of fuzz so they’re doubly as warm. I suggest either thickly lined or wind resistant gloves to keep out the unwanted cold air.
Hands Free Bag – A hands free bag is perfect when it’s cold so you can keep your hands free. To shove in your pockets so they won’t freeze fall off your arms. I love my tote from G.H. Bass but I have friends that use the Madewell Transport Tote and swear by it. Point of the story is to find a bag that you can be hands free with but that also fits all your stuff. This baby fits everything I need for work and beyond (which I will be sharing in a couple of weeks!)
Warm Drinks – Now that you’ve got your outsides warm, it’s time to get your insides warm too. On those particularly cold days I make myself a cup of tea or coffee in my to go cup with me on my commute. It keeps me warm while walking or waiting for the bus. It really does help, plus it’s an extra little hand warmer! I have a tough time keeping my hands warm, guys. In fact, they’re freezing off my hands as I type this right now.
Cozy Slippers for the House – You’ve battled the relentless outdoors, now it’s time to tackle your home. Apparently in Chicago no matter how much insulation, space heaters, or heat you’ve got, it’s going to be a little chilly. Once I put on my sweats and slippers I’m ready to go. Gotta get them slippies on! I’ve had these Ugg slippers for a few years and they’re still amazing!
Warm Blankets – Another necessity for the home is a warm blanket to get all cozy in at the end of the day. I usually use my t-shirt quilts (DIY your own here) but I also love the fuzzy ones. I really want to grab a faux fur ones because they are so, so warm. It really makes it hard for me to get off the couch, but just as easy to fall asleep watching TV every night.
Thick Sweaters – The perfect pairing underneath your parka is a warm, wooly sweater. Wool will keep you the warmest but if you’re allergic thick cotton ones are also just as effective. I love my wool fair isle sweaters, but it’s up to you as far as what you want to wear. But the cozier the better!
Real Pants – Ya need pants. That’s about it. You need all kinds to keep your legs covered if not warm. I don’t wearing leggings or tights underneath like some people do, but I don’t like doing that. It just makes my pants tighter and then I get hot if I leave them on while I’m at work. But as far as the best pants to keep your warm, go with corduroys. Similar fabrics like velvet will do the trick just as well, but the thickness and comfort of corduroys can’t be beat. Jeans are okay, but I don’t think they keep the cold out as well and they can be uncomfortable. Read more about corduroys here.
Thick Socks – I don’t always do this, but thick socks are needed to keep your feet warm under your boots. I love the camp socks from J.Crew because they are thick, cozy, and keep my toes warm. Well as well they can since I live in Chicago but you get the picture. Wool socks are also a great idea. I have some from REI that I wear and those babies keep my feet WARM. No frozen toes to worry about!
How do you survive winter? Share your favorite cozy items I’d love to get suggestions!