Happy MLK Day! Chris and I are off today, and my sister Lily is still here visiting. The weather has been BRUTAL…tomorrow, we’re taking her to Summer House Santa Monica and 3 Arts Cafe so that she’ll remember what happiness was. (I’m trying to convince her to move from NYC to Chicago after graduation, and this weather is NOT helping).
Luckily, I think we missed the worst of the Arctic temps while we were in Europe (a high of -2 degrees??) but weather in the teens and twenties is still pretty tough. What does one wear?! Below I’m sharing my uniform for when it’s 25 degrees and under (so…pretty much most of the Chicago winter).
Coat – I get asked a lot whether I think my Canada Goose parka is worth it. It depends on your lifestyle! If you live in Chicago, or the midwest, and don’t have a car, then definitely YES. I walk everywhere, including almost two miles to work everyday, and then almost 2 miles back home. I do this for several reasons – first, because it’s required exercise, and I have a hard time making myself exercise. Second, trains/buses are SO germy. Knock on wood, but I haven’t have a cold since 2016 and I think it’s partially due to avoiding public transportation! (Read more on how I prevent getting sick). Third, traffic is so bad, the train/bus isn’t that much faster than me walking.
Anyways, I save $25/week by walking to work, and I’ve had this coat for 3 winters now, so I think it’s already more than paid for itself. I also have avoided some pricey Ubers, because I was wearing this coat, and I would be burning up in the backseat. Which leads me to a con…I actually get really hot in this coat. When we were shooting these photos, all I had underneath was a thin, long-sleeved shirt. I felt great when we were outside, but when we dropped by Target afterwards, I felt really hot. However, there are vent pockets and even straps so you can carry your coat on your back indoors, kind of like a backpack (although I have yet to do this or see anyone else do this in public, haha).
To my point – if you live somewhere with dreadful long winters, and need to spend time outside, I think a Canada Goose parka is worth it. Don’t know which one to get? I see a lot of girls with the Shelburne, Victoria, and Trillium, but I own the Whistler. I love that it has a belt, which is slimming, and also goes past my knees (just to your knees if you’re tall). According to the company’s website, these coats are good until -15 degrees. Canada Goose also has really cute waist-length coats, but to be honest, I don’t really get the point. The top half of your body will be incredibly warm, and then your legs will be freezing. If it’s cold enough to be wearing one of their coats, you’ll want something longer to cover your legs! (This coat is also really pretty – I love this color!)
This year, I also got this coat for our trip to Europe, and I’m obsessed. It’s still expensive, but comes at a lower price point. It’s still SUPER warm (good until -5 degrees), but is pretty much weightless. It’s a lot easier to wear, carry around, and is also machine washable.
For Christmas, I forced a Canada Goose on Chris. He insisted he didn’t need it, but he was always cold. I got him this one, which is a little longer than a lot of men’s parka’s and he LOVES it now. He should just always listen to me 🙂
If I don’t have you sold on Canada Goose, there are two other coats that I still really like. The first is this…I wore this for about 5 years before passing it on to Lily when she moved to NYC. I also love this coat, which I wear in the 30s, but depending on how much you layer, can work for the 20s and lower.
Boots – Ugh, I’ve ruined so many pairs of boots in the salty snow/ice. I love my Blondo waterproof suede boots, but when it’s truly cold and gross outside, I wear Hunter rain boots with liners. My feet stay warm and dry, and I can rinse the salt right off! I don’t wear winter boots that aren’t easy to clean, like Uggs. I also really like these boots, which are SO warm. I throw them in the washing machine when they get dirty.
Mittens – Mittens are warmer than gloves! Also, if you wear rings with stones, it can be hard to pull gloves over them, or without leaving little visible indents on your finger after you take them off. I love these thick mittens…they’re warm without being pricey. I can’t wear expensive mittens because I’m always losing them!
Crossbody Bag – When it’s really cold, I shove my hands in my pockets, and keep my arms close to my sides. I can’t be bothered by a hand-held bag, or a tote that might slip off my shoulder. Crossbody it is!
Leg Warmers – To keep my legs from freezing on really cold days, I put on these leg warmers over my pants…then when I get to the office and switch to regular shoes, I can take the leg warmers off without looking like I’m taking my pants off, haha.
How do you stay warm in the winter?