As I write this, I’m looking out my New York City window to a flurry of snow, with well over a foot of it piled on from this week’s winter storms. As much as I love living here, getting around in a city made for walking and public transportation is always a challenge in the winter weather. Even a five minute walk can leave you wet, freezing, and exhausted without the proper gear to keep you warm. This week I’ll be looking at some of the things that make my days in this ultra-cold weather a bit more bearable.
Choosing an Effective Coat
There are an infinite number of jackets and coats out there, made for every style and situation, but when it comes to getting through the below-freezing weather, not all are created equal. There are a few things you should be looking for when buying a coat to maximize its functionality.
- Getting the Right Fit
Though a perfectly tailored coat might make for a stylish look, your ideal coat leaves plenty of room for you to add extra layers underneath. Before you guys a cost, make sure that you can comfortably wear at least two layers of clothing under it.
2. Choosing material
Especially when it comes to the snowy, slushy weather we’ve got here, a waterproof coat is essential. You don’t want the the precipitation to soak through your cotton, wool, or down coat and leave you even colder than before! This is why most people recommend getting a coat with a water-resistant outer layer to protect you from the elements.
3. Intelligent Construction
As with all clothing design, the devil is really in the details when it comes to choosing a proper coat. There are many factors to consider, especially since a high-quality coat is often an investment piece. Length is important, as a coat that is too short might leave you exposed to the elements, however you also want to be sure you have a full range of motion. Zippers are preferred to buttons as they give the coat a tighter seal around your body to trap heat. Other elements, like a hood that fits securely on your head and effectively repels water, as well as large pockets to keep your hands warm, are also important to consider. Whenever possible, try a coat on before making your final decision about it.
Wear your mask!
Of course, wearing a mask goes without saying these days, but the cold weather and aggressive windchill has proven to me that masks have another use– saving your skin from the cold! Putting on one or even two cloth masks before going out has been a marked improvement from previous winters full of chapped lips and runny noses.
I’ve often noticed that the first part of me to get cold is my ears. They have very little natural protection on them, so finding ways to cover them up in the winter is essential. Anything from earmuffs to a hat is a great choice for this, and there are tons in every color, style, and pattern imaginable! I love this knit ear warmer from Etsy. I find these do a great job of staying secure even in fast winds and precipitation, not to mention this one comes with buttons to loop your mask on, making it even more functional.
Keeping your feet warm in winter can be a challenge– especially with the danger of freezing puddles and unplowed sidewalks lurking around every corner. Just one misstep in the wrong shoe, and you could end up with a cold, soaking wet foot. To keep my feet warm, I’m sure to wear waterproof boots. The most effective ones I’ve found are tall and made of rubber so they can repel water entirely, and I can step into a snowdrift without worrying about the snow getting into my shoes. I love these Women’s Tremont Muck boots, which have a cute look but put functionality first. Winter boots are another thing I recommend buying a bit larger than you usually do, to allow for layers of warm knit socks to help keep you warm.
Gloves and Mittens
Keeping my hands warm is one of the biggest challenges in the winter. I often come back home from even a short trip to my fingers feeling frozen and numb. Always keeping a pair of gloves in my coat pockets has allowed me to never forget them when I’m venturing outside! If gloves aren’t doing the job on their own, consider adding a handwarmer to keep the heat.
I hope this guide helps you all to navigate the brutal winter! How cold does it get where you live? Do you have any of your own methods for surviving the winter blizzards? Let us know in the comments!