Remember how cold it was last winter? It snowed the first week in December in some areas of the South, and many of us were caught totally unprepared. And looking back, that was the first warning shot of a winter that totally brought us to our knees, with constant precipitation of some sort and temperatures hovering in the single digits. This year, forecasts already show another bad winter. Take a minute to get your head around this; it’s not a pretty vision. People, we are going to get prepared for this one in advance!
Recently, I met a lovely woman from the arctic region of St. Paul, Minn., who talked to me about how to survive the cold. I used her expertise to gather a laundry list (literally) of all the winter wardrobe items that keep a person warm. Be warned, dear readers, that warmth does not come cheap! But these are quality items that will last for a long time, so the investment is definitely worth the higher price tag. Behold, 10 winter wardrobe items to help you survive the Polar Vortex:
1. Merino base layer
This is the most important of all items, according to my friend. She emphasized that a lightweight wool layer is best, and she recommended SmartWool brand, specifically at REI.
2. Lightweight fleece top
This is a another great base layer to wear under your parka. The North Face has the 1/4-zip Glacier, which is a great weight, for $55.
L.L. Bean sells a lightweight fleece, too, called the Polartec Microgrid Fleece Jacket, for $79.
3. Long down parka
These coats are much warmer than jackets, because they cover your legs. They are comfortable, tailored, fashionable and surprisingly lightweight.
Two great options are the Miss Metro Parka by The North Face for $320, and the Fiona Down Parka by Patagonia for $299.
4. Waterproof jacket
If a jacket is more practical in your wardrobe, then these waterproof ones are great choices:
The Columbia Lay ‘D’ Down retails for $230.
The North Face Heavenly Down Jacket is another good option for $270.
Three-in-ones give you options. Zip out the liner and wear each piece separately, or keep the liner zipped in the shell, hence, a nice warm jacket.
Columbia has the Bugaboo Interchange for $175.
Marmot has the Alpen for $325.
The North Face has the Cheakamus, for $299.
5. Warm hat
Mountain Hard Wear makes a super-warm hat called the Dome Perignon. It’s a windproof fleece hat that comes in different sizes and sells for $36.
Everest Designs offers wool hats with a fleece lining, which will definitely keep your noggin warm. Get one for $32.95.
Headbands don’t provide as much warmth as full-coverage hats, but some people prefer them nonetheless. The North Face has their Boreas headband, which keeps the wind out of your ears for $25.
7. Insulated boots
Keeping your feet warm is essential Winter 101 intel. There are plenty of insulated options on the market, but we think these are tops:
Bogs insulated boots are wonderful! They’re easy to pull on and waterproof. Buy them for yourself, your children or both. These adult boots are $160.
Another no-brainer for combating the cold is a solid pair of gloves. Seirus company makes the Cyclone glove, which is windproof, but not so thick that you can’t move your fingers. The goatskin palm makes them great for driving, and they cost $59.99.
9. Wool socks
Wool socks are the way to go for an added layer of warmth, and wool, by nature, eliminates the stink factor! REI‘s brand of wool socks stay on your feet and don’t pull off in your boots. These retail for $10.50.
Also, SmartWool makes lots of styles, colors and thicknesses of wool socks, which start at $11.95.
10. Snow pants
When snow falls and igloo-building commences, waterproof snow pants are a must! REI has the Timber Mountain snow pants for children, which are waterproof and windproof up to 60 MPH, and the lining is soft … a bonus! The waistband is adjustable, and there are zippers at the bottom for easy off/on with boots. They retail for $69.50.
For adults, any waterproof insulated pant is good, but fit is the most important factor. We like these by Patagonia for $249.
And there you have it! In addition to being sold online, many of these items are sold locally at REI stores, High Country Outfitters, Mountain High Outfitters, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Cabela’s. So when the forecast calls for snow, snow, ice and more snow? You’re prepared, thanks to your pals at StyleBlueprint!