Photo by Dan Pacheco
While we all love Instagram and style blogs for a beautiful, curated feed and inspiration, we also have to acknowledge that a lot of the time, it just isn’t real. Like this photo. If you think I would even walk outside in the Chicago temps with any skin showing, you are wildly mistaken! The wind chills here have meant that it has felt like -20 to 0 degrees most days which is cold unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life before. That wind off the lake is serious! I know the east coast is getting smashed with some pretty serious weather too, so I thought I would share some of my favorite brands and must haves for staying warm this winter. And yes, it is absolutely possible to reach a happy medium without looking like the abominable snow monster!
I think the most important part of winter dressing is layering, starting with toes, fingers and your head! I swear by Smart Wool socks. I first wore them skiing when I was growing up and there is absolutely nothing else I have tried that works so well. The thigh high socks on the right are new to my rotation and are perfect to wear around the house or over leggings to add another layer on your legs when you venture outside.
Next up, you absolutely need a warm pair of boots. I did a big roundup recently on the blog that you should check out if you are still in the market, but this pair of Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots is what I have worn every day since the temps dropped.
I remember reading somewhere that by keeping your head covered, you trap a lot of heat from escaping and your core body temperature stays a lot warmer. I’m not sure if that is true, but I know there is no way I am leaving the house for a moment without one on my head! Good hair days and all, I need my whole head and ears covered, and this super affordable C.C. Beanie has been one my absolute favorites. Other snuggly options are this furry beanie from Jocelyn and this Pom Pom Wool and Cashmere Cutie.
My hands get so outrageously cold. Even just walking the pup, they get numb and painful. Good gloves is a must. I have an old pair similar to these from UGG and I love that they are tech-compatible too. The fuzzy fingerless option below is if you live somewhere less frigid and are looking for something to add more style to your snowy look!
I have been wearing two scarves to provide some extra protection for my voice and the sensitive skin on my face. I wear a lighter, thinner scarf tight around my neck and under my coat and a second heavier option like this J.Crew snood over my coat and nose to protect my face.
Another chic and cozy option that I have been wearing a ton these days is a big wrap like this one from Mer Sea. I found mine at my favorite store on Cape Cod-Chatham Threadworks-and am now a huge fan of the brand. I have this exact wrap at the theatre that I wear in my dressing room and some days, wear it as another layer either under or over my coat. I also have this travel poncho (below) and have been wearing it nonstop around the apartment in the evening when it gets extra chilly!
Next, you need some serious base layers to hold warmth close to your body. I love this top from Smart Wool. Thin enough that it doesn’t add a lot of bulk to whatever you are wearing on top of it, but packs some serious warmth. I have been wearing it under sweaters and button downs all the time, and put it on top of my workout wear to walk to class at Soul Cycle! They have a lot of awesome layering pieces inlcuding zip ups and tunics. A pair of their super warm leggings may be next on my shopping list.
Lastly, I don’t own one, but I see how living full time in a climate like Chicago makes a puffer jacket absolutely mandatory. A friend of mine has this beauty from Mackage and I can attest that it is one of the most flattering (and warm!) puffer coats I have ever seen. A more budget friendly option (and currently on an even deeper sale!) is this Cole Haan shawl collar option. I love that both of these are tailored to give a more feminine fit and make you feel slightly less like the Michelin Man!
I hope you are staying bundled and healthy wherever you are! I have been sick in bed for a week on and off; a nasty cold lingered and became laryngitis and sinusitis so I have been laying pretty low. Hopefully by the time you are reading this, I am more in fighting spirits and ready to jump back into 2018!