Winter is coming …Again!

November 20, 2018

Compiled by Gaya Aleksanyan, Imogen Doddridge, Miyuki Ota, Jennifer Recklet Tassi, and Sylvie

To help our members stay warm, we collected winter clothing tips from our MS&PC experts.

Tips on selecting winter clothing:

Miyuki Ota

Try long underwear. Take a look at Uniqlo (a Japanese clothing store), especially the warm and cozy Heat-Tech innerwear.



- Try fleece. It can be found in the inner lining of winter accessories, boots, outer wear like ski jackets, sweatpants, hoodies, etc.

- Wool coats with a few buttons down the middle may not be as warm as one imagines. The wind will go right through. You might try a wool coat that is double-breasted, or with a zip under the buttons. If you buy one because you like the way it looks, you can wear when it’s not super cold; or on colder days, you can layer with a lightweight down jacket underneath like this:

- For a good, heavy-duty winter jacket, make sure it is windproof as well as waterproof/water resistant. This will make a big difference. Also check the sleeves; if the sleeves look like this, it will be a lot warmer.

- Be sure that the bottom of the coat fits you well; big coats will allow room for cold wind to go through and you will chill you down real fast!

- Down-filled jackets are quite good. Macy’s 32 Degrees brand is lightweight and comes in different lengths. I would say there probably is a correlation between the price and the fill/weight (ie. how much down the jacket has). Down jackets come in a variety of warmth levels, lengths, with or without hoods; choose one that will work for you. Also, think about whether something heavy will be too warm for you, because even if it’s cold outside, once you start walking, you will feel warm quite fast.

- Consider a bodysuit. I know it can be kind of a hassle when you go to the bathroom, but personally I find bodysuits keep me very warm. It is skintight and is a good base layer. It also prevents skin from showing when you bend over or sit down. They come in a variety of sleeve lengths and necklines. For example:

- Try flannel. Flannel is heavy cotton that is warm and cozy. You can find many clothing items of this material, from pajamas, men’s pants that are lined with flannel or women’s  I recommend looking into flannel bedding; while cotton is cool to the touch in the summer, in winter this means cold sheets when you jump into bed. Flannel sheets will be much cozier and warmer (check out Macy’s), especially when combined with a down or down alternative comforter in a flannel duvet cover!


Tips on selecting winter boots:


- Make sure the boots are waterproof. Thinsulate or other insulating lining will keep you warm, and this information will generally be found under item details.

- Check for good tread on the bottom so you don’t slip in the snow or ice.

- You don’t always need the most expensive boots. A pair of $20 Walmart boots can last for years and keep you dry and comfortable. I found some boots in Canada that blew me away…man these people really know all about walking in snow and ice. These winter boots come with built-in stainless steel studs that can be flipped on or off. The boots even come with a little pick to flip, which is hidden in a side pocket. It may be excessive for Boston, but really depends on what kind of walking you plan to do, I guess? Still pretty cool to check out:  . Several different Canadian or European brands make this type of boots with built in crampons. For general snow boots, you can check out Olang, Pajar, and Sorel.

- It is possible to waterproof your own shoes or bags with a waterproof spray. However, I haven’t noticed that this works as well as buying a product that already comes waterproof.


Jennifer Recklet Tassi

- These classic beauties have served me well since high school! While maybe not the most attractive winter boots around, they get the job done and are a traditional look for New Englanders that never goes out of style. Mine are not lined but using a pair of heavy fleece socks with these usually keeps my feet warm and dry. If LL Bean boots aren't your style, make sure your boots are waterproof (or use a weatherproofing spray) and the bottoms are non-slip.


All about accessories

Imogen Doddridge

It is important to keep your extremities warm. Gloves allow your fingers to move around and hold things more easily, but mittens/mitts are warmer - your fingers can help keep each other warm inside the mitt! Touch screen gloves are useful for accessing apps on your phone, such as maps and camera. Waterproof gloves/mitts are good for playing in the snow :) Some gloves/mitts are designed to be worn inside bigger mitts. If you are going to ride your bike in the cold, look into bar mitts.

There are many styles of winter hat to choose from - pompom hat, beanie, ski hat, trapper, chullo, toque... It's best to choose one that covers your ears (or pair a shorter hat with ear warmers). Wearing a hat under a hood can be great - if you plan to do this, pick a hat with a low profile (eg. without a pompom).

Remember to keep your neck warm and plug the gap at the top of your coat! Scarves are the most common option, and come in a huge range of styles, lengths, and thicknesses. There are also many ways to wrap or tie a scarf - some are warmer than others, so it's good to experiment! Neck warmers (neck gaiters) are a great option if you don't like scarves, or are going hiking - they are smaller than scarves, but still warm. Buffs are like neck warmers but thinner and less warm - they are useful for pulling up over your face in very cold weather. You can also pull a scarf or neck warmer up over your chin. In extremely cold temperatures, a balaclava will keep your cheeks and nose warm as well as the rest of your head.

A note about materials and fabrics: wool is warm, whether it is regular wool, merino, alpaca, cashmere etc. Synthetic or man-made options can be good too, especially if they are "technical" fabrics designed to keep you warm, such as (polar) fleece. Cotton feels soft and cozy but will not keep you warm when it gets wet - the opposite, in fact. So do not choose cotton for winter clothes. Being wind-proof is also an important factor - if the wind goes straight through your clothes or accessories, they will not be able to keep you warm!

Now you know all about winter wear and you are all set! We hope you find some nice Black Friday deals!!

Don’t forget to check our blog-post about how to enjoy winter