History in the Making

Emergency Cold Weather Style, Style File Friday

Well, I had a post scheduled for today that was about summer to fall transitions, but it just didn’t feel right given that Winnipeg just got it’s second heaping of snow (that didn’t melt immediately) within 2 weeks. While the Christmas and winter loving dork in me loves snow (and it seems fitting given that I have been watching Hallmark movies for weeks now), I had not quite prepped my wardrobe for appropriate winter clothing. So, this is my guide to emergency cold weather style and what you should have on hand when the winter turns!

Cold Weather Style

1) Utilitarian Winter Boots

It is near impossible to find a pair of boots that looks stylish AND keeps you warm and dry from sopping wet snow, so I am a fan of fully utilitarian winter boots that are all about function. This pair is actually from Walmart- they are my dog walk boots, and they are warm and comfortable! (I also plan on buying a new pair of Sorels in the next month but I need to make a decision on what pair I want.) These aren’t the most stylish of boots by any stretch of the imagination, buuuuuuuut they are functional and my feet stay incredibly dry.

I hate to break it to you, but suede boots are incredibly impractical for wet, snowy winters- that water-proofing spray only goes so far-, and leather boots are nowhere close to warm enough. You can try and buy “fashion boots” for winter, but if you have any sort of inclement winter, you will appreciate having functional boots on hand! This isn’t to say that everything has to be ugly but don’t make style your priority.

TIP: Hunter boots are NOT made for snow, and it can actually be dangerous to wear them in the snow and ice. They have little to no grip, and once the boot gets cold, it will STAY cold. If you don’t want to experience the “joy” of frostbite, put them away once the snow falls!

Cold Weather Winter Boots

2) A Heat-Rated Parka

Climate change is real, folks, and people who thought that they would only see snow for a day or two of the year 15 years ago are now getting fairly sizeable dumpings. If you live in the southern hemisphere, this may be less relevant, but northern hemisphere dwellers- invest in a heat-rated parka. The heat rating doesn’t have to far exceed your regular temperatures, but peacoats and jackets are fairly useless when they are soaking and the snow is still falling down.

Most sport companies like Columbia provide a temperature rating on their winter jackets, and it is a good idea to pay attention to them! My own parka is rated to -60°C. The coldest I’ve ever been in was -53°, but that was an extreme case- we normally see a month to a month and a half of -35 to -45°C, so I’ve got a bit room to play there if I need. The other benefit of a parka over a wool coat is that they are typically waterproof. No, you don’t look as Pinterest cute as a princess-cut peacoat, but at a point, your warmth and well-being needs to come first.

TIP: Barbour jackets are also not made for snow, not even with the snap-in linings….

Columbia Parka for Cold Weather Style

3) Warm, Loose Clothing

The key to warming up once you are cold is having warm but loose clothing to change into. While I am not a fan of living in pyjamas, loose-fitting cotton pyjama pants can be heaven-sent when you have come in from the cold and are frozen to the bone. Tight clothing stops the heat from getting to you, so those “I have to always be wearing my leggings and will wear nothing else” leggings are working against you. None of us are comfortable when we stay cold, so make your life easier and grab those comfy lounge clothes!

My recommendation is to have a few pieces that you can throw in the dryer- if you are super cold, throwing your pyjamas or sweats in the dryer for five minutes before you put them on can make all the difference in the world. You don’t need to wear them for hours and hours if you don’t want to, but half an hour in warm, dry clothing is the best way to warm up. (Hot chocolate also helps, but that isn’t a piece of clothing…)

TIP: Keep sweatpants and a loose fitting long-sleeved shirt in your car; you never know when an extra set of clothing will come in handy.

Warm loose clothing

What do you wear when the weather gets cold? Do you have a specific cold weather style?

Cheers,
The Historian
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7 thoughts on “Emergency Cold Weather Style, Style File Friday”

  • I love that its getting cold now! I love wrapping up warm with lots of layers and digging my fluffy boots and coats out! I love your boots they look really wet weather practical. I actually bought a new pair of suede boots (well they’re for my birthday) and I know I’m going to love them but they really won’t be coming out when it rains/if it snows!

    • I have been eyeing up a pair of suede ankle boots but whatever pair I buy will come with me on my UK trip and I know that suede in London in Feb isn’t smart 😂 There is something so wonderful about digging out all of your warm and comfy clothes!!

  • Eep! It’s getting chilly already isn’t it!? Are you feeling ready for another cold winter? 🙂

    I love your tip about warming jammies in the drier. That is genius!

    • I am always ready for a cold winter haha, I know no other way! 😂 I’m not usually a fan of the drier (it is convenient but so hard on clothing) but there is nothing like warm, cozy clothing when you are frozen!!

  • I can’t believe you’ve had so much snow already!! I finally had to look up where Winnipeg is on a map, lol, and now I get it. You’re so far north!! I’m in New Jersey, USA, and it’s a perfectly crisp fall day here (sorry…not trying to rub it in!) We’ve had snow early in the season, too, but this year it seems to be holding off. It generally stays in the summer temps here until mid-October, and then it switches abruptly to fall weather.

    Anyway! Enough the the weather report. I loved your recommendations about boots! I have a pair of Hunters, which I love because of how waterproof they are and how tall they are, but they are HORRIBLE in the snow and the really cold temps. I agree with you — the minute they get into cold weather, that rubber just absorbs the cold and your toes are freezing! I do wear mine in non-snowy winter weather, but I need to wear two pairs of socks with them. When it’s snowy or icy out, I have a pair of Northface boots that I pull on. They are only about ankle-height, so they aren’t great for deep snows, but they do the job in not letting me slip as I walk to work on an icy city sidewalk!

    Also, excellent idea to keep some warm clothes in your car. I keep a big blanket and my fake-ugg boots just in case I get stranded somewhere, but I think I’ll add some warm, loose clothing to that, too. It’s always a good idea to be prepared!

    And, now that I’ve written you a novel in the comments section, I’m going. 🙂 Happy snow day!

    • This is odd for us- we usually don’t get snow this early, or if we do, it is the kind that melts when it lands. This stuff is only sticking around for a day or so but that still feels long!!

      I don’t know why people are still on the “Hunters in the Winter” train but I am sure it will continue chugging along. Winter boots should be all function in my opinion- unless people enjoy the fear of potentially getting very hurt from slipping on ice, or having potential frostbite, why risk it???

      I’ve learned over the years now from saying “I wish I had THIS” too many times haha! I usually have a pair of dress pants and a blouse for work, and then sweats and a hoodie for everything else. (I also have my old Uggs there haha 😂) It fits nicely in a tote bag and I don’t have to worry at all!

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