how to survive a chicago winter…

The mind works in mysterious ways. Somehow, every year I forget how bitterly cold and bone chilling Chicago can be. You remember that it gets really cold, but don’t recall the feeling of those terrible sensations that go along with it…biting wind, burning chapped skin, stinging cold, frozen tears. Oh ya, now I remember!

Its really not so bad though if you are properly attired. I may look like a jack ass when I walk to work, but I am toasty warm! Here is how you too can be snug as a bug, from head to toe, in below zero weather.

Keep your feet warm! Ugg boots, despite their clunky “Ugg”ly nature, are the warmest thing I’ve found to keep my toes from suffering from frost bite. You don’t even have to wear socks with them! They make stylish boots too, even for men.

If you don’t want to go the Ugg route, try Sorels or some other highly insulated boot. When not wearing your super warm boots, be sure to wear your Smartwool socks. They are well worth the $20 price tag. Plus if you get the knee high version, they keep your calves warm too. When wearing dresses or skirts, wear tights and layer leggings underneath.


Invest in a good coat. Wool is nice, but down is better. A hood makes all the difference in the world. It helps to really shield you from the wind and keep you in one nice big, warm package. The longer the coat, the better. Knee caps can get frost bite too!

When its super icy outside and your lazy neighbors don’t bother to shovel, be careful! My Ugg’s have a good tread on the bottom, but when its an ice rink on the side walk, I strap on my YakTrax. These work like a charm and can be put onto the bottom of any type of shoe or boot.

Wear a hat AND a scarf AND gloves (fingerless gloves don’t count, put your darn phone away)! Ear muffs are nice sometimes, but when its super cold out, you need to cover your whole head. I know this all sounds like common sense, but apparently its not. At least not from the look of the shivering people I see on the street everyday.

Extras: Cords are warmer than jeans. Turtlenecks provide an extra cozy layer. Long johns or tights under your pants are helpful if you are going to be out longer than 30 minutes. Sunglasses shield the wind from your eyes. Wool or cashmere sweaters keep your core super warm.

Now get out there and build a snow man or make a snow angel!

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One response to “how to survive a chicago winter…

  1. Aimee,
    You sure have come a long way since your high school days when you used to wear either flats or sandals even in the snow. I don’t think you owned a pair of boots then and you hardly ever wore a warm coat except to go skiing!! Of course now I see 100’s of high school kids shivering in the cold without coats, gloves or hats. I think I know why though, their lockers are too small and they have to share them with another student. Perhaps that is why you never dressed warm either?
    Glad you staying warm,
    Mom

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