Having spent my formative years in Georgia and Tennessee, I haven’t have had to deal with cold winters much. A wool-blend pea coat and earmuffs was about all I needed to keep warm. When we moved to Washington DC in January, I blissfully thought that it would be the same too. Oh how wrong I was. It was so cold (like high of 20s), for so long (until April at least), and it just did not occur to me to get a warmer coat. I would hate going out for dinner or errands because I didn’t want to deal with the cold.
This year I took matters into my own hands. I call this blog post “get a coat that covers your bum and your thighs so you feel empowered to go out into 30 degree weather.” While you’re at it, get boots that have thermal insulation and socks that actually make your feet toasty instead of clammy. Click through to read about all the winter things I’ve purchased and how they’ve empowered me to take on the cold Mid-Atlantic winters!
Down Parka (XS) / Eddie Bauer Fur Trim Boots (size up half size) / Spanx Faux Leather Leggings (I got a Small) / Pom Beanie / Fleece-lined Mittens / Cashmere-lined Leather Gloves (I have a vintage pair but these look very similar)
Firstly – the down parka. You wouldn’t believe how I agonized over which one to choose. Legit I searched all over and even bought 2 parkas, just to return them because they didn’t have all the functionalities I wanted. Finally there was a new arrival on Abercrombie during Black Friday and I immediately ordered it, hoping it’d be perfect, and I was right. It’s the Stretch Midthigh Down Parka, I got an XS, and I am going to tell you exactly why it is so perfect!
- The outer material is very sturdy. It’s matte and doesn’t look like a trash bag, unlike a lot of other down jacket material I’ve seen. I’ve scraped myself against walls and things that jut out of walls, as clumsy people like myself do, and there’s not a scratch or tear to be seen. Plus it is weatherproof – so you can clean off your car during a snow storm and still be dry. I’ve worn mine out in rain and the water just shakes off and dries really fast.
- It is filled with 80% Grey Duck Down and 20% grey duck feathers, but I haven’t noticed any feathers coming out. It is VERY warm. I went out stomping around in 30 degree weather and everywhere that was covered by the coat was toasty.
- The pockets are fleece lined – ON BOTH SIDES. ‘Nuff said. They are warm, even without gloves!
- There are knitted storm cuffs on the sleeves – this is such an important design feature because it keeps your wrists warm. This is a must for any down parka you are planning on getting.
- The zipper starts at a reasonable length on the jacket, but there’s a storm flap with buttons that you can do up for additional warmth. Having the storm flap and buttons is so key. One of the parkas I tried out had such a long zipper for it to do up all the way, and it was cumbersome.
- The hood is not the size of Canada as most other ones are. It’s appropriately sized so that it’s actually functional and you can still see in front of you!
Yes, I love this parka. It has fulfilled my wish for a winter coat. I feel so empowered to go out and do things when it’s cold out, and actually, if it’s over 30 I don’t even find that too bad anymore!
Next up – boots. I’ve been lusting after some Sorel boots, the kind with the fur at the top. On Black Friday, we just happened to stop into the Eddie Bauer store and I saw the perfect dupes. They are the Women’s Hunt Pac Deluxe Boot in the color Stone, and they were 50% off making them $80. I loved the fur and lace details on them, and most importantly, I saw they had something called 200g Thermafill insulation. Y’all – my feet are usually super cold and these boots keep them completely warm, even hot (when I am indoors). Do not wear warm socks with these boots because the boots are more than enough. When I am outside, I cannot feel the cold one bit on my feet. Plus they are super cute, and go perfectly with leggings and oversized sweaters! I sized up a half size for maximum comfort.
Finally, I wanted to give a quick shoutout to the Barefoot Dreams CozyChic socks. I got them from Nordstrom, and they are AMAZING. I told you my feet are usually cold, but immediately after putting these on – they are warm. They are worth the $18 to not have cold feet. Trust me.
As far as accessories like hats and scarves and gloves – well, I haven’t really needed a scarf since getting my parka, since it’s so warm and zips up over my neck if necessary. I like hats with big poms and I’ve linked my new one that I got this year. I like gloves that have lining to them, so I’ve linked some above as well.
I really can’t say enough how much having good winter things has boosted my mood during the cold weather. It really empowers me to not be a hermit during the winter, and I hope it helps you too! x