Anytime I tell someone I’m originally from West Palm Beach, Florida I’m greeting with this automatic “oh dear, how are you holding up in the winter?” Great question.
Fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on your mindset), I lived in Portland, ME for 5 years. During that time, I gained firsthand experience of what it means to dress warmly. Such is a foreign concept for Floridians — unless that 3-day cold front we usually get in January.
Thankfully, lessons learned in Maine helped me transition to life during this BOI winter. Here are the 5 ways I dress warmly:
- L.L. Bean Boots. For those who don’t know, the founders of L.L. Bean are from Maine. If you ever visit Freeport, make sure to snap a photo in front of the famous Bean Boot.With all my Mainer friends talking about their “beans,” I took note and decided to do some research for myself. I immediately became hooked after purchasing my 1st pair. Yes, I have more than one! The ones I wear for winter are the L.L. Bean Boots with the shearing-lining. They keep my feet extra warm, which is necessary for me! They can be a bit costly upfront, but it’s a lifetime guarantee with their products. I’ve had mine for over 6 years, and they still look good as new.
- Wool Socks. Understandably, I had NO CLUE what wool socks were prior to moving to New England. Once winter came around, I overheard a classmate of mine talk about his wool socks and how they made him itch. Say what? What are wool socks? Rather than asking and being embarrassed, I did the usually thing: Google search. I have no clue how I survived my first winter without them! I try to keep it colorful with these wool socks.
- Parka. I tried my hardest to refrain from pulling out the parka here in Boise. I wanted to show that I can handle the cold temps. Then I was (re) introduced to 20 degrees F. That made me change my mind real quick. I have a few parkas, but my favorite is my North Face parka.
Here’s a tip: if this is your first winter and costs of jackets are wearing you down, I recommend visiting the local thrift stores such as Idaho Youth Ranch and Goodwill. I received this tip when in New England because I was worried about costs, particularly since I never had to spend over $20 for any warm piece of clothing. At the thrift stores, I found everything from brand new jackets still with tags to gently used high-end jackets. My first winter in New England was manageable because of those 2nd hand L.L. Bean jackets.
- Gloves. A few weeks ago, I made the terrible mistake of leaving my gloves at home when I volunteered at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Boy were my hands freezing! Moving forward, I now I have 2 pairs — one I keep in my jacket pocket. My go-to gloves are those with a buckle closure and those which are touchscreen-friendly. Prior to these touchscreen-friendly gloves, it was annoying to have to remove my gloves to answer my call or text.
- My winter hats. I have my fair share of winter hats. Some hats are more appropriate to wear when my hair is straightened; others times I wear hats made to fit my entire head of curls. My when-my-hair-is-straight winter hat is the standard beanie. It’s comfortable, keeps my head warm, and it compliments my face. Now, when my hair is too curly, the only hats that can handle it is the ski caps with a visor. I wear this all the time — even at home! Makes me feel warm and toasty.
With what appears as this record-breaking winter for snow, I’m glad I’m equipped to stay warm. What are some of your must-have winter items?