It’s that time of year again-the time of year when your fingers freeze and your soul turns to ice because it’s negative 50 degrees and you can’t even go outside without your eyelashes freezing to your face and you can’t blink anymore.
It’s WINTER IN CHICAGO.
What do we do to stay warm when wind chill dips dangerously low?
Here are some tried and true tips for staying toasty.
Layers, layers, layers:
Take it from a commuter– when the wind hits you at 30 miles an hour and it’s -2 degrees outside, you want to be wearing a good pair of thermals or long underwear. Start with a tank top or thermal shirt. This will keep insulation right next to your skin so no wind creeps up into your clothing. My Mom has suggested Cuddl Duds for years. What about the lower half? Skinny jeans got you all like, “long underwear won’t fit under there!” ? Well, try out some fleece lined tights or leggings. Those will fit under the skinniest of pants and add an extra layer of warmth. If it’s extra cold outside reminiscent of the Polar Vortex, add a pair of track pants or wind resistant ski pants over your gear for even more heat.
Again, layers are important here. Make sure you’re wearing a warm sweater or sweatshirt over your tank or thermal top. A coat with high down count is very key to staying warm, so when purchasing a coat, be sure to look at down count over brand names. You want the fill of the coat to be at least 60% down to be a warm coat. For reference, one of the most expensive and warmest coats you can get is a Canada Goose ,– if you can afford this baby and plan to be walking everywhere, this is probably the winter to invest in a coat like this. Otherwise, look for similar down counts in the fill.
It goes without saying that a good hat will be needed–but as an extra tip–pull your hood up over your head and THEN wrap a scarf around your neck via the back of the hood until the hood stays in place securely. This will most definitely keep the wind from whipping it off of you and freezing your face off.
Hand warmers are the perfect invention to slip inside your mittens or gloves– grab a pair at Walgreens, Amazon, CVS, Target- they are everywhere, but not very widely used.
A poor man’s version of hand warmers is a good ‘ole cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Don’t forget to visit your local coffee shop or Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks/Intelligentsia to warm your frosty hands with a cup of liquid. And while we’re at it, that hot drink will help warm YOU up too.
Drinking a hot beverage will help raise your body temperature in arctic conditions.
Inside your home:
Once you’ve braved the storm, you want to make sure the inside of your home is extra toasty! Electric blankets, throws, slippers, and all things fuzzy are excellent choices, but sometimes creating a warm ambiance will help you believe you’re warm, as well. For actual heat, check out a wall mounted fireplace , or if you just want some fake fire, check out this YouTube video that has 1 hour of crackling fire PLUS Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra crooning in the background.
As a final tip, if the heat in your home is not cutting it, take an extra look at your thermostat if it is digital. Make sure the system is set to “Heat” and put the fan on “Auto.” If your abode is still not heating up fast enough, adjust the speed accordingly from low to high until you are warm enough and then adjust as needed.
Hoping these tips help keep you warm this holiday season!