This morning my hair froze while walking to the car. The car that is 20 feet from my back door, mind you.

Winter is officially here, and it’s time to remind the northern half of the country that we have a choice when it comes to the winter months: embrace it, or make your exit plan!

I kid, I kid. I too, enjoy the comradery that comes with communal misery as it pertains to the weather. What I have leraned in my 10 years living in the northern most part of the country is that it is a lifestyle, and once you figure out how to dress for the weather, there are plenty of ways to make the most of our wintery landscape. Because the winter is long and the experts say it’s going to be a snowy, cold, intese 2017, we’re planning a couple posts on how to get your “hygge” on and what to do when cabin fever hits.

But for now, I thought we’d talk about GEAR. Last year was the year I finally felt like I wasn’t grossly unprepared for the elements. We’d take Winnie to the dog park for almost an hour and I wasn’t uncomfortable at all.

The Bare Essentials List for Cold Weather Living

  1. Get yourself a GD parka already. That’s what I said to myself last year as I walked into Fjällräven and plunked down my credit card. My Polar Guide Parka is a lifesaver. They’re expensive but this was the most important purchase I made. I don’t dread going outside now when it’s -7 degrees (like it was this morning!)
  2. Get yourself some GD snowboots already. Again, my internal monologue. I went with Steger Muklucks. They have a wide range of styles (I went the traditional route). These puppies are good for everyday wear up to -20° F and are basically like wearing slippers. Sometimes I don’t wear socks with mine when I’m walking Winnie and my toes are still warm.
  3. Get a good pair of gloves. Joe suggested I get a pair of Hestras (pricey, but again you’re paying for quality and performance) and I’m impressed. They have some lovely dress gloves, too.
  4. Get some long underwear!!! I would always put tights on underneath my jeans. If that’s not doing it for you, go for some running tights. I also purchased these pants from Fjällräven this weekend so I can roll around in the snow or sit on a sled with August.

I know this seems like total common sense. But it took me years to finally get the proper items for enjoying this climate! If you’re not into my recommendations, here’s a few more pretty things that will keep you super duper warm and stylish. I’ve included some great beauty products for keeping your skin healthy. Now go get your gear!!






Unison – Marled Gray Blanket, $86
J.Crew – Gayle Grosgrain-trimmed Knitted Sweater, $80
Patagonia – Women’s Hestra® Närpes Mitts, $125
YVES SALOMON Cashmere and wool-blend beanie hat, $167
Stella McCartney – Red Winter Boots, $133
Patagonia – Women’s Better Sweater® Fleece Jacket, $97–139
Le Creuset – ‘Signature’ 1 3/4 Quart Cast Iron Saucepan, $175
kate spade new york – Larabee Dot Cream Collection Stoneware Soup/Cereal Bowl, $17
VERSO SKINCARE – 8 4-Pack Reviving Eye Masks, $55
Smeg – 50s-Style KLF01 1.7-liter Kettle • Smeg • $129.99
Philosophy – When Hope Is Not Enough Mask, 2 Oz, $35
Three J NYC – Phoebe Checked Cotton-flannel Pajama Set, $130
Le Labo – Women’s Calone 17 Vintage Candle • Le Labo • $65
Miss Étoile – Thermos Bottle – Rose Heart with Black Stripes,  $31.71
Rag & bone – Mallori Fringed Checked Merino Wool Scarf, $147.50

Featured Image: Emerald Lake Lodge

BY Kate Arends - December 15, 2016

Did you know W&D now has a resource library of  Printable Art, Templates, Freebies, and more?

take me there 

Arrow Alone

Get Our Best W&D Resources

for designing a life well-lived


add a comment

  1. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    December 16th, 2016 at 12:01 am

    The temperature suddenly dropped where I live and now it’s freezing. Great gift guide just in time.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Greta

    December 16th, 2016 at 12:08 am

    It’s hard to find winter gear that’s both stylish and super functional. I like that your gift list is both!

  3. Kate Newman

    December 16th, 2016 at 12:11 am

    Coming from Australia, that image looks like a winter wonderland.
    Sooooo beautiful!

  4. Eva

    December 16th, 2016 at 2:09 am

    When I lived in Madison I also learned to only wear hats with a fold-over part like the one you pictured. You need that double layer around your ears. I also started wearing long sweaters that hit just above the knee.

  5. Jessie Thetford

    December 16th, 2016 at 10:53 am

    This is so helpful! I just moved from the boot heel of New Mexico to the top of the Rockies – 10,000+ feet! All of this snow and cold weather is new to me, so thank you for the tips! I’ve been thrifting and found a parka and other snow gear. It truly makes all the difference. I recently heard that there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing. So here’s to getting cozy and enjoying the outdoors – snow, ice, and all – this winter! Cheers!

  6. katie

    December 16th, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Don’t forget that hats and scarves need to functional, the cheap ones are pretty, but not always the best at keeping you warm!

  7. Erica

    December 16th, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    These are great! Do you have any suggestions for cold weather gear for kids and babies? It’s hard to know what’s worth spending extra money on when it comes to little ones who will likely only get one season out of something.

  8. Libby

    December 16th, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    I have the polar guide parka too and it is a life-changer for sure! I want the pants now too.

  9. Weekend Wrap Up 12.18 | ebb + flow

    December 18th, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    […] The title of this about sums it up. […]

  10. Amanda

    December 19th, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    I’ve lived in Wisconsin my whole life and I am just now figuring out how to work with the weather instead of spending half the year fighting it. May be adding those gloves soon.

  11. Leanne @ Découvrir

    December 23rd, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I live in Edmonton, Canada and we just got a huge period of Arctic air. It started to warm up again for a bit, but it’s actually snowing right now just in time for Christmas!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Why Decorating Your Home Is Good for Your Mental Health

What 10 Years of Blogging Taught Me

The Hidden Benefits of Being Incredibly Uncomfortable

6 Easy-to-Grow, Can’t Kill Houseplants for Beginners

The Golden Rule: A Dream Career Built From Love, Loss and Resilience

Introvert Dating An Extrovert? Here’s How To Make It Work

Tornadoes to Tablescapes: Life Inside the Lifestyle Blog

Black, White and Love All Over

Marriage – A Requirement of Commitment?

Women vs. Women, and a Little Thing Called “Self-Respect”

Homemade Green Tea and Honey Mask

An Apartment of Firsts: A Personal Story

Movies for Bad Days, Weeks, or (Let’s Be Honest) Years

How Palisociety Makes Guests Feel at Home (And How You Can, Too)

7 Books to Help You Connect to Your Intuition

A Thirtysomething’s Realistic Work Diary

Kate Tries The 5 AM Club (So You Don’t Have To)

Find Financial Freedom with a Value-Based Budget


Arrow Alone

the latest

Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.

Hi, I'm Kate. Welcome to my happy place.

Easily navigate all our recommended products across beauty, fashion, decor, and wellness. 

SHOP W&D Loves ›