The Farmer’s Almanac says this coming winter will be one of the coldest on record ever. I don’t know what this means about the ongoing fight against global warming, but I do know that colder temperatures mean quality outerwear is a must if you have to commute through the outdoors to work. Although we generally intend to meet that objective, sometimes our fashion desires get in the way.
For the past eight years, most of my long work commute has been on foot. For anyone with this challenge, you’ll know that having the proper outerwear is imperative for a comfortable commute.
To begin, I highly recommend the purchase of a good, all-weather coat. More practically, one that falls below the waist, preferably with a hood, and is waterproof. There is nothing worse than being wet and cold when you still have blocks to endure before arriving in your building’s lobby.
Coats that I highly recommend, though aren’t necessarily the most fashionable, are down-filled puffer jackets. These types of jackets are really great, as they are lightweight and incredibly warm. Ladies, as cute and as fashionable as pea coats can be, they certainly do not have enough warmth to last you the long walk to the office. Keep those in the closet for those days that aren’t below freezing. Some great options on the market for ladies include this one.
For gentlemen, the same reasoning applies. Your standard blazer suit jacket simply won’t provide enough insulation to keep you toasty. Take the time to find a winter coat that meets your needs. A full-length wool coat looks great over a business suit. Adding a wool neck scarf will protect your neck from the winter wind. Some affordable options include this.
Or invest in a good all-weather coat. These can range from a basic “ski” jacket to a stylish puffer jacket. A lined, water-proof trench coat is also a classic favorite.
Secondly, I recommend a pair of decent snow boots. Even if there is no precipitation, it’s still important to keep your feet dry and your toes warm. Although this will require a shoe change upon your arrival at your place of business, it will definitely protect your feet and your pumps or Oxfords. Snow boots also provide stability and safety when walking on the uneven pavement the elements cause.
I’ll admit, I have at times, chosen fashion over function, which I came to regret. However, when shopping for fashionable snow boots, choices tend to be rather limited. In spite of that challenge, I have had some success with this option.
Covering your head and ears also is imperative. I tend to avoid this requirement, as I hate to mess up my hair. (I know, maybe a tad high-maintenance, but it’s a reality that I know a lot of women and some men face.) Fortunately, there are options to protect your ears and head while mitigating this common annoyance.
For ladies, the always-fashionable option includes the sweater-like headband. These are fantastic, as they cover your ears and offer some style. Additionally, a great accessory, and something I’ve been known to wear even while indoors, are the oversized infinity scarves. These are incredibly practical as they not only cover your neck but can also be raised to cover your nose and ears. Some great options that I’ve had my eye on include this.
Even more practical are earmuffs! Their narrow headband doesn’t impact too much of your hairstyle, but they offer some great coverage. Manufacturers have become exceptionally savvy, adding headphones directly into the muff. Such a great addition, all the while staying warm. If those aren’t your fashion jam, including men, I’d also recommend the very simplistic ear-muff clips. Have you seen those? They are lightweight and simply fit over your ear.
Protecting your hands also is a requirement. Yes, I understand that these suggestions seem obvious, but as one rushes out the door, more than likely one often leaves these necessities at home. (I truly regret a hasty exit a block after my departure.) So wear gloves, and pack an extra set! Obviously there are tons of options on the market, and any kind beats having nothing. Whether you like basic nylon ones from your local drug store or wish to invest in a high-quality leather pair from your closest department store, wear them.
In all practicality, whether you commute on foot, by bus, or even in the comfort of your own car, having the right outerwear is essential to your overall safety, health, and fashion. Winter weather is dangerous for everyone, and accidents do happen. With these basic suggestions, you should be prepared for whatever winter brings you!