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Winter clothing suggestions/help needed

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Okay, I'm from Texas. And I froze last year in Texas. I do the absolute worst physically in the winter which doesn't help. Add painful cold and it's bad.


Okay, so SWVA (an in the mountains at that) is already cold (it's 30something degrees right now) and only going to get colder. And I'm going to freeze to death. LOL


So I figure there is key clothing I still need:


1) a coat. Is there a coat you absolutely LOVE for winter? Ideally, it'd go okay with a skirt. I found an LL Bean Coat and one from Lands End. The LLBean is EXPENSIVE. LandsEnd is more than I wan to spend, but not really bad. I tried ebay and lost the bidding in the last 10 seconds <sigh>.


2) my mom says there is some sort of warm socks. Yesterday, even once the rest of me was toasty (warm sun, two sweaters), my feet HURT and refused to warm up! So I'm thinking socks and if there is something dressier to wear with pumps?


And is there somewhere cheaper to get things? We got LOTS of sweaters (though I now see most of them were for dd, not me!) at thrift shops. I also got my son the best heavy wool dress coat at a thrift shop. But my daughter and I just had trouble with jackets and most of them weren't heavy enough anyway.


Please don't let me freeze into an icecube next month (or possibly this month!).

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Layers are important.


If you wear skirts year round, look into some warmer tights.


Keeping your head and feet warm really helps so get some good warm boots and a good hat. Slippers for in the house help as well.


I buy silky long underwear to wear under my jeans to the barn, for walking, etc. and that helps as well.


LL Bean, Lands End and Columbia are all very good names in coats and worth the price as they last forever and are WARM. You might check local Craig's lists and thrift stores for some but if not, check out the sale pages from their websites.


For boots, my friend that lived for 15 years in the Artic circle said Sorrel are tops.

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Dd and I did get some "fuzzy" boots when we went to TN a week or two ago. So I'm feeling good about that. And I picked up a pair of long underwear but I think I'm going to need more so I have enough for daily. I think I just need to get over the price of coats. My mom did say she'd help if I needed it but she's helped so much already in the last 16 months since hubby lost his job.

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I grew up in Atlanta but now live in northern Illinois. It was quite the adjustment. Silk long underwear is AWESOME. It's thin as can be but VERY warm. They're easy to wash by hand and hang to dry so you can get by with two sets. I don't need them every winter day and wear the top much more often than the bottoms, but you'd probably love the bottoms since you wear skirts.

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I thought for sure I would freeze to death when I moved from Atlanta to Boston. My heavy winter coat became a fall jacket. I felt the cold more than anyone else I knew because my body wasn't acclimated to it. It got into my bones -- I was cold both inside and out.


When I lived in MA, no one wore pumps outside in the winter. You take them with you and change from warm socks & boots into the pumps or sneakers or other indoor shoes once you get inside.


Except for a few pairs of very bulky boot socks (I can't recall where I got them), winter socks don't keep my feet warm. You can buy winter sock liners which add an extra layer -- like winter underwear for the feet. I bought a couple of pairs for my cold-footed son. I just wear an extra pair of thinner socks under the heavy winter ones, if needed. Google winter sock liners and you'll find places to buy them.


I buy winter underwear here:




The best pair I bought, the one that worked all the time no matter how cold it got, naturally is not for sale here any more. I can't tell you the brand because when I washed the set, the ink washed off the tags. I know it was not Wickers, though. They were not silk for sure, because I have silk ones and they do not work nearly as well as these did. These were made of some kind of high-tech fabric that was thicker, but much warmer, if that helps at all.


I also bought foot warmers. I don't know if they work because I never got around to using them (yet). They are for those times when you spend a lot of time outside, probably for people who do that on purpose in the winter.



I buy all coats from LL Bean or Lands End. Mine has lasted 16 years so far, no fading, no staining, washable. They go on sale in December or January, but colors at that point are more limited. I buy parkas because the jackets don't cover my bottom and I don't like having a freezing cold bum. I buy coats with the highest warmth rating. I do not buy ultra expensive goose down coats. My husband bought me one because he was afraid I would freeze to death. I wore it maybe twice. It had 2 problems: It doubled my size, and I was sweating in that thing because it was way too warm, even for cold-natured me.


Also, don't forget about warm hats and gloves. Ears hurt when they freeze and so do fingers, take from me. Parkas come with hoods (I buy the ones with detachable hoods) but they restrict my vision and get on my nerves, so I wear a hat. DH has a wool coat and he is the only one who uses scarves because of that. The rest of us don't need them because we have parkas.


Also, if it snows a lot where you are, waterproof boots are good to have.

Edited by RoughCollie
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SmartWool has the best socks IMHO. They also make nice tights.


Have you tried long johns or long underwear? We had a cold snap last winter but we are in the very deep south. I did not want to spend money on clothes I would only wear a week, maybe 2 out of the year. So, I went to Target and bought some thermal underwear. The kind I got was silky, thin, soft and WARM! LLBean carries a nice line, but of course, they are pricey. Mine are not cotton, I think they are a polyester blend but they are cozy. Dh bought some cotton long underwear when he got stuck on travel one time. He likes them, but says they are too warm for here.

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Well, I like L.L. Bean and Land's End. They do run sales pretty regularly, but I don't know if any coats might be on sale right now as it's sort of prime buying time for them. I try to buy off season to get better rates. I know that Land's End has some sort of sale going on online right now.


Layering is what works best for me and I try to include some wool in outer layers as it's so warm. It really locks in the heat for you. We have wool throws around the house that we use, too. I try to find socks with some mix of wool in them for extra warmth, too. There are special socks that wick away moisture and keep your feet warmer, but those are expensive.


When I'm in the house, I try to keep house shoes on as well as my socks (just cheap cotton is what I mostly wear). I just buy the cheap Deerfoam booties wherever I can find a good price on them: Wal-mart, Target, Kohl's, etc. I've had the same ones for years and years because I don't wear them outside. I sometimes even go to bed with them on until I've warmed up the bed so my feet won't freeze in bed.

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Ottakee's friend was right; Sorel is the best for boots. Kamik is good too. People up here wear alot of Carharts (jackets/snowpants) in addition to the brands you mentioned. Do LLBean or Lands End have anything in your size in their clearance/sale sections? If it's a moist cold, something that won't let in the moisture would be good; same with wind - wind-resistant material for the outer layer. Active8 is also a good brand.

Check out prospectoroutfitters.com and bigrays.com . Those would give you an idea of what other good brands are out there, then if you need to, you could go straight to those brands' sites. Wishing you warmth!

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I agree with the above; you don't wear pumps outside. And I love smartwool. I often find the socks at TJMax. Really warm coats can be found at thrift stores here in the north. You might want to check around. If Mom wants to buy you one that would be nice. It would be a gift you could use forever. Cuddle duds are polyester long underwear you can find at Penny's and Kohls. They can be worn under your clothes every day. The tops come with and without sleeves. Layer up!

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You can also just add a pair or two of knee high hose under socks to help give an extra layer of warmth...


And this also reminds me that I don't like hoods or hats, so I tend to always have a scarf with me in case I need it. If nothing else, it serves to warm my neck and the front opening of my jacket if I don't button it up. I tend to prefer a wool/cashmere blend because they are pretty thin, but very soft and warm.


For gloves, I prefer Isotoners (Kohl's, etc.) because they are thin and still allow me good feel/movement, good tactile sensation, etc. but amazingly keep my hands warm. I have to put them on immediately *before* I go out. I keep them in my coat pockets so that they will be in the house and warm. If they're not, then I have to hold them up to the heating vent in the car to warm them before putting them on. I have Reynaud's Syndrome and if my hands get the least little bit cold, it spreads like wildfire and they're numb in just a minute. If this happens, it's difficult to get them back to a usable state, so I try to head it off (this is also why I sometimes wear my houseshoes to bed).


If I'm really going to be outside for a while, then I'd have to put larger gloves or mittens on over my Isotoners, but generally, for the length of time I'm out, just putting my gloved hands in my pockets works out fine.

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I would check out a Burlington Coat Factory, if you have them where you live.


I've lived in the Pacific NW for 11 years now, transplanted from Northern CA by way of Orlando, FL, and I'm *still* getting used to the cold. I don't work outside the home, so I don't have to worry about dressing nicely, and I wear a lot of fleece. I've got a few crewneck fleece tops from Land's End that weren't too expensive. I think fleece is warmer than any sweater. Keeping my feet warm and dry is huge, so I tend to wear wool socks (I have some that are store-bought and some that are hand knit) and hiking boots or muckers (Clark makes some nice muckers).

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I live in Virginia. Overall winter is not as bad as some places, but often it can be extremely cold for short periods and warm up and go back to being cold. My family all has coats from LLBean. DH and I have had our coats forever and the oldest has been the child who always gets a new coat and passes it on--he's now big enough that I believe I have bought him his last coat, so I guess dd will finally get something that's not black.


While I've bought the coats new, I have purchased LLBean snowpants and boots on consignment over the years and I know they've always had coats. I recommend hitting consignment shops now--I know my local consignment is taking winter clothing now. I'd also check thrift stores, people give away nice stuff. You just have to be willing to make the thrift store or consignment shop a regular weekly stop until you find what you need.


Warm socks. I wear wool hiking socks from LLBean. They are pricey, but soooo warm and comfortable.I think they are the cresta hiking sock. No not pretty. No not what most people would pair with a skirt. I wear pants a lot in the winter. Many women wear pants to church. If I wear a dress in the winter I wear thick tights and flats, not stockings and pumps.


I like to be warm and if I don't keep my toes and fingers warm I have problems too. You may find you need to rethink your typical choice of dressing to be warm, but maybe other people have better ideas.


Now, I see the pp said dress boots. That would be great choice, lined dress boots, maybe big enough that you can have the hiking socks on too (I'm assuming a boot tall enough to cover the sock. If you really like dresses, that would be the way to go.

Edited by betty
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I wear a lot of skirts so I make sure I have these for every winter:


Knee high/over knee high socks


Microfiber leggings

Long underwear

High boots


On really cold days, I wear long socks over my leggings/stockings/whatever I'm wearing that day, plus I wear the boots.


As for the coats, I've found beautiful, warm coats at thrift stores. Texas probably doesn't have many coats at their thrift stores though. Fashion Bug and places like that usually have coat sales though.

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All great suggestions... but I have one more!


I, too, get cold in the winter. I get too cold in the fall and spring. I don't like temps in the 60's. I get chilly and stay that way... Sigh.


One thing I do to pamper myself and get through the cold times (I use hats, socks, boots, silky long underwear) is... When I know I am heading outside, I get out my microwave bags! The ones I have now are ones that I made myself with feeding corn and cloth bags. I made several sizes. If it's really cold and I have to go out, I heat them up. Little ones go in my coat pockets for my hands (I hate the feel of gloves on my hands... gloves that work and keep my hands warm feel awful on my fingers! I end up using knit gloves that don't work as well, but don't feel so awkward). I heat up a medium sized bag and it sits on my lap in the car! I don't do this all the time, but some days I do this and it helps me feel warmth when I am cold...

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I've lived in SWVA. It does indeed get cold.


Don't underestimate the usefulness of a warm wool hat. It will help keep the rest of you warm, even if your head didn't feel all that cold. Ditto for nice knitted gauntlets for your arms/hands. Take up knitting!


You will need warm gloves - don't skimp on these - and perhaps a good pair of waterproof gloves if it snows. Marshalls is good for these, esp. for boys/men.


The underlayer is key. Either a cami, a long-sleeved undershirt, or both. Long enough to tuck in and stay tucked in. I like leggings under my skirts, others like tights. NOT the thin kind, the thick winter kind.


You'll also need a sweater, and/or a polar fleece. This is worn over your underlayer and shirt. This time of year you can get away with just this, as it gets colder you'll add a coat.


I love polar fleece socks. I get them from Campmor or from Marshalls, where they often get the previous year's designs for around $8 a pair. I know that sounds like a lot (they are normally more like $20), but they wear well and are super-warm. Other folks like the Smartwool brand. Either way, nice socks make a nice Christmas gift. My kids get 'em every year.


Honey, you are not going to be wearing pumps. You need some kind of dressy "park mom" shoe in a Mary Jane style, or a good boot. It gets wet, and icy, and snowy. Pumps don't keep you warm, nor can you safely walk in them in the bad weather. Ask your local friends what they wear and where they get them. Yes, this is a different look, but your eye will adjust, and you'll blend in with your community. Think English upper-class tweedy, country home set.


Coats - I love Lands End. Yes, they are pricey, but they give temperature ratings and they wear well. If you pay $80, it's really only $8-10 a year or less. Other outdoor stores work well too. Think function when you choose. Nothing that only goes to the waist.


Keep an eye out for warmer skirts. Wool or cotton twill help keep the wind out and keep you warmer.


Thrift shops are good, eBay is good, Marshalls and TJ Maxx are good.

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Oh yes, definitely leggings for underneath skirts! I wear Dansko clogs a lot (also good in cold weather with warm socks...my feet are nicely raised from the ground in them), so I've got no problem with wearing leggings, socks under the leggings and then my Danskos. Otherwise it's leggings, socks, boots.

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