Enjoy the Season with the Right Winter Clothes and Accessories
When I first heard the forecast that British Columbia will experience record-breaking winter temperatures in December 2021, I got scared. You see, I moved from a tropical country to Lower Mainland, BC. There was no need to precisely apply the science of layering until that moment. But with a bit of research and lots of experiments, I found a combination of winter clothes and accessories that helped me
survive enjoy winter.
I am sharing these especially with newcomers and future immigrants so you can enjoy daily winter life as well. Have a look at this list and see what works for you!
Internet sources recommend top and bottom base layers that have great moisture-wicking and heat-retaining properties. This means that the fabric dissipates sweat while keeping you warm. Another thing to consider is that the fabric weight should match the activity and temperature.
I did not engage in sports but just wandered around the city. So, I chose a light to midweight turtleneck top base layer.
I wore a thicker bottom base layer since I can not wear as many layers compared to my top.
Fleece sweaters offer warmth and comfort. I have a couple that covers the neck area. I wear this type of sweater as my third layer – after my base layer and a warm top. My recommendation would be to get a full-zip fleece jacket so you can take it off quickly when you go indoors.
Waterproof Winter Jacket
A proper jacket is on top of my important winter clothes and accessories list. It should be on yours, too.
I invested in a light, insulated, and waterproof jacket with a hood. The hood adds another layer of protection for my head in case it gets cold and windy or when it rains or snows. I needed something light as moving with several layers of clothes can be a bit of a challenge.
Keep in mind that layers of clothing allow you to regulate your temperature better than one thick outerwear.
Lined waterproof and windproof pants really do wonders to keep a person warm especially in rainy Vancouver. I recommend sizing up as it allows you to wear these comfortably as an outer layer. Also, tight layers do not accommodate trapped air that acts as insulation.
Toques/Beanies and Ear Muffs
On a normal cold day, I would wear either a toque or earmuff. But, the recent prolonged snowy period in Metro Vancouver required a change in tactics. I specifically looked for toques/beanies that were lined to prevent my head from freezing. I also put on earmuffs on top of this for added warmth.
Gloves are essential winter accessories as the hands get cold easily. The best type of gloves depends on the intended activity. If you plan to engage in winter activities, get proper waterproof gloves. If you are like me who like taking photos, fingerless gloves would be a good choice. These allow me to snap photos without taking the gloves on and off. Plus, there are fewer chances of me losing it. Touch screen or winter tech gloves would also be an excellent option.
I have several scarves to choose from depending on the weather. When it gets really cold, I reach for a blanket scarf. This has a wider coverage and can protect the neck and part of the face. You may also opt for a neckwarmer. However, for people like me who like to go on casual strolls and explore buildings, scarves are better. These are easier to loosen or take off when indoors and equally easy to put back on when going outdoors.
Remember to include warm socks in your winter survival kit. Similar to base layers, materials that draw sweat away from the body and retain heat work best. I also look for warm socks that can cushion the impact of walking on uneven icy patches.
Walking on snow or ice can be tricky. When choosing winter shoes, think about the function and not just fashion. I would recommend shoes that are lined and waterproof as well as have a good grip.
It is easier to wear layers on the upper part of the body. Wearing several layers on the legs makes me look and feel like a snowman. It gets to a point that it is difficult and tiring to move. However, wearing warm footwear mitigates this issue.
Waterproof shoes are great especially when the snow turns into slush.
The grip is important as snow and ice can be slippery. To add traction to your shoes, you may also opt to wear ice cleats.
Hand Warmers and Toe Warmers
I have added hand warmers and toe warmers to my winter survival kit due to the record-breaking winter temperatures of 2021. I panicked when I saw the weather forecast and immediately went to a store to buy hand and toe warmers. But, I was glad I did. These allowed me to stay outdoors for more than 6 hours on the coldest days.
I know that many of us are already tired of wearing masks to combat the pandemic. But, I was especially thankful for these tools this season. Aside from protecting my health and helping me comply with requirements, these prevented me from inhaling cold air.
I did not wear a mask. I wore two masks when it got really cold.
A balaclava is another option.
I would have opted to hide from the inclement weather in the comforts of my home. But, the urge to enjoy the seasonal sights and sounds was stronger.
I had an amazing time thanks to these winter clothes and accessories. I hope this list helps you enjoy the season too!
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