page contents

Winter Clothing

Assembling your winter clothing takes some time, effort and money of course.

How you cope with cold winter temperatures is directly related to how you dress properly for it. Yes? Makes sense, doesn't it?

You'll need a range of winter clothing as well as multiples of the same type of clothes too in most cases. In fact, most Canadians tend to have quite a selection of winter wear.

Given the extremes of winter weather across the country, you'll end up with different types of winter wear too. Having a range to choose from is a good strategy. You'll be able mix and match to suit the different weather conditions and the various activities that you'll do.

Winter Weather Variables

The kind of weather you'll be experiencing and the kind of activity you are doing relates directly to what type to buy and where to buy it.

Two key things you need to consider then are:

  • What kind of winter weather do you normally get where you live?
  • e.g. more damp, cold, rainy winter like Vancouver generally gets or cold, biting temperatures with lots of snow like Montreal and Eastern Canada?

  • What kind of activity do you need the item for?
  • What you wear to the local mall is way different to what you'd wear to go ice fishing in Lake Superior during January! You might do both so you'll need different sets of winter wear to suit the purpose for what you want them for.

Buying winter clothing - when and where

If you are moving or relocating to a colder and snowier area in North America, it makes the most sense to buy your winter wear where you plan on living. Don't be fooled by buying 'winter clothes' anywhere else as it's probably just not suitable in terms of keeping you warm or effective for what you want it for.

Depending on when you arrive here, winter apparel might be available then, soon will be or at the end of the season. If you want to get started assembling your winter clothes anyway but have missed the peak time for buying regular retail winter clothes, check out the local consignment stores. However, they also tend to display the current season's clothes just like the regular retail stores do so your search might take longer than you expected.

Getting winter clothes orientated

Depending on where you live, the winter could be rainy and mild or very cold with lots of snow and minus temperatures so you will need to buy what suits best.

Your basic winter wardrobe

Assembling your winter wardrobe consists of quite a range of winter clothing, accessories and footwear. Here's a place to start as well as some of my recommendations.

How to dress for winter

How to dress for winter depends on you knowing a few key things to keep warm and comfortable during the cold months.

Winter clothing strategies

There are some basic strategies to help you keep warm and comfortable in the winter weather.

Preparing your clothes

With the changing of the seasons, getting your clothes ready for winter gives you a great opportunity to decide on what stays or goes in your winter wardrobe.

Layering your clothes

The secret to enjoying the winter more is wearing different types of layers. Three layers work very well, they are: a thin inner layer, a bulky middle layer and an outer waterproof layer.

Fabrics and colours

Fabrics used for cold weather wear are generally heavier, have thicker textures and tighter weaves. Between natural and man-made fibers there is a large selection to choose from for everything you need in your winter wardrobe to keep you warm and comfortable.

Long thermal underwear

The first layer against your skin is the all-important thermal underwear layer that comes in different natural and man-made fabrics and poly-blends

Jackets, coats and outerwear

The variety of winter coats, jackets and outerwear you have to choose from is huge. Deciding what you want is the exhausting part I think. Any outerwear also needs to be waterproof and wind resistant too. Having the right kind of outerwear keeps you warm and dry and is critical to your comfort.

Updating your winter wardrobe

Changing your wardrobe every season might be your wish but your budget might not stretch that far but there are some alternatives.

Heated clothing

Absolutlely! You can get socks, jackets and pants. If you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors in minus temperatures, then finding out what kind of heated clothing is available might be a good option for you.

Clothing care

Clothing for winter costs more so looking after them is important to make them last a long time. VIP (very important point) always remember to read what the clothing label says about cleaning and caring for your garment. It's there for a very good reason so follow the instructions!

Completing my winter wardrobe

Cold weather accessories like hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves and pashminas are standard for everyone. Plus everyone needs lots of socks and for women, tights and leggings too. It's also quite likely you have more than one pair of winter boots too, like a dress pair as well as an everyday knock-about pair of sturdy winter boots.

Return to Winter Living Advisor from Winter Clothing