Being a Southern California girl, I get cold pretty quickly when temperatures drop below 72 degrees. Packing for our White Christmas in Maine, I took plenty of layers and ways to keep dry in whatever weather might happen. When we arrived in Boston it was a cool 40 degrees or so, to which my Mainer husband responded by declaring, “Forty degrees? Boy, it’s warm out.” My smartass reply was “Forty degrees? Boy, it’s warm out, said no one ever from Southern California.” As our time in Maine passed, the temperature dropped to the mid 30s and then to the low 20s.
I was freezing my butt off.
Mistake number one was not layering my lower extremities. Just wearing jeans, I was cold and over compensating by wearing extra layers on top. When I added a light pair of leggings under my jeans, it made a world of difference. I only wore three layers on top instead of four!
Remember to hydrate! It’s cold and wet, but inside it’s dry from the heaters running so be sure to drink water, moisturize your skin and air out your feet that are probably wearing socks more than they are used to.
Here’s a quick guide on how this Southern Californian survived the North East
HAT - Keep your head dry and warm! My hat is made from wool and is just awesome. It keeps me nice and warm, but since it is made from natural fabric it can get wet. Make sure your jacket has a waterproof hood to keep dry and remember to use it.
SCARF - I don’t know about you, but if my chest is cold, I’m cold. My grandmother crocheted scarves for us and we used them to keep our fronts warm. They were a little short so we knotted them in the front for the best coverage. The longer the scarf, the more ways to wear it; my sister in law likes to wear long scarves that she can braid in the front which look super cute.
TOP LAYERS – Camisole, long sleeved t-shirt and sweater. Mix and match. Add one, remove one. That’s the great thing about layers, you can wear them to your comfort.
JACKET – Waterproof plus down equals warmth. Make sure your jacket has pockets to keep tissue for runny noses or to hold your gloves while inside. I purchased my Esprit jacket three years ago and it does a great job at keeping me dry, warm and fashionable. My sister didn’t have a waterproof down jacket and went with a cute green Nike. It’s really cute and did the job too. When shopping for a waterproof down jacket be sure to stop at discount stores like Marshall’s. You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars for a good jacket. We both paid under $75.
GLOVES – Gloves are a small and inexpensive way to keep your fingers nice and warm. I used a pair of generic woven gloves when I needed warm hands and didn’t need to keep them dry. When touching snow or if it was really cold out, I used waterproof snowboarding gloves. Jeremy and I both have Scott snowboarding gloves and according to him, are the best snow gloves he’s ever had. I love mine because they make me feel like I’m an astronaut.
LOWER LAYERS – Jeans and other pants work great in the cold weather, but I did make sure to take my pants that had stretch to them. Since I wore leggings underneath, I needed a little bit of extra room to accommodate the layer. Thermals or long underwear also work, but since I didn’t have any, I just went with my leggings. The two layers did a great job at keeping my legs warm.
SOCKS – Warm feet are the start to a warm body, at least I find that to be pretty true. I wore wool socks that I tucked my pants into to make a nice warm barrier from the wind and snow. I had ankle length socks and two pairs of knee highs that added an extra layer to the bottom of my legs when I knew we’d be out in the cold. Keep in mind, if your feet sweat, wool might not be the best option. Try to look for a wicking sock that will help keep your feet dry and warm.
BOOTS - Because snow makes everything wet, having a pair of waterproof boots is a must. Since a good pair of boots can be expensive I wanted to make sure to get a versatile pair that I could wear for casual occasions and in the snow. My sister and I both choose Merrell boots and were both satisfied with their comfort and how dry they kept us. Hers were taller than mine, which came in handy when walking, actually sinking, into 12 inches of snow.
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