Please Help! What Cold Weather Clothes to Buy?

Updated on September 06, 2011
J.T. asks from Mansfield, TX
16 answers

My husband, 4-year-old son, and I just moved from Texas to Crystal Lake, Illinois. I think it goes without saying that we do not have clothing for the upcoming colder weather. Can you please tell me what we need to purchase as far as clothes and shoes in order to endure the winter (and suggestions as to where to purchase would be helpful). Please keep in mind that I am a big baby when it comes to cold temperatures!! Thank you!!

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answers from Detroit on

I live in michigan.. so it gets cold here. You need.. 3 coats heavy winter.. medium weight and a fleece jacket. (for the medium weight.. the best is a fleece lined coat with a nylon outer shell) we wear the medium weight coat pretty much until it snows.. so october november and early december then again in march and april. You can also get the coat system with the liner that zips out so you wear 1 layer if it is cool and both layers if it is cold.

1 pair of snow boots.. 1 hat.. and several pairs of mittens and gloves for kids.. they need 2 pair that are waterproof and maybe 2 thin pairs of mittens.. I do not put mittens on my kids if we are just going from car to a strore or in to school but if they are out playing in the snow they need thick water proof mittens.

you can get used snow pants for little ones at the salvation army in great shape. little ones wear snow pants maybe 5 times to play in the snow. so used ones are barelyused.

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answers from Chicago on

Growing Cents of Style has a resale sale Oct. 1. Look at their website. It is great. Designer clothes for very less.

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answers from Chicago on

I'm a big baby when it comes to being cold. Whatever coat you decide to go with make sure it covers your butt.

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answers from Pittsfield on

I hear you- I'm a big baby about cold temps too...and I live in New England- lol Layers, layers, layers. I have silky (not real silk, thermaskin) long underwear. They help a LOT. Here's what I mean:

I'd recommend going to Land's End's website and clicking on Overstocks ASAP. You may be able to get last year's winter stuff before they sell out. They have, for example, a womens white down jacket for only $39.97.

There are other styles available too. The nice thing about Land's End is that they tell you what temperatures the jacket is good for.

They also have some hats, scarves, and gloves. I'd recommend 2 pairs of gloves- a light weight fleece pair for mid to late fall and something heavier for the more extreme cold.

They have some overstock coats in men's too, but there's nothing really left for boys. They do, however, have some long sleeved shirts, which will be useful. When it's colder, you can put a t-shirt under.

Hope this helps.
Best wishes!! =o)

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answers from Minneapolis on

For your son, a coat and bib snowpants can work, but consider looking for a one-piece snowsuit. We got them for our daughter from REI. They make them with expandable legs, so she was able to wear them for two winters. She was always the last one to get cold when playing outside! They aren't cheap, but the wear she got from them made them worth it. And no snow or wetness sneaking between the snowpants and jacket when sledding.

Boots and waterproof gloves/mittens are so important. Don't skimp on the price of these, as cold wet toes and fingers will ruin a winter outing quickly. Or make scraping ice off the car windows torture for you. I have a pair of Merrell boots that have kept my feet warm for three years and still look new. I wear them every day. Gloves and mittens from REI.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Your moving about an hour away from me :)

You will need-
Winter gear -MUST HAVE
Winter coats for everyone (we love down coats cuz they are super warm and not as bulky). Good brands - Landsend, Columbia, REI or mall stores.
Hats, gloves, scarves - for everyone
Snowpants for the kids
Waterproof boots for the kids (Kamik and Sorell make great boots)
Fleece hoodies for fall and spring for everyone
Waterproof boots for your DH for when he snowblows the driveway
Cute boots for you for everyday - try zappos

Pants (not summer pants they should be jeans or lined)
Long sleeve shirts
sweaters and sweater coats
socks for all
good winter shoes for all like Keens or sneakers
and as I mentioned a feece coat or sweater to layer with

Shop - NOW otherwise it will all be sold out :)

If you are on a budget then try Craigslist and ebay - this stuff can really add up. Especially since you are starting from scratch. Oh and take a drive down to Schamburg. They have and H&M kids in the mall there. You can get plain long sleeve T-shirts and cute winter hats there for your DS. Also an affordable place to get some warmer stuff for you. Plus there is an Ikea across the street :)

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answers from Los Angeles on

Thermal underwear and waterproof outerwear. Ugh. I can't stand the wetness of snow!

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answers from Columbus on

I get lots of turtlenecks and flannel shirts for my son, they look very cute layered under a tshirt and can get more use out of those summer clothes. Layers will be good for you as well, so you can still look put together and be nice and cozy at the same time! If there are any kids resale shops nearby you can probably find good used snowsuits and boots without paying top dollar. Good luck!

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answers from Eugene on

You need a heavy winter coat made of wool. Buy one you consider expensive for yourself and your husband. Mine is 12 years old and looks as good as the day I bought it. Have it cleaned once a year. Make certain it goes to the knees. I bought a Pendelton blazer when I first moved to Oregon. I bought another a year ago which has saved my life more than once. Mostly they are plaid or single color. I got a subtle plaid. You will wind up giving it to your daughter in law as they last forever.
For your son you need a heavy winter jacket and heavy pants to put under t them. There are sets with bib tops you can buy. Children tend to grow out the winter outfit so I always went to the second hand store or waited for hand-me-downs from family friends and neighbors.
Your son will need galoshes, closed toed shoes, gloves a hat. The hood never stays on a child's head. For his gloves put a string or ribbon that reaches through his jacket and sleeves. Suspend the gloves from the ribbon at each end. Then he won't lose his gloves.
You will need pullover sweaters and vests depending on how cold it is outdoors and well your house retains heat.

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answers from Cincinnati on

welcome to the midwest, where if you don't like the weather wait a day lol. I live in indiana, and yesterday the temp was in the 90s, today it is a high in the 60s. For you I would suggest cadigans. you can wear these over your current clothes. I would also suggest thermal tops for you and your son, these can be worn under any long sleeve shirt. also if you are anything like me and hate wearing socks to bed (my toes suffocate!) but hate cold feet you can buy these fuzzy socks at bath and body works or even at the dollar store that dont strangle your feet. also invest in a couple pairs of thick tights to wear under dresses and skirts. For your son get him some sweat pants. my son lives in these during the winter. and definatly some footed pjs for him and long sleeve tees that can be worn alone or under sweatshirts. Check out Goodwill, they have tons of kids clothes for around 1-2 dollars each. If it helps I read the winter here in the midwest should be a little milder than last year. Oh one more is not clothes but helps with the winter. Make a rice pillow. You make a pillow out of flanel fabric ( about 12 x 16 in in size) and fill it with 8 cups rice (not instant) you can warm it in the microwave for 3-4minutes and it stays toasty for hours, great to have at night!

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answers from Boston on

You will need lots of stuff to layer.. but like previously mentioned buy early, snow boots when you find them in your sons size in a style you like buy them! same thing with hats and mittens, coats etc.. they get picked over... the worst is when your child grows during the winter and you need the next size up and everything is gone!!! just saying :)

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answers from Chicago on

Here is what I would suggest:

Adults Outerwear:
~~ One large down-feathered coat (you may be outside shoveling and you will apprciate this for any outside time longer than running in/out of stores etc.)
~~ Thermal gloves, hat, scarf, ear-muffs (nothing more uncomfortable than friggid air blowing in your ears)

~~ Also a less bulky but warm (warmer than a leather jacket, for instance) for every day wear.

~~ Also maybe more fashionable gloves for driving b/c your steering wheel will get cold, even if you are parked in a garage. Plus, you'll want the gloves for when you have to scrap your car windows.

~~ I have a pair of almost knee-high boots I wear on those sloshy days & to shovel. But once the snow has been cleared your normal shoes will be fine.

Your Son:
He will probably want to play in the snow, so here are the essentials
~~ Warm, warm coat - bought my kids coats where the inside lining can be worn in or comes out and doubles as a lighter jacket - these are great and add extra warmth (I get them at JCPenny).
~~ Snowpants
~~ Boots, thermal gloves, hat (I get the ones that cover the ears and cheeks too), scarf

Does your son keep the covers on himself at night? If not, then I'd put long underware under his feetie-pajamas. Usually in the winter we stay in most of the time are are comfortable in sweats (usually with a t-shirt underneith).

I'd also invest in a good down comforter for your bed and your son's as well. You will not get cold at night with one of these. They are so, so comfy.

For your car - the ice that sticks to your windshield will tear your wipers up so I always have an extra pair b/c I hate a smeary windshield. Get the de-icing windshield fluid and don't forget a brush scrapper for the windows to keep in your trunk.

All the best! Be glad you weren't here last year when we got 18" dumped on us in 24 hrs.

Also - I get all the clothes at stores like JCPenny & Kohls and the hats etc can be found at Wal-Mart or Target or something.

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answers from Joplin on

Invest in some good thermal underwear, I like Cuddl duds, they are a brand that JCPenneys carries.
I like to wear layers so I can be comfortable inside and out. We keep the air temp in our home pretty low during the winter, so when we go out it seems hot in comparison. I also like the soft fuzzy socks. = )
A lot of times instead of panty hose I will wear heavy tights or even leggings, because I dislike being cold.
Invest in one pair of good water proof boots.

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answers from Milwaukee on

Buy EARLY because that stuff gets picked over early. ALWAYS have an extra pair of gloves in your pocket in case the other ones get wet.

If you hate the cold now just wait until it snows. That's a whole other issue.

Good luck shopping.

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answers from Boston on

Layers! I don't know for sure how cold you are talking but I live in new England so we get pretty damn cold. I suggest ll bean for winter boots, coats, and snow pants. Thermals under jeans, t-shirts, thermals, sweaters. Thermals will be your best friends :) if you don't like the feel of them they do make silk ones.

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answers from Detroit on

We are in Michigan so we know all about cold temps! The best thing is to layer up. I would have as many long pants/jeans and long-sleeved t-shirts as you have shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts. Also, at least 3 - 4 sweatshirts and sweaters. You could also consider flannel button-up shirts. And undershirts for layering. He'll need a warmer coat/jacket for the cooler temps of fall and a winter coat and snow pants and boots for the snow. Winter hat and mittens or gloves for sure. You could consider long thermal wool underwear if he's going to be outside in the snow for a prolonged period of time. For sleeping there are the long-sleeved thermal pajamas and also fleece and flannel pajamas. In winter I have my daughter wear an undershirt and socks with her pajamas to stay a little warmer and help her sleep better. You can probably find plenty of stuff at any store like Walmart or Old Navy - for the outdoor winter gear I recommend LL Bean or Land's End.

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