Your First Winter: A Guide to Winter Outerwear and Apparel


Three coats to consider
Balancing outerwear between fall, winter and spring can be tricky.  Temperatures can swing between 70°F (19°C) to 25°F (-3.9°C) with rain, snow and a variety of strange occurrences in between adding to the mix.  Trust me—not just any coats will do during these seasons. You’ll be tempted to go the cheap route when buying these coats but I urge you to get the good stuff first.  High quality coats will last longer and work better than less expensive coats which you will have to re-buy often.

Here is what you’ll need to beat the weather:

1.      The Raincoat

You should invest in a truly waterproof raincoat with a hood that has some type of thin but warm lining.  Rain jackets are generally made of synthetic materials like Gore-tex.  These can be found at sports or outdoor stores. Department stores may carry them as well. Reinforced rubber seams and labels that say “waterproof” or “weatherproof” are what you’re looking for.  If the tag says “water resistant,” walk right on by.  A water resistant coat won’t keep you dry in a hard rain.
A waterproof jacket will keep you warm and dry on blustery, rainy days when the temperature is between 60-45°F (14 - 7°C) without the use of an umbrella.
Good brands to look for are The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, Lole, Exofficio, and Mountain Hardwear.  They can be found online or in sporting goods and camping stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods.  The price should hover around $100 for a waterproof coat.
If it is only drizzling outside, meaning it is not a heavy rain, you could wear a short wool coat called a pea coat instead of a rain jacket.   And if you like, you can carry an umbrella in case it starts to rain harder.

This jacket uses a great waterproof shell.