Your First Winter: A Guide to Winter Outerwear and Apparel

Boots are made for walking in tall snowdrifts and puddles

Having boots that rise above the ankle is important for walking through snowdrifts, which are tall piles of snow blown by the wind.
Having boots that are easy to remove is key. This is often accomplished with a zipper on the side of the boot. Once inside, snow and slush will melt off your boots making a puddle on the floor.  Put the boots on a rug to dry.  It will prevent you from stepping in a cold puddle in your socks. Yuck!  Again, look for the words “waterproof” or “weatherproof” on the label.  Expect to spend around $100 for a good pair of boots.

Slippery ice becomes a problem of the past when you're wearing these rugged boots!

Fits like a glove

Winter is a game of staying warm and dry.  And you are most likely going to get wet from the snow on your hands and feet.  Additionally, your hands and feet are the extremities farthest from your heart making them the hardest to keep warm. That is why you need to pay close attention to what gloves, boots and footwear you buy.
Getting waterproof (Gore-tex) or water resistant (leather, wool) gloves with a fuzzy lining (felt, polar fleece or lamb’s wool) is a good idea.  Having a few extra pairs around is not a bad idea either since it is very easy to leave gloves behind, or have one fall out of your pocket. Sometimes you'll get lucky and find the missing glove after the snow melts in the spring—but don’t count on it! You might also buy a pair of finger-tip-less gloves or gloves with conductive threads such as Isotoner’s smarTouch gloves in order to operate a smart phone while keeping your hands warm.  
What about hats and scarves?

Since your head can be especially sensitive to cold, wearing a hat is a good way to protect your head from the elements.  If you find hats annoying because they mess up your hair or because you find them itchy, consider earmuffs or winter headbands, which deliver protection right where they are needed.
Scarves make a great winter accessory and come in a variety of colors and fabrics.  They can be wrapped around your head and face.  But if your coat has a good hood and a high front neck flap, you won’t necessarily need an additional hat and a scarf.

Winter headbands are a cute alternative to the full-blown winter hat. 

Pockets are more important than you think

Be sure to get a jacket with big pockets.  The more the merrier.  If your pockets are shallow, your hat and gloves may fall out and you’ll lose them.
Why do I need a hood?

I stress the importance of a hood on your jacket because the head, face and chest are the most sensitive to cold weather.  Also, a hood will keep the rain or snow out of your eyes and off the back of your neck.  There are few things more unpleasant than a cold snowy wind whipping around your neck and down your back.