Winter is Coming: 5 Ways to Keep Warm This Winter

Now, you don’t have to stay cooped up inside watching Netflix this winter just because Eddard Stark tells you too. But don’t get me wrong, I always advocate a good Netflix binge especially when it involves Game of Thrones. On a serious note though, winter is truly coming and it is essential to stay warm, especially if you are a newbie to a New England winter. I remember when I came to Mount Holyoke I was quite shocked with the amount of snow I had to trudge through on the daily just to get to class. Even though I’m from Chicago and our winters are equally bad, sometimes even worse, I no longer have my car to take me everywhere I want to go so I need to make sure that I stay as cozy as possible during my walks to class, etc. Don’t worry, though, because with a few simple steps you can be ready to tackle the cold head-on while remaining fashionable, comfortable, and cozy all at the same time! You can also check out another article I wrote that lists 5 fun activities that you can do during the winter time.


1. Winter Coat

A warm and sturdy winter coat is necessary to tackle the dreaded New England winter. Whether it be a colorful, fur-rimmed, or goose down jacket, having something is better than having nothing. Most quality jackets tend to run on the more expensive side, but with the right bargain hunting skills you can be able to find a reasonably priced winter jacket that will keep you warm and cosy all winter long. Even though a bit pricey, my personal favorite is the North Face Arctic Parka which costs about $300. It’s also available at Macy’s and other large department stores! It has lasted me a few years now and is still going strong! However, if you really want to find a cheap alternative, and I’m talking below $50, Forever 21 sells a lot of quality jackets that are also major fashion statements. Right now you can be able to find some really cheap options in the clearance section as the weather hasn't gotten too bad yet.


2. Snow Boots

Another essential is a good pair of snow boots. Massachusetts has extreme winters that can rack up a good amount of snow. On average, snow can stack up to 43.5 inches high annually, so having a good pair of snowboots is NOT optional. Even though pricey, I highly recommend sorel snow boots. My personal favorite is the Joan of Arctic boot, which costs $180. It has survived through 4 years of brutal Chicago winters and is just as reliable when New England brings its worst snowfalls.


3. Thick Socks​

Just like boots, thick socks are necessary to keep your toes warm in the dead of winter. Whether they be for walking around your room, just having cozy feet 24/7, or having an extra layer of warmth underneath your snow boots, thick socks are extremely helpful when trudging across Mount Holyoke’s campus through piled high snow. When picking socks, it can be quite overwhelming as there are many different options: wool, thermal, cotton, etc. However, testing out what works best for you is the most reliable way of finding a quality pair of winter socks. I personally like thermal socks as my feet get very cold and find they keep me the warmest. Amazon, L.L Bean, REI, and Dick’s Sporting Goods all sell high quality and relatively cheap options. You can even get a fun design if you are feeling festive!


4. Gloves, Scarves, Hats

They may seem obvious to buy, but unfortunately they’re commonly missed. So many people brave the harsh, cold winds without having protection from gloves, scarves, or hats. However, these accessories can make the greatest difference when temperatures drop below freezing. Gloves keep your hands nice and toasty while scarves keep your neck extra warm if your jacket doesn’t reach that high up. Also, hats keep your head and ears warm. Plus, they’re super cute and can really help you out when you’re having a messy hair day. A lot of companies will sell matching sets making it easy for you to not only style the pieces, but also make the job of searching for them individually much easier. I’m a huge fan of cashmere, but with my budget I’m perfectly content with Walmart’s cozy, yet stylish, trio set.


5. Hand Warmers

Last, but not least, are hand warmers. You may have used these when you went on skiing trips with your family, but they are also very useful when you’re simply walking to and from class. They’re simple and contact, yet extremely effective at keeping your hands nice and warm. Target and Amazon sell them in bulk sizes for cheap prices.


Even though it’s just starting to get cold on campus it’s important to plan ahead before winter finally arrives. Just because it took Game of Thrones six seasons and counting to prepare doesn’t mean us MoHo’s can’t get a head start. With just a little bit of effort you can be armed and ready to tackle this year’s upcoming winter with grace and style, all while being warm and cozy! If you’re an older student and have already experienced Mount Holyoke’s harsh winters then I strongly recommend downloading “Weather Underground,” an app available for both iphone and android offering the temperature, humidity, pressure, rainfall, and wind speed in your location. This ensures that you are getting a trustworthy radar image enabling you to be well prepared for what the day’s climate ensues, especially since New England is notorious for it’s inconsistent winters; it is always best to be prepared!


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