rinkrat19 wrote:sandwhich wrote:rinkrat19 wrote:sandwhich wrote:Can someone post some recommendations for parkas good enough for Chicago weather?
Any good thick ski/snowboarding parka is warm enough when you combine it with gloves and a hat and maybe a scarf. And by "good," I mean you're going to have to spend some money. $250-350 will get you something sufficient from North Face/Mountain Hardwear/Marmot/etc. $700-900 will get you Canada Goose.
North Face Triclimate jackets (men's and women's) are a good bet because you can wear the parka or liner separately, so you can adapt to the changing weather and not be one of those insane people wearing their puffy down jacket when it's 60 degrees because that's literally the only coat they have.
A lot of girls like the long down jackets but I think they look ridiculous and are unnecessary. My knees do not get cold. But ymmv. (Not sure what gender you are.)
So Canada Goose and the like are overkill? Would I look like a goober wearing a ski jacket to school? Forgive my ignorance, I've never lived where it snows before. I'm just trying to get a feel for what most people wear before dropping $400 on a coat.
It's not overkill for the really cold days. It's kind of overkill for the slightly less cold days. You see plenty of people wearing them and other heavy winter jackets. But you can do just fine with a slightly less extreme coat (North Face, etc.) and some accessories (hat, scarf, gloves), so you can save some money from the price of a Canada Goose.
You will find that whatever brand they buy, 99% of people you see have a black or navy coat. Maybe they'll be crazy and go for the dark maroon one. I rocked my collection of loud-as-hell brightly colored and obnoxiously patterned snowboard jackets for three years and stood out like a stripper at a nun convention, but I loved that. (I also got complimented on my loud jackets constantly, as if it takes a special talent to choose something other than black.) All the black coats are depressing, and I would encourage you to have a little fun with your outerwear. Winter is hard enough without dressing like you're going to a funeral every day.
This is how I dress for snow (obviously this was taken at home over xmas break, not in Chicago. But it's my favorite winter coat.)
I came from CA and was woefully underprepared for the winter. People kept saying to get winter boots and I had no idea what those even were. So here's my Chicago Winter Survival Guide for Californians:
- If you plan to go out a lot during the winter or will live somewhere that requires a long walk to school, invest in a long knee or full length jacket. (Buy this in Chicago, the winter jackets sold in CA weren't warm enough)
- If you don't plan to be outside that much in the winter, you absolutely can survive with a warm ski jacket as long as you layer. Rather than buying an expensive new extra warm jacket, I bought a thick North Face fleece and a thin one and layered one or the other under my ski jacket.
- A hat and scarf are key. I would recommend a neck warmer over a scarf for really cold days because it blocks wind better. On really cold windy days you basically want an ISIS-approved look with just a slit open for your eyes. I had no idea eyeballs could get cold. (I didn't list gloves here because I just put my hands in my sleeves, but if you don't plan to do that, definitely get gloves).
- Winter boots are required. Something like this: http://www.sierratradingpost.com/the-north-face-arctic-pull-on-ii-winter-boots-waterproof-insulated-for-men~p~5678a/. The salted streets turn into deep puddles so Uggs will only work during dry weeks. And you'll need rain boots for the fall too.