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  • Pooja Varma

Winter is here!!!

I was going to write about something else in today's blog, but happened to check the weather report, and realized that winter in here (Thank you The Farmer's Almanac)!! Yes winter is extremely cold in Canada, whatever you heard is true, and yes we do have the face freezing, bone chilling winter storms.

Normally you would need warm winter clothing from October/November until March/April. This can obviously change, because global warming has made weather SO PREDICTABLE!! So it’s always best to check the forecast for the week and plan accordingly.

Winter this year has started out with quite a drastic dip in temperatures and we have seen some snow in parts of Ontario, and its only November. Having said that winter is going to be the pretty standard cold one. After all we are the world's fifth coldest country.

There are three factors that you need to consider before you go on a shopping spree, one how much are you willing to spend, because winter wear is not cheap, two how much of your time you are going to spend outdoors and three your tolerance to cold weather.

I have prepared a list of must haves, and names of a few brands that I think are good/reasonable.

1. Layer, layer, layer: I cant emphasize enough on how important it is to layer yourself well. I personally feel that if you layer your self with several clothes one on top of the other, it is much better than one bulky jacket. Also this gives you the advantage of taking them off once your indoors in a well insulated/heated place.

Go in for a base layer/thermals which will be your first layer. You can find base layers in cotton, wool or nylon. I have cotton and nylon base layers, for my body and legs. Jeans will not be enough in cold weather, so you will need base layers. For very cold temperatures, I am talking -25C and lower I would recommend getting a base layer that has the omni heat technology. You can find them at Columbia Sports, they cost on an average between 70$ to 80$.

2. Second Layer: If your thermal layer is nice and warm enough, I would recommend wearing a nice wool sweater as your second layer. I prefer turtle neck ones because I just feel really cold around my neck. You can also look at wearing a fleece jacket/pullover, check out Columbia Sports. I love the collection that H&M has, and they are priced very well. You can also look to layer yourself with puff down jacket, they are also a great second layer and protect you well from the wind. But I would wear something under this and then wear the jacket. You can find omni heat technology puff down jackets at Columbia Sports.

3. Third Layer: This is the final layer, that should protect you from wind and snow. Please consider a waterproof and windproof material. Wind chill is a major factor and can really go through your clothes. So invest in a good jacket, they run for at least 5 years or more if you take good care of it.

In this category you may want to get your self snow pants if you are going to be out and about, or want to experience skiing. I haven't bought one of these because I like staying warm, so I prefer watching the snow from my cozy space at home!!

Now for the jacket, you will have a lot of brands that sell you jackets that are specifically designed for the winters in Canada. One of the most famous brands is Canada Goose, however I find them extremely expensive and they are not animal friendly so I wouldn't go for it. There are some other brands in the market that sell jackets that you can manage with. You can look at North Face for great jackets at half the price and they are animal friendly!!! For all the women who are pregnant have a look at Thyme Maternity, since most of the brands don't cater to pregnant women. I got myself my winter jacket from there, its affordable, stylish and can be used after delivery too.

4. Accessories: Now that we have covered the main essentials, a few things that you will need are:

- Snow boots and/or rain boots (I prefer having snow and rain boots separately because the snow boots tend to get too warm for me) I got my rain boots from Hunter, they are priced on average between 170$ and 250$. I got my snow boots from Columbia Sports

- A toque (which is a very Canadian name for a winter cap) you can find these in most stores.

- Earmuffs

- Gloves or mittens, mittens will keep you warmer but you wont be able to do much with your hands. Do get a pair of touchscreen gloves that can be used on your phone without having to remove your hands from your gloves.

- Scarf

- Warm socks, however the snow boots are highly insulated and the sales team at Columbia Sports were very sure that I didn't need any socks with them.

So once you have these essentials you are ready for winter in Canada.

Just as a tip you can check out Toronto Premium Outlet, they do have some stores there with very good discounts. And always keep an eye out for sales!!!!

Happy Winter!!!

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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