There is cold, and then there is COLD.

So, your considering a move to the best place on earth hey? Niceeee! We want to do our part by giving you some advice on what you will need for your winters here in the FV. First, depending on where you are moving from, you will need some context regarding Canadian winters. Its important to be clear here. We are on the Westcoast of British Columbia, so our cold is wayyyyy different than say…. Ft. McMurray’s cold. Ft. McMurray’s cold requires a “Cold Weather Must Have’s” list that will save your life. Ours is like….. awe, well these are cute!  If you try to use this list as a starting point for your big move to Yellowknife, your probably going to die. Ya feel me?

How to build your Fraser Valley winter ready wardrobe essentials!

This list doesn’t take into account that you may go to Whistler to do some skiing, or that you work outside in the weather all day. If you walk from your car to your job, and take the occasional wander around your neighborhood with the dog…this is your list. The first, most important consideration for Fraser Valley fashion (It snowed this morning, and it looks like a beautiful sunny spring day right now) is strategic layering! Not thermal layers…lets not get carried away. Just ensure you have the ability to add or subtract layers as needed.
Layering in a cool way is hard. It takes a little practice to do layers in a way that looks intentional, rather than making you look like a snowman. Here are a few tips for men, and a few for women! Also, Bootlegger has all of their layering essentials on sale for 50% this week!

Boots

Purchasing boots is complicated, if you care about fashion in the least. It’s much more important to get boots that protect you from the wet, rather than from the cold, but you don’t want rubber “rain boots” either. While your boots will likely only see rain most days, you will almost certainly have a week or so of snow to contend with, and rubber boots will make your life completely miserable, even if it’s only slightly cold out. But, you also can’t get just any boots that look beautiful, spray them with a water repellent, and carry on. You will very quickly get tired of trashing boots that look great, but hate rain. Its just so hard So. So. Hard. WHY IS IT SO HARD!!

Come through UGG! The Kesey Boots are a great choice, as are the Bonham III Boot. The Levity Clarity sky rain boot is maybe the most style focused, yet purpose built rain boot on this list. Available at Shoe Warehouse online. These Phoenix Short Lace ups from Sorel are sooooo lovely. The Emelie Chelsea boots are made specifically to be waterproof, and they are drop dead gorge…..as are the Harlow Chelsea.

Jacket

You probably won’t want a parka if you live in the Fraser Valley. You just won’t ever use it. With our temperatures rarely dipping below zero, and hovering between 5 and 8 degrees, we live in a mostly mild, mostly wet situation from November to March. However, most of the “parka’s” that fashion brands sell aren’t made for serious winter climates, they just look like they are. That makes them perfect for us!

Unfortunately, the worst type of jacket to have in our weather conditions is the type I like the most! Jackets with a wool, or wool like outer shell absorb moisture, and become heavy, smelly, and very uncomfortable. As much as I love them, and as fashiony (it’s a word so back off!) as they are at the moment, no beuno.

Look for a jacket  that will primarily protect you (and itself) from rain and wind. For the week or so that our temps dip, and we see some snow, layer it up to stay warm! A few to consider: This insulated black trench from Helly Hansen is great! This puffer coat is more casual, but I wear mine all of the time. The Winter Chill Wool Parka from Lulu Lemon is made using a waterproof technical wool fabric, so it won’t go nuts when it gets wet. While this coat is definitely made for the more wintery side of winter, its stylish and functional in equal measure. For men, check out this (or other) oil skin coats! They look cool, and are made for weather like ours!

Tights

Believe it or not, I tend to wear dresses more in the winter than I do in the summer because…tights! I also think they add a bit of zhoosh (also a word, sooooo) to an otherwise boring black winter outfit. Also, I am probably super behind on this, but did you all know that they have tights that are fleece lined?? Did you already know about this? Why didn’t you tell me?? Ricki’s has them from sz. 1-18, and all on sale. Time to stock up for next year!

Scarves

Sooooooo many choices! To make things a bit easier, lets pretend you are only ever allowed to have two scarves in your life. Since your only allowed to have two, they need to be perfect for you. Some things to consider: Usability. Get one that you can wear all year. Something lightweight that is made either from a very lightweight knit, or a wrinkle resistant woven material like Lyocell, polyester, or acrylic are all good wrinkle resistant choices. I would Insist that at least one of them could be put in the washing machine. Hand washing? Ew.

A few that are worth a look:

Hat/Touque/Beanie

For some reason, 99% of all beanies and touques are made from acrylic, wool or a combination of both. As my luck would have it, wearing nylon or wool on my bare skin feels like I am wearing a combination of sand paper, and acid. That stuff will immediately turn my skin bright red, and literally begin to eat my forehead off. I mean wool…really? We aren’t in 1852 anymore. We have fabric technology…we don’t need to torture people by making them wear wool on their skin!!

Anyone else? No? Huh.

Garage has some super cute pom pom beanies.

We hope this blog gave you some ideas about curating the perfect winter essentials for your Fraser Valley wardrobe. If not, you could always come and visit one of the 70+ retailers at Cottonwood for even MORE awesome winter essentials! Most of them are having super sales on their winter items, so its a great opportunity to stock up in case we get winter again next year!!

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