Ask the Editor: Winter Weather Problems

Feb 20, 2019

Is it cold where you live?  It’s absolutely freezing in Montana, but at least the snow is dry.  In D.C., the wet, rain-like snow was the worst.  Here are a few reader questions to get you through the remainder of the slick winter weather.

Hi Abra,

I live in chilly Boston, where winter seems to last forever. I’m looking for a raincoat, but it needs to have a little insulation or “weight” to it because rainy weather is cold here! I’d like it to be stylish yet professional enough to wear to my conservative medical job. I figure you have had a lot of experience with rainy weather, so I’d love to see your ideas. Thanks!

– LaureN

D.C. can be so deceptively cold thanks to the humidity.  And the rain makes it worse.  Of course, I discovered my go-to cold-weather, waterproof trench coat after I moved.

This Helly Hansen Welsey trench is waterproof and insulated for cold days.  I am warm until the temps dip below freezing, but if I add a zip-up underneath, I can stay warm to about 20-degrees.  But this thing is impervious to both wind and water.  It also looks like a classic trench and comes in this great Beluga shade, a green-black, and a soft grey color.

Other options from past reader suggestions include this Land’s End Squall Parka ($95), which also comes in plus.  If water resistant will help you enough, LL Bean also has their warm core down parka for super chilly days.

And my last suggestion comes from a somewhat new-to-me brand called Outdoor Ventures.  A friend who lives in Vancouver bought this coat on Amazon and swears up and down it is the best purchase she’s ever made.  Best of all, it’s just $90.

Hi Abra,

Have you or anyone you know ever used one of those electric warming pads for coffee/tea mugs? I drink my coffee so slow it’s cold by the time I’m half way through. Maybe I should just pour myself smaller cups…

Thanks!  J

All I want when my cubicle is freezing is a hot beverage.  And it’s always a disappointment when I have to abandon my steaming cup of Orange Pekoe with a splash of milk and head down to the Senate Floor where beverages are not allowed, but it’s just as cold.  Here are a few suggestions.

A former co-workers had an Ember coffee warming cup, which he adored like it was his child.  Using the little warming tray, the cup keeps your beverage at the perfect temperature from “the first sip to the last.”  When our boss bought him the Ember Travel Mug as a holiday gift, I thought he might cry he loved the thing so much.

I own this $18 mug warmer that I use when it’s really cold out.  It will work with almost any mug, and it’s affordable enough that you can have one at work and one at home.

But since my current office suffers from a lack of plug-ins, I just bought this Simple Modern Scout Coffee Mug.  It’s a Hydroflask knock-off, but it keeps my drink hot for the better part of the day.  I haven’t had a cold sip of tea since I bought it.

Hi Abra.

My hair is extra staticky this winter.  It’s so bad, I can barely leave the house.  How do I tone it down?  I look like Albert Einstein.

Kali

The winter dryness can cause a lot of us to experience hair static.  Self has a few tips on how to combat electrically charged hair.  But for me, I find a simple remedy works best, I spray my hair brush with Static Guard.

If this doesn’t work for you, have no fear, there are some products you can try.  First, give a simple leave-in conditioner, like Not Your Mother’s Hair Perfector.  This extra moisture should help tame excess static.  R + Co. also makes a solution called Laid Back, for those with a serious frizz and static problem.

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  1. Chelsea says:

    I’ve been using the R&Co Foil all winter and it’s been game-changing!

  2. Sara says:

    Embers, while pricey, are the best. I bought one for my boyfriend for his birthday and he LOVES the matte black.

    PSA They sell them at Starbucks, so if you have a gift card you can use it towards that….

  3. Lindsey says:

    I’ve gotten 2 coworkers the little coffee mug hotpot things, and they’ve both loved them. I really should get one for myself… I bought both of them the $10 Mr. Coffee one on Amazon and they’ve worked great. Also consider using a Tervis Tumbler or Yeti mug!

  4. Kay says:

    I have an ember travel mug, it was a gift for Christmas. I like it although I probably would of opted for the regular mug. I didn’t realize how long I take to drink my coffee, but it is apparently closer to 3 hours!

  5. Jenn S. says:

    Abra, the Zojirushi you use for water is excellent for keeping warm and hot beverages at your desired temperature. 🙂

    • Belle says:

      I find it tougher to drink hot beverages from, but yes, it does keep them warm. I use it like a Thermos sometimes.

    • Julia says:

      I agree that the Zojirushi thermos is great. I start drinking my tea around 8, and it’s usually still warm if I have some left at lunch. I just pour a little out at a time into a mug. I have three of them that I alternate through all week.

  6. Anna says:

    I bought a Rove travel mug from TJMaxx a few months ago, and that thing is magic! Keeps my drink almost too hot, and depending on how often I open it, it’s still hot hours later. I’ve heard that insulated mugs can be hit or miss, even with the same brand and style (a slight air leak can make all the difference), so it doesn’t hurt to test a few out with hot water before committing. Also, they shouldn’t be run through the dishwasher as that can break the vacuum seal.

  7. Christine says:

    Re: static hair – I have very fine hair and was battling the static like crazy this winter. Styling products usually weigh my hair down, but I tried the Alterna Bamboo Kendi Dry Oil Mist – IT WORKED. Calmed down the static, made my hair very soft and did not make my hair greasy or weighed down. Very inexpensive too!

  8. Mac says:

    I second the Static Guard recommendation for eliminating static in your hair. Spray it on a brush and your hair is immediately transformed and it can last all day. It is also great for clothes that stick to you. The Static Guard does not leave behind any gross residue or weigh down my very fine hair.

    If I have static hair and no Static Guard around, I’ll spray hair spray in the palm of my hand and work it through the ends of my hair to weight it down. If somewhere without Static Guard or hair spray, I’ll put a very small dab of lotion in my hands and lightly touch it to the very ends of the hair. The lotion isn’t the best option but it keeps your hair from sticking to your face.

  9. Jay says:

    I find that simple dryer sheets work best for static in my hair! Super easy to throw in your purse and it works like a charm. Just be sure to get the name brand ones, as they’re usually covered in more of the static reducing wax (?) than the budget versions. Plus it makes your hair smell nice 🙂

  10. Sarah says:

    Try the Zojirushi coffee mug (Amazon). It will keep your coffee warm until the next day!

  11. Valerie says:

    Thank you for the recommendation of the HH wesley trench! I bought it in black and have loved it in later winter cold and rain…. and then bought it in the green-black shade which is super unique (I got 15% off the black one and 30% off the green one). This is truly the raincoat I have been looking for for years – the flair of a trench with the warmth of primaloft. The two purchases have seriously made my life better. (and aside: I love all your recs but especially love recs of products you have actually worn/used and really like)

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