The Weekly Edit: Gear for Winter Weather

Feb 11, 2021

The low temperature in Helena on today is going to be -24.  The high is -9.  So winter has officially arrived in Big Sky Country, and she is determined to make an entrance.

There is no coat that will keep you warm enough at these temperatures. Your only hope for being able to walk to the mailbox, cross the grocery store parking lot, or take your dog outside is layering.  Here are some key pieces for frigid days.

Let’s go clockwise from the LL Bean Quarter Zip // I love this quilted sweatshirt.  First off, the stitching, quarter zip, and leather accents make it look nicer than your average sweatshirt.  This would definitely dress up a Zoom call.

The sweatshirt comes in 10 colors.  It also comes in sizes XS to XL, misses, tall, petite, and plus.

Uniqlo Heattech Ultra Warm Top and Leggings // Want a very warm base layer?  Your fellow readers were singing Heattech’s praises, so I bought a pair of leggings.  And, whoa.  So warm.

They make several Heattech pieces, but start with the leggings and the top.  If your office is really cold, their camisoles can keep you warm under your business attire.  They also make clothes for men, kids and babies.

Heat Holders Socks // Smartwool socks used to be my go-to, but these Heat Holders are noticeably warmer.  The brand also makes hats, gloves and neck warmers.

J.Crew Perfect Winter Boots // Sadly, my favorite winter boots from J.Crew are sold out in all but a handful of sizes.  I love my Sorel Caribou boots (a total classic), but the J.Crew boots are lighter and easier to wear for long periods of time.  These insulated Sherpa boots are also worth a look.  Wide feet?  Try these Pacific Mountain boots.

LL Bean Lined Canvas Cargo Pants // Carhartt’s will keep you really warm.  Almost nothing will keep you warmer.  But they’re pretty expensive if you don’t really need them.  That’s why I like these lined LL Bean Cargo Pants (also in petite).

I like that the LL Bean pants look like regular cargo pants.  They don’t look heavy or bulky.  I also like that they’re a little bit stylish and still very warm.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

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  1. Kate says:

    I have the LL Bean Quilted Quarterzip too and couldn’t agree more! It’s comfortable, stylish, and very cozy. Thinking of picking up a second color!

    • Jen says:

      I also have this LL Bean zip sweatshirt in gray. My husband bought it for me for Christmas, and it’s really nicest sweatshirt I’ve ever owed! So soft and high quality!

      Thanks for this post…I, too, am freezing this week!

    • MM says:

      Ditto! It’s absolutely my favorite sweatshirt, and a real struggle not to buy it in every color. Highly recommend!

      • Amanda says:

        Yes! This sweatshirt is amazing. The texture and leather are enough that it looks nice on work Zooms. Super cozy and the pocket is great.

    • HW says:

      How does this fit for people who are pear-shaped and shorter (I’m a small/4/6P on top but a M/8 on bottom)? I love the look but am leery of the straighter lines…

  2. Allison says:

    Thanks for this post! I wish they had those LL Bean pants in my size, now I will have to stalk them.

  3. Minnesota says:

    Sunny and cold in Mpls today with a high of zero and a low of -12. I cannot overstate the value of a base layer. And toasty slippers over warm socks. And a fleece blanket to keep on your lap (out of Zoom range!).

  4. Jane says:

    I have the LL Bean sweatshirt in grey and really like it. Have you ever tested any of the LL Bean winter boots? I’ve been wondering how they stack up to Sorels, which are a tad narrow for a good fit for me.

    • Leigh says:

      I have had Bean Boots for winter my whole life and adore them. My whole life probably means three or four pairs over 48 years; they last forever. I have wide feet and get a half size up from my normal shoe, but this works well because it accommodates thicker socks too. I normally wear an 8 1/2 shoe and own these in a 9.

      I also got a pair of their Adult Blundstone 585 Chelsea Boots in October and they are my favorite boots of all time. Super comfortable, warm, dry, and stylish. Highly recommend. You might want to try these on for sizing, because they recommend you go at least a size up and get their super comfy insole. I have these in a 10.

      The difference between the two is that I would never shovel my driveway during a sleet storm in anything other than my Bean Boots and I always reach for my Blundstones when going out in a pair of jeans. Bean boots are superlative for keeping out water. Both have good non-slip soles.

    • rebecca says:

      +1 for Bean boots! I’ve owned by current pair for at least 11 years (I just spotted them in some old pictures the other day). Honestly, they could’ve been purchased 15 years ago, they’ve held up so well, and I really don’t remember how long I’ve had them. I re-seal them every couple of years with Bean’s boot guard (not an onerous task, I usually do it while watching tv, and a tub will last for several resealing applications). I live in DC, so might have to reseal them more often if snow was a bigger or more frequent event.

  5. Alison says:

    I’m another devotee of the Uniqlo Heattech line. I lived in my thin Heattech leggings under jeans during all my fall walks/outdoor happy hours.

    The Heattech top and tank top are also wonderful for layering for insulation under lightweight blouses, which has allowed me to really upgrade my Zoom style rather than living in sweatshirts.

    • N. says:

      LOVE the Uniqlo HeatTech line! I’ll wear pieces both to work and as base layers while hiking in the winter. Every piece I’ve bought has been well worth the (affordable) price!

      • Anon says:

        +1 Another fan of the Uniqlo Heattech. They do a body as well as the top, which is a godsend for keeping druaghts out. Took mine to Svalbard and was very glad of them.

  6. Audrey M says:

    I have the J Crew boots from last year! They really are great. And the plaid gives it just a little character 🙂

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