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Moving to Chicago - What's the Warmest Winter Coat?

Discussion in 'Hangout' started by Ontheblackrock15, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. lyra
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lyra » Dec 25, 2018
    Good point @pearlsngems . I have about a dozen scarves for different weather conditions. I have 3 beautiful silk scarves and I love them. I just got 2 today for Christmas. I also got a mid-warmth level coat that covers my butt. It's Hilary Radley, but would be similar to North Face. I honestly don't buy into the hype of Canada Goose. You are paying for the name. You can get good quality at more reasonable prices, which is important if you live in an area with variable winter temps. I use 4 coats from fall through spring.
     
  2. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Dec 25, 2018
    Also-- wool socks are great but they can shrink if they go through the dryer. Lately I have taken to wearing fleece socks. I found some at Marshall's that are really comfy-- LeGale brand. Not too thick.

    @lyra I have multiple coats as well-- one coat is not enough. The coat has to match the temperature and weather conditions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  3. Jimmianne
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    by Jimmianne » Dec 25, 2018
    Patagonia was going to be my suggestion. I have their "3 in one" coat which is versatile and good looking. Waterproof outer layerwith detachable hood and a zip/out down liner which is also a coat on its own. I've worn it to 8 degrees and stayed warm.
    I would highly recommend any coat from Patagonia.
     
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  4. liaerfbv
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    by liaerfbv » Dec 26, 2018
    I moved to Chicago from FL almost 3 years ago and I love it. I also had 0 experience with winter and I'm still building my winter wardrobe honestly. You can't buy everything you need immediately and you'll get some stuff and realize it doesn't work for you and buy other stuff. I would suggest mentally budgeting about $5k over 3 years to really build out wardrobes for you and your husband. Sorry for the novel but this is all stuff I wish someone had told me before I moved here from a tropical climate.

    Immediately you need:
    - socks. We like Smartwools as suggested, but I also like the Costco Kirkland brand wool blend. Much cheaper and still super warm. Darn Tough are also good. REI is great place for socks and do regular sales.
    - heaviest coat. I have this EB coat, and I honestly cannot imagine anyone being cold while wearing this coat. I tried an ankle length coat first, and it was NOT for me. I tripped on it frequently, it made going up and down stairs in El stations really difficult, and it got super dirty from muck splashing on it. You will need to figure out what works for you. Whatever you buy, it HAS TO HAVE A HOOD and I really recommend it be (faux) fur lined to keep the snow out of your eyes when it's blowing directly at your face.
    https://www.eddiebauer.com/product/parkas-for-women/20612339?showProducts=111&color=387
    - hats. Get a fleece lined beanie. I bought about 5 hats before I realized they needed to be fleece lined to actually do anything.
    - gloves. I also recommend fleece lined. Don't buy expensive gloves right off the bat because you don't know what you will like and what will annoy you least. You might want tech gloves, or you might like mittens with the flip top. Don't spend $60 on gloves and realize after 2 days that you hate them.
    - snow boots. Sorel, Eddie Bauer, Keen. They will be huge, they will be ugly, they will be hard to walk in. You wear them on the way to work, and then bring shoes to change into (or keep shoes at work).
    - non snow boots. Leather boots, and take them to cobbler to get them weatherproofed and non stick pads put on the bottom. I prefer to get shoes that have a goodyear welt vs a glued rubber sole so I can have them resoled (important since I do so much walking in the city).
    - tissues and lip balm. 8 million packs of travel tissues and lip balm. Put a pack of tissues and a chapstick in every single bag and coat you own. That way you'll never be without.
    - bag that zips for subway and buses.

    Should also get:
    - lighter coat. Midweight for days 30-40ish. I also prefer hood because you can wear it when it's snowing but not freezing outside.
    - scarves. I actually find I don't wear scarves as much as I thought I would, but they are nice to have. I have a black pashmina I keep at work, and 2 cashmere scarves I rotate through.
    - fleece lined tights/pants. I wear dresses year round, so fleece lined tights were crucial for me. I like Berkshire brand and you can get them on Amazon. They wear and wash well and I put them in the dryer with no issues. Regular tights I buy Hue. Fleece lined leggings are a lifesaver for travel. So I'll wear my dress, fleece lined tights, fleece lined leggings over that, coat and boots to work, and then take off the leggings when I get there. Be prepared for lots of dressing and undressing, lol.
    - spring jacket. Think a light canvas weight jacket. I LOVE my LLBean utility jacket and have it in 2 colors.
    https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/119...ned&bc=12-27-610-504728&feat=504728-GN2&csp=f
    - umbrella that won't turn inside out. I went through 4 before I landed on this one and I've had it for over a year now.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017PXDUWO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Nice to have:
    - earmuffs. Sometimes I've just done my hair and I don't want to ruin it with a beanie, so the muffs are a nice option.
    - fun scarves. Make it fashion if that's your thing.
    - backups of everything. I keep a hat, scarf, and gloves in my bag all the time. The weather here can change pretty drastically so you leave in the morning and it's 30d and when you walk out of work its 15d with a wind chill that feels like 0d. That scarf you have shoved in your bag keeps you from dying on the El platform.
    - rain boots/rain jacket. I like mid calf height boots and found the knee highs to be difficult to walk in.

    In general, I try to wear as few layers as possible. I would rather be a tiny bit cold outside than sweating to death on a train. Over 20d I'm wearing regular clothes, long or short sleeves with tights and midweight coat. 0-20d I wear fleece tights, throw a cardigan over my dress with my midweight coat and add a hat/gloves. Below 0 I'm dressing for the apocalypse with my heaviest coat. No one told me that your breath actually freezes INSIDE YOUR NOSE. That was a new experience for me to rub my nose and hear ice crystals crunching. Then you walk inside and they melt and run out of your nose like snot gush. Be prepared with tissues!! Be smarter than me!

    Places I shop for winter shit:
    - Amazon
    - REI
    - Sierra Trading Post
    - Eddie Bauer
    - LLBean
    - Land's End

    Things I found to be overrated and not useful for me: silk base layers, long johns, thermal tank tops, wool sweaters

    I'm happy to tell you what worked for my husband as well if that would be helpful!

    I'll also do a post on what will happen to your face and hair since this one is already absurdly long. You don't even know how much money I spent to keep my face from peeling.

    ETA: You also need to buy cans of Static Guard to keep at home and work!
     
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  5. Uni
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    by Uni » Dec 26, 2018
    To answer your layering question, think blazers, cardigans, as well as thermals underneath tops and bottoms. I 2nd the Uniqlo heattech line. I haven't had them long, so I can't speak to longevity, but they are warm. I like these better than silks I've gotten from Lands End, etc. Outdoorgear.com does reviews on all sorts of things and can give you some options that might suit you.

    My favorite gloves are the Swedish brand, Ojbro. They're very warm without looking like you're headed to the slopes. They are often backordered but they do have a line with touchscreen capability. They also have socks, which I'll probably try next. Currently, I use SmartWool socks and do like them.
    https://www.sweaterchalet.com/ojbro/
     
  6. liaerfbv
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    by liaerfbv » Dec 26, 2018
    Face/hair/body.

    Ohhh boy. So I had literally no idea that dry air and winter static would do a number on my face and hair. So I just moved here and kept using all my same products. I woke up in November and my entire face was peeling. Like I was recovering from a sunburn peeling. My hair was straw, my entire body was ashy (despite using lotion!), and I was a mess. I went to Sephora and basically cried at a sales girl (that poor girl).

    I recommend stocking up on sheet masks now. I had never used them until I moved here, but it's the quickest way to get moisture into your skin that it's not getting from the air anymore. Moving here in the middle of winter will be even worse sadly, but be prepared and it hopefully won't be as horrible a transition for you.

    My face routine in FL: wash face (Cetaphil) and moisturizer (nothing fancy-from the grocery store)

    My face routine in IL:
    (morning)
    1. Wash with La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser. My holy grail of cleansers. Took me about 20+ face washes to find one that didn't make my face feel tight.
    2. Chemical exfoliant (crucial for keeping the peeling under control). I rotate between Pixi Glow Tonic (more gentle) and Biologique Recherche’s P50 (more intense).
    3. Toner. Something with hyaluronic acid, I like Dermae hydrating mist.
    4. The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Essence Lotion- not a "lotion" but more like a liquid serum
    5. Moisturizer - HG is Beauty Without Cruelty Skin Renewal Moisturizing Lotion

    Night is pretty much the same but I double cleanse with Body Shop cleansing butter, skip the chemical exfoliant and add retinol. I also layer an oil if my skin is feeling dry (I like The Ordinary Squalene Oil). Every other night I wash and tone and then do a sheet mask, then everything else. Winter nighttime I use Dermae Hydrating Night Cream as my final moisturizer. If things are feeling really horrible and dry, I add Badger Beauty Balm on top and seal it all with Laneige Water Sleeping Mask (it stays on overnight). Writing this all out makes me feel insane- if you had told me 3 years ago I would spend this much time (and money) on my face, I would have laughed at you for a very long time. But it is so dry here that this is the bare minimum I can get away with to keep me peel free and feeling like a human in the winter.

    Hair- I had to switch to shampoo for dry hair (which mine never was in FL). Still haven't found THE ONE.

    Body- Lubriderm Intensely Hydrates Extra-Dry Skin is THE lotion for everything else. I have a travel size in all my bags, and bottles at work and home. If you aren't careful your hands and knuckles will crack and bleed. My husband prefers Badger Healing Balm.

    All this said, it's totally worth it to live here. I'd take all the dry skin in the world. Good luck!
     
  7. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » Dec 26, 2018
    @liaerfbv my face and scalp "molt" every autumn when the humidity lowers and temps drop. I have to really stay on top of my moisturizing routine and scalp care during the cold, dry months. Worst case scenario: always have hydrocortisone cream handy--don't use for more than 2 weeks at a time, but if you get problem areas on your face or scalp it works miracles in mere hours. I don't do anything else besides remove makeup with a fragrance-free baby wipe at the end of the day, rinse with tepid water, pat dry, and moisturize. I realize that not everyone is so low-maintenance, however.

    Another very handy device for surviving the winter months is a personal humidifier. Another PSr recommended using a very small one in my bedroom--I couldn't believe that such a tiny humidifier would be so impactful--and this would work for an office as well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017CWXKDC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    This is the body butter I have used for 15+ years: https://www.amazon.com/Tree-Hut-Int...45855872&sr=1-3-spons&keywords=tree+hut&psc=1

    Socks: https://www.keenfootwear.com/p/W-MT...W_color=1018136&cgid=accessories_socks_womens . I have 4 pairs of Keen socks that have lasted through winters since 2012. I don't wash them after every wear. Maybe every 4-5 wears. They are seriously amazing and I can't live without them.

    Get an insulated waterproof boot. They don't have to be ugly or unstylish. https://www.lacanadienneshoes.com/us/boots?product_waterproof=257/
    I actually gave my LCs to a Floridian who moved here last winter and thought she could get around campus on her bike without proper footwear and not die. (I live in Indiana now but it's still cold and snowy in the winter.) I wear a North Face waterproof black suede boot when it's nasty outside now, but I work from home and didn't have a need for "pretty" winter boots anymore.

    I really would stick with wool base layers. I know wool seems an unlikely choice for undies, but I can personally attest to its positive attributes and ability to adjust temp-wise to different environments. Think of a Merino sheep: "Merino sheep are hardy and thrive in environments, which are much too harsh for other domesticated sheep breeds. They are well suited to the high altitudes and mountainous landscapes, for example, in New Zealand’s South Island high country, where temperatures can range from 35°C in summer to -15°C in winter." --http://www.zqmerino.co.nz/merino-faqs/ . If you choose not to do wool, please also consider the stink factor between synthetic (like under armour or patagonia capilene) and wool. Wool is naturally antimicrobial. Synthetic fibers are not, and bacteria clings to them regardless of how often and vigorously they are laundered, so you get a garment that develops an odor after several wears. Wool will never do that, and in fact, you don't have to launder wool very often at all. (see socks comment above.)

    Last: https://www.pendleton-usa.com/produ...8104_color=1808&cgid=women#start=2&cgid=women . A wool flannel shirt is an essential layering piece for me. Not necessarily a go-to for city life, but on weekends when you want something cozy, you can layer it with a tank, down or fleece vest, or alone under a warm coat. On warmer fall/spring days you don't even need a jacket. Wool is seriously amazing. If you can get your hands on a really well-made one, you'll have it for years and years.
     
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  8. LaylaR
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    by LaylaR » Dec 26, 2018
    Face, hair and body.

    I TOTALLY second the recommendation of The Ordinary's Plant Derived Squalane. I use it here, in CA, under my daily moisturizer when I need extra moisturizing (we don't get that cold but we get dry). My skin is super sensitive and prone to break outs and getting oily with most (even oil free) moisturizers and this is the single best moisturizing product of I've used.

    Chapstick, Burts Bees, EOS, Blistex, and other products like that do not work for me at all. The best chapped lips cure I've found is Aquaphor (it's an ointment you can buy at any drugstore). I also like it for dry hands more than any hand lotion I've used.

    Target has a nice brand of affordable scrubs and creams I like called Soap and Glory. I use this for my skin in the winter when things get dry. I also like the Body Shop and Kiehl's and Aveeno. I do not like Bath and Body works and Neutrogena irritates my skin.

    My hair also needs extra moisturizing in the winter and I use a hair masque at least once a week. I've used most of the top recommended brands on the market and my favorite right now is Wella FusionPlex.

    In the house:

    Flannel PJs. I never thought I'd love these. I'm not a flannel person (though my husband is). The nicest cotton flannel I've found is LL Beans's Chamois line. So long lasting and thick and soft. Pendleton has the best wool Flannel (not for PJ's but for wearing), but my husband won't wear wool flannel even in outside layers as the collars rub him raw. Costco carries flannel Munki Munki PJs that are okay every year in the fall. They are very affordable and thick but the waist is low and they shrink when I first wash them.

    I'm not a fan of fleece now that I have way too many cats, but I used love it in the winter. Fleece is still what I usually buy for the couch blankets and throws, but only certain ones are compatible with the cat hair so I have to shop carefully.

    I used one of these: http://www.thecompanystore.com/comforters/legends-luxury-geneva-down-comforter/c2r9-ps-h16.html Extra Warmth. Or http://www.thecompanystore.com/comforters/legends-luxury-royal-baffled-comforter/c2t3-ps-j16.html Ultra Warmth. Totally worth the cost (and they are on sale right now) and Company Store's products are really durable and long lasting and you can trust the reviews to be honest. I still have my heavy comforter and we use it when we go camping and it gets below freezing.

    Flannel Sheets. Again, never thought I'd like these. But... Company Store also has the best ones I've bought. Their Velvet flannel and their 5 oz flannel are the ones I buy. I also use these still when we go camping.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  9. liaerfbv
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    by liaerfbv » Dec 27, 2018
    Oh something else I thought of this morning - seasonal affective disorder. When I lived in the land of sun, I honestly thought this was a joke. Then I moved here and fell into a deep dark hole of gray depression. My dr diagnosed me with SAD, I take extra Vitamin D year round, Wellbutrin in the winter months, and I am VIGILANT about using a lightbox every single day. The lightbox has really been the key thing that keeps my head above water. I have a powerful one I use at home in the mornings for 30 min while I get ready, and then I have a smaller one I keep on all day in my office.

    I hope I'm not scaring you!! Chicago is really amazing, but these were all things I was completely unprepared for moving here because they had never been part of my life before.
     
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  10. liaerfbv
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  11. luv2sparkle
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    by luv2sparkle » Dec 27, 2018
    This thread makes this California girl want to go out and buy a warm coat.
     
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  12. LaylaR
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    by LaylaR » Dec 27, 2018
    I am going to order these! Thank you for the recommendation!

    Regarding SAD: I get it too and so does my husband. I was lucky that in NJ we were by the coast the the weather is milder and the sun shines more than many other areas in the state. But it's a serious problem. Especially since here in CA 'winter" really only lasts from December to mid-March. In NJ the cold and inclement weather starts in November and lasts until May at times. We couldn't plant a garden until Memorial Day some years. I'm used to planting a veggie garden here by the first week of April. And it is surprising how incredibly LONG those extra months feel. Like winter is never going to end.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
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  13. LaylaR
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    by LaylaR » Dec 27, 2018
    Have you tried Living Proof? I use their Restore Line. They have travel sizes you can get to try. It's not perfect, but it's the best I've found so far at balancing my hair and scalp's needs. I did not like the Perfect Hair Day line, FYI. But I've heard good things about the Timeless line as well.
     
  14. Barrett
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Barrett » Dec 27, 2018
    I would recommend a North Face Thermoball Triclimate jacket with the
    AR550 LEVEL III+ BODY ARMOR PLATES AND SPARTAN CYCLONE LIGHT WEIGHT SENTRY PLATE CARRIER PACKAGE.
    Warm and safe from the cold and the gunfire.
    its chicago ya know....a couple years ago it was as bad as Juarez, Mexico and Johannesburg, S.A. ....;)):mrgreen::-o ;-) :)

    Sorry...don't mean to scare you...lol....first thing I thought of when I saw u were moving to "shy town".....lol.....
    Hawaii to Chicago....jeez....big move and culture shock, ya know. Good luck.
    P.S.
     
  15. Ontheblackrock15
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    by Ontheblackrock15 » Dec 28, 2018
    Oh man, I think I'm gonna have to tell FI that we're gonna stay here after all. Who needs career development anyway?!?

    But in all seriousness, thank you for all the tips!!! I used to live in Ireland, and while it gets cooler and darker in the winter, it would rarely drop below freezing. Before that, I lived in New England and grew up in Ohio, but we would mostly drive in our nice warm cars to get where we needed to go :mrgreen2:. I acclaimated to the Hawaiian weather in about 1.5 weeks, and now I complain that anything below 68 is cold and pull out the fleece pj's :lol-2:. I completely forgot that I used to own a dozen chapsticks, that my hair would just fall straight and dry no matter what, and that I needed lotion for my legs. Ughhhhhh I'm going to miss my beachy waves :cry2::cry2:. Maybe he'll move now, and I can join him in, say, May? May seems like a safe month...
     
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  16. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Dec 28, 2018
    If you lived in New England and Ohio it will all come back to you. The winter temperatures there are not so widely off Chicago temps. It isn't like Houston versus Minnesota!
     
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  17. 2Neezers
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    by 2Neezers » Dec 29, 2018
    I don’t know if you like to bargain shop or prefer more upscale shopping, but if you like a good deal, since you will need lots of new winter clothes and will be figuring out what you like and don’t like, I would suggest taking a trip to the outlet mall to stock up. https://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet/chicago
    The Eddie Bauer, Lands End and Columbia outlets have incredible deals on winter coats!
    I love Columbia’s Omni-Heat jackets. They are lined with a silver thermal reflective material that reflects and holds in your body heat. It sounds like a gimmick, but it works for me! Eddie Bauer parkas are super comfy and warm as well.
     
  18. Ontheblackrock15
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    by Ontheblackrock15 » Dec 29, 2018
    Oh I hope so!!! For some reason I always thought that Chicago was colder. Even if it isn't, I'm sure the first few months will feel that way to me hahaha!!:mrgreen2:
     
  19. Ontheblackrock15
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    by Ontheblackrock15 » Dec 29, 2018
    Thanks!! Bargain shopper here for sure. Love outlets!!

    We found out that shipping our stuff is charged by the pound, so there's another reason to hold off on purchases until we move.
     
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  20. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Dec 29, 2018
    These certainly may not be correct, but I found some sites quickly to see what sort of comparisons I could come up with. (Sorry for the dangling preposition.) Chicago looks just a tad colder to me. I am not accounting for wind chill, of course.

    Average Cleveland Temperatures
    High Low
    34 22 January
    38 24 February
    47 30 March

    Average Chicago Temperatures
    31 17 January
    35 20 February
    47 29 March

    PS-All of these temperatures are one heck of a lot colder than where I am in New England, but-in southern Connecticut-I barely make it into New England. I live as far south as one can and still be in New England. My friends in Maine live in an entirely different world!
     
  21. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Dec 29, 2018
    I wear a north face fleece and a land's end down jacket over. Layers work best for me.
     
  22. AGBF
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    by AGBF » Dec 30, 2018
    Hi, Tacori-

    I just noticed that we are 417 postings apart as of this moment, with you at 19,956 postings and me at 19,539 postings. That's pretty amazing. We are slow compared to some given when we joined Pricescope, but we look as if we may close in on 20,000 postings each soon. Congratulations to you. :))

    Deb :wavey:
     
  23. chemgirl
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    by chemgirl » Dec 30, 2018
    Around here people are moving away from Canada Goose jackets. I have a Columbia Omni heat which is warm, but I don’t love the style and it could be warmer.

    My sister has a Moose Knuckles long coat that I absolutely love. I borrowed it over the holidays to run errands in -30 C and I wasn’t cold at all. They’re also nicer looking than your average winter coat. https://www.mooseknucklescanada.com/en/stirling-parka-lds-mk2003lp/
     
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  24. monarch64
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    by monarch64 » Dec 31, 2018
    I really cannot get over the Moose Knuckles name. My SO and I were out shopping a few weeks ago and passed a sign or something with the name on it and he said "they can't be serious with that name, can they?" :lol-2:
     
  25. Tacori E-ring
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    by Tacori E-ring » Dec 31, 2018
    I'm in good company then! :wavey: I still remember your generous cake for my 10K.
     
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  26. lambskin
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    by lambskin » Jan 2, 2019
    Chicago has different temps throughout the winter. You will need more than one coat. Yes a full length down puffer coat is optimal on subzero low windchill days. But you may be sweating in same when it is in the high 20s-low 30s. A wool coat-car length or longer works well when it is in the 40s-30s and high 20s and looks stylish. Just make sure you wear a hat, scarf and mittens. I see a ton of Canadian Goose coats worn fully zipped in temps of 40s and 30s so I figure they really must be toasty-perhaps too toasty if these coats are made for sub zero temps. If you are not anti-fur a full length mink or sheared beaver is the warmest. Don't forget a pair of waterproof boots for snowy/sleet days and a stylish pair or leather boots when the streets and sidewalks are dry.
     
  27. chemgirl
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    by chemgirl » Jan 2, 2019
    I know right?! They’re really nice though.
     
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  28. KristinTech
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    by KristinTech » Jan 5, 2019
    3D4A8684-4875-4BC3-8A23-D6ED3181B549.jpeg
    All she wanted was her giant birthday lollipop and to go back to the hotel room for the view. City is light up orange and blue for the Bears!



    BE2A1569-FDC8-4BD7-8791-0ED92E4D8CC5.jpeg

    We are visiting for our youngest’s birthday this weekend. I brought my Land’s End coat and I haven’t needed it at all this weekend! Who would have thought! January in Chicago and no winter coat. :lol:
     

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