"Must have" clothing for Winter in the Midwest

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
498 posts
Helper bee

A North Face jacket and Sorel boots. Cuddl Duds for under your jeans and sweaters. 

Comfort rules all in the winter up here. Don’t worry about looking goofy.

Post # 3
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Get one of the long coats that goes past the butt. They are a lifesaver. Get boots that won’t stain in the snow/salt. When it’s -32 you won’t be too worried about looking cute! I have a ton of North face 1/4 zips that I love to just throw on any day, they’re a staple for me in the winter. 

Post # 4
189 posts
Blushing bee

BeeOi:  Yes, a long coat is KEY. Unless, you like wearing leggings under your pants. Good boots and LOTS of layering clothing of varying weights. Also, I like to think of my winter coat and boots as an ‘instant outfit’ – buy something that coordinates and you feel confident in because there will be many occasions that all people see is your outerwear. NO WHITE, especially for daily wear! SNOW STAINS! I live in Michigan and take public transport 100% of the time so those are my credentials lol 

Post # 5
189 posts
Blushing bee

And by ‘good boots’ I mean waterproof, insulated, thick soles, thicker socks 🙂

Post # 6
7896 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Sorel boots, and a black cashmere sweater

Post # 7
3557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It depends on where you are in the mid west. I moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota and my winter gear which was perfectly adequate in Wisconsin didn’t cut it in Minnesota. I agree with pp that cuddle duds under the clothes are a must. As are scarves, hats, and gloves. I have a thigh length wool coat for moderate cold (all I needed in Wisconsin) and a calf length down coat that I only wear when its below 10F. If I wear it when its any warmer I over heat. One of my winter favorites are smart wool socks, wool socks make a huge difference in keeping your feet warm. I also really like the Merrell brand of snow boots. The ones I have are like snow grade hiking boots and they are really good for walking.

Post # 8
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

BeeOi:  I love my north face jacket. I got it as a gift and it’s white and the white is for sure obnoxious but doable if you’re willing to wash it frequently. But definitely a north face heavy winter jacket, I have a bunch of north face sweaters to throw on under, cuddle duds for when it’s super cold, and I have sorel joan of arctic boots that always keep my feet toasty. I usually wear thick, tall, wool boot socks as well. Sorels are the best, pretty much everyone I know wear sorels because they’re so warm and have good non slip soles. 

Post # 9
6631 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Definately a winter coat. I live in Minnesota and am appalled at all the people I have seen/know who don’t own a winter coat. It gets down right nasty here in the winter.  

Post # 10
4581 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

BeeOi:  Where specifically do you live? I’m in ND, and although MN and WI have similar weather conditions… it all varies on what area of our states you live in.

It can get downright bitter cold come January. I agree with PP about a LONG winter coat, and it’s down and puffy – even better. A good pair of boots to walk in the snow, and accessories like gloves, mittens, hats, ear warmers, etc are a necessity. Layering helps too.

I’m one where my hands get cold first, so I make sure to invest in good gloves/mittens if I know I’ll be outside longer than just going in and out of someplace. Research brands! I bought some Isotoner gloves last year – and they were so bad. My cheap mittens from Kohl’s worked better than these things, and they cost twice as much. North Face, Columbia and Patagonia make excellent winter wear items. They may be spendy – but worth the price to know you won’t freeze!

Post # 11
6435 posts
Bee Keeper

I agree with the thick coat and THICK gloves. Your hands will get COLD!

Post # 12
177 posts
Blushing bee

I am a coat whore thanks to my boyfriend. No questions asked I love Patagonia, Marmott and Arteryx. I hate North Face and Columbia. They don’t hold up very well and I don’t think that they are warm or well made. I’ve got several NF outerwear items that sit in my closet. I’ve spent a ton of money on outerwear and I’m lucky that he has the same little addiction so it’s kind of an unspoken thing we are both ok with. <br /><br />

I live in Iowa, we get a lot of snow and ice in the winter. I hate being cold. And my BF owns a snow and ice control company which means that I am out in it more than others because if it snows, it has to be controlled. I’ve spent many hours in a plow truck, pushing a snow blower or shoveling snow off of other people’s properties. We had the snowiest winter on record last year.


This is the shell coat that I have. What most people would think is a winter coat. I like it, it was very expensive and it’s great for skiing and playing outside in the snow with my son. It’s bulky and I don’t like that for everday wear.


I pair them with these snow pants. They are very warm, they are cut to fit a woman which is great and they are very durable. Again, stupid expensive.


I have this longer Patagonia parka for when I’m going to be out running around or in and out of a bunch of places. It’s very very warm. I usually wear fleece lined leggings under it with a long sleeve t shirt if we are going to be shopping or something because it is that awesome. It’s puffier than I like my coats to be but when I need to stay warm when I’m outside it’s wonderful.


This is my everyday coat when it’s windy outside. Very warm, lightweight and has a hood to keep my ears warm. I got this last year for my birthday and I wasn’t crazy about the fuzzy outside at first I can not believe that I can wear this with a dress shirt underneath outside for 45 min when the windchill is -25 and not be cold. (I’m good at locking myself out of both my house and my car occasionally) It’s slim and comfortable.


I have the prior version of this one for my non windy days everyday jacket. Again, very warm, down and the most important part of anything I wear is that it is not bulky. I hate driving in my coat when I feel like I can’t move around comfortably.

I also have work outer wear which is the Carhart coat and bibs. I don’t love them, they are ugly but warm and I won’t be mad if I get salt and dirt all over an 80 dollar coat VS a 500 dollar one.

I also wear fleece lined tights and leggings a lot. I have Patagonia hats and gloves. I wear Uggs more than I should. Layers layers layers. Cuddle duds are good. Under Armor coldgear is great for layering and is fairly inexpensive. I have way too many UA hoodies. I also have several Marmot down vests that I layer with long sleeve t shirts and scarves when it’s not too cold out.

I have sorel ugly duck boots for when I’m working and I actually just bought these…whoops…from Zappos because I think they are both cute and functional.



Sorry, long post. But if you have questions feel free to ask!

Post # 13
6959 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Really depends where in the midwest you are and how much time you plan on spending outside. A down coat that covers your butt is a definite plus, and warm mittens (I actually prefer the wool ones that people make out of sweaters, lol). I don’t wear insulated boots/hats etc unless I’m going to be shoveling snow or something.

Post # 14
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

BeeOi:  North Face (down) jacket, some warm hats (there are some absolutely adorable ones out there!), a good pair of wool mittens- or else waterproof ones if you are active in the outdoors.

I often wear Uggs (if I am not running around in snow)– there are definitely warm- and I hate wearing socks so they are a perfect match for me!

Otherwise you need good winter boots, and I reccomend buying them large enough to put a thick pair of Smart Wools or other wool socks in them.

I live in MN- and we had a brutally cold winter last year.  But if you’re dressed appropriately, it’s not all that bad!

Post # 15
458 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

BeeOi:  lol it depends on where you are in the midwest. i’m in kansas city and it’s not as cold as some other places i’ve lived (buffalo which is in the northeast and minneapolis obvi also in midwest).

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