i have had a lot of questions about winter attire for both mamas and their little ones after my nyc guide post on what to do over the holidays here in new york city, so i thought i’d round up everything from our merino wool base layers to snow boots to favorite winter jackets to stroller mittens (yes, stroller mittens. i love me my cozy warm stroller mittens.)
full disclosure here about me and winter attire: i kinda suck at dressing myself appropriately for the winter conditions. i really hate wearing socks, which means i often sport a bare ankle in the cold, and if i had a quarter for every time my husband kindly reminds me i’d be warmer if i buttoned up my jacket, well. i’d have a lot of quarters. that being said, i do make sure my babies and kiddos are properly fitted for the cold, snow, wind, whatever. and i have found some solid and true pieces we keep going back to year after year because of it.
since we live in a city, we pretty much walk everywhere we need to go, or else walk to a subway station to take the train. occasionally, a taxi. but more often than not, we are in the outdoors no matter the weather conditions. walking to and from school with the kids, to church, to playgrounds or a friend’s apartment or the museum or wherever we might be heading. i think it does all of us a lot of good to get out in the fresh air regardless of what the temperatures are, and it’s amazing how resilient my kids often are to the weather. i’m noticing they often pick up on my own cues. if i don’t complain or vocally address my frustration with the weather, it honestly doesn’t phase them in the slightest. (ps. i also recently read the book there’s no such thing as bad weather to help me prep better for winter this year as a mama and i highly recommend reading it. it’s a good one.)
i hope this is helpful and answers any questions on where i’ve found specific things many have inquired about. and please share below in the comments if you love any particular brand or product to help with warmth this coming season.
i have worn this black puffer coat from j.crew for so many winters now and i keep going back to it. i like that it gives you a little shape with the tie around the waist and also i like that it’s warm. it looks like they got rid of the faux fur trim on the collar this year which is a bummer because i like that detail, but this is the exact same coat besides that. i believe it’s 40% off right now, too. i have also been loving bigger blanket scarves this season and have been wearing these two (both under $50) on repeat. on the left, my blush pink blanket scarf (it comes in so many good colors i also snagged it in the dark grey) and on the right, this leopard scarf, too.
as for other clothing items for you to shield against the cold, i find merino wool base layers like this top and these bottoms very helpful. they are thin and breathable enough that you can wear them under your clothing and they transition well when you’re in the cold and then heading indoors for a bit. it’s the only sort of under layer i have found to really properly work.
and for the kids, the same thing. merino wool layers under their clothing as well, all winter long. i don’t recommend getting the romper zip up kind (get the two piece kind instead), because with all the layers and coats and snowsuits, it does make bathroom breaks such a headache. trust me from someone who learned this the hard way as a mother at a ski resort once. ;)
i bought these black booties last year (shown above) and love them. i get a lot of questions about them so i hope this can help all who have been looking to track down a pair this winter! very comfortable and also super warm. here is the black leather version, and here they are in more sizes in a dark brown suede color. ps. here is the version with a slight heel in black leather.
these performance snowsuits are what our kids wear. eleanor still fits in the 6 year size because the sizing is very generous and you usually need to size down. we try to oversize it a bit so we can get a couple years wear out of each one before handing down to the next sibling, and it’s worked out well so far. they are so durable, so warm. made with a good material for rain and snow or whatever. you can take the fleece liner out and wear it in the rainy and slightly warmer spring months too.
i really hate socks (have i mentioned that already?! ha!) but if i’m wearing boots and it’s crazy cold, i steal my husband’s smartwool socks. they are hands down the very best. they have great ones for men (here and here) as well. actually, josh is the one who introduced me to smartwool socks way back when we were dating, so maybe the guys in your life are already on top of the warm socks thing. you are probably on top of it, too. it’s probably just me and my cold ankles that never knew of them before. we also put our kids in them, always. they wear these ones.
these kid sorel boots are amazing and all of my kids wear them every winter. they don’t seem to be too heavy for running and playing in, and they keep their feet very dry (they’re water proof!) and very warm.
we also love these insulated mittens for the kids. they have the glove version as well if you prefer it, but they’re not as warm and harder to put on. these fleece ski hats that you can wear under helmets or other larger beanies and hats are genius. if it’s really cold outside, we’ll put these on the kids.
our kids wear these patagonia down jackets. here it is in classic navy and forge gray. and here is the marigold color that samson is wearing this year and also in the dark currant color that eleanor owns. (they can sell out quickly of the fun colors so i tried to track down as many links as i could from different places that still have a few in stock.) we have preferred this coat to all others each year because it’s a 600-fill-power duck down that is responsibly and humanely sourced and also super compressible and lightweight so you can pack it down to nothing. it keeps their body temperatures in check in crazy cold temperatures and also works on just mild days. while it is on the more expensive side, they last great and patagonia has one of the best warranty policies around. give it to a sibling, a friend, save it for a grandchild, sell it back to patagonia.
this is the baby bunting version of the patagonia down jacket which madalena and beatrice have been wearing this season. samson and conrad also wore one of these over the winters when they were smaller here in nyc and while we’ve traveled and i will forever sing their praises.
other genius things i recommend for cold weather:
stroller mittens! keep your hands warm while you push your stroller around the city or neighborhood. a stroller bunting for your baby (we call them baby sleeping bags over here) is also a life saver. some strollers have a specific design made specifically to fit your stroller, but the this one linked here is a universal one that fits most if not! because we don’t have a car in the city, this is so helpful for keeping your home base (your stroller on the go) warm and comfortable when you’re trekking through whatever weather you might be dealing with.
it also doesn’t hurt to bring a canteen that is insulated with you everywhere you go full of hot chocolate and marshmallows. ;) we love klean kanteen and use our regular insulated growler we normally keep water cold in year round. or maybe some hot chocolate in the colder months?!
note on cost: sometimes a solid snow suit or down jacket can feel like an investment piece in terms of the cost. but i’ve learned that when you invest in a good piece, maintain it, repair it, and even save it to hand down to the next little one when the size is right, you can save more money and are happier in the long run (often because less expensive options don’t last and don’t work well). we have a few patagonia pieces and merino wool undergarments that beatrice and madalena will wear which all three of our older kids have worn over the years. size up when you can to get two years worth of wear out of it (can be tricky to know because kids grow so fast sometimes!), but a lot of places like patagonia will give you a credit when you bring your old coat in to recycle if sizing doesn’t work the following year. i love that they do that.
anyway! cold weather! we are ready for you. (or at least that is what i keep chanting to myself whenever i pull up the weather app on my phone and see how freaking low the temps are already.) would love to hear of any other things you wear or use to keep yourself and little ones cozy and warm while out in the cold.