what to wear in the cold…

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LOVE TAZA pink coat

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.

love taza boots

black coat collage

i have worn an old 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. THIS BLACK DOWN JACKET is the most similar i have found to my old one. scarf collagei 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. ;)


winter boots collage

i bought these black booties last year (shown above) and love them (just restocked in all sizes this year, too!). 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.

i also have and wear these sorel waterproof boots and they have held up really well through multiple years of wearing. this pair is a fun color scheme a little like mine.

LOVE TAZA snowsuits1LOVE TAZA snowsuits

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.

kid stuff collage

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. coats collage

our kids wear these patagonia down jackets.  here it is in classic navy and forge gray. and here is a pretty new blue color out this season.  (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. weather collagebunting collage

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.

stroller collage

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.

  1. brittany

    minnesotan here- we also get outside no matter the weather! no bad weather, only bad clothing!

    xo, brittany
    black friday finds on my blog today

  2. Laura

    Not that you haven’t given SO MANY wonderful style suggestions, I’d love to know where your ankles boots are from in the first picture with your pretty pink coat. Thank you as always for your style!!!

  3. Fernanda

    Love this! We’re always ready for cold weather too… I love polarn o. pyret as well and I feel like it fits forever haha. My son has jacket that is 1.5 – 2yo and still fits him! It will be his third winter wearing it! Totally worth paying for it.
    For me, I do like Arcterix a lot when I’m out there. Their pieces last forever and it’s so good when is snowing. Also, they just came out with a very stylish pieces for winter.



  4. Amy

    We love Bog boots. They work well in the coldest Wisconsin temperatures but also as rain boots. And they’re easy for little kids to put in themselves! I love those snow suits, but we do snow pants and separate coat and I agree that Patagonia makes the best coats. Lands End makes the best snow pant. Every single other brand we’ve tried ends up with rips or looks worn by the end of the season but this brand is durable and makes the best hand-me-downs!

  5. ks

    Thanks for sharing the J Crew coat!! I have been looking for the perfect one. I love Polarn O Pyret stuff. They are so durable. Great finds overall. Love this post. I’ll need a summer version in 6 months, please!

  6. Lucie

    Hi, our kids are also in Patagonia down jackets and I can only second what Naomi said, these jackets are well worth the investment.
    Best kids mittens we found are from Didriksons, they are waterproof have a zipper on the side which helps a lot with putting them on.

  7. Sydni Jackson

    This is so helpful! LL Bean is my go-to for all things cold-weather. You forgot to mention a good pair of sheepskin slippers ;)

  8. Yelena

    Thanks to you I also bought last year Sorel boots for my son, they are amazing. This year I already bought one new pair for him and one for me also;)) I am from Ukraine, but it was possible to buy boots on 6pn.

  9. Jessica

    I tried searching old posts, but was wonderinng if you could share what brand/style your snow pants and jacket are!! The beautiful magenta pants and maroon colored jacket?! They look like they have held up well over the years and I’d love to invest in some!

    Thank you as always for sharing, your posts and photos always warm my heart, no matter the temperature outside!! :)

  10. Teri Kennelly

    Ella’s Wool is amazing and a small business right there in NYC. We have their base layers and love them….the softest wool and so warm always. Most important part of our gear (We are in Upstate NY) :)

  11. KMOTX

    Hi! Thanks for these recommendations. What jacket is Eleanor wearing this year? These Patagonia jackets only go up to 5T. Curious because my daughter has nearly outgrown her 5T Patagonia and I am looking for a replacement in the bigger kid sizes. Thank you!

  12. Those stroller mittens looks so heavy duty and wonderfully warm! // Beatrice and Madalena look absolutely adorable bunched up in their matching Patagonias // I’m not a mother, but the title “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather” intrigues me. Seems like the lessons could be applied in other areas of life besides just motherhood! // I spent this past Thanksgiving with my friend’s family in NYC, as we’ve done for three years previously! I learned that my friend’s mom has been wearing a down vest under her down coat when she walks the dog at night. That sounded like absolute genius to me, especially since I was freeeezing in NYC on Thanksgiving (I read somewhere that it was the coldest Thanksgiving NYC has had since 1901!). I had recently bought a Uniqlo light down jacket, which I wore to NYC, and as soon as I got back home to Philly the next day, I went online to buy a Uniqlo light down vest. They’re quite warm, especially considering how light they are, but just the light down jacket wasn’t enough to keep me warm on Thanksgiving so… perhaps not the MOST heavy duty. But excellent for layering, especially since it’s so thin. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  13. Kelly

    I love your pink coat and those Patagonia puffers are adorable on your kids!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  14. Shauna

    My toddler is a size 6/7 so she won’t fit in the Sorel snow boots! Any recommendations? Thanks!

  15. CC

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention anything from UNIQLO?! I love their Heattech products and Ultra Light Down (mentioned in above comments), our whole family wears these during winter and reasonably priced!

    Yes, I agree with all your layers, good tips!

    Love your big blanket scarf… but how do you not feel so bulky with everything? And carrying a purse??

    Closing, 2 things my kids love are hats with ear flaps to keep them a bit warmer and a soft ‘snood’ (circular scarf), perfect as it doesn’t fall-off easily or get caught anywhere!

    Thanks for this post!!

  16. Teresa

    What great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    Check out Darn Tough socks. Smartwools get holes in them after a few years and the Darn Tough socks have a lifetime warranty.

  17. Abby

    Love your pink coat in the top picture! Where is it from?

    Thanks for sharing your tips on keeping warm in NYC. This is super helpful. :)

  18. Tracy

    I’ve been reading that book (There’s no such thing as bad weather). Love it! Such a good reminder for parents to get their kids outside and trust that they need to just be kids and will be ok.

  19. What a wonderful collection of items! We especially love the itty bitty snowsuits for B + M. We own an organic clothing company for infants + toddlers of pieces that grow with your child. We’d be honored to send along a little gift for your youngest girls!

    xx, kinder capsule