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How a few clothing changes made me hate winter (a little) less

I hate winter. I hate everything about it. I hate the snow. I hate the cold. I hate the feeling that comes when you have to drag yourself out of your warm bed and into the freezing air during the winter months. I hate the darkness and the ice. Despite all this, I have always lived in colder climates.

This means that for about four or five months every year, I am miserable. Is it seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? I don’t know. What I do know is that my misery has grown exponentially, year after year. Part of what made winter worse all those years was my refusal to give in to the cold. I would wear a jean jacket until January and then switch into something very light (think a barn jacket or quilted coat) through March at which time I would insist, “It’s March! That’s spring!”

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Then I would stop wearing a coat altogether. It’s no wonder I was miserable. And it’s hardly like I am from Georgia, either. I am from Boston and Maine. We get serious winter there. But I was in denial.

Last year I decided to change all that. And while I can’t say I love winter, buying appropriate winter clothing has helped to move me closer to that mindset than I have ever been before. So what does that mean? Here are the five things that get me through the cold snaps:

1.) A serious coat:

I am embarrassed to say that until last winter, I have never had a winter coat that cost me more than about $100. The coat I wore the last three seasons was a coat I got as part of a deal where if you bought five items of clothing at a trendy store, you got a faux down jacket for $5. Yes, $5. Is it any wonder the damn thing kept me freezing? So last year I decided to jump on the Canada Goose trend and buy a couple of parkas. I am now the proud owner of a Mystique Parka and a Kensington Parka. Yes, they are expensive. No, I have no regrets. These coats are the only reason I can still walk my kids to school every morning. Their warmth cannot be overstated. And I figure the cost is something I can divide over the many years I wore a $5 coat on 3-degree days. In other words, they are a bargain.

2.) Stylish boots:

I have a pretty serious shoe fetish. So when the winter comes and the sidewalks are covered in ice and slush and all my cute shoes are rendered impossible to don, I get a little down. Enter the winter fleet of shoes. I was lucky enough to receive a few pairs of Sorel boots this year and, like the aforementioned coats, they are worth every darn penny. The Tivoli II is stylish, warm and waterproof. I cannot say enough positive things about these boots. At $130, they might seem steep, but your dry feet and happy thoughts are worth every cent. Which brings me to the Medina III. These are rain boots, true. But they are rain boots with a kick. If you want to look good on a dreary day, look no further. And then, of course, there are the Tivolis. These are high boots and the warmest things I have ever had on my feet (sorry, Uggs). Even a winter-hating grinch like me can get behind these.

More: 5 Fashionable winter coats

3.) A hat:

I have become that woman who wears my hat inside, all the time. And thank God. This has been an amazing and eye-opening development for someone like me who always viewed the hat as an optional piece of outerwear. I now know it is for the inside, too. And the variety! Oh lord, the variety! So many hats to choose from. Pom-poms and beanies and berets and trapper hats. I love them all.

4.) Warm socks:

I always skipped socks inside and blew my budget on expensive running socks since I am a runner. The socks I wore with my clothing were embarrassingly threadbare and worn. Now, I wear heat holder socks. And these babies have changed my life. At $20 a pair, they are pricey, but they really do the trick, especially for people like me who can be in boots made entirely of fur and still shiver.

So that’s it. You want to survive winter, this is the way to go. It’s not ideal. I don’t love winter. But at least I am somewhat warm now. And a lot less likely to cry the entire walk to school each morning.

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