Winter is coming

This weekend's Christmas market excursion

It's getting chilly here in Vienna, perfect weather for wrapping your hands around a hot mug of Gl├╝hwein while you wander the Christmas markets. The Viennese are completely undeterred by the cold weather—nobody's hibernating just yet. From what I can tell, the key to enjoying spending time outside in the late fall and winter comes down to a simple question of wardrobe, as so many things do.

I should point out here that I am no stranger to cold weather. I spent the first 11 winters of my life in a drafty old New England house, hot water bottles warming my flannel sheets at night. Then there were those 4 unforgettable winters during my undergraduate years in Wisconsin, where my wet hair would freeze on my way to class and flannel-lined khakis were my favorite J. Crew purchase. And, for the past several years, even though I've lived in sunny Houston, cruel fate (aka the Met schedule) has brought me to NYC for a good portion of every winter, where I seem to slip on ice on my way to work on a frighteningly regular basis.

Somehow, it was only last winter that I realized I didn't have any warm clothes. I had finally bought a down coat that was long enough to cover my butt, and instead of reveling in how warm and toasty it made me, I started focusing on all the parts of me that were not warm (that is, every part of me that was not covered by my new coat). I suddenly realized, while talking about it over dinner, that I was cold pretty much all the time during the winter, and that maybe, just maybe, it didn't have to be like that. I happened to be having dinner with a Uniqlo Heattech aficionado, and the rest is history.

Of course, Rome and my winter wardrobe weren't built in a day, so I've been gathering essentials over the past year: Heattech t-shirts for layering (spread the gospel), a hat that covers my ears, Heater Hog shirts and ear warmers for running, flannel pjs and furry slippers for at home, woolly knee socks to go under boots, sweaters, and my most recent purchase, fleece-lined leggings (which might actually change my life). Next on my list: shearling-lined boots, a giant cozy scarf that can double as an airplane blanket, and warm gloves. Let the temperatures drop. I'll be ready. (But do tell me if I'm forgetting something! I will stop at nothing until I've achieved Ultimate Coziness.)


  1. My husband's favorite saying is "if you think the weather's bad, that means you just have bad gear." Smartwool socks are my all-time, hands-down favorites.

  2. Umm... where has Heattech been all my life? I thought I was magical by having discovered Eddie Bauer's fleece lined pants that don't look bulky and keep me amazingly warm.

    I don't mind the cold weather either, as long as I can stay warm with good unbulky clothing!


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