Today it is a very cold day in Minneapolis which follows two very strong winter storms from last week. Occasionally the University cancels classes if the storm is outrageous, but it is unusual (I enjoyed it only once in two years). So if I don’t want to miss classes, I have to be ready to leave the comfort of my apartment wearing the proper clothes.
I roll over on my bed to the window shortly after my alarm wakes me up, stretch my neck and head and very slowly try to open my eyes (at least one!) to see if the sky was clear and sunny. Shortly after and I would (wrongly) think that sunny days equals warm day… hahaha … I am so wrong! Who would think that getting dress is such a protocol? What a big deal!
Now, after almost two years I know that sunny days during the winter are tricky. I don’t check on my window any longer to see if the day is sunny…that is what technology is for! (Among millions of other purposes) I will talk about how to get dress for the snow, places to buy winter clothes, websites to check daily and hour-by-hour temperatures very important!, how to protect your skin (if you are interested too) and more…..nothing but a list of best practices!
Yes, the first real cold weeks I was terribly cold all the time. I started my studies in the Fall, but the first few weeks aren’t a good experience of what to expect later on –how cold it will get to be. I found a funny picture (from this website: http://www.webtogs.co.uk/help/Friends_of_Webtogs.html) about how to get dressed for the winter, and even though it is a little bit exaggerated it makes the point: L-A-Y-E-R-S What does it means? “more than one”: more than one t-shirt, more than one pullover or/and jacket, more than one pair of socks, …. Simply “more than one”.
Some specific tips about it:
- Try to buy a long jacket that will cover all your body up to your knees. Some people think your body will only get cold from your waist up to your neck or head. But your legs will get too! Although blue jeans are made with a thick fabric, it is not enough. A long jacket will keep the majority of your body warm.
- Use thermal underwear, trousers, or tights. The closer they are to your body, the better! They will keep you warm for sure. Instead of using ski trousers to go to class, you will probably be wearing jeans.
- If you can afford it, get more than one jacket. I heard many times from my friends and people, in general, that very quickly will get bored of using every single day, day after day –because you can’t skip the jacket never! – the same jacket. And also try to pick a dark color if you don’t want to be washing it frequently.
- Use the most appropriate fabrics. Use synthetics, cotton, fleece, or wool fabrics.
- No extra is extra – wear gloves, hat, scarf, ear protection, sunscreen, and sometimes you might need to use sunglasses as well. After winter storms when most of the snow settles on the streets and where all the gardens used to be, all your surroundings will become white. If the day is sunny (but it is still cold, remember?!?) the sunlight is reflected by these huge areas with white snow. Your eyes can be very sensitive to it, and I can become very uncomfortable to be walking on the street with all these light blinding you. It is more than a fashionable accessory! :)
- Always try to carry with you a bottle of water, tissues, and ChapStick for your lips. With this cold and very dry weather, your skin, mouth, and lips will get very easily dry.
I wanted to point you a few brands that sell, in my opinion, the more appropriate clothes/accessories for the winter for men and women.
One is Columbia, and the other one is The North Face. I don’t want to assume that all of you know what ChapStick is, so here is the link too (this is only one brand, but in the market you will find many more).
Regarding the weather, check this webpage to be aware of tomorrow’s temperature, a coming winter storm warning, etc. This weather webpage provides information in Celsius and Fahrenheit. If you like to use Google’s gadgets you can download to your desktop a weather forecast application too.
Finally, and like I already mentioned it a little bit above, your skin will probably get dry. I know that everyone has a different skin type; a few are more likely to get easily dryer and others. I advice is to dry liquids, apply sunscreen before leaving the apartment, and also keep with you ChapStick or similar if your lips are getting chapped lips.
If you have any comments or suggestions you can write it down, and if you are asking a question please leave your email address so that I can contact you back.
I hope all these tips that all the ambassadors are writing would be helpful at some point in your stay in Minneapolis.
See you next time!
Ps: for more information read this link