As anyone who’s lived through a tough winter knows, having the right gear is key. Not just any coat and boots will get you through the blistering cold and slushy snow. However, that doesn’t mean you have to shell out for top-of-the-line winter apparel and accessories in order to stay warm. There are plenty of affordable alternatives that will still allow you to enjoy winter to the fullest without feeling chilled to the bone every time you step outside. Check out this guide to getting deals on winter coats, boots, hats, gloves and other essential snow gear.
Get Layers That Will Make You Warmer No Matter What
If you’re wearing all your outwear and accessories but you’re still feeling cold, it’s what’s under your clothes that’s making you chilly – or rather, what’s not under your clothes. Long underwear are the unsung hero of winter gear, especially since they go unseen. But without a couple quality sets of long underwear, you’ll quickly find out that even the warmest coats can let in a little bit of the chill. This is the thing that will get you through those days with sub-zero temperatures and wind chills that are even worse. Better yet, long underwear is very affordable and since you don’t have to switch up the styles like you do with regular clothes, you can buy just one or two pairs to get you through the winter.
The key to finding long underwear is to choose the right material. For everyday outfits, you can go with a synthetic material like nylon, rayon or spandex. These materials are thin enough to wear under your regular clothes while still providing added warmth. If you’ll be venturing outdoors for some winter sports or other extended time outside, you may want to get fleece or merino wool long underwear for even more protection from the cold. And don’t forget – long underwear comes in tops and bottoms, so get a full body set!
Skip the Expedition Gear
Lots of stores will make you believe that you need the kind of coat meant for a mountaineer once winter hits. These are the kind of coats made to withstand brutal temperatures and keep you warm even when spending all day outdoors. But the truth is that, for most people, all those fancy features really aren’t necessary. That’s especially true if you follow the above step and layer up properly before heading outside.
You’ll know the high-end brands when you see them because the coats are generally priced well above $300 or more. Whether it’s REI or The North Face, these are high-quality coats, to be sure. However, unless you’re into winter camping or traveling to an area with extreme winter conditions, you probably don’t need that ultra-warm coat. Get a winter coat from a store like UNIQLO, Macy’s or even Target and you’ll find that you can probably stay warm enough for your needs.
Get Multi-Purpose Winter Clothes & Accessories
Another way to save both money and closet space is to make sure you buy winter gear that can be reused in other seasons. For example, you can look for a winter coat that is convertible in order to get more bang for your buck. These coats typically have an inner fleece liner that can be removed and used when temperatures are a little warmer but still chilly enough for a coat. Meanwhile, the outer layer might be reusable as a rain jacket once the lining has been removed.
The same rule can be applied to winter boots. Many styles are made with removable liners. In the winter, you’ll keep the cozy inner liner in place for protection from the snow as well as a little extra warmth on your feet. During other parts of the year, that liner can be removed and your boots can be used as regular rain boots on wet days. Looking for convertible items like these is a great way to save a little more on your winter apparel.
Buy Used Winter Gear
A good winter coat or pair of winter boots will go fast at most thrift stores, so you may have to shop often in order to get one. However, the rest of the winter essentials can be found for huge savings when you shop secondhand. Scarfs, gloves, mittens and hats are usually piled high in bins at thrift stores. That leaves you with plenty of options for saving on these winter extras.
Shop at the Right Time
One of the biggest keys to getting good prices on winter clothes is to shop in late winter or early spring. January, February and March usually offer the best discounts on everything from hats and gloves to coats and boots. Mark your calendar and remember to go shopping for those items so you’ll be all geared up for the following winter.
Use these tips to score some great deals on all the winter gear you have your eye on.