If you chose to move to Boston from a warm area, chances are that you have been repeatedly warned about the cold. As a Southern California native that moved here a month ago, I was growing incredibly tired of hearing the same warnings and offering the same meager “I’ll be fine,” reassurance.
Let me tell you, though, it is colder than the California winters already and we have barely started October.
Even my friend who grew up in snowy Buffalo, NY admitted that she has a hard time in the fall months as she relearns to adjust to the cold after a hot, humid summer.
Despite still being early in the year, I am already struggling to keep my teeth from chattering against each other as my body shivers.
I recruited my friend from Los Angeles, who is arguably struggling even more than I am. We took it upon ourselves to do as much research as possible to face the upcoming cold properly armed — and perhaps even fashionably.
I have discussed the cold with a variety of students. Some are true Bostonians. Some have lived in the cold for years. Some moved from a warm state a couple of years ago and others — like myself — have no clue what to do. Whether you are relearning to live with the cold or forcing yourself to be “fine” with it for the first time, I have compiled advice and research to help.
The golden ticket is a down jacket — one with a warm inner lining of duck or goose feathers. I have yet to put one of these on myself but I have been guaranteed to feel like a little oven once I do. Length is also important! This singular heater of a coat should ideally come down to at least your thighs for maximum protection.
Another one of my favorite pieces of advice was the umbrella rule. After the first rainy day, scheduled conveniently on our first day of classes, I realized that, unlike California, it is not uncool to carry an umbrella in the rain — it is necessary. That afternoon, I rushed to Target and begged the employee to pull out their last umbrella in stock. The next day, I was shocked to learn that no one else thought it was funny that the umbrellas served as our bumpers against the wind.
The Boston wind is so strong that it not only requires us to lunge against it as we walk, but it also requires the best quality umbrella available. You need to consider this if you do not plan on watching your umbrella flip — allowing yourself to get soaked in the middle of Comm. Ave. So, though my weak little Target umbrella has been good to me this past month, I will be retiring it for a better-quality one this week.
This next piece of advice is only partially related to clothing. I learned this lesson the hard way last week when I was texting on my phone in the rain. Suddenly, I slipped on a metal grate. I missed the ground and felt my body lunge backward. It turns out that metal gets slippery when wet and my trendy sneakers can do nothing to save me from physical injury or total embarrassment. Avoid the grates and buy traction boots — preferably thick fur-lined ones.
The last little bit of advice I find helpful is to wear light layers. As important as it is to avoid frostbite and pneumonia outside, it is equally important not to pass out from excess heat or sweating once you have safely made it to your destination. Chances are that the thick sweater you’re planning on wearing is going to become your worst nightmare five minutes into class.
May lots of warm hugs and fluffy blankets come your way this winter.