Layers are the key to winter warmth (and style)

Photo of woman in winter clothing.

By Guest Blogger Claire Cilip
Minnesota had had some jaw-dropping temps for December – more days in the negative than I remember from last year and a real wind chill that is enough to make anyone want to stay indoors. I’m often asked how we get through living in the Midwest during these months and my answer is always the same. Layers.

Down jackets, vests, flannels, sweaters. Sometimes all in one outfit. Unfortunately winter clothing can be expensive, which is why I like to shop at my local Goodwill. I generally find myself at the Bloomington location on my lunch breaks and the Maple Grove location on weekends. Both have great selections, especially when it comes to warming up.

Life doesn’t slow down even when it’s dark by 4:30pm. and the high of the day is -1, so a lot of days my outfit consists of skinny pants, a sweater, followed by a vest and coat, playful hats and gloves and snow boots. Thankfully I’ve noticed that rain boots can be just as useful in slush as in water puddles. It doesn’t hurt they come in fabulous colors either. You can find these items, or similar, at your local Goodwill store-you’d be surprised how many name brands get donated! I was able to find this Northface vest at the Bloomington location and was even more surprised to find similar corduroy pants that were pictured. Chunky knitted sweaters are a dime a dozen at Goodwill and for a fraction of the cost.

Thrift shopping can be a bit overwhelming when you start. My advice is to try going for name brand items, only because you will know the quality of the item you are purchasing, even if it has been previously owned. Next you will want to check it over to make sure there are no stains, rips or tears. My last piece of advice is to not be discouraged if you find something great but it doesn’t fit right. For the price you pay for a Goodwill clothing item, it leaves extra cash in your pocket to get items altered. Generally it’s not too expensive and when you can get something customized to fit your body, you’ll come off looking like a million bucks!