Winter Outerwear

October 26, 2010

Yesterday was Family Night. We made granola and evaluated our winter outerwear. The kids tried on their ski bibs, parkas, snow boots and gloves. We made lists of what still worked and what needed to be replaced. Olive and Ben Blair are good to go. The rest of the kids need one or two items. Not bad.

I don’t have any winter gear at all, except a new down jacket from Eddie Bauer that I’m loving. It’s called the Yukon Classic. It’s super cozy, but lightweight. I have the lipstick red version. (I love red coats, don’t you?)

This is what we like to have for Colorado winters:

- Jacket or fleece
- Parka
- Snow bibs or snow pants
- Snow boots
- Ski mittens or gloves
- Ski hat
- Knit mittens or gloves
- Knit hat
- If possible, dressy coats — especially for the girls

That’s a lot of gear for five kids (Baby June won’t be doing much skiing this year), so you can imagine, I’m a big fan of hand me downs. : ) I’m hoping to get everything on our list ordered this week. The temperatures are dropping fast and I want to be prepared.

How about you? What do you like to have on hand for winter outerwear?

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tanya October 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I miss winter gear. It’s still 90 in Austin. I’m ready for fresh pow and snowboarding.


2 deborah@applesinwonderland October 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm

we just did this. only the 16 year old needs new everything. the 10 year old needs boots. we always have extra gloves, mittens, hats and scarves–sometimes they leave with a kid that showed up without any.


3 Jaimie October 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Yup, Wisconsin is colder than cold too. My little was saying it was “too cold” today when it was in the 50s but very windy. I was like, YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING KIDDO! Haha anyway, I really like that coat.


4 Betsy October 26, 2010 at 3:02 pm

We live in Chicago. I usually make sure my kids have a fleece, a down/puffer type jacket, mitten/gloves, knit hat, heavier hat and a dressier coat such as a toggle style coat. I have done a few posts on the topic.


5 Zandri October 26, 2010 at 3:15 pm

That jacket is FANTASTIC! Perfect for New Zealand conditions. I LOVE IT


6 Julie October 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

I actually did the same thing yesterday! Went through our winter gear and made especially sure that the older kiddos boots still fit. We need about the same as you do, I also love pairing a puffy vest with a fleece coat when it’s warm enough for that.


7 Amber, theAmberShow October 26, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Since there are so many kids, do you have communal scarves, gloves and hats? It kind of sounds like everyone has their own, which is impressive! My husband and I have communal hoodies and pj pants.


8 Alea October 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

We did this recently too. I try to have everyone have a good coat for school and church and a junky (but warm) coat for playing in half snow half mud in the spring or whatever they come up with (we live on a farm). I am learning to buy really good quality boots and then they’ll last through all three of my boys!

Oh – I also have wool socks for everyone becuase as a kid I always had cold feet!


9 Moms in School Blog October 26, 2010 at 4:13 pm

It’s quickly getting cold here too… thanks for the reminder that it’s time to get out of denial and into winter mode!


10 Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 26, 2010 at 4:41 pm

hmm… I had a jacket like that too, from Eddie Bauer and I LOVED it! But this winter I just picked up a puffy coat from Old Navy. Not quite the same quality, but it’s cute and it will do. Besides, we’re still having summer-like weather so I’m wondering when I’ll even get a chance to use it! :)


11 Mary A. October 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I love that you did this “chore” during a fun family night activity. Great idea! Usually I slog through all the seasonal clothes on my own, but your way seems much more fun.


12 karey October 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm

It’ll be my first winter in Miami, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be pulling out the blue jeans and flats sometime soon, because it’s just too cold for flip flops and skirts! :)


13 Kristen October 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

That EB down jacket is darling!


14 Victoria October 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

We live in new Brunswick, Canada (just above Maine), so I like to have a couple extra items to hand out in January/February when it gets super cold. A balaclava or a neckwarmer so cold cheeks and necks can be warm too, and wristwarmers, for that peekaboo skin between your sleeve and mitten. We did alright for gear this year too! Out of the four kids we only needed one snowsuit and two pair of boots. I’ll be picking up extra mittens and hats if I happen to see them on sale though. My boys have trouble keeping a pair of mittens together.


15 bridget October 26, 2010 at 5:56 pm

holy moly, that is A LOT when you’ve got as many kids as you have!

we need to do this winter evaluation too… i just got sorel boots for our youngest on rue lala for $30!!


16 Sara October 26, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Your list seems very similar to ours, except my son so far has yet to own a dressy winter coat (he’s 3). I also like to get my daughter some cute type boots, in addition to snow boots (last year she had a carter’s pair from Kohl’s that she adored so much she wore them every day). We all have vests, too (most screaming clearance/sale deals), like someone else mentioned.

When we first moved back to the cold, my daughter was almost 3 and my mom bought her a fantastic parka and snow pants set from LLBean that was brilliant because it had an inch and half let-out room tacked into the sleeves and pants. They really did last for 2 years, then, so last year I got both of my kids LLBean gear again. It was more expensive than some other options, but so worth it, I thought, for the quality (we really like to play outside in the snow for hours) and the longevity. I think Lands End has now duplicated this design feature. I like the Lands End snow boots, too, especially when I can get them on sale at my local Sears’ :).

We are good this year for the kids, except for boots, so I think I may have to pick up some extra cute, hopefully hand-knitted hats and gloves. I need to get snow pants for myself, to coordinate with my red down jacket that is super similar to yours (except probably not as warm since I got it a couple winters’ ago at Costco, made by Kenneth Cole).

Wow, who knew I had so much to say on this subject ;)?


17 Heather Y Vincent October 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

OMGoodness, I LOVE those coats! I have been looking everywhere for a coat I like and can’t find one. I think its time to donate the coat I have been wearing for the last 5 years…yes, 5 years! Sad, I know!!! But, I LOVED that coat too!

Thank you for posting this! With it getting a lot colder in Utah…WAY TOO FAST…this will be ordered tonight!


18 LP October 26, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Have you seen BOGS? They are the most amazing boot.


19 Sandra Gonzales October 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Wish I could relate…I live in Houston, TX – the land of more hot than not.


20 NicoleK October 26, 2010 at 11:04 pm

What a fun idea!! I have those 2 things on my to-do list (make granola and figure out winter clothes situation)… and we actually have Saturday nice and open. I know what we’re doing now!

I love layers! We’re in Seattle and never know what we’re going to get. Fleece jackets, waterproof shells, long underwear, hats that cover our ears… and I love LLBean jackets. I like that they rate them for temperatures. It just makes me feel better =) And their stuff lasts. Worth the $$ for me. I also make sure that *my* snowpants fit each year… b/c I love to be out there sitting in the snow with my guys.

We didn’t get any snow last year and I’m hoping for lots this year!


21 Katherine October 27, 2010 at 12:15 am

This is my second year in Oregon ( having lived in Texas, Arizona, and briefly in Canada – but somehow only in the summer months), and I am somewhat at a loss as to what to purchase – reading through your comments has certainly helped. To make matters more complicated, we are moving to Ontario in less than a year – so I am anticipating needing lots of winter clothing, but have no clue where to start.

My 3 year old has a dressy coat and a pair of snow boots. My one year old has a water-proof hooded winter coat. We are expecting an infant next April. Do babies need anything more than lots of bundling gear? I forsee lots of shopping in my future…


22 Kim Simmonds October 27, 2010 at 7:12 am

Perfect timing, Gabrielle! It is 35 and snowing and windy in Minnesota right now and I am dreading heading out for the day. But I am sure looking forward to the white stuff! It just makes everything look so beautiful and cozy.


23 barkingkel October 27, 2010 at 7:24 am

I love your new jacket. I just ordered this one, , I love it too! Having a pretty jacket makes winter not seem so daunting.


24 Alisa October 27, 2010 at 9:11 am

Well, since I lived in Los Angeles for 20 years (via snowy east) I never had to worry about warm jackets, boots, gloves, etc…but now that we have moved to France I had to get a new warm jacket, a lovely hat, warm gloves and 2 types of boots (rain and warm). I’m now in a place with seasons and I must say it’s beautiful. Sure helps to have the right warm clothes!


25 tada! shop October 27, 2010 at 9:18 am

We go skiing in Vermont almost every weekend. The two younger girls are set but I am buying for my oldest. I just ordered for the first time from Polarn O. Pyret ( I got the Wear Everywhere Jacket ( My daughter loves it and it is warm but lightweight and fleece lined. I love the check print on this in red ( but it is a shell and we want more of a coat. On the East coast, weather changes in winter so I like to have a really warm hat and then a lighter weight one. I got this ( for my girls and they LOVE them, they wear them around the house. Sweatshirt for the head! Our dog got a hold of my youngests’ hat from last year, so I just ordered her this ( It might be my favorite hat ever. Probably more info than you ever wanted but I just love my new outerwear discoveries and had to share!


26 Maren October 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

What a cute coat! My sister worked at EB during physical therapy school and they asked her to come back for the season…I know what I’ll be asking for for Christmas! Last year I took my coat to the dry cleaners and they ruined it…and I didn’t go back because I was too angry. It was time for a new coat anyway, but I need to get one soon with this wind here in Omaha! Enjoy your coat! :)


27 Tiffany G. October 27, 2010 at 12:14 pm

We need lots of winter gear here in the “windy city.” I recently scored a perfectly good (Laundry by Shelli Segal) down coat at the Good Will for $12! I can’t wait to wear it (well, maybe I can). It’s not exactly, a hand-me-down but definitely a great find.


28 Anne October 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

For kids’ winter gear, check out thredup! It’s a clothing exchange program where you pay shipping on the things you get but not the things you send. I live in hot Austin, but we visit relatives in Colorado at Christmas. I can’t stomach paying lots of money for snow pants but of course I want the kids to be able to play in the snow. I’ve already scored pants and coats for my kids…which seems silly right now, it really is 90.


29 Sarah Zm October 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Ughhhh! Its that time of year again – it seems like I just did this with swimsuits and pool stuff. I live in Golden, CO and the weather is changing fast – I always get the kids under armour shirts and pants as well as nice fleece pants to wear under their ski pants (REI is a nice brand). They are good for lounging after skiing, sledding or whatever your snow activity may be.


30 Megan October 27, 2010 at 6:15 pm

I just purchased two pairs of snow bibs at Goodwill for 2.29/pair and they were “like new”! I’ve found Goodwill to be a great source for seasonal items that kids outgrow quickly. I’m guessing your Goodwill would have more snow bibs to choose from than mine too. Hope you post about what you get to complete your kids’ winter outerwear.


31 betsy October 30, 2010 at 8:06 pm

The patagonia outlet has great sales I don’t know if they have one in Denver, but the clothes hold up and are great for passing along.


32 Tiff October 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

Any tips on where to find good quality warm coats & bibs for 5 year old boys that aren’t too expensive?


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