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Chicago Winter Survival Guide

Winter can be brutal, but it shouldn't cramp your style. 

I asked my fellow Chicago #GirlBoss bloggers to share their tips and tricks for surviving winter. Check out their advice and must-have items for living in Chicago during the cold winter months. 

"There are two things that help make Chicago winter bearable for me: cute coats and cute boots! Of course you'll need a standard super-warm parka and waterproof boots, but for the days that are slightly more forgiving, a (slightly) lighter winter coat and some stylish boots can help you feel a little fancier and maybe even convince you to brave the cold and get out of the house for a night out! I snagged this coat from Zara a few years back, but these boots are from Wolverine and I got them this season! Perfect for a day in the city."

Zara coat: similar ones hereand hereWolverine Boots here: here.

Sabrina of Styles by Sab
"A must have winter essential = a poncho! I love having ponchos in every color! Perfect for cold nights in the city!" You can purchase it here.

Shannon of Something Shannon
"With the below zero temps in Chicago this January I’ve been doing all I can to keep warm (I’m sure you have to!) and this blanket scarf from the online boutique Monday Dress has been my go to on the coldest of days. With it’s gorgeous color combo it’s suitable for almost any outfit, it’s super soft and on top of that it’s absolutely huge! I can wear it so many ways while always keeping warm. You can find it here, and if you are interested in the blanket scarf trend, but don’t want to foot the bill check out my tutorial on how to ‘make’ a DIY blanket scarf here!"

Kristi of 522 Envy

"Blanket scarves are an absolute necessity in Chicago because they bridge the gap between fashion and function. Seriously, what beats looking super chic while simultaneously burrito-ing yourself in warm clothes? My classic plaid blanket scarf was my companion when I said yes to the guy, and then again when I said yes to the dress, and still all season long when I say HECK NO to this crazy cold weather!" 
You can purchase the scarf from her boutique here!

Tamara of Broke in the City

"I've been in Chicago all of three years, but I know one thing to be absolutely true... Chicago winters are murder on your skin! Not only does it take a toll on your body, when you don't feel your best, it also takes a toll on your overall well-being. Papering yourself is an absolute must. For me, a winter without Lush baths just will not do. For as little as $4 a pop, it's a great inexpensive winter indulgence." Read her blog to learn how to make bath bombs last longer!

"I can't be without fur coats. Real or faux. They keep you warm and definitely help to stand out from the crowd.  It's just something chic about them. You can wear jeans and a sweater and still look like you dressed up for an occasion. I haven't adapted the bright colored fur coat trend yet, but maybe I'll get there at some point."

"A lot of times I feel us fashionistas tend to sacrifice our comfort & warmth in the winter because we think it isn't as "stylish" to get bundled. So- I wanted to go against that and show how something as warm as a thermal can keep you looking as stylish as ever! It doesn't hurt that these tees were only $8 at Target- so not only are you staying warm- but you're saving some cash!"

Jessica Garcia of The Petite Diaries
"The one thing i can not survive without during Chicago winters are a great statement coat! I Love this one. It's no longer available but here is the link to a similar one. Also love a great coat like this because not only are you warm but you are also looking so very chic."

Hoda of Joo Joo Azad
"I realized I'm always horribly underdressed for the winter in Chicago (I'm Iranian!) so rather than suggesting a particular item of clothing, I'm just going to go with Persian tea--the only thing that can get me out of bed to actually attempt to brave the cold! This picture of me is not drinking tea but being under-dressed!"

What are your cold weather essentials? Comment below to share!




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Chelsea's Glossary

Surviving the Cold in Blanket Scarves

I am counting down the days until summer in Chicago. 


I have endured many days walking through snow storms and icy sidewalks in college, so I figured Chicago's winters would be similar.


However, commuting in Chicago is surprisingly different. I have learned to embrace outerwear more than I did in college. More than I have my whole life in Cleveland. 


Let's start off by saying that blanket scarves are they key to success (thank you, DJ Khaled). However, this is true because they are not just warm, they are comfortable (hence the blanket part) making a morning commute bearable. 


 And then when the oversized-scarf trend goes out of style you can use it as a blanket. Great investment. This scarf is from American Eagle.


I paired it with this beanie from Old Navy which I purchased for around $3 during their 75% off sale. It is both grey and gold to match most of my wardrobe. I like the tiny polka-dots that give it a little something extra.


Even though it is freezing, the sun still likes to make an appearance. These blue mirrored sunglasses are from the Aldo Sale Shop on Ashland in Wicker Park. I got lucky, and found these on sale for $3. 


My grey sweater is from Ann Taylor, and I wear this thing everywhere. It is very comfortable and a flattering color and fit. 


The most important winter investment I made this year were these 'Joan of Arctic' Sorel boots


These are the warmest, most durable boots I have ever owned. I highly recommend them. However, my feet are super sensitive to the inside so I have to double layer with socks. 



These boots go with everything, and I love the fur detailing on the top.


Winter wear doesn't have to be bulky, you can be warm while still looking chic. 


How are you keeping warm this season? Let me know what your winter essentials are!




Want to know when I post? Click below!

Chelsea's Glossary