I'm a Shopping Editor, and These Are My Top 5 Items to Stay Warm All Winter Long 

If you see me this winter, I'll probably be wearing all of these items.
By Madeline Diamond
February 10, 2021
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After living in New York City for a little over three years, I'd like to think I've gotten dressing for the seasons down to a science. For me, winter is all about lightweight layers and waterproof essentials. I'm far from a fan of cold weather, and can mentally handle approximately one snow storm per year (that's what I get for being a southern California native). That being said, I know how to stay warm when the temperatures dip below freezing and snowbanks pile up on every street corner. And as a shopping editor here at Travel + Leisure, I've had the chance to test out plenty of cold weather gear. Below, I've narrowed down my favorite winter clothing and accessories that keep me warm and dry without completely compromising on style.

Winter coat, leggings, socks, chelsea boots, face mask
Credit: Courtesy of Retailers as Credited

Keep reading for a shopping editor's favorite cold weather clothing and accessories.

1. A Warm Yet Lightweight Parka

Woman wearing navy long puffer parka
Credit: Courtesy of The North Face

As far as cold weather outerwear goes, my priority has always been to find a coat as warm as possible that's not exorbitantly expensive (i.e. close to $1,000 for something I'm going to be wearing in the snow, sleet, and on the subway).

The Women's Stretch Down Parka from The North Face is by no means cheap at $289, but it's a solid option if you're looking for something that's impressively lightweight while still providing plenty of warmth. I have last year's version, and it's lasted me two seasons so far -it even kept me warm on a trip to Winnipeg, Canada, last February, where temperatures dipped well below zero degrees Fahrenheit during my stay.

To buy: The North Face Women's Stretch Down Parka, thenorthface.com, amazon.com, $289

2. Layerable Leggings

Grey leggings
Credit: Courtesy of Girlfriend Collective

Of course, Girlfriend Collective's leggings are great for lounging and at-home workouts, but they're also a great option for layering under pants on particularly cold days. Sometimes that extra layering makes all the difference, and when you get home, all you have to do is take off all your outer layers and you'll be ready to lounge. Plus, the brand's leggings are impressively durable, as I recently learned from TikTok.

3. A Functional, Protective Mask

Three daisy printed face masks
Credit: Courtesy of Baggu

I've sung my praises for Baggu's Fabric Masks before, but I'd be remiss to exclude them from a round up of clothing and accessories I love, specifically for this winter. The extra fabric around the nose and chin gives you more coverage than your traditional mask, so less skin is exposed to the elements while you're braving the cold.

To buy: Baggu Fabric Mask Set, baggu.com, $32 for set of three

4. Warm, Breathable Socks

Grey, dark blue, and dark red hiking socks
Credit: Courtesy of L.L.Bean

My friend told me I needed these hiking socks, even though she knows I'm not an avid hiker, but I have to say, I'm glad I listened. These socks are thin enough to wear comfortably with any shoe, from sneakers to boots, but they keep my feet warm without fail, even after spending hours outdoors at a time.

To buy: L.L.Bean Women's Katahdin Hiker Socks, llbean.com, $20

5. Weatherproof Boots

Grey leather ankle boot
Credit: Courtesy of Zappos

These Chelsea boots for Sorel the only boots I've worn all winter, even in the rain and snow. They're made with waterproof full grain leather and have a seam-sealed construction that will be sure to keep your feet dry, even when you're up against the elements. The molded rubber outsole provides plenty of necessary traction, while a memory EVA footbed offers unbeatable comfort. Plus, I love the elastic gore side panels and heel pull tab that make these boots easy to get on and off.

To buy: Sorel Lennox Chelsea Boots, zappos.com, $121 (originally $170)

Madeline Diamond is a Brooklyn-based e-commerce editor at Travel + Leisure, and she's constantly fighting the impulse to overpack for her next trip. You can follow her on Twitter @madgdiamond and Instagram @madelinediamond.

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