Brave the Cold with These Winter Essentials

Northern Arizona is attracting new residents from all over the state and nation, particularly from places that have a different interpretation of “cold” and a more abstract understanding of “snow,” as in the pretty white stuff seen on distant peaks that they may drive a couple hours to see once a year.

Southern Arizonans and Californians come here wanting to experience all four seasons, or at least know they exist. But this year’s crop of newbies has likely already seen at least one cold snap able to trigger panic buying of coats and thermal underwear to stave off the cold.

For those of you still working on assembling the perfect winter wardrobe, here are a few should-haves:


The puffer coat jumped to the top of the fashion pile a few years ago, and it’ll be more than good enough for most days. Parkas are waterproof, hooded and many are lined with fleece or faux fur, perfect for heavy snow days. A long wool coat can be both casual and classy, and “performance” jackets are engineered for the active winter lifestyle.

The Knit Hat

Whether it’s a beanie, pom hat, beret, bucket hat or another shape, you’ll want at least a couple of these to protect your head, which loses heat faster than any other part of your body. For a slightly different and comfier look you can try a snood, which extends over your neck.


So it only seems like your fingers lose their heat more than any other part of your body. Mittens are better for warmth than gloves, but there’s no way you can use your phone with them, so try a pair of “glittens” with the flip-top over the fingerless gloves. Keep one pair in reserve for dressier occasions.


These are fashionable in any climate, but in cooler, wetter climes you’ll need to consider factors like traction, flexibility and stability, which is a tight balancing act. Waterproof booties and heels can work for warmer days, but make sure you have at least one pair with some serious traction for snow or rain.

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