It’s a snowy Winter day in the PNW today and I’ve decided it’s the perfect time to write a quick, “What to wear for a Snow Day,” post!
This isn’t a post about what to wear for skiing or even snowshoeing, although you can read my A Novice’s Guide to Snowshoeing for more about the latter. It is simply a post about the layers to pick up and have on hand so that you can embrace the beauty of a snow day with all the joy and enthusiasm of a child.
Disclaimer: I LOVE SNOW! I’ve lived in Wisconsin and Iowa. I literally itch to play in the snow. When the low lands in my now-home-state of Washington doesn’t get snow ❄️ I beg my husband to take me to the mountains!
My favorite way to enjoy a snow day is to hike or walk in it. Adventure forth and listen to the quiet. How do you prepare to play in the snow? What do you wear?
It’s all about the layers! I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to spend a zillion dollars. Have the right layers, watch the sales and don’t skimp on the key pieces. If you aren’t a snow bunny and ski and simply want to be able to have fun in the snow then this post is for you!
Lower Layers for Your Snow Day Adventures!
Yes, you can buy thermals underwear. Sweat-wicking base layers. I do recommend you invest, if that’s your thing, but I’m all about utilizing what I already have in my closet. Since I’m a runner, I have a million pairs of leggings and living in the PNW a pair of fleece-lined leggings is vital for those colder days. My Baleaf Sports leggings are perfect! They have pockets, aren’t too expensive and come in a variety of colors. They double as my first layer under my snow pants. Why? Because inevitably the snow pants come off and I can’t walk around town or drive in my thermal underwear can I? They are great when it’s chilly out and you are running around town too!
Yes, I have gone the Walmart and Target inexpensive route. They are ok in a pinch, but they don’t have the sticking power over time. They also don’t keep you warm or dry. Who wants a wet butt when trying to enjoy a snow day adventure?
Here is a spot I recommend you watch the sales and grab a good pair. I’m lucky to live near an outlet mall and was able to get my North Face snow pant, in my favorite purple color, in their post season sale. I am not a fashionista who has to wear all the latest. If you are like me, watch the sales. I found my pair for $129! Even better, they make them in short, regular and tall! They run true-to-size.
Your feet, specifically your toes are the first place you will feel the cold. You are walking in it, right? I have two distinct pairs of boots 🥾 The first, for hiking when the snow is packed and not deep. My favorite are by Columbia and have Omni-Heat. They are considered a mid-boot, so really more appropriate once the snow is packed or light. Again, these were a post-season purchase at the outlet mall. Click on the link about Omni-Heat to learn more about this technology when it comes to looking for winter 🥶 clothing and footwear. I literally have it in my boots, gloves, vest and quarter-zip!
My second pair of snow boots are older than our sons! They are the first pair I bought when I moved to Wisconsin. They are tall, waterproof, and have a nice thick tread. Inside they are lined with another layer of warmth. Perfect for treks through the light, fluffy stuff! Check out La Crosse, Sorell and Kamiak for more options.
Again with the feet? Yes! It’s vital your feet stay dry and warm! My go-to are my Smart Wool hikers! Yes to wool, find a pair and if your feet itch with wool, add a layer of thin socks before the wool. Remember to read the directions on how to wash the socks you choose! You don’t want to end up with toddler socks after the first washing!
Upper Layers for Your Snow Day Adventures!
Quarter-Zip and Vest
A comfortable bra and a quarter-zip is my base layer on top. Whether I choose a fleece-lined or an Omni-Heat quarter-zip, either works great. I usually base my decision on what activity I am planning and the temperature, including wind chill, outside. I’m loving my new Hot Chocolate 15K lightly lined quarter-zip. It’s not heavy and kept me warm beneath the layers. If I am planning to be out longer, have a snowball fight or go snowshoeing, I will opt for a heavier fleece, like my Baleaf Sports or my Columbia Omni-Heat.
My next layer is a vest. I am going with Columbia again, with their light-weight vest with Omni-Heat. I literally keep this vest in my car as it is perfect for when it’s just warm enough for a quarter-zip, but too warm for a jacket. It’s perfect as a layer between as well for those colder days. You can easily remove one layer and stuff it in your backpack as you get warm!
Let’s talk that final layer. My jacket. I have a bunch! It all depends on my activity. I have a long, puffy one when I’m just walking and don’t plan to play in the snow and want my butt warm. It was a Costco find!
If I’m planning on more snow day play time? I gravitate to the Helly Hansen in the photo. I will let you in on a secret…. it’s a Goodwill find! Literally $7! There are many more makers out there for a jacket. The key is being prepared and wearing one what you have planned.
Snow Day Outfit Musts!
Lastly, it’s gloves, beanies and sunnies! I’ll be quick!
I have lightweight gloves with the tech-finger, so I can capture photos without worrying about getting frostbite. Then I have my big Columbia Omni-Heat gloves for snow. They are longer and truly the best pair I’ve ever had. These gloves keep my hands so warm that half the time I have to take them off and clip them to my jacket, which is another great feature. I simply slip on my other pair and I’m good until I want to throw snowballs at my hubby!
Next, my beanie is whatever I’m feeling! CC beanies seem to fit my head best, but sometimes I go for my many logoed beanies. They also make fleece-lined beanies. The most important thing is that while I hate my hair after the beanie comes off, you lose way too much heat out the top of your head. Cover-up!
Lastly, my sunnies. If you’ve followed me at all, you know I am a ViraSun sunnies babe. I use them simply everywhere. They come in so many different colors and patterns, I haven’t met a pair I don’t love yet! All of their lenses are polarized with UV400 protection. Snow on a sunny day means a load of glare that you don’t even realize you have been squinting all day until the headache appears. No matter the brand you choose, just make sure to pack a pair even for a walk in the neighborhood.
My Final Snow Day Thoughts!
Have fun. Play in the snow. Talk a walk or go on a hike. Don’t let the white stuff in Winter have you hunkering down until Spring. You know it will be here every year in many parts of the country. Be prepared and watch the post-season sales. And never be afraid to check out your local thrift stores for those snow bunny fashionistas that simply can’t be seen in last season’s winter clothes! Hopefully you’ll get extra lucky and find that one thing you’ve been searching for!