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Though it might feel like school has just started, we’re rapidly approaching the end of the semester, and with it, plunging temperatures, snow, and strong winds characteristic of winter in the city. If you call a warmer climate home and this is your first NYC winter, don’t worry—we here at Spectrum have made a comprehensive guide on how to bundle up this winter.

What you’ll need:

Winter coat



Scarf/Neck Warmer

Winter boots

Winter socks

Thermal underwear

Winter coat:

A warm coat is a non-negotiable winter wardrobe staple that you’ll be thankful for when walking between classes or heading back from EC on a chilly January night.

Winner: Uniqlo’s ultralight down jacket ($69.90) is a relatively affordable option that doesn’t compromise on insulation. Featuring water-repellent coating and 640-fill down, this clean-cut jacket might not be fancy, but will keep you warm all winter long.

Available at Uniqlo in men’s and women’s sizes XXS to XXL in a variety of colors.

Runner-up: Though on the more expensive end, Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket ($199.00) is vegan (made of synthetic PrimaLoft Insulation rather than down) and also warm, windproof, and water-resistant.

Available on Patagonia in men’s and women’s sizes sizes XS to XXL in a variety of colors.


Though we suppose you could get by with a jacket hood, why would you do that when there’s an entire world of beanies to explore?

Winner: Carhartt Men’s Acrylic Watch Hat A18 ($14.99) might be marketed toward men, but in reality will ensure that heads belonging to individuals who identify with any gender stay toasty in below-freezing temperatures.

Available on Amazon in a variety of colors.

Runner-up: Tough Headwear Womens Cable Knit Beanie ($8.95) is another highly rated stylish and warm beanie for either gender. We think that the cables add a nice touch!

Available on Amazon in a variety of colors.


Need to hold your coffee but don’t want your hands to freeze? Impromptu snowball fight on College Walk? Gloves are the answer!

Winner: LETHMIK’S Non-Slip Touchscreen Gloves ($7.95) feature silicone-tipped fingers for smartphone compatibility.

Available on Amazon in men’s and women’s sizes in black and blue-grey.

Runner-up: Achiou’s Winter Knit Gloves ($6.99 to $11.99) are Amazon bestselling touch screen-compatible gloves that are described by reviewers as “warm,” “stylish,” and “extremely comfortable.”

Available on Amazon in medium, large, and XL sizes in a variety of colors.

Scarf/Neck Warmer:

Neck protection is key in warding off biting winds and snow.

Winner: Uniqlo’s Heattech Scarf ($14.90) is knitted with bio-warming yarn that keeps you warm through insulating your own body heat.

Available at Uniqlo in a variety of colors.

Runner-up: Turtle Fur’s Original Fleece Neck Warmer ($14.99) is made of soft and warm fleece. If scarves are too conventional for you, consider picking up this neck warmer.

Available on Amazon in a variety of colors.

Winter boots:

Good boots with solid traction are a must to keep your toes toasty (and you upright) on cold, wet winter days.

Winner (Women’s): Sorel Women’s Caribou Boots ($160.00) are waterproof, have good traction, and include a removable felt inner boot for extra-cold days.

Available on Sorel in sizes 5 through 12 in buff, black, and shale.

Winner (Men’s): Timberland White Ledge Men’s Mid Waterproof Boot ($73.77 to $167.54) have over 10,000 reviews on Amazon. The boots are composed of waterproof full-leather uppers, and are raved about for their durability and versatility.

Available on Amazon in regular and wide sizes 7 to 15 in a variety of colors.

Runner-up: L.L. Bean Boots 8” Thinsulate ($159) are the winter version of a preppy classic.

Available on L.L. Bean for men in sizes 7 to 14 and for women in sizes 6 to 11 with narrow, medium, and wide options in a variety of colors.


Winter socks:

Whether you’re running outdoors in below-freezing temps or just chilling in your dorm, a good pair of thick winter socks will keep your feet feeling good.

Winner: Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion ($23.00) are made in Vermont and guaranteed for life.

Available on Darn Tough for men and women in a variety of colors and patterns.

Runner-up: Danish Endurance Merino Wool Hiking & Walking Socks ($26.95/3 pairs) are soft, cushy, and temperature-regulating at a good price point.

Available on Amazon for men and women in a variety of colors.

Thermal underwear:

If you’re prone to getting cold or do an activity that requires spending a lot of time outside, then thermal underwear is made for you.

Winner: Uniqlo Heattech Crew Neck Long-Sleeve T-Shirt ($19.90) and Heattech Leggings/Long Johns ($19.90) feature Uniqlo’s proprietary biothermal Heattech technology to keep you warm.

Available on Uniqlo for men and women in sizes XS to XXL and in a variety of colors.

Runner-up: Under Armour ColdGear ($50 to $80) lives up to the name. If you’re looking for a versatile piece that can work as a base layer or standalone, then ColdGear is for you.

Available at Under Armour for men and women in sizes XS to XXL in a variety of styles and colors.


Though it’s getting colder, moods need not drop with the temperature when you’re properly geared up. We hope these suggestions have helped you dress for the weather. We’ve done our best to look for some more affordable options, but if these items are out of your budget, please don’t bear the cold alone—if you are a Columbia College or Columbia Engineering student, you may be eligible to apply for the Deans’ Student Assistance Fund, which can help cover the cost of winter coats and boots.

Staff writer Michelle Zhuang can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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