Winter Essentials: Staying Warm

The cold weather has really hit here in Pittsburgh. The wind chill was hovering around -5 degrees yesterday! I am not a winter person at all – I hate the cold, and it also makes life a lot more difficult for me. I can’t put a jacket on by myself, so I don’t get to take a break outside at all during the day, and having to wear layers just means it’s harder for me to move my arms easily.

I have learned, though, what to wear to keep me warm without adding a lot of bulk and layers. While I might be more particular and specific about my needs, these tips really apply to anyone!

Cashmere Sweaters
I know cashmere can be expensive, but it is absolutely worth it. Not only is it incredibly soft and comfortable, but it is the best at being warm without being bulky. They’re never stiff or hard to move in, which is really important to me. My favorites are from Everlane and Uniqlo – if you can scoop one up from Everlane during a “Choose What You Pay” sale, you can get one for $70, which is really great for the quality of the sweater – there are still a few sizes/color combinations available at that price here. And the sweaters from Uniqlo are really reasonably priced, too, and on sale here!

Fuzzy Socks
If I’m wearing boots, I almost always have a pair of fuzzy socks on underneath. I usually buy the “spa socks,” but I wear them during the day rather than overnight. I don’t have great circulation, and my feet are almost always cold, but these socks help keep me nice and toasty.

Fingerless Mittens
My aunt bought me a pair of super cute, embellished fingerless mittens for Christmas – I’d never had a pair before, but I realized they’re perfect for me! Driving a wheelchair in the winter is hard. It’s a struggle because if your fingers are too cold and stiff, it’s hard to drive it, but if you wear gloves and it’s too hard to move your fingers, it’s also hard to drive. These fingerless mittens seem like the perfect middle ground – they add some extra warmth, but they don’t make it harder to move. And the crystals are so cute!

Plush fleece lined thigh highs/tights
In the interest of full disclosure, I should be honest – I never wear full tights. Sitting all day with the tights waistband digging into your stomach is SO uncomfortable. I don’t remember exactly when I realized that I could get away with wearing thigh highs/knee highs as regular tights and no one would ever know the difference (#WheelchairPerks) was one of the most exciting. The Plush brand are especially great because they’re fleece-lined and so warm – they sell thigh highs here, and for those who may not be able to get away with those like me, they sell tights here

I pulled together some of my favorite picks below – you can scroll through and check them out. Let me know what you wear to stay warm in the winter!

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