I am moving to Chicago soon, and my friend who already lives there advised me to only buy a Northface coat- she says any other coat, even though it has a down filling and feathers, will not be good enough. Any suggestions to if she is right or what other coats can I wear? I saw a nice Calvin Klein coat that looked warm but she thinks I will freeze to death in it. Is she right?
I've lived in Chicago most of my life…some winter days will get really cold, some not so bad, but your friend's probably cautioning you for the worst (or really bad for somebody used to warm weather).
I'm not too familiar with Northface, but I hear they're pretty good...and expensive! I bought a really nice down coat from Old Navy a few years back for a good price, and it's still a great coat.
Either way, though it does have to do with the coat, the secret to keeping warm in Chicago mostly has to do with learning to dress in layers. When I say layers, I mean a tucked-in, skin-tight shirt, another tucked-in shirt over that, sweater over that, sweatshirt, turtleneck, or hoodie over that, then the heavy coat. For your lower body, wear 2 pairs of socks and long underwear under your jeans. It’s also good to buy gloves a little bigger than your hands so you may put those knit, 1-size fits all-gloves under them (one winter, I even lined my pockets with plastic sandwich bags to help block the wind)! Buy a scarf and/or performance face-mask, and a hat.
When looking for that heavy coat, be sure to buy one with a fleece—insulated hood. Long coats, or the kind that come just below your butt, are nice, too, for they help to block the heavy winds. And you want it to zip up to your chin. A good coat to shield you from the wind-chill is one with some sort of plastic-like coating…something that will keep the wind from penetrating the coat...wool works well, also.
Honestly, I'm not trying to scare you, but I'm also not exaggerating here. Some DAYS really do get down to -20 F with a colder wind-chill (what the wind feels like when it hits your skin). I once stepped off a curb to cross the street and I felt like my kneecap was going to shatter, it was so cold.
If you don't buy it online, then in order to buy a good coat for really cold weather, you’d be better off buying one when you get there.
I found some coats on Amazon worth checking into, and that would DEFINITELY help you survive Chicago winters: