Baby It’s Cold Outside… But Here’s 5 Tips To Keep You Warm
Unless you are visiting family for Christmas or New Years, tending to pressing business or delving deeper into the world of fashion like myself, there is absolutely no reason to hop on a plane and enter into the tumultuous winter weather of New York City. At least that’s what I think. I’ve never been in New York City at winter time but I was always curious about life in the cold. In movies the weather seems so delightful and inviting, like the perfect atmosphere for romancing and all that good stuff. Well I have to admit that this Jack Frost weather is not as charming as I would have expected but there is still something about it that seems worth the while.
So far I’ve experienced wind chills below -18 degrees (which are anticipated to go lower), a blizzard with snow piling over a foot high and rain showers that transform into icicles while dripping from the rooftops. However, in the midst of my discomfort and as death draws near (or so it seems) I am happy to report that I have found a few means to survival as it has been quite the culture shock. So if you are deranged …I mean brave enough to come ‘vacationing’ in New York at winter time and you are from the Caribbean like me or anywhere hot for that matter, here are some important tips and things you ought to know.
1. Let your mind tell your body to say yes.
I know R.Kelly sang something a tad bit different but in this case some deep mental preparations have got to take place. Before I came to New York for winter I knew partially what I was up against. Then, in Trinidad I pushed my tolerance of colder atmospheres like low air condition temperatures etc to attempt to ready my physical self . It’s nowhere close to what out here feels like but it helped since at that time I could barely tolerate anything cold at all. My mind literally had to bring my body under subjection which I think is what made the transition easier when I came out here.
2. Invest in a mini winter wardrobe.
If you plan to do this winter thing there are about five (5) must have commodities you will need that are NOT worn in the Caribbean (at least I would hope so). They are a parka coat, a pair of fleece interior boots (Ugggs preferably), a pair of wool gloves, a thick wool beret and a knitted scarf. Once you have these items, you’ve got a fighting chance up here. This way you save on spending too much money accumulating ‘winter stuff’ you may not use again.
3. Layering is your best friend.
Finding the right layering technique will save you from the traumatizing impact of harsh cold winds. When I was coming to New York I packed all the long pencil and boot cut jeans I could find with all the leggings and stockings I owned. No sleeveless blouses entered my suitcase unless they were camisoles. Though most of my long sleeved tops were thin I packed them anyway to stack them on in a gazillion layers. I also brought hoodies, jackets, blazers and anything that could potentially keep me warm and every single day I am in about 4 to 5 layers of clothes. And it doesn’t stop there, after I’ve layered I crown everything off with my 5 must have commodities mentioned in point no. 2. Then I am warm enough to feel as snug as a bug.
4. Forget about looking “cute”.
This one is particularly for the ladies. Ladies, don’t be fooled by the women walking around with their cute little mini dresses, their very attractive mid-thigh trench coats and bare legs exposed. Stick to looking what I call “functionally fashionable”, there is no need to blend in and eventually freeze to death. Remember you’re not from around here and the weather will take some getting used to. Besides I am sure those “cute” women are all on the verge of frost bite anyway. When I go out with friends up here I dress ‘smart’. I still wear my layers but I work on the outward appearance of things so I don’t seem as though I am drowning in a sea of sweaters. The cheat is to skip wearing jeans and throw on about 4 or 5 layers of leggings for a chic and demure appeal, and then you could probably try tossing a mini printed skirt in there. When choosing the ‘party’ blouse that’s when things could get tricky. Usually to get away rocking ridiculous layers in fabrics like leather and tulle etc, I just envision myself as Grace Jones’ problem child and it usually does the trick. However, you can mix up your Caribbean wardrobe by wearing a light shirt and a blazer, once you are putting everything under your parka coat to leave the house. If you wish to wear heels just stick to heeled booties please. Trust me on this one.
5. Take care of your skin
This Antarctic weather can really cause horrible drying and chapping of the skin and lips so having an optimum moisture base is very important. I know that there are many lotions that can help you retain moisture but I have recently made a remarkable discovery of my own. We all know SPF is usually used during the summer season to prevent skin damage from the harsh rays of the sun but SPF is actually just as amazing in the winter time to. I smother my entire body in SPF every day after showers and it keeps my skin hydrated all day and then I also reapply at night before I sleep. It works wonders and your skin never feels dry so I highly recommend it. On my lips I simply add cocoa butter and that usually does the job.
Well I hope these tips have helped saved a life or two of persons who had any obscured visions as to what winter is like. This has been my first New York Memoir.