Student Life

Essential attire for winter warmth

As we take advantage of the last few sunny fall days in Montreal, it’s easy to forget that a frigid winter is approaching. Before the snow fully settles upon us, it’s best to prepare ahead of time for the sub-zero temperatures. For those who have yet to experience Montreal’s ice-cold weather, The McGill Tribune brings you a list of essential winter clothing items and practices, from layering to staple winter accessories. 

A good jacket

Equipping yourself with the perfect winter jacket is crucial to keeping warm.  

When it comes to length, the longer the better. To fight off frostbite, invest in a coat that will cocoon your body all the way down to your knees. You’ll feel like a penguin waddling around on campus. 

Other important things to look for when hunting for a jacket are its insulation and fabric. For Montreal weather, water-resistant down material is the way to go. The goose down will keep your body insulated, while water-resistant fabric will be perfect for rainy and snowy days. Some down-free alternatives that are equally as warm are quilted jackets filled with nylon or polyester.

Consider as well a hood for your jacket to keep your head dry and cozy while it rains or snows. If you don’t love the look of hoods on your jackets, try to find one with a detachable hood for the best of both worlds.

Storage and warmth are what pockets are all about. Look for a jacket with large pockets to store your miscellaneous belongings and protect your hands from the cold. 

Black, grey, and white are staple colours that go with anything you wear. However, if you want to add some vibrancy and style to your winter look, pick out a jacket in your favourite bright colour. Not only will it help you stand out, but it will keep you joyful during downcast winter days. 


Remember this rule of thumb: You can always take off layers, but you can’t add them once you’ve already left the house. 

Good fabrics for layers are always thinner, not thicker. Try shopping for cashmere, fleece, and wool sweaters with long sleeves. Thermal long-sleeved garments are also a great addition underneath a cozy sweater for an extra layer of warmth. These items are always easy to thrift at Value Village if you’re on a budget. 

For your bottom half, wearing tights or long underwear underneath your favourite pair of pants ensures that your legs will be warm as you strut through the city. 

Layering doesn’t have to be solely practical. For instance, try wearing funky, patterned turtlenecks underneath your favourite graphic tees to spice up your outfit, or transition your dresses into winter by wearing a thick, ribbed pair of tights and vibrant long sleeves underneath.


Although accessories may feel like a small component of your outfit, they can be a hefty addition to your warmth. While the majority of your outfit may simply feel like insulation, it’s these added features that allow you to express your style. Good items to consider are ear muffs, hats, scarves, and mittens. Depending on how warm your jacket keeps your neck, you might want to add a scarf for more protection against the wind or for added flair. 

When choosing between gloves or mittens, mittens are the way to go––wearing them allows your fingers to generate more heat And mittens with button flaps allow you to use your phone whenever need be.


In the early days following the first frost, it’s easy to get away with thick socks and a pair of fur-lined Doc Martens. As we move further into the season, however, it’s a smart idea to invest in a pair of proper heavy-duty winter boots. 

The perfect Montreal winter boot is fur-lined, tall, waterproof, and has good traction for the icy sidewalks. Some brands to look for are Ugg, Sorel, and Merrell. To keep your boots chic, include striking, colourful laces with beads laced in, and wear long, patterned socks to peek out of your boots for a fun surprise.

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