If you find yourself travelling to Chicago in winter, your best bet for protection against the bitter cold is layers–lots of layers. You can definitely expect temperatures to dip below zero. Locals use layers like tee-shirts, thermals, and wind-proof light-weight jackets beneath their heavy duty arsenal to block out the city’s infamous wind. Of course, you will need the traditional snowy winter gear: parka, hat, gloves, scarf, and snow boots. You’ll need a pair of fingerless gloves with a mitten flap in order to continue navigating the city on your touch-screen smart phone in the 25 mph gusts. When the wind gets so bad you have trouble inhaling and exhaling, a wide scarf will come in handy to wrap around not only your neck but your entire face.
Like in many places over the winter holidays, Chicago shows a layer of sparkle that not even the locals can deny. Pack a bit of formal wear in order to celebrate the season with a cocktail in the gilded lobby of the Palmer House Hilton, high tea at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s), or the champagne service at Royal Tea in The Lobby of The Peninsula Hotel. Of course, you may wind up wearing your nicest outfit with your snow boots if the weather doesn’t hold out. A good pair of boots is essential–not only for keeping your feet warm and dry but also keeping you upright when the going gets tough. Sidewalks can form a layer of ice below the snow, so make sure your boots have soles with solid traction.
Just remember, the closer you get to the lake, the colder and windier the city will feel. Pack accordingly!