How to dress for a Montreal Winter 2.

Me at about 60pc. Note short jacket and jaunty lack of gloves.

I saw a girl on Monkland Avenue today in a Canada Goose jacket (very expensive and very warm). Here is my problem. It is 6 degrees celsius today. She is clearly breaking the rules.  The rules that state thou shalt not wear your warmest jacket until it gets below freezing.
The jacket rule: If you are wearing your warmest jacket now where are going to go when it's minus 20C? As we like to say in England, she will not feel the benefit.

We are not here yet. Put those coats away.
Now no self-respecting Canadian is putting on their warmest coat just yet. If my warmest coat is 100pc of my capacity to keep warm - I am probably only at about 50pc now in early November when it is a balmy 6C. A light sheepskin is your maximum right about now.

I will be upgrading my warmth factor from now until January when Montreal's average low is -14C. Remember average means it actually goes lower than that - quite a lot of the time. You will be hearing me moaning about this in a few months.
Me at 100pc - long padded coat, wool hat, thermal mittens
The mittens rule: The same goes for your hands - I have sorted out my gloves and thermal mittens, I am looking at my thermal mittens but I am not wearing my thermal mittens because it's only 6C for goodness sake! Take them off immediately and wear some nice suede gloves like me. Nice pink ones my mum bought me in Fenwick's department store, Newcastle, England where it never gets to -14C.
Too warm yet for all this lark.
The hat rule: Ok I think you might be getting the hang of this thing now. No need for the full ear-flapping ski lodge look yet. Get 'em off. On with the lightweight wool, people. We have to have some discipline here.
The boot rule: Same rules apply. Thin leather will suffice. If you're not going to wear your useless fashion boots now, with absolutely no insulation, when exactly are you proposing to wear them? I really don't want to see any big-ass lined boots yet. We have six months of this stuff and there is no way I'm going to 100pc yet.
Previous rules on dressing for Montreal winter click here.... more rules
Read 5 crazy things to do in a Canadian winter

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  1. Reminds me of the spring clothing rule - whenever it gets over 15 degrees outside, some girls absolutely have to wear mini skirts and flip flops.

    My guess is they also own a Canada Goose jacket. ;)

    Great post. Not many people understand the logistics behind Canadian weather. We do not just hide under a grizzly fur anorak all winter, people.

  2. Dear Eurotrip Tips
    Many thanks for your comment - yes I recognise the phenomenon. I will be watching out for the same girl in her flip flops. The thing about being British is you have a lot of non-warm coats and jackets. Pretty useless things which look nice enough though so I try and wear them in the few short weeks before the face-hurting cold sets in.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Oh, I am rationing my trench coats, wool coats and parkas according to drops in temperature. It ain't Canada Goose weather yet, pretty soon, I'll be looking like the Michelin man!


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  4. Dear 20 York Street
    Quite right. Every girl needs to have a plan!
    Just looking into my coat cupboard is a strategic nightmare right now.

  5. Guilty. I am she of the Canada Goose, or at least her ilk, though I sport a full length Karbon ski coat - to mid-shin. In addition, faux Uggs, wool socks, heavy gauge cashmere sweater etc. I don't know how it works, except to say that I've been doing it for years, and presumably the body adjusts even while the exterior remains roughly the same. I have even donned my thermal underwear to work outside. However. As it warmed today from 0 to 5 in the north, I was able to walk from car to shopping center in naked sweater. Woo hoo. And when I got home, I was flushed and warm, and quickly shucked boots and socks. That never lasts, though. And rest assured that I will be splashing about in my flip flops the moment it hits 14...

  6. Great to have the input of a real live Texan, coping with a Quebec winter. Maybe we can forgive you the faux Uggs as your Texan blood obviously needs to keep at a higher temperature. I don't want to be too graphic but if I wear my warmest coat now I glow somewhat on my walk to the Metro, if you get my drift.
    Thanks for your confession!

  7. I was in Skye - for all Canadians that's a wee island in Scotland, near England - last week and I saw a couple who didn't look Scottish as the woman was wearing pink, fluffy ear muffs. From what your blog tells me Anne I just had an inkling they could be canadians. Sure enough, I heard their accent and I am almost certain they were, quite clipped "t" pronunciation going on, so definitely not Americans.

    I wouldn't care, it wasn't cold - it was sunny and about 8 deg Celcius. Warmer than a Scottish summer in a bad year.

    Mind you, they weren't the most ridiculous people in Skye, which was the reason for my trip. That award goes to the Royal Navy who managed to beach a £1bn brand new nuclear submarine on a shingle bank by the Skye Bridge because they took a wrong turn. (If you don't believe me google BBC Scotland and submarine.)

  8. Pink fluffy ear muffs. Arrest that woman. Clearly Canadians are developing a reputation for this stuff.
    Just seen two women on Sherbrooke Street who seem to think it's -20. Fur hoods over hats. IT'S NOT COLD YET. My friend tells me she is worried as she has 30pc clothes and 100pc clothes (see earlier post) and nothing in between. It's a mathematical nightmare living in this country.
    Thanks for your comment. Always nice to hear from Scotland.


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