Last night’s snowstorm meant today’s getting around would be on foot, instead of by bike. Not a big deal as stop #1 in downtown Eau Claire is an easy half-hour walk from my apartment, all of which is on good sidewalks and off-street bike/ped trail. Stops 2 & 3 were just a few minutes from stop #1, all of this is in a downtown so I can do my getting around without climbing over snow banks or walking on sketchy roadsides as cars fly past.
Even with the safety issue out of the way people still balk at walking like I did, clothes being the main “yeah, but…”. Some would worry about staying warm (it was in the mid 20’s which is easy to stay warm in). Other’s would say they need to look nice or “presentable.” Or they worry about getting sweaty. Well, you can see what I wore today (plus a hat and gloves). I looked fine for the business casual environment I was in. I had light weight long underwear on under my sweater and pants and didn’t get cold on the walk or over heat while I was inside. The boots and a heavy pair of wool socks kept my feet warm and dry, provided sure footing in the snow, and I think they look sharp. And I never broke out in a sweat.*
Someone with a sharp eye might offer the “Yeah, but” that my clothes are expensive. They’d be right. However, those clothes aren’t extravagantly expensive, they allow you to be comfortable outside in cold weather and to cut down on your transportation spending as you can walk places in comfort while it’s cold out. And you can ditch your gym membership, once you’re walking and biking you won’t need it. Also, those clothes also aren’t new. I’ve had all of them a few years and will get many more years of use out of them. Buying a handful of well made, classically styled clothing will save you money in the long run.
Get yourself a well made pair of somewhat dressy boots (grippy soles are a must), a pair or two of heaver weight wool pants (wool slacks without pleats work great, just make sure you can walk well in them), a couple classically styled heavy wool sweaters, and a pea coat and you can conquer winter and look good doing it.
*if you haven’t walked anywhere in a while there’s a good chance you might work up a sweat, over or under dress for the weather, or misestimate the time. It’s best to do a handful of walks in your free time before walking (or biking) somewhere very far away when you have to be there at a set time. Once you’ve got a couple walks under your belt it takes no time at all to figure out timing, clothes, and your body will be used to the exercise and won’t get sweaty.