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Old 18th December 2009, 21:16   #1
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Default Likely to visit D.C--need advice on winter wear

Guys,

It is likely that I may be deputed to Washington DC for a couple of months in Jan, 2010.

I need advice on winter wear options--whether to buy in India or purchase there after landing.

I've never been to sub-zero climes, but only to places that are a wee bit above zero degrees, like SFO, LA, Tahoe and Vegas, not to mention Manali.

I plan to buy thermal inners in India before leaving, and carry a coat that our company has given us. Perhaps I can buy a bigger jacket after landing there, if need be.

I've explored leather jackets in Hyd at Palem Leathers and other places, and found most of them priced between Rs 4500 to 6000. But all of them are only upto waist level, and not the big coats that we get to see in Hollywood movies that go upto the feet.

Inputs from seasoned 'Eskimos' will be of great help to me---so please shoot, guys!!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 18th December 2009, 21:29   #2
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Layers is the key my friend. Its -15 outside and I am wearing a sweater and a jacket . The idea is to wear many thin layers instead of one thick one. Get thermals from India and get one decently warm jacket (try and get a synthetic shell one as leather ones are not really as warm as they are made to be). Woodland has some I believe. Do not bother about getting long ones.

If you plan to wear thermals to work, try and get ones that have a high cotton content. Indoors is heated and a synthetic thermal (especially lower) will kill you . A thermal lower and a jeans/trouser should keep you warm enough for DC winter.

Again - layers - undershirt - thermal if needed / alternately a sweater - jacket - cap - gloves - woodland boots if you are planning on walking a lot in snow. This should get you started quite well. You can come here and pick stuff that you feel might not be working (doubt it though).

Last edited by mohit : 18th December 2009 at 21:35.
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Old 18th December 2009, 21:38   #3
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Arrow Thinsulate, wool, cashmere!

How long is your visit? If it's a short one, then you needn't bother investing a whole lot of money in winter clothing and only get what's necessary - (mainly jacket and a pair of gloves).

Get full sleeved sweaters from India rather than thermals.
Thermals are fine if you're outside all the time but will get uncomfortable when you're indoors.

You'll be better off buying a jacket (and most winter gear - incl. gloves, etc.) once you're here - the ones available in India won't work here.
Do get your company coat though so you have something once you land.

Depending on how much snow we're having you might have to buy a pair of warm shoes but DC usually isn't bad.

Feel free to PM me if you need any help. I'm usually around the Baltimore area (@ 1hr from DC) during the week.
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Old 18th December 2009, 21:38   #4
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An advice on leather. it's heavy and not good enough for winter. Mine is lying in closet for years.

The best thing will be to visit a local store in US and buy a bubble/down fill jacket preferably with a snug-fit hood and waist cord to keep air pockets warm. If you need specific usage then you will need more. e.g. a thick woolen overcoat if you need formal suit at work. Wind and water resistant jacket if you need to be outdoors (skiing etc). Even gloves are better bought here. Go for thinsulate, you can get within 10$ in walmart. I know people have survived with jeans and no lower inner in peak winters, but depends on your comfort (and fat) level. high boots are good but check if your work place is too formal for them. woodlands perform very poorly on solid floors when wet.

EDIT:
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Originally Posted by aah78 View Post
How long is your visit? If it's a short one, then you needn't bother investing a whole lot of money in winter clothing and only get what's necessary - (mainly jacket and a pair of gloves).
Also, If you are gong to use a car, some of it may be unnecessary. On public transport, you need to save every bit of heat from your body while standing at the stop.

Last edited by vivekiny2k : 18th December 2009 at 21:42.
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Old 18th December 2009, 22:38   #5
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Thanks guys, will post my response tomorrow, as 2 attempts by me ran into error!
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Old 18th December 2009, 22:48   #6
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Wow, thanks for the suggestions guys. Really appreciate the instantaneous reponse!
Well, as it stand now, my visit is for 3 months starting early Januray. My company is trying to accomodate me close to the client, and not far from the local train station.

Yes, I will be using public transport mostly, and might rent a car when my wife joins me after a couple of months. I took the precaution of getting an IDP also today, though most states do not need it.
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Old 18th December 2009, 22:48   #7
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Thanks for the caution regarding Inners being uncomfortable at the work spot----clean slipped my mind. In fact I'd almost made up my mind to buy inners of some Indian company made of pure wool instead of cotton ones made by Jockey, though they cost 4 time more than the latter. Looks like I'll go for 2 pairs of Jockey now.

@aah78---I'll carry my full-sleeved sweater too, as advised. It would be nice catching up with you there, once i am there!

Vivek and Mohit---I've decided to buy most of the stuff there, as advised. A pal of mine has volunteered to ferry me from the airport to the store.

Thanks once again.
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Old 18th December 2009, 23:19   #8
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As everyone else has suggested, do carry thermals. Both upper and lower thermals.

Another thing -

carry many pairs of socks with you. If you are going to walk in snow, your socks will get wet and you would need to change them.

Also, carry thick shoes and especially those with thick soles. If you end up walking during your commute, you will catch frost-bite via your feet if the sole is not thick enough.

Carry a good cap , preferably something that covers your nose and ears also. Our ears have the thinnest skin and cold winds will severely affect them.

Carrry 2-3 pairs of gloves. Sometimes, it would get so cold that you have to wear multiple gloves, so make sure you carry gloves that can be worn over 1 another.

Finally, carry moisturising face and body creams. Winters there are really harsh and your skin will become dry and peel.
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Old 18th December 2009, 23:32   #9
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vnabhi --- I have no experience with DC winter, but I've experienced about 2 days of Northern China winter where temps plummeted to -26 deg C. This is my experience.

Shoes: Get really good stuff like those Woodland All weather shoes. The salesguy may say it is a trekking shoe and the sole looks like that of a trekking shoe, but they are very warm. The soles are thick. The shoes look good and can be used as a casual-formal wear. My dad uses those shoes sometimes instead of his leather shoes.

Gloves: Very very important. Many people underestimate the importance of gloves. When I was in the snow and ice festival, the temp was around -30 deg C and I was warm enough, but my fingers were freezing. I simply couldnt warm them fast enough. I had two pairs of gloves, both of them the same size, so I couldnt wear bother the pairs. Individually both were pretty much useless. The gloves were bought in India and may have been good for Delhi and North India winter, but not enough there.

Layers: Very important as the others have said, but I managed with one layer of thermals(not pure cotton however), my clothes and one thick jacket on top of that. But it did get a little too warm indoors. Thankfully, we didnt spend too much time indoors. For the short durations that we were indoors, I just took of the jacket, cap, gloves, etc.... So, I was a bit more comfortable. But in an office, over an extended period of time, it will get annoying.

Cap/Hat: This is a crucial aspect of your attire. Cover your head and ears and you will be very comfortable. Dont forget this. Depending on your tolerance to the cold and the prevailing temps, you could land in DC and then decide to buy a good cap. But please get one. It's worthwhile.

Jackets: A warm one is important. Also, the jacket should be a sort of windcheater. If there is a fast wind blowing and your jacket is not able to deflect it, you will freeze.

Socks: Try to take woollen socks from here itself. They make a hell of a difference over regular cotton socks. Woollen socks + Woodland shoes will keep your feet warm aand toasty!!

As LLL said, moisturiser and cold creams are very important as well.

All said and done, have a great time!

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 18th December 2009 at 23:33.
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Old 19th December 2009, 00:18   #10
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DC is not normally so cold to warrant thermals. A jeans,vest/shirt/jacket,shoes/scoks,head-cap,gloves should be good enough. It would of course be advisable to always have thermals along - especially if head out up north. Midadlantic areas have mild winter - min should not normally go 2/3 degees below zero.

Also, pls buy everything you need in India - do not even plan to buy in US.

Last edited by Zappo : 19th December 2009 at 01:08. Reason: Can we please use the Edit button instead of making these back to back posts?
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Old 19th December 2009, 03:32   #11
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DC is not at all a very cold city, so dont loose your sleep over it.
carry a pair of gloves and a cap if you going to walk i mean use public transportation.

and its not Alaska so just relax.

regarding overcoat and other stuff, its hard to find good stuff in india cos it seldom gets very cold and things are very decently and reasonably priced in US compared to other so called great nations.

its always guud to do shopping in US so dont miss a chance.

and buddy like other mentioned dont at least carry moisturisers from india, its cheap in US and you will get good quality stuff and why you would wanna increase your baggage weight for useless stuff which you can buy at the same prices from every nook and corner of US.

BTW, its a very confusing title and i thought you going to a chap in mumbai called DC whom most of us dont like much at T-BHP.
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Old 19th December 2009, 04:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Well, as it stand now, my visit is for 3 months starting early Januray. My company is trying to accomodate me close to the client, and not far from the local train station..
If you're in the city you'll be fine as public transportation is pretty good compared to suburban areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
DC is not at all a very cold city, so dont loose your sleep over it.
carry a pair of gloves and a cap if you going to walk i mean use public transportation.

and its not Alaska so just relax.
Don't be so casual about it - cold is a relative term. For someone used to living in freezing temperatures, a few degrees below won't be so out of the ordinary but for someone used to ambient temperatures of 25 to 30 deg C, even upper teens feel terribly cold.
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Old 19th December 2009, 08:24   #13
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Hi Vnabhi,

I totally agree with Simply_sunny001, you will get better jackets suited for the winter in US. Please do not buy it from India. Please make sure you get couple of good woolen sweaters and a good pair of gloves. As far as moisturiser and cold creams, please buy in DC. I lived in Cleveland, Ohio where the winters go even worse, I could survive with sweaters, jeans, good jacket, Woodland shoes and good pair of gloves. The jackets and gloves I used were bought from Walmart. It will be great opportunity for you to explore the shopping in us which is a great experience.
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Old 19th December 2009, 09:07   #14
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Hi Venu saab,

The best places to buy thermals are "Andhra Hosiery" (next to Ramesh Watch co., Gandhi Statue, Secunderabad) and Marks & Spencers (Hyderabad Central), look for the ones with high wool content (higher the wool content the better they are in terms of comfort in cold and warm). Louis Phillipe (Rd. No. 3 Banjara Hills - before Pure n Natural) too has some thermals but the ones in M&S are better. M&S also has woolen socks with extra length to keep your calves warm - this can be very important as cold air creeping up from the bottom of your trousers can make you feel very uncomfortable.

Once in the US buy a good woolen coat (not a jacket) this can cost anything upto USD 500, but trust me, I bought one in Europe and it is the best investment I have made in woolens. Other parts are scarves/mufflers, I think Wills Lifestyle (Nagarjuna Circle, Banjara Hills) has a few - silk on one side and wool on the other. These are really good at keeping the cold wind out of your coat and neck. Hat/cap - a hat is more formal (European office-wear demands it) a cap is informal and you might get away with it in the US. Buy your gloves in the US, the ones you get here are useless. Nike (Begumpet) though has some thermal gloves and a cap which could help in layering. You can wear the Nike gloves and cap under another set.

The first one or two days are the worst, so please layer and bundle yourself up nicely. Once your body gets used to the cold you will be more comfortable and might shed a few layers.

While buying warm clothes stay away from synthetics as they can get uncomfortable, build up static etc. The trick is in layering the clothing. Suggested for office wear is: Thermals (long johns), Shirt, vest, Jacket, Coat, Scarf/muffler, hat. Try and reach a day early so that you can look for bargains in the local stores. It will be money and time well spent as local stores stock things appropriate for the local weather.

Bon Voyage and cheers,

Last edited by Ravveendrra : 19th December 2009 at 09:25.
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Old 19th December 2009, 11:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post

Once in the US buy a good woolen coat (not a jacket) this can cost anything upto USD 500, but trust me, I bought one in Europe and it is the best investment I have made in woolens.
Whoa, where do you shop man . Go to burlington coat factory (in US) and they don't even stock anything above 250 USD in regular coat section. I have always bought coats within 100 USD. And bubble/down fill is definitely easier to maintain than wool.
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