Winter clothes

dr.butcher

Senior Member
Having grown up in Oz, and currently living in Hong Kong, I've never had the need for real winter clothes, in fact my entire wardrobe is geared towards hot, humid weather.

I'll (hopefully) be spending time in Russia during the winter and expecting around -4°F.

Can I get recommendations on what clothes I need from the guys here that experience really cold winters?

Only advice missus gave me is that I want fur-lined boots, she said wool-lined, etc., won't be warm enough. Anyone know where I can get these?

I have no real winter clothes, so will need boots, socks, undergarments, trousers, shirts, sweaters, coats, gloves, scarfs, hats, etc.,. Keep in mind the cost. I assume I'll be spending a decent amount of time in Russia in the coming years so I don't mind buying a full wardrobe, but of course, getting it all at once means I'll probably wants cheaper-ish items. Though I don't want to skimp on quality as I hope to use these for years to come.
 

Langham

Honors Member
Why not wait until you get there? Local advice may be best. The traditional winter footwear there is valenki:

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dr.butcher

Senior Member
Why not wait until you get there? Local advice may be best. The traditional winter footwear there is valenki:

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Thanks. I'll check out valenki. Missus says they're not very common for city-use, better for hanging around the dacha. As for waiting, I don't want to arrive in a lightweight summer suit and linen shirt and freeze until I manage to do all the required shopping. Plus, I'll be busy with family. And assuming I do buy stuff there, I'll still want to be prepared beforehand so I know exactly what I need and can get it in the first day or so.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
Why not wait until you get there? Local advice may be best. The traditional winter footwear there is valenki:

By the way, I got local advice sitting next to me. What I want, is advice on cold weather clothes from a classic menswear perspective. I want to be warm... and look good :D
 

paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
One of my favorite customers was Tom Watson. When he was US Ambassador to Russia we made him 18oz thorn proof suits. For undergarments buy silk ski long johns and silk undershirts. Another useful item is a hand warmer.

Paul Winston
Winston Tailors/ www.chippneckwear.com
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
While fur lined boots are nice, for really harsh weather and for pure utility, you can't been technical fabrics and materials.

Pajar is a Canadian company and I've heard good things about their boots. My wife bought a pair last year and was very pleased with them, particularly the traction they give her on icy/slippery surfaces.

https://www.pajar.com/ca_en/men/footwear.html
 

Langham

Honors Member
By the way, I got local advice sitting next to me. What I want, is advice on cold weather clothes from a classic menswear perspective. I want to be warm... and look good :D

I'd be interested in what local advice has to say about fur coats and hats. Fur-lined coats?
 

Dhaller

Elite Member
While fur lined boots are nice, for really harsh weather and for pure utility, you can't been technical fabrics and materials.

Pajar is a Canadian company and I've heard good things about their boots. My wife bought a pair last year and was very pleased with them, particularly the traction they give her on icy/slippery surfaces.

https://www.pajar.com/ca_en/men/footwear.html

Technical was my first thought as well.

I'm not familiar with Pajar (well, now I am!), but Sorel makes some good boots for snowy conditions, as well.

DH
 

immanuelrx

Senior Member
First discovering them in a cold military environment, silk-weight underwear (full body) works wonders and you can't see them on the outer layer. Not the total answer, but a start.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
One of my favorite customers was Tom Watson. When he was US Ambassador to Russia we made him 18oz thorn proof suits. For undergarments buy silk ski long johns and silk undershirts. Another useful item is a hand warmer.

I'm guessing 18oz is a good balance between what is warm enough under an overcoat, but not too hot indoors?

And why thorn proof...?

While fur lined boots are nice, for really harsh weather and for pure utility, you can't been technical fabrics and materials.

Pajar is a Canadian company and I've heard good things about their boots. My wife bought a pair last year and was very pleased with them, particularly the traction they give her on icy/slippery surfaces.

https://www.pajar.com/ca_en/men/footwear.html

Thanks for the link and the advice. I'll look into technical fabrics.

I'd be interested in what local advice has to say about fur coats and hats. Fur-lined coats?

Local advice says fur hats are useful (though not the most stylish option). As for fur coats and fur-lined coats, local advice says they are way too heavy for practical use, particularly if you plan on getting public transport, like a bus or train. Instead, she suggests opting for something that is lightweight but doesn't sacrifice on warmth, like Canada Goose jackets that use duck down (and if I am correct, only fur trimmings on the hoods).

...and in a soil-rich urban environment, as much as possible should be washable.

Good point, I didn't think of that.

First discovering them in a cold military environment, silk-weight underwear (full body) works wonders and you can't see them on the outer layer. Not the total answer, but a start.

That definitely sounds a go. I think I'm going to feel the cold more than locals because my body is so unaccustomed to it.

Edit. Since this is Dr. Butcher's thread, I should have told him it's good to see him posting again so I just did.

Thanks, it's good to be back. A lot of things have kept me offline recently, including my recent marriage to.. you guessed it... my Russian girlfriend. Here's a pic of my chow chow Charlie right before I headed off for the civil service. I managed to get a self-tie bow tie on him... with quite some difficulty. He had been adopted only a fortnight earlier after being tie to a tree and left there and he was a little jumpy to say the least. Couldn't sit still for a moment. But no dog of mine is wearing pre-tied! (Way off topic, but he's about six months in this photo.)

 
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paul winston

Super Member
Advertiser
Technical was my first thought as well.

I'm not familiar with Pajar (well, now I am!), but Sorel makes some good boots for snowy conditions, as well.

DH
Thorn proof is what Porter and Harting named the cloth. It was tightly woven - hence "thorn proof". This was important when one sat on damp logs or walked through the wood outside you castle in Scotland.
Paul Winston
 
When I spent time in the Soviet Union during the winter months, I just purchased winter items there. Given the harsh nature of the winters, I was far more interested in practicality than style. Those items, while not exactly attractive, served me well and are still in near perfect condition after many years.
 

Langham

Honors Member
Thorn proof is what Porter and Harting named the cloth. It was tightly woven - hence "thorn proof". This was important when one sat on damp logs or walked through the wood outside you castle in Scotland.
Paul Winston

They are by no means the only weavers of thornproof tweed - in fact it is a fairly generic description.

A failing of many modern fibres (though I dare say not all) is that they snag on thorns and barbed wire, and then rip. This doesn't tend to happen so easily with tweed.
 

Bradley.Kohr.II

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
As a S TX farm boy who's also been to Russia in Winter..,

Ugg made some winter men's hiking boots lined w shearling.

The critical thing is a sole designed for ice - parts of Russia do not clear sidewalks.

Silk underwear, top and bottom, silk glove liners and silk lining socks, topped with another layer of washable wool underwear, wool socks and warm gloves, really help

I do not do well w technical fabrics in a cold environment

Pendleton makes nice washable wool shirts. I'm a big fan of those as well, along w a good scarf

If you wear glasses, take a brimmed hat.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
When I spent time in the Soviet Union during the winter months, I just purchased winter items there. Given the harsh nature of the winters, I was far more interested in practicality than style. Those items, while not exactly attractive, served me well and are still in near perfect condition after many years.

Of course, it's better to be warm and badly-dressed, than cold and well-dressed. I knew a guy that wore a leather jacket in Hong Kong clubs on hot summer nights "cause it looks good" and sweated like a pig for his efforts.

However, there's an important distinction between wanting to dress well and not being vain. There are many options for winter clothes and summer clothes and how to combine them. I could pick up an old tee at Target for summer, not worry about the print, the cut, etc., or put a little more effort into the process (with a nice linen shirt for instance) and look presentable. I think it's at the heart of the reason why we're all on this forum. I'll also be meeting in-laws for the first time, so there's that.

If I'm getting a winter suit, for instance, I'd rather buy a suitable cloth myself (such as that suggested by Paul) and get my tailor to make a suit than throw any old puffy jacket on top of a tee and sweater. I do plan on shopping there as there will be an abundance of cold weather clothes, but I need some basics to get me going and I know it takes time to build a wardrobe.

^^He must be enjoying the bow tie...
It appears that Charlie is smiling for the photographer! LOL. Nicely done. ;)

Thanks. Once we got him out of the SPCA, cleaned him up, fed him properly, and gave him a little love and attention, he became an extremely happy-go-lucky fella.

As a S TX farm boy who's also been to Russia in Winter..,

Ugg made some winter men's hiking boots lined w shearling.

The critical thing is a sole designed for ice - parts of Russia do not clear sidewalks.

Silk underwear, top and bottom, silk glove liners and silk lining socks, topped with another layer of washable wool underwear, wool socks and warm gloves, really help

I do not do well w technical fabrics in a cold environment

Pendleton makes nice washable wool shirts. I'm a big fan of those as well, along w a good scarf

If you wear glasses, take a brimmed hat.

I hear a lot about UGG!

What's the issue you have with technical fabrics?

I do wear glasses. The problem is them going cloudy?
 

Bradley.Kohr.II

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I got clammy/cold when wearing them. Under armor shirts are OK but washable silk is reasonable and I found them far more comfortable

The brimmed hat was to help keep glare out of my eyes and the snow from getting on the lenses. It seems like there's always light snow/dirt drifting around.
 

Bradley.Kohr.II

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
At least for women, Uggs approach a uniform for the women in Russia - fortunately, they make men's boots which look more like normal hiking boots.

TMK, I've never seen a nicely done, warm, boot with a good sole for ice.

I think a paddock boot or a split toe chunks could be done to work well in that fashion.
 

Pentheos

Elite Member
-4 F isn't all that cold. Are you going to be spending hours and hours outside? Or just moving from apartment, to transportation, to work? If so, I wouldn't fret too much.

Also, do you want to look like them or like us (i.e., Americans)? If them, buy there. If us, I'd say check out LL Bean. Their parkas will be more than warm enough, esp. over flannel/chamois shirts. Maybe pick up some fleece lined khakis or jeans. Wool socks, Bean boots.
 
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