As is evident from the way New York covers the news, fashion, culture, and food, we are nothing if not obsessive. Slightly verging on the sociopathic, really. Turns out, we’re equally nuts when it comes to the stuff we buy.
Editorial Director, Vulture
Let's be clear: The Echo, a voice-controlled device powered by the Alexa platform (Amazon's answer to Siri) that can operate myriad home devices (including smart thermostats — heat!) and web services (Spotify, Uber), is not essential. Not yet. I tried it out because I get a kick out of saying, "Alexa, play the Jurassic Park soundtrack," and having the album promptly start up. Never not amusing. But as silly as this will sound, there is a function that has transcended novelty, one I now use multiple times a day: "Alexa, what's the weather?" Now, could I just check the temperature on my phone or computer? Sure. Did it for years. I can't entirely explain the appeal of using the Echo for this purpose, other than to say there's something about the question-and-answer Alexa interface that makes morning forecast inquiries oddly satisfying. Maybe this is how the robots win. At least I'll be properly dressed for the weather.
Senior Editor, Vulture
L.L.Bean’s Katahdin Iron Works Boots
If you live in a place with weather, you need waterproof boots. (And not just work boots that "look like they're probably waterproof, right?" Wrong!) "But what waterproof boots?" you ask. Relax. I'm getting to it. These: L.L.Bean's Katahdin Iron Works (ooo, trademarked) Boots, Waterproof. "But why?" you ask, not getting the hint that I'm going to spell it all out. First (and foremost), unlike a lot of waterproof work boots, they don't look stupid with lots of stitching and bells and whistles. These boots look like boots. They are the Platonic ideal of boots. If anyone saw one on the street, they'd think to themselves, Boot. Second, they are cheaper than, say, Red Wings' waterproof boots. (They're also hella less played out. Look, we all want to wear the same boots as Marc Maron, but is it really worth paying an extra $200 for the honor? I'll answer: Nah.) Third, they are warm. Very warm. Like you can't wear warm socks with them, or the heat and resulting sweat will create a steam room for your feet. Wear regular socks; you'll be warm. Four, you can trust me on this because I have a pair of said waterproof boots, and I love them. Not only that, but I've had them for five years, which is a long time, and they are still looking good and feeling good (read: feeling warm).
Senior Editor, the Cut
The Arrivals Halstrøm LMTD Modular Unisex Snow Parka
The guys behind outerwear line the Arrivals like to mention that they’re fashion outsiders, but their aesthetic — cool, minimalist, not too gendered — makes fashion people go crazy all the same. I bought their Halstrøm parka on a humid night in October, and the half-hour I spent sweating profusely in their showroom has been paying dividends all winter. The coat is so stylish that random strangers keep asking me where I got it; it’s incredibly warm; and despite being a bulky black unisex schmatta, it’s mysteriously flattering on my five-foot frame. The only downside: I think it weighs more than my cat. But I’m happy to shoulder that burden if it means I can be warm without having to look like a clone in That Other Fashionable Parka (you know the one).
Editorial Director, Grub Street
Norse Projects x Hestra Gloves
I mean, I bought them because, as you can see, they're that incredible shade of yellow. But then I got them — made in Scandinavia, where cold, blustery winters are kind of a thing — and immediately noticed how soft the deerskin leather is. They also have separate wool liners, so it's kind of like wearing two pairs of gloves at once. Little blankets for your hands, wrapped in leather. Think about getting a size smaller than you think you should so they're snug, and they'll fit like ... well, yes, they'll fit like gloves. Hand-forming, awesomely yellow, super-thermal gloves that you'll never want to take off.
Associate Beauty Editor, the Cut
Ikea Sötvedel Duvet
There’s nothing warmer than my duvet from Ikea, which I conceal under a fancy duvet cover to hide the fact that it’s from, well, Ikea. We’ve been through so much, like when my landlord assumed my lady-brain couldn’t figure out how to turn on the heat and I had to sit through all of December with a busted furnace. Or there’s also the January when I had to open all of the windows in my apartment because my roommate thought her SodaStream was leaking carbon dioxide. I like that it’s made entirely of duck feathers and down, so it doesn’t feel cheap. But, wow, is it warm.
Senior Editor, the Strategist
North Face Denali Thermal Etip Gloves
It turns out most touch-screen gloves either (a) don’t really allow you to touch your screen, or (b) don’t really keep your hands warm. I fell for a pair on Amazon last winter described as “super-warm conductive touch-screen gloves made of the best Italian lambskin leather." My fingers were so cold that I never wanted to take them out of my pockets long enough to so much as hit the “pause” button on my Audible download of Diane Keaton performing Slouching Towards Bethlehem. So this winter I decided to forgo Italian luxury in favor of outdoorsy utility. The guy at the North Face store refused to sell me the ThermoBall Etips, which the internet says are the brand’s warmest touch-screen gloves. “You won’t be able to text with them,” he said. “But they’re called ‘Etip’ because they’re meant for texting, right?” I asked. “Yes,” he clarified, “but you won’t be able to text with them.” Got it. What I ended up with were the Denali Thermal Etip gloves. They don’t have the PrimaLoft insulation of the ThermoBalls, but their cozy waterproof fleece — I believe the technical term is Fozzie Bear fur — made it entirely tolerable to type up my notes for this recommendation in the 15-degree windchill. I blame my few typos not on North Face’s proprietary conductive technology — it covers all five fingers as well as the palm, by the way, for those who want to text with their palm — but on the fact that the gloves are a little too big. I suggest taking a size down.
Senior Writer, the Cut
Adidas Sequencials ClimaHeat Tights
If I could redo my winter wardrobe, I would sew fleece lining into all of my existing clothes. That way, no matter what I wore, I would always feel like I was wrapped in a blanket. Adidas's ClimaHeat tights are fleece-lined and cozy-feeling, providing the insulation of wool without the itchiness. They're meant for running — and are great for doing that outside when it's in the 30s or below — but they're also perfect for lounging around and looking athletic while eating your weight in cheese.
Associate Editor, Grub Street
Diplomático Reserva Rum
Rum gets a bad rap these days. Cocktail enthusiasts emphasize the harsh and dry; it's bourbon or bust, and the spirit gets shafted for being sweet and shallow. Not true. Okay, it's sugar booze. Rum, though, can be as flavorful and delicious as any whiskey. For both novices and enthusiasts alike, I say get Diplomático Reserva — it isn't the Pappy Van Winkle of rum, but bang for buck you won't find a more convincing introduction to this spirit. A bartender friend endearingly called this Venezuelan rum "leathery"; I prefer to think of it as caramel-y. Sip it or, better yet, make a Dark 'N Stormy and pretend you're somewhere tropic. There are, really, few better drinks, especially when it's snowing.
Health Editor, the Cut
New Balance Cozy Tunic Pullover
I got this crazy-soft sweatshirt in the beginning of December and wanted to live in it immediately, but it was honestly too warm to wear at that point (thanks, rude heat wave). But since we’re now having normal winter weather, this pullover has been a go-to on weekends, and I even wore it to brunch with jeans and high-tops — the tonal New Balance logo above the left cuff is really subtle. I snuggled in it most of the weekend during the recent blizzard, holding mugs of tea and glasses of wine with my thumbs poked through the holes in the long cuffs. Pure heaven. Just make sure to follow the washing instructions to the letter! Mine got less soft after drying on high heat.
L.L.Bean Wicked Good Slippers
I must give credit where credit is due: My good friend Hannah turned me on to the wonders that are these sheepskin-suede, Australian-lamb's-wool-lined Wicked Good slippers. “They are like fireplaces for your feet,” she told me, explaining that it was her mother who first introduced them to her — she wore them when Hannah was little. Indeed, there is something very early-’80s-mom-doing-the-crossword-puzzle about them, which I find romantic. In addition to their aesthetic charms, these slippers are extremely soft and cozy — starting in November, I pop into them the minute I walk through the door — and over time the fur lining has remained as soft as ever. They have a solid rubber sole, so you can wear these to go get the newspaper (though it's not recommended you wear them outside for extended periods). Just remember, as the 267 pages of L.L.Bean comments warn, to order your pair a half-size down from your usual, and if the little (poorly placed) care tag at the sole is itching your feet, just cut it off.
Senior Beauty Editor, the Cut
Plush Fleece-Lined Tights
I'm one of those weirdos who never wears pants. It's not that I'm pantsless like Lady Gaga, but I think pants make me look like a short-legged Gumby. Dresses and skirts make me feel free; pants make me feel like I'm being shackled in a two-leg prison. While I think I've conditioned my legs to be mostly impervious to the cold, when it's anywhere below 15 degrees I reach for Plush's fleece tights. There's no special engineering with these tights; they're simply a waist-to-toe fleece Snuggie in tights form. The knit is thick enough so you don't see your knees when you bend, yet not so thick that it adds bulk. They also don't yield any static cling. But wear the tights only on days with a true Chicago-like temperature because if you sit in an office with overzealous heating, you'll be sweating like Rob Kardashian on the day when he gets his judgment from Kris Jenner after this whole Blac Chyna ordeal.
Sir Jack’s Pewter Hammered Kidney Captive Top Flask
I don’t do much fox hunting anymore (or duck hunting, either), and in this age of X-ray machines and anxious jet travel, small metal objects filled with possibly flammable liquids are not as convenient as they used to be. But if you wish to stay warm during an extended cold snap or blizzard (yes, it helps if the roads are impassable and the local airport is closed), there’s still no more warming gift than an ancient gentleman’s flask, preferably one filled with apple brandy, or Macallan 18, or a proper numbing dose of dark Barbados rum to summon up the tropics as you sit by the fire listening to the sound of snowflakes rattle off the windowpane. This pewter beauty wouldn’t look out of place on a wintry fox hunt, in the rumble seat of your boyfriend’s winter-proof all-terrain vehicle, or even, God forbid, on the bedside table.
Senior Market Editor, the Cut
Burton AK 2L Flare Down Jacket
As an avid snowboarder, I’m that psychopath who thinks it’s a great idea to wake up at 7 a.m. when it’s literally negative-10 degrees outside to hike up a mountain at 10,000 feet in search of fresh powder. Anyone who’s ever been to Jackson Hole knows that the brutal windchill knocks that temperature down another few degrees, but the payoff is completely worth it. I used to layer up, but it was bulky and uncomfortable. Last year I bit the bullet and splurged on this Burton jacket. It’s one of their heavy-duty models featuring a down lining and a Gore-Tex outer layer, so it’s completely windproof and waterproof. Even on the coldest days on the hill, I will throw on a thin Uniqlo HeatTech layer, plus a T-shirt, and be completely warm. Sometimes it's too warm — I’ve had to unzip for air circulation during a particularly strenuous hike in two-degree temps. And while I spend most of my days sadly not on my board, this jacket also proved handy during winter storms like the most recent one. Added bonus: I stand out in a sea of black puffers.
I'm a simple man with simple needs. I don't need anything fancy come wintertime. But I do need dry feet. For years I didn't acknowledge this need, opting to take the lazy man's route of wearing loafers or sneakers during snow-and-slush season. Moistness ensued. But two years ago, while experimenting with a personal-shopper app, I decided to man up and buy some boots. I just told the shopper assigned to me that I needed waterproof boots of some kind, and he turned up at my office with a pair of Fuda lace-up boots. Well, let's call them what they really are: knockoff Timbalands. But despite their non-name-brand nature, they've held up remarkably well and are about as comfortable as heavy boots can be. And they're (relatively) cheap! My toes have never been drier.
Associate Market Editor, the Cut
Restoration Hardware Ultra Faux Fur Oversized Bed Throw
I’m always cold in the winter. I’m the person who wears layers in the house when the heat is on, and I wear my coat during the day at work. So normal lightweight blankets just don’t do it for me, and especially at night when it gets cooler, I end up layering multiple blankets if they’re not really thick. This faux-fur oversize bed throw looks super plush and chic, but it’s honestly like wrapping yourself in a bear because it’s so thick and cozy.