Whether you're here for the weekend or you've been here your whole life, you can never fully prepare for how cold a Chicago winter actually feels.
Luckily, the city is covered in stores that specialize in winter wear and outerwear. So if you find yourself ill-prepared for the brisk wind off Lake Michigan, here are your best bets to protect yourself from the elements.
Moosejaw, 1445 W. Webster
Moosejaw is the go-to for everything winter. From stylish vests and parkas to the VIP of all winter coats - Canada Goose - Moosejaw has it all. The store carries its eponymous brand as well as Patagonia, North Face, Fjallraven, Marmot and more.
Columbia Sportswear, 830 N. Michigan Ave.
Columbia is a staple in winter wear. Many of the brands' options won't break the bank like some, but their coats are just as effective in fighting the Chicago winters. The Michigan avenue locale also sells Sorel boots, a footwear necessity for snow-covered Chicago sidewalks.
Carhartt, 18 S. Wabash Ave; 1518 N. Milwaukee Ave.
While the brand is typically known for its workwear, Carhartt has some of the best and most cost-effective outerwear items. Their signature knit hat comes in just about every color you can imagine, and won't even put a dent in the budget at $10 a pop.
Patagonia, 48 E. Walton St.; 1800 N. Clybourn Ave.
Patagonia vests and fleeces are everywhere for a reason - they're great quality. Patagonia sells everything for active lifestyles - from yoga to surfing, train running to skiing - but doesn't have a shortage of options when it comes to keeping you warm. The brands' fleeces and puffer coats are great for layering and come in tons of fun colors, bringing some joy to your look on those dreadful sub-zero days.
Photos: "Sloppy Street" by vonderauvisuals via flickr; Moosejaw, Columbia Sportswear; Carhartt; Patagonia