The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting joy for the winter weather lovers out there. According to this venerable source, the Midwest Plains region will have an above-average snowfall this year. And it’s expected to start early — some readers may already have experienced the first snowfall of the season.

Likewise, temperatures are expected to be colder than normal this winter. Which means it’s time to prepare for some frigid temps.

Whether you’re a winter weather lover or not, just about everyone can agree that shopping for new gear is one of the most enjoyable parts of the season. What do you need to be ready for this year’s Midwest winter wonderland? Read on to find out.

Winter Jackets

Winter style starts with a bomb jacket. And we mean that literally this year. Aviator and bomber jackets are trending items this winter season for both men and women. You can find these stylish coats at major retailers like American Eagle and Nike this winter.

Puffer jackets are also still a great winter coat option and definitely not going out of style anytime soon. If you’re after full-body protection, you could go with a longer coat like this modestly-priced one from Old Navy. Or, if money’s no object, The North Face has a top-of-the-line parka-style puffer that will keep you warm regardless of how far the temperatures drop.

Those based in Madison or the Twin Cities already know that Fjallraven is among the best spots for outdoor winter gear. If you’re looking for a coat that can withstand the elements while you’re snowboarding, hiking, or ice-fishing, check them out. You won’t be disappointed (and you probably won’t need a replacement any time soon, either).

All About the Boots

Winter jackets are great for showing off your style and providing a crucial layer against winter winds. But everyone knows that the key to warmth in the winter is keeping your feet warm (and dry). If you’re in the market for a new pair of boots this winter, here are a few to consider.

This year’s hottest winter boots for women are the fabulously named Joan of Arctics from Sorel. They’re tall enough to keep snow and rain off your feet, feature a chic faux fur lining at the top, and have a strong rubber shell around the bottom that will have you comfortably and confidently walking through snow. Stylish and fully functional, they’re ideal winter footwear — especially if the almanac is correct about the snowfall this year.

For guys, a pair of Kamik’s Nation Plus is hard to beat. These boots are durable and have great traction for walking through snow and ice. The entire boot is waterproof, and it’s rated for temperatures as low as -40℉ (hopefully, you won’t need to put that to the test!). The Nation Plus also looks the part — they’re stylish, but you can tell they mean business.

Your local REI is likely to carry both of those boots. Although, if you happen to be anywhere near Sioux Falls, you might want to check out the Great Outdoors Store. This independent shop is loved by locals and has a full selection of boots and other seasonal gear.

Sweater Weather

Wearing your favorite sweater can be a bit like wrapping yourself in a comfy blanket. It’s soothing, comfortable, and wards off the cold like nothing else. Fashion-wise, oversized sweaters, old-school cardigans, and classic crew necks are in style this year. But sweaters aren’t always about style; they’re like old friends, and it’s nice when they can accompany you through multiple cold seasons.

Nevertheless, if you’re in the market for a new sweater this winter, there are some good options out there. J.Crew’s cable-knit cardigan is a popular option for women this winter. It’s a bit oversized, and the cable-knit style is in keeping with this year’s trends. It also comes in a Barbiecore-approved wild fuschia color if you’re feeling extra bold.

For men looking to add a sweater to their winter wardrobes, check out this Lululemon crewneck offering. Made out of a blend of alpaca and merino wool, this relaxed-fit sweater will keep you plenty warm. It’s thermoregulating so that you won’t overheat, and the fuzzy texture gives it a unique look and feel.

Of course, shopping for vintage sweaters is one of the most enjoyable ways to fill out your winter wardrobe. For plenty of stylish options, check out Reset Vintage Apparel — they’ve got one outpost in Kansas City and another just outside St. Louis. Their selection is well-curated, and you just might find the old friend you’ve been searching for.

Browsing Gloves

Gloves are easy to overlook and sometimes get a bad rap. They’re too easy to lose, and there’s a reason you take them off the minute you step inside — they’re often not that functional, especially when they prevent you from using your phone.

That’s why you owe it to yourself to get a pair of touchscreen gloves this winter. That’s right — gloves that will keep your digits warm without preventing you from dashing off that quick text.

Of course, you can opt for leather gloves to accomplish that task, but they’re often quite expensive. These classics from J.Crew are nice, but they’re usually priced in the triple digits. For cozy, knitted gloves specifically designed to let you scroll and type, check out the Digits Touchscreen Gloves from Moshi. They’re made with special fibers that ensure accuracy on touchscreens, and they look good, too!

Snow Play

One of the best parts of being in the Midwest winter wonderland is all the snow-based activities you can enjoy. From snowboarding to sledding to ice skating, you want to be sure to be prepared for some winter fun.

There are few better places than Pinewski’s Ski & Board Shop to gear up. Located north of Minneapolis, this family-run shop has everything you need for a trip to the mountain. From boards, boots, and bindings to ski poles and goggles, it’s the premier place in Minnesota to get outfitted for the slopes.

Across the border in Iowa, Geoff’s Bike and Ski is another prime spot for your snow sports needs. They’ve got you covered when it comes to alpine ski gear. Much of their selection isn’t listed online, so you’ll need to check out their Iowa City store for the full inventory.

If Kansas is home, Sitzmark Sports in Overland Park is the place to go. They’ve got a helpful staff that will make sure your snowboarding and skiing equipment is up to the task. They offer custom fittings for boots, ski and snowboard repair, and a waxing service that will make your board as good as new.

Snow Is Glistening

Now is the time to get ready for this year’s snowy season. With the proper gear (and maybe some time by the fire), you can make this winter a cozy wonderland. But don’t wait until it’s too late — winter is coming!



  • Chris Kane

    Chris Kane is a military veteran and former business owner currently living in the Des Moines, Iowa, metro. Chris is an inveterate entrepreneur and avid web developer who is not shy about sharing his opinions.