How to Dress for Winter Weather in Vancouver

Vancouver’s winters are generally mild for Canadian standards, but wet snow is something that Vancouverites occasionally have to deal with. We don’t get a lot of snow in the winter but when we do get it, it tends to be very wet and unpleasant. In this article, I will share 5 must-have items that you should wear and 2 items that you should never wear if you want to stay comfortable and warm in our wet climate.

What to Wear


Did you know that you lose 75 percent of your body heat through your head? A cozy toque is a Canadian classic for that very reason. It retains body heat and keeps your head and ears warm. Invest in a good toque in a neutral colour and you can wear it with anything.


In Vancouver, when snowflakes are falling, they often don’t stick to the street like they do in other Canadian cities. Instead, the snowflakes land on you and they soak right through your clothing. That’s why an umbrella is a must-have.

Warm coat

It’s rare to get below freezing temperatures in Vancouver, but when we do, wearing a warm coat is crucial to stay warm and comfortable. I personally like to wear long wool coats because they’re very warm and do a great job of shielding me from cold winds. Plus, they’re fashionable and can work with many outfits.

Leather gloves

Wearing leather gloves or waterproof gloves is really important because you don’t want your hands and fingers to freeze. It’s amazing how many people in Vancouver don’t wear them in the winter and then deal with red, flaky and dry skin that looks used and abused. Be smart – wear gloves!

Waterproof boots

During a snow event in Vancouver, slushy roads are everywhere because snow quickly turns into a wet mess on the street. Wearing waterproof boots, made out of treated leather or rubber, is essential if you want to keep your feet dry. I like to wear either leather boots or my trusty Hunter rain boots when the weather looks dreadful outside.

What Not to Wear

Ugg boots

I’m not sure why Uggs are such a popular winter shoe in Vancouver because they are without a doubt the worst shoes to wear in the rain or snow. They are more suited for sunny autumn days and not winter. Uggs are made out of suede, and wet snow and slush will destroy them. They aren’t waterproof and they will get soaked if you step into slush or a wet puddle.

Fur coats

I’m not a fan of fur coats because, like Uggs, they get damaged when they’re wet. They’re just not suitable as outwear for Vancouver’s wet climate.

Running shoes

Runners or any type of gym shoe are not waterproof and trust me, they will get soaked! Wear a waterproof shoe instead or you’ll be sorry.

3 thoughts on “How to Dress for Winter Weather in Vancouver

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