So Tiffany asked my opinion on the winter they're currently having over in the Mid-West. Well, the honest opinion? I'm jealous. I'd swap it with this +2 and no sun for a month weather any minute. But if you want to know how to survive it (and how to get your kids out of the house which I think is her biggest question) - here are some tips.
Layers. It's not about the thickness of those layers, it's about the number of them.
If we had -24C as you are having there, I'd wear:
|box of woollies|
|my tiny foyer has...|
|... a cupboard just for winter.|
|These, among other gear, live in it.|
|Layers! Layers! (But NO JEANS! Jeans are a mistake, the coldest trousers in the world, your skin is likely to freeze in them.)|
|Ignore the jeans, pay attention to the layers and trousers tucked into socks!|
|Tuck & layer in turns so that clothes overlap: tshirt + tights + shirt + longjohns + etc. My snowpants have ventilation for when it gets too hot outdoors - see the zips? :)|
|... three pairs of mittens.|
|Important: cover your neck and your ears!|
|Sleeves on top of mittens, zip up to the top and if it's windy you should wear your hood!|
woolly tights (or other thick tights)
regular socks/hiking socks
thermal underwear/long johns
shoes that are meant for winter (otherwise the soles might break)
The main thing is to overlap the different layers around your ankle so there's no way for the snow to get down to your skin.
(thermal) longsleeved shirt (turtleneck is a lifesaver!)
a t-shirt (long or short sleeves)
another long sleeve shirt
something warm like a light pullover/sweater/fleece
winter jacket with a warm lining (in these pics I've got a fleece that could also be zipped to the jacket)
a beanie that covers your ears, or even a hood (the bankrobber style) + a beanie
Fingers together are warmer than fingers apart - therefore I wouldn't wear gloves.
If it's windy you can top the whole thing up with a hood. Zip the jacket to the top to avoid wind in your neck.
Remember tissues, your nose is likely to get runny in the cold. If your face is turning red (like proper read, not the healthy red you get from fresh air), it means the skin is freezing and you need to get in for a little bit. Don't do sports like skiing, as your lungs won't love it. Sledding is great, walks are great, playing in the snow is great too!