Chicago tackles cold with fashionable, high-tech gear - KMSP-TV

Chicago tackles cold with fashionable, high-tech gear

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Temperatures dipped to one degree below zero in the Chicago area overnight for the first time this early in the winter season since Dec. 9, 1995.

Many people are going about their daily lives during this unseasonably cold weather, some bundled up more than others.

The REI store on Halsted Street has had plenty of business over the past few days.

Martin Mortimer, the Sales Manager at REI said, "We had a pretty big push of people looking for base layers, insulated layers, something for their face, balaclavas, warm gloves, hats, whatever we had."

Winter jackets have evolved now from big and puffy to sleek and toasty.

"This is the REI Chilly Parka. It's 700 fill power. Winter jackets range typically from 550 all the way to 800. The higher the number the thinner the jacket becomes and the warmer it becomes," Mortimer explained, showing off the parka.

A Columbia jacket featuring Omni heat technology on the inside, serves like an emergency blanket, Mortimer explained, because it reflects body heat back to the person.

And for ladies who want to keep the cute dresses on during the chilly weather, local boutique Akira offers fleece lined tights that are flying off the shelves.

Mayra Estrada, Akira Store Manager, shows off the tights saying, "We had completely sold out. We sell maybe about 10 pairs a day."

For those that think these items are just fashion statements, think again. A quick errand outside could hurt more than you think.

Dr. Suzet McKinney of the Chicago Department of Public Health Dep. Commissioner said, "You may not be able to immediately feel the impacts of the cold weather, but your body is responding before the connection is made to tell your brain that tells you, oh boy I'm cold."

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