Russia: Winter Clothing Challenge

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'll be leaving for Russia in less than a week and I haven't had time to pick up things I would need there like....clothes! Given my intense schedule for the next few days, I really don't think I have time to purchase the necessary items. So for 2 hours this morning, I ran around Metro Manila trying to find affordable, decent, winter clothes. Sound easy enough? Well not really coz for one, the Philippines is a tropical country. The coldest it gets here is 15 deg Celsius and that's in the higher places like Baguio or Sagada. In metro manila, it reaches 24 deg Celsius during December/January nights but that's about it. Basically, winter clothes are scarce. Second, I have a maximum budget of $200 as provided by the company. I wouldn't want to spend beyond that since I am bankrupt at the moment.

Understanding how cold winter in Russia is really tricky coz numbers don't really tell much. Currently, the average temp is -10degC. With this, I am trying to figure out what items I should buy and how to mix and match them so that I don't freeze to death. I decided that I should get a big fat winter jacket a.k.a. the michelin jacket, a peacoat, boots then just layer up all my clothes underneath.
Get it? The Michelin jacket!
Lo and behold! I visited HMR in Pioneer just to see if they have any surplus clothes and they do. The items are really nice too. Unfortunately, they don't have much supply so it's really by chance that you see something in your size. I was in luck since I was able to buy a black Kenneth Cole peacoat (Php1990), a yellow London Fog water resistant trench coat (P1990) and a white leatherette/faux fur reversible vest (Php790)!

Imagine at a total of Php4800, I was already able to buy 3 major winter items. The simple black peacoat usually costs around Php4000+ in Zara/Mango, the michelin coat is Php2400 and fur vest P2200 in Blue Star. Great savings for me!

Since most of my upper body can now be kept warm, I needed to find boots and fast. Boots are slowly becoming a fad here in the Philippines. But these trendy boots are not exactly warm and the soles are not designed for walking on ice. I was able to find the right boots in Marks&Spencer (Php 2800) because the other stores that sell boots like NorthFace don't exactly exude business professionalism. Good thing I decided to pass by Crossing Dept Store in Shangrila. There I found knee-high, wool-lined, rough-soled boots for Php1700 with 20% off. (Most of the winter items are on sale this time of the year.)

Then I passed by the Surplus Shop in Megamall and found wool blouses in all sorts of colors for only Php249 each. I got myself 3 of those plus a wool scarf at Php299.

After 2 hours and 3 sites, I was able to buy 2 outdoor coats, 1 vest,  a pair of boots, 3 wool blouses and a scarf for a total of only Php7200. I still have some left from my $200 budget. Ain't it a great day?



September 27, 2012 at 3:10 PM
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It was dark when I woke. This is a ray of sunshine.

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