For really lousy conditionsand Chicago can produce them, heaven knowsL.L. Bean's Baxter State Parka might be the ticket. It's down-insulated and Gore Tex-lined, to withstand snow and wind, and its full hood has a zip-off synthetic fur ruff. Plus, at $209 it's an excellent buy (www.llbean.com). Bean has shaped it for women and offers colors that aren't camo, but it still has a certain hunting-garb appearance that may or may not be suitable. Maybe a little more fashionable would be Patagonia's Puffski Jacket ($300; www.patagonia.com), which is designed as a ski piece so has an outdoorsy look with a bit of panache. Its PrimaLoft insulation is warm, soft, and durable, and the Puffski has a waterproof-breathable shellplus a full hood. Very warm and not at all bad-looking as you're waiting for the number 33 bus to take you to class.
For more stylin' gear, check out Outside Online's all-new Guide to Urban Wear.