My daughter has just begun her studies at the University of Chicago. Her dorm is quite a distance from the main cpus and, as a result, she'll be spending time waiting for buses and walking to classes. What jackets provide good protection from the cold and wet yet are stylish enough for her to wear? A hood seems to be a necessary part of the jacket. What do you recommend? Rowan Potomac, Maryland
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.