Chicago is a vibrant city with lots of cultural events, sports teams, and museums—but it can also be one of the coldest cities in America!

Chicago is a city of extremes, and December is no exception.

The weather can be cold, but it can also be warm—and sometimes both at once!

If you’re planning a trip to Chicago this winter, here are some tips to help you pack for the weather.

What should I wear to Chicago in December?

Chicago in December is a great time to visit. The weather can be cool, but it’s not too cold for outdoor activities.

The average high during the month of December is 31 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average low is 17 degrees Fahrenheit.

That’s about 8 degrees colder than July, the warmest month in Chicago.

If you plan on visiting during this time of year, bring layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed.

You should also consider dressing in layers that are easy to take off if you get too warm or put back on if you start to get cold.

A good rule of thumb is to dress in layers and shoes that allow you to do this easily.

What should you not wear in Chicago?

For men:

  • Don’t wear a baseball cap. It’s a city, not the suburbs.
  • Don’t wear a leather jacket. Wait for the winter months and then go for it.
  • Don’t wear shorts or sandals. You’re in Chicago; there’s no need to show off your legs when you don’t have to.

For women:

  • A lot of people wear dresses in Chicago, but you should be careful about where you wear them. 
  • If you’re going out to dinner or something like that, it’s fine, but if you’re just going to work or around town, it’s better to stick with pants or jeans so you don’t look too sexy.

Is December a good time to visit Chicago?

December is the last month of the year.

The weather in Chicago can be very unpredictable, but it’s usually milder than in November and colder than in January and February.

If you’re heading to Chicago for the Christmas holidays, here are some tips for your trip:

  • Wear layers. The temperature can vary considerably throughout the day, so dress in layers that you can shed or put on as needed. Also, pack a sweater or jacket just in case!
  • Plan your day around indoor activities. It may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors all day long. You can still enjoy some great indoor attractions like museums and theatres while staying warm inside!
  • Pack comfortable shoes. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that Chicago streets aren’t always as clean as they should be — especially during winter months when snow tends to fall more often. 

What do I need for Chicago in winter?

In winter, the city can get more than 50 inches (1,270 millimeters) of snowfall on average — but it can also go without any snow at all. The snowiest month is January with an average snowfall of 10 inches (25 millimeters). 

Snowstorms are most likely in January and February; however, they can occur at any time from November through April.

Chicago has a humid continental climate with four seasons. Summers are warm and humid with temperatures that usually reach 80 °F or 26 °C during July and August. 

Winters are cold with temperatures that usually drop below 0 °F or -18 °C during December through February, making it one of the coldest major cities in the United States.

Do people dress up in Chicago?

Yes, people do dress up in Chicago. However, it is not necessary to do so to fit in or be accepted. There are many different types of people and styles in Chicago, so there will never be a “uniform” that everyone dresses in.

Many people who live here don’t really care about what other people wear because they have their own style that makes them feel comfortable. 

They tend to wear what they like and what makes them feel good about themselves. This is a great thing for those who don’t want to conform to a certain style or look.

In terms of dressing up, most people fully dress up for special occasions (weddings, graduations, etc), or if they are going out on the town at night time with friends or family members they dress moderately.

What do you wear to the snow in Chicago?

Here are some tips on what to wear for your next trip out in the cold:

Layer up with long underwear and base layers. If you’re going to be outside for more than 10 minutes, you should invest in a set of long underwear that wicks moisture away from your skin and keeps it warm and dry. 

A good base layer will keep you comfortable without making you feel like you’re wearing two pairs of pants at once. Base layers come in different weights depending on how cold it is outside — there are even ones designed for skiing! 

If you want something less extreme than full long johns, try a pair of silk or polyester tights instead.

Add another layer over that if needed. For instance, if the temperature drops below freezing, add another pair of tights under your jeans or pants to keep your legs warm while still being able to move around freely.

How do you keep warm in Chicago?

There are a few ways to keep warm in Chicago. First of all, embrace the cold. When you’re cold, go for a walk or run. The cold air will make you feel better and it’ll warm you up. 

If you want to be more comfortable at home, make sure that your house is well-insulated and has good heating. You can buy a space heater to heat small areas quickly and easily. 

If your apartment building doesn’t have central heating, look into getting a portable heater with an electric blanket built in next to your bed so that you’ll be nice and cozy when you go to sleep at night.

Another great way to keep warm is by eating spicy foods like Mexican food or Indian curries.

Spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper contain capsaicin which helps stimulate blood flow and get rid of toxins from your body, making them great for fighting off germs during the winter months!


Depending on what time of year you are traveling to Chicago, you may have to do a bit of wardrobe planning. In general, however, the city is fairly mild compared to other locales in the Midwest and East Coast. December puts you near the tail end of winter, so temperatures will start to be significantly warmer than in November (this is when most of the snow falls). Although temperatures tend to average between 18ºC to 20ºC, it isn’t unusual for them to fluctuate above and below that mark.