What to Wear to a Protest March featured by popular Washington DC petite fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen

What to Wear to a Protest March


What to Wear to a Protest March featured by popular Washington DC petite fashion blogger, Wardrobe OxygenThousands are expected to come to Washington DC on January 21st to march on the first day of incoming President Donald Trump's administration. As someone who lives in the area and attended rallies and inaugurations at this time of year I can tell you it’s going to be cold, you’re going to be on your feet for a long while, and basic necessities like bathrooms and bottled water are few and far between. What’s a woman to wear when sending a message to the government that women’s rights are human rights?

Update: The weather is now to be in the 50s and cloudy.  Most folks in this country should be familiar with such weather. Consider lightweight layers, a waterproof jacket, boots that can handle mud as it's supposed to rain the day prior.  Consider bringing a packable poncho (they often have these at big  box retailers, camping stores, and convenience stores near the umbrellas) in case the rain lingers.

What to Wear to a Protest March in the Winter

Feet First

You’re going to be doing a lot of walking and a lot of standing. Depending on the weather, you may be doing it in snow, slush, or soggy muddy grass. A waterproof hiking boot is your best choice as it will provide arch support, warmth, a high profile to protect from splashes or puddles, and a fabric that will keep you dry even if you’re in two inches of mud slush.  I recommend something like my well-loved Bogs ‘Sidney’ waterproof boots which have a solid waterproof rubberized base with a roomy toebox and is solid enough to protect my toes if someone accidentally steps on me in the crowd. The shaft is neoprene (some styles are waterproof wool) and insulated for warmth. This version of Bogs lace up so you can adjust to fit, and are easy to pull on and off. Other styles are straight pull-on. The sole is grippy enough to feel secure on the slick DC sidewalks, and they work slipped over skinny jeans or fleece leggings or slipped under bootcut or looser pants and jeans.

There’s plenty of other boots out there that are perfect and may be even more perfect for the weather; just be sure to find one that has a grippy sole, insulation, arch support, a roomy toebox, waterproofing, and be sure to break them in and find them easy to move quickly in before the day of the march.

Keeping your feet warm, dry, and comfortable will be your best defense in surviving the day. I highly recommend adding a wool or shearling insole to your boots to add more comfort as well as warmth between you and the frozen sidewalks. I have shearling insoles and they are utterly awesome; these are a vegan alternative that also get great reviews. I've seen wool insoles on Etsy for just $10 that are great.  Wool socks will not only keep your feet warm, but also wick away sweat to keep you comfortable and help prevent blisters.

Have a Base Layer

I swear by Lands’ End’s Thermaskin collection. Their silk-like pieces are so thin they can slip under suiting pants and even leggings without feeling like the Michelin Man, yet keep you extremely warm. They also come in regular, petite, and plus sizes up to 3X. I recommend the pants and long-sleeved shirt for an event like this, though a tank or cami is great if you’ll be moving more and just need to focus on keeping your core warm. Silk underwear accomplishes the same thing though at the time of posting I haven't been able to find a brand that carries a broad range of sizes; if you know of one please share in the comments.

The Coat Matters

Like your boots, I recommend something that is insulated, comfortable, and waterproof. While many have wool, for a protest march I recommend something that will repel water and has a hood. The weather is unexpected this time of year and you won’t have a place to huddle under and an umbrella in a crowd is a bad idea. A longer coat will protect more, but be sure it’s a length where it’s easy to move around and move quickly. My Lands’ End Squall Parka is over a decade old, has been on many adventures, and keeps on kicking. It’s waterproof, has plenty of pockets, a hood that can go up without covering my eyes or taking away my peripheral vision, a neck that zips up to protect my throat without choking me, and the hand pockets are fleece lined so they’re a nice place to keep your fingers between snaps on your phone. It comes in regular, petite, tall, plus, and petite plus up to 3X and has some lovely colors so you can stand out in a crowd while staying warm and dry. Their Squall Stadium Coat is a longer alternative with all the same great features. I personally like wearing a color so I’m easier for friends to find in a crowd if we get separated.

What to Wear to a Protest March featured by popular Washington DC petite fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen

Time to Accessorize

Accessories are key. They can be stuffed in a pocket or bag when not in use, but can keep you extra warm and toasty when standing and waiting or if the wind picks up.

For hands, I like the combo of thinner touchscreen-friendly gloves and waterproof mittens to go over. A reader made a great suggestion – connect your mittens with a long piece of elastic and thread through your sleeves.  Remember doing this as a kid or for kids? Makes sense for adults too especially if you keep slipping them off to take pictures!

For the top half, I like using a mix of items instead of an all-in-one. A beanie (or knit one of these!), ear warmer/headband, scarf, and a pair of large lightweight sunglasses will give you options depending on the weather and whether you’re walking, chanting, or standing and huddling to stay warm. For a scarf, I find a pashmina style to be the most versatile as it can wrap around the head, the throat, or be crossed across the body and tucked under the coat for extra core protection. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun, wind, and anything else without restricting your vision or your complete identity.

Should I Bring a Bag to a Protest March?

Due to Security Considerations – D.C. Area Law Enforcement has enacted the following policy for the Women’s March on Washington:

  • Please note all bags may be subject to search.
  • Backpacks are not permitted unless they are clear and no larger than 17″x12″x6″ (colored transparent bags are not permitted). Consider a ripstop fabric crossbody with a wide strap that won't dig into your shoulder.
  • Bags should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.
  • Specifically for people who would like to bring meals, each marcher is permitted one additional 12”x12”x6” plastic or gallon bag.  This Cross-body clear bag is the type approved for stadiums that have this same policy.  Many are taking gallon Ziploc bags and using duct tape to attach paracord or twine to make a tote.
  • For marchers who have medical needs or for mothers who need baby bags or breast pumps, one clear bag or backpack no larger than 17″x12″x6″ will be permitted and subject to search (colored transparent bags are not permitted).  This clear tote bag has sturdier plastic and a wider strap which will better accommodate the weight of pumps and baby gear yet is within the size limitations.

What Should I Pack for a Protest March?

Again I reiterate, bring as little as possible, but pack thinking you may be there longer than expected and with fewer facilities than expected. The basics:

  • Water: Bring water as it may be hard to find. I really like those reusable water bags, as they don’t take up much space or weigh much once empty.  You can also use a bladder for backpacks like Camelbaks without the actual backpack. Don't expect stations to refill them though, bring enough for 12 hours – if you have too much you can share with others who didn't bring enough.
  • Snacks: Energy bars are the best as they don’t take up much space, can be broken and shared with others, and can be eaten without having to remove your gloves.
  • Medications and Glasses: If you take medication, bring enough for a minimum of 12 hours even if you think you’ll be there far less. Better safe than sorry. If you wear contacts, bring a backup pair of glasses and eye drops.
  • Personal Care Products: I recommend bringing a travel-sized pack of wet wipes. They can be used for the porta-potties but also for other cleanups during the day. One of those purse packs of tissues is also awesome, especially in cold runny nose weather. If you’re having your period or want to be the BFF of someone who may have had theirs come earlier than expected, bring a couple tampons or pads. Again plan for 12 hours even though your day will likely be shorter. If you have a nervous stomach, some Immodium AD may be your BFF. I recommend bringing at least one clean bandana. It’s not heavy, won’t take up much space, and can prove quite useful for a face cover, washcloth, pouch to hold small items, head covering, and more.  Also bring lip balm – it's something that will make you more comfortable and help if you have to go a while without refilling your water.
  • Communication Essentials: If you don’t have a sturdy phone case, this is a good time to get one. Also bring a battery pack to juice up your phone mid-day (or be the hero of a fellow protester). Business cards are great to share contact info with new friends made. Some paper or a notepad is also good to bring. I recommend a Sharpie as it can write on most anything, even if it’s damp from rain or snow.
  • Personal Identification and Money: Bring your ID, your insurance cards and medical information, one credit or debit card, and $25-$40 in cash. If you don’t have phone numbers memorized, consider a piece of paper or write on your arm the number of an emergency contact just in case your phone dies or gets lost. Along with a pre-filled Metro SmarTrip card (you do NOT want to have to add more money after the march – TRUST ME), download the Uber or Lyft app as a backup.  All money and IDs should be on your person. This is a time when that money belt or neck wallet your mom bought you before your first overseas trip will come in handy. Not only will this prevent pickpockets, it will keep your hands free and make it easy to move quickly.
    • If you haven't yet purchased a SmarTrip card, I recommend getting one before the day of the march.  This link shows all the CVS store locations that sell SmarTrip passes.  If you can't visit one, consider stopping by a Metro station Friday afternoon or evening and buying one.
      • AFTER THE MARCH: If you no longer need your SmarTrip card, consider mailing it to Martha's Table.  It costs $2 to get a new SmarTrip Card; Martha's Table will be donating leftover cards to women in need at DC shelters.  Click here for the address.  Consider collecting them on your rally bus, Amtrak, or at your hotel. $2 x 200,00 marchers is a whole lot of help #MarchCards.
    • Especially if you are not familiar with DC, bring a paper map with you.  With so many people, you can't rely on cell service to get you around.  Trying to get basics like a map on your phone will drain your battery quick; if you don't want to carry a paper map at least save some maps as photos in your phone so you can enlarge and get your way around town.  For those who are locals, we have a duty to help fellow protesters who look lost or confused.
  • If you have room, a bit of duct tape can prove quite useful for making signs on the spot, helping out a fellow protester with a broken bag, and other unexpected situations.
  • If you are unable to stand for long periods of time, I recommend bringing something like a cane seat even if you don't normally use such a thing.  With some bungee cords you can even strap it to your backpack when not in use.

What if There's No Cell Service?

Don't expect to have reliable cell service at the Women's March.  With so many people, the cell towers will be struggling and you can easily deplete your battery just trying to send a single text.  Many march delegates are using FireChat, and I recommend everyone download it to their phones before the day of the March.  FireChat lets you text without cell service or data.  Click here to read more about FireChat.

What to Wear to a Protest March featured by popular Washington DC petite fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen

What Not to Bring to a Protest March

While a march is a time to connect with like-minded individuals to hopefully make positive change, it is a serious event and not a music festival. Feel free to dress in the color associated with the event, wear clothing and accessories relevant to the cause, and bring signs. However, leave at home the glow sticks, goofy hats and glasses, the tutus and fairy wings.  Along with this, a protest march is not a place for drugs or alcohol.  Do not bring anything that could be considered a weapon. That includes your tiny Swiss Army knife on your keychain.  It also includes signage with handles like wooden sticks. Keep your jewelry and expensive items at home.

Should I Bring My Child to a Protest March?

As for children, you as the parent know best.  If it's one where there's a good chance for arrests and violence I'd keep them home.  I've been to several protest marches and rallies over my lifetime and taken my child when she was little; the biggest issue I've faced was the lack of bathrooms.  Many have written about this subject, here's some links that can prove helpful:

FAQ Regarding Transportation: From Buses to March

I've had a few of you from out of town email me regarding how to get around DC for this march.  I don't live in DC proper but have lived in the area almost all my life and worked downtown for many years.  Please check the comments for additional information, and also check in with your local Facebook page for the most up-to-date information and data relevant to your location and bus.

From what I have heard from those taking buses to DC, rally buses will park at RFK Stadium Lot, and buses will remain exactly where you leave them for your return trip. The Stadium Armory Metro Station serves RFK and is located 4 stops away from Federal Center Station (March starting point). The Women's March will begin at Independence Avenue and 3rd Street SW, in front of the Capitol.  Some groups are planning to meet at Hancock Park.

This is a map I made for a reader, and wanted to share with you all.  It's not awesome, but I hope this puts all these places into perspective.  A great thing about DC is it's a grid, so no wonky wavy streets to confuse you.  Right click the map and choose to open in another tab or window to see it larger.  You should be able to right click to save to your computer.  I made this with Google Maps.  If you enter any of the landmarks (RFK, Hancock Park, The US Capitol, Federal Center Metro, etc.) you can create directions and choose walking as the transportation option to see your route and what is around you.

This is a map of the DC Metro system.  Again, right click to see it bigger and to save to your computer or click here for a full-color PDF.  I've lived here forever and live right near a Metro spot yet I still have this saved as a photo on my phone for regular reference.  Those “bullseye” stations on the map are where you can change lines.  When leaving the march, don't expect to be able to get back into the same station you came out of.  Don't worry, if your bus is at RFK, just take any line that will go to Metro Center or L'Enfant Plaza, and then take EITHER the Orange line towards New Carrolton OR the Blue or Silver line towards Largo Town Center.  ALL THREE will go to Stadium Armory and return to you to the buses.

  • PLEASE get a Metro SmarTrip card BEFORE your trip (links above).  The Metro stations get utterly crazy just for a Nationals baseball game, the 21st is going to be pandemonium.  Be prepared with a card.  Do note, you can't share your card with another.  If you scan to enter a metro station, it will only let you scan to get out, not have another come in.  If you are a local with extra cards, consider bringing them to be charitable to those unprepared or who lost theirs at the march.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help.  We DC locals are used to tourists.  We may grumble when you stand in the middle of the escalator or block a door to the Metro, but we want to help you get to your destination.  Unlike some cities, it's okay to whip out a map to get your bearings and confirm your location.  You may find others on the train more helpful and knowledgeable than station managers or Metro staff.  Don't be shy or too proud to ask for help and get to where you need to be.
  • Don't assume there's a bathroom at the Metro station.  While there technically is, and you have the right to use it, don't expect access especially on the 21st.  If you find a porta-potty, take advantage.  And take Clorox wipes and a bit of TP in a Ziploc baggie.
  • Be prepared to walk.  The Metro may be so overwhelmed it's not usable.  I know when leaving Obama's second inauguration we couldn't access any stations at all they were all overloaded. We ended up walking a mile away from the Mall to where it wasn't packed so we could get home.
  • Don't expect to have cell service.  With so many people in one spot, it's quite likely your texts and calls won't always go through.  Have a designated meet up spot and time (and not be something popular or generic like The Washington Monument; choose a smaller location like a cafe or street corner away from the crowd).  Also consider downloading and using FireChat to communicate without cell service.

Where To Go to Rest/Eat/Use the Bathroom

This Google Doc is constantly being updated with places that are Welcome Stations and safe places the day of the march.  Consider printing this Friday, so it's as up to date as possible.  Below is a map of places that will have Welcome Stations; click it to see it larger or to open up in Google Maps on your phone. This map is also constantly being updated.  Also from 8:30-4 the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company at 641 D Street NW is offering bathrooms, hot drinks and snacks to March attendees.  All In Service is a DC-wide industry fundraising event the weekend of January 20-22. Participating bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops in the DMV area will donate funds to organizations that service the DC community.  Click this link to find out more about what charities are being supported and what establishments are part of this campaign.

FAQ Regarding the Women's March

FAQ Regarding the Content of this Post

I am a blogger by profession.  Links within this post are affiliate links; if you click on them I may make a small commission if you make a purchase.  If you do not wish to click on them, I think I provided enough information for you to find on your own; feel free to ask questions or offer alternative retailers in the comments.  Also check the comments where many readers have offered cheaper or thrifted options!

I didn't write this post to be a money maker; any money I am making from affiliate links past the average amount I make from writing any post on this blog I am donating to the march.  I already donated multiple times since publishing this and will do more through the coming month.  Once the march is over, any income made from this post will go to other nonprofit organizations that defend women's rights.

Some have questions my choice to link to Lands' End considering what happened earlier this year with them pulling the Gloria Steinem piece and her ERA tote.  When that happened I stopped featuring Lands' End on my blog.  However, the CEO who made those decisions has been outed from the company. I believe in voting with my wallet and respect that so many of you do as well.  If you still do not wish to support Lands' End I respect that and there's many other outerwear retailers out there who provide high quality merchandise perfect for this situation.  I have chosen to give Lands' End the benefit of the doubt with this corporate change and appreciate their extended size range, generous return policy, and reasonable prices.




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  • Beth NC January 20, 2017

    Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Thanks for putting this together. It’s a nice way to look out for your readers. I’ve shared this post with people going to the march in DC and those marching closer to my home in North Carolina.

  • Ross Tiffen January 17, 2017

    Can someone please tell me how many bags I’m permitted? Does the food bag have to be clear?

    I’m a filmmaker and would like to bring my camera bag, so if it meets the size requirement is it still permitted in addition to food as well as a main bag?

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 17, 2017

      Unless there’s a specific media pass, I think all you can bring is two bags, the second one being clear. I don’t think they’ll freak though if that second clear bag isn’t just meals but has other items. And yes, that second bag must be clear. Hope that helps!

      • Ross Tiffen January 17, 2017

        Any idea how to obtain one at this point?
        I imagine a fishing vest with several pockets would not be prohibited. But the language is really not clear… would say a tripod be admitted?

        • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 18, 2017

          I never saw any info on press passes, sorry! They said nothing that could be seen as a weapon, I’m not using any posts for my signs because of that. I don’t know how they will feel about a tripod. I think a fishing vest is a brilliant alternative!

  • Kari January 16, 2017

    For those who would still like to avoid shopping with Lands’ End, Cuddl Duds are available at Target in sizes S (6-8) through XXL (22-24).

  • Joanna Mandell Tipple January 16, 2017

    Hi – We just received the link to this page today from the group I am traveling with. Your recommendation to get the Metro card for Sat is appreciated but unfortunately the site indicates that in order to have the card by Sat, we needed to order it no later than the 13th. Ummm, any suggestions?

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 17, 2017

      The card is sold at some CVS locations in the DC area. If you get here before Saturday, even Friday, I think the metro stations will be open enough to be able to get one then. Good luck!

  • BrendaG January 15, 2017

    These are all really great suggestions! Thanks so much!

  • Mary Dotson January 15, 2017

    Good news–the march website (under FAQs) was changed yesterday to show that clear backpacks measuring 17″x12″x6″ are now allowed for all participants. It’s late to get one (overnight from Amazon Prime?), but check to see if you can borrow from friends who go to football games.

    • cmkott January 18, 2017

      I found one at walmart for $5.00 in NJ. Not heavy duty obviously but it’s good even if I use it once.

  • Vika Zafrin January 14, 2017

    Thank you so much for this post — it’s the most useful web resource I found while writing the packing list for my trip to DC.

  • kevin spelman January 13, 2017

    And a very important tip, especially for women: Go to the bathroom before you begin! There may be no accommodations nearby and it could get uncomfortable.

  • Jana Longsworth Nassif January 13, 2017

    Hi! Based on a previous version of your article, I ordered the Tommy Bihn small cafe bag for the march. It is a little bit larger than what the guidelines say – “Bags should be no larger than 8”x6”x4”.” Based on your experience attending these events, do you think it would be ok to bring it? I haven’t had much luck finding a water resistant purse that fits the size requirements.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 14, 2017

      I think it’s going to be just fine. There aren’t security checkpoints, I believe it will be more general and not like with TSA where they may actually measure. I still think I’ll be taking my Cafe Bag, should be just fine!

      • Jana Longsworth Nassif January 15, 2017

        Great! Thank you! 🙂

  • Steve Smith January 13, 2017

    I wasn’t up to reading all the comments, but as a Scout leader, hiker, and tourist, I thought I’d throw my 2 cents worth in. I know it’s a little late for this march, but maybe people will read this and be better prepared for the next one. The biggest thing I would like to emphasize is training. So you’ve got all this great gear, that’s gonna make your marching experience a piece of cake. Start taking walks in it, with everything in your gear bag, just as you will have on the march. Start out at a moderate pace and distance. Whatever hydration system you have chosen (water bottles, hydration pack like CamelBak, etc.) fill it and use it like you would on the day of the march. Try to find that balance point between going thirsty and drinking so much you have to take frequent potty breaks. If you can only walk a few blocks at the start, don’t be discouraged! You’re out there making the effort! “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu. Make yourself a schedule. Look at the calendar. Figure out how long you have to make your goal distance, and when you need to be halfway there. Set your training schedule accordingly. If you find carrying the gear difficult, use the same system. Start with what you can carry comfortably, then add pieces until you can carry the full load. Use the time to make adjustments to your boots, your socks, your outerwear, your undergarments, everything. Anything that is slightly uncomfortable on a 45 minute walk can be unbearable if you have to put up with it for 6 hours. [Personal note here: I have flat feet. I have walked 20 mile hikes and had no problems with them. The secret for me was finding walking shoes and hiking boots that do not have a high insole! The arch support that some brands use as their claim to superiority actually irritates my feet. So know your body and what works for you.] Keeping safety in mind, don’t slack off your training if the weather is bad! It’s good to know how to adjust your gear when the rain is whipping in your face! The day of the march, the weather may be worse! Things like freezing rain, where you can’t walk without slipping, and severe wind chills would be exceptions to training out in the weather. Find some place inside to do the time and distance. Our local community center has a basketball court, is open most of the time, and it’s free! Keep your focus! Whatever incentives work for you, use them. Whether it’s putting up inspirational reminders on the fridge and the bathroom mirror, or treating yourself to something nice when you’ve reached an intermediate goal, do it! Know that you are improving your health, both physically and mentally, by undertaking a task, setting goals, and accomplishing them. Know too, that you may have setbacks and disappointments along the way. They are just a part of life! Keep strong, and fight the good fight! I wish you all success!

  • willymodel January 11, 2017

    This is a lot of great information. I am passing it along. Thank you.

  • Allie Wood-Plihal January 10, 2017

    Have a few in your group bring $50 cash – we attended a ‘Know Your Rights’ training last night and that is the fine collected if you get arrested and released. This is expected to be a peaceful event and we do not expect any arrests! Also one person can pack a first aid kit with advil, bandaids, coldpack.

  • BreatheFree January 10, 2017

    Thank you for this informative post! A co-organizer and I have two buses going from Michigan and we will share this with all of our party. Readers might want to check out a button created by two people in Ann Arbor for the March on Washington and beyond. It features an “I Love You” sign language graphic. Cost is $5 … $1 goes to the ACLU and $1 to Planned Parenthood. I don’t receive anything for telling you about this; just passing the word about a cool item. Link to it here: http://www.pincause.com

  • krdunnam January 10, 2017

    More suggestions from your suffragist sousaphone player.
    Go to a fabric store and get a couple yards of a bright printed fleece. Can use as a blanket on your bus, and as an overwrap at the march. Also helps your friends find you. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f58d1216c29155ce7db291d79ffb6c05fab2c1f5d6803f2f4243ebe3d24c5c75.jpg

  • Jeanne Powell January 10, 2017

    My ‘must-have’ accessory (or 2): Tubular Bandana/Tubana/Buff.
    How To Wear Your Multifunctional Bandana

  • Betsy V Starks January 9, 2017

    Thanks so much. I’m going to the march, but also organizing rides from Leisure World, Maryland to Congressman Jamie Raskin’s breakfast rally and bus and then rides from the metro back home. I’m looking at your map and not understanding where the march begins and where it ends. I thought it started at 3rd and Independence. Does it end at the Capital, or at the Lincoln Memorial?

  • Kat January 9, 2017

    Grew up in Northern VA and currently a college student in-state. I will be traveling back home to march in DC and I second EVERYTHING in this post. Especially about Metro. Metro is a mess even on your average workday, so don’t underestimate the extra time and planning it will take to successfully navigate it during an inauguration weekend.

  • Scott Wells January 9, 2017

    Good news about cell coverage, apropos of the photo I shared earlier: http://www.popville.com/2017/01/att-mobile-towers-pop-up-so-phones-etc-will-work-well-for-the-inauguration-and-the-womens-march/

  • FallsAngel January 9, 2017

    A bit too much advertising about the clothes. Keep your kids under say, 10, at home! A big throng of people will be scary. I recall reading an article in my local paper about a mom who took her 6 year old kid to a protest and was shocked that the kid was scared to death.

  • mrs.wagner210 January 8, 2017

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Not only is this one my first protest march, but I am bringing my pre-teen daughter. So, needless to say I was a bit apprehensive about maneuvering a city have never visited, let alone with thousands of people there too! Your detailed information has settled much of anxious chatter in my head. Now I am invigorated and ready to take on Washington!

  • Peggy Kolodny January 8, 2017

    I appreciate the relevant and detailed suggestions and will certainly utilize them on the day of the March. One constructive comment I’d like to add.
    I also appreciate your transparency in why you suggested certain brands of clothing and links. However, this March is a voice for all women and the clothing choices are expensive with a “privileged” perspective.
    Perhaps adding suggestions to layer clothing with already owned clothing such as tshirts, sweatshirts, leggings and tights under jeans, etc. would be more inclusive of students and those on tight budgets.
    Thanks again!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 9, 2017

      Hi Peggy, thanks for this. When this post was written I had no idea it would be as popular as it was, and would reach past my regular audience. Other readers have provided great budget suggestions in the comments and I welcome tips like yours as well!

    • krdunnam January 10, 2017

      Try to avoid items made of cotton (such as jeans) and wear technical fabrics instead.

      –Michigander, X-C skier

  • Nash Lisa January 8, 2017

    Terrific information! You reminded me of a few things I wore to Obama’s first Inauguration which were helpful. I suggest, for those who need a restroom frequently, wear a large pad or an adult lightweight diaper. With long spot-a-pot lines, they can save the day. Hand and feet warmers are great too. See you on the 21st!!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 9, 2017

      Thank you for this. I linked to items I specifically own and had for years so I knew I was recommending legit items. I have updated to non-LL Bean alternatives.

  • Bev Stevens Peterson January 8, 2017

    Personal item suggestion: lip balm. Dried and cracked lips, especially in the cold and wind, are no fun. Wishing all of you strong women who are marching the very best!!!

  • Bill Bowersock January 7, 2017

    Thank you, Allie, very helpful to your male allies, too.

  • Scott Wells January 7, 2017

    D.C. local here. I don’t think this was said before but the Metro map above is old. The Silver line is now an option, paralleling the Orange and Blue lines for the parts of the system of use for the march. Here’s a link to a new map. https://www.wmata.com/schedules/maps/upload/color_map_silverline.pdf


    Also, I saw AT&T equipment in front of the Freer Gallery on the Mall two days ago. Perhaps supplemental wireless service support, but I still wouldn’t bet on getting a signal.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 7, 2017

      Thanks for this Scott, updating the post now. I completely went on autopilot and didn’t notice it was old!

  • Sophie Nir January 7, 2017

    This is great information, but I don’t know why wearing a tutu “belittles the situation.” I’ve seen multiple people wearing Pink tutus for Planned Parenthood at marches and I think its festive and shows passion for the cause.

    (I also went to an event for dancer’s benefits where a lot of people were wearing tutus but they were professional ballerinas so it was a little different.)

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 9, 2017

      You can wear whatever you wish. That statement was made for those who I have seen who find this a great Instagram moment and personal style moment and not realizing the importance of the event. Everyone is different and carries things and events off differently. My suggestions are exactly that, not gospel 🙂

  • Quinn Harbin January 7, 2017

    Many marchers will be wearing pink pussy cat hats. We can make them or find them online.

  • KB January 7, 2017

    Don’t neglect this……https://www.pussyhatproject.com/

  • tamsin.parker January 7, 2017

    I’ve been on two protests before, but on peaceful urban protests through the streets of London. I’ll be marching in London this time around, too. I will dress warm, but it will be the considerably glamorous Old Hollywood look, because women’s rights are going back 60 years or more. I love the fashions of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s anyway so this is a good opportunity for me.

  • KatLandis January 7, 2017

    Re: lack of bathrooms: If you have a weak bladder, or even if you don’t, wear or bring a bladder control pad or panty. Just in case.

  • Stella Sanford January 7, 2017

    Thank you for this information. I’ll be in DC on the 21st, and as a first-time marcher I now feel like “I’ve got this”. Thank you for a healthy dose of empowerment!

  • Kate Fink January 6, 2017

    Thank you for this!

  • Betsy Comeau January 6, 2017

    Wish i could march with all of you, but difficult with fractured pelvis, so my thoughts will be with you on that momentous day. Thank you for organizing this important event. Stay safe, be warm and know that others who cannot attend will do their part in other ways!

  • Dawn January 6, 2017

    FYI, I shared this with a group I’m in that is mostly out of towners. Great info, thanks for writing this.

  • Sasha January 6, 2017

    Wow – nicely done! You are professional material at this – did you link it to the main website/facebook for the march? You should – very comprehensive and well articulated. I’m sending it to everyone!

  • elneclare January 6, 2017

    Though I know what to wear when marching, this will be the first march I will do in a wheelchair. I’m car pooling with friends from Baltimore and suggested we park at the Greenbelt metro station and head in from there. Anyone have suggestions on how best to handle doing a march while mobility impaired. I can walk, just not long distances and am healing from a broken foot.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 9, 2017

      I hope someone reads this and has good advice. I don’t know from my end but if I get any tips I’ll come back and put them here!

    • krdunnam January 10, 2017

      I did a right to work protest at our state capitol with a leg cast…and a sousaphone.
      — Bring the chair, and plan to use it. You’ll get preferred space. (I used a cane a lot, and crowds parted like am Eastertime movie.)
      — Bring a length of polarfleece and use as a lap robe. Place in chair, spread out, sit down, then arrange over your legs.
      — Pee early and often, don’t wait
      — Leave the chair outside the restroom line with a friend (or adopt one several stall-wait-lengths back)


      • elneclare January 10, 2017

        Thanks, I’ll be wearing Depends and heading to the nearest bathroom, or Port-a-Potty, the instant I have the need for one. I have been to enough events in D.C., that I always plan for long lines.

  • Carly Farley January 6, 2017

    I would suggest wearing a Depends or some sort of pad thing for just in case… No, I am not joking. When there are 200 women in line and you waited till you had go…or could find where to go, and when you finally did..there’s a long line. NOBODY WANTS WET PANTS OR TO SEE WET PANTS!

  • Diane January 6, 2017

    Thanks so much for the advice! I’m heading to DC from Alabama and had no clue what to wear! Just checked out the Land’s End Thermaskin pants and top you discussed and wanted to let your readers know they are on sale right now and they come in pink! Thanks again for helping to keep this Southern girl warm!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 6, 2017

      Woo hoo! Now watch it be 65 degrees that day… I recommend keep your receipts and tags on until the day. DC weather is so unpredictable. The record high for the 21st is 70 degrees and record low is -4 which really proves how crazy winter can be in DC!

      • Diane January 6, 2017

        An addendum…I signed up for their email program and got an instant 40% of one item! I’ll keep them for the snow we get here every 10 years!

  • Bonnie Whitney January 6, 2017

    Thanks for all the excellent info; very useful. I’m a bit confused about the smartTrip card. Won’t we need the all day pass ,for a round trip back to the stadium ($14.50)? The $10 card seems to be only one way. am I wrong? Thanks again for all the great advice.

  • Kaye January 5, 2017

    GREAT article – I have reposted to get this advice to the people attending the Portland Ore. march! See you on the 21st!

  • Kimmy January 5, 2017

    Lots of great information and some ideas I hadn’t thought of. Thank you!

  • Jenny Edwards January 5, 2017

    Thank you so much for this article! I’m on a committee that is bringing 2 buses of people to the March, and I am so happy to be able to share the terrific information and valuable advice you so carefully put together here. I used your link to buy that LE squall coat. It’s on sale to boot! Thank you again.

  • Maura January 5, 2017

    Thank you! This is all really useful advice, and, as other people have noted, delivered with humor and friendliness. I’m with you, sister!

  • Lisa Wood January 5, 2017

    I have tried repeatedly to order the metro cards online. The site keeps saying to try again later. Any idea what is going on?

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 5, 2017

      It may be too much traffic for Metro’s site, or they’re out of stock. Typical WMATA, they’re a mess, we in DC are frustrated by it on a daily basis. Try at an off hour or maybe Monday or see if another retailer has them: https://www.wmata.com/fares/stores.cfm good luck!

      • Lisa Wood January 6, 2017

        Thanks Allie! I tried again last night. I kept going through the process even if the site said I couldn’t. I finally got a confirmation that the transaction went through. Crazy system! I won’t believe it until the passes arrive in the mail!

  • Gail Henderson Rogo January 5, 2017

    Thank you for this wonderful information! I’m confused – A number of us were planning to attend a march in NYC. It is not available on the links to the “sister marches”. Does anyone know why?

  • Noemi January 5, 2017

    If we don’t/shouldn’t take backpacks, how to we haul water? Thanks so much for this great, informative post!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 5, 2017

      Good question. I plan on using a Camelbak bladder without the Camelbak backpack and one of those collapsible reusable water bags.

  • zephyr January 5, 2017

    in my only other protest march, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I was in NYC’s Greenwich Village when a big section of marchers behind me were sprayed with tear gas or some kind of crowd-control spray by police. I have bought a gas mask to bring with me for this march. Do you think that it will be allowed to be carried? I am new at all this but also want to protect myself as best as I can.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 6, 2017

      I don’t know. I don’t plan on bringing one, I’m not sure I recommend you check with your local march’s FB page coordinator or contact the march directly.

  • Kit Graham January 5, 2017

    SO HELPFUL. Thanks a million!!!

  • Sydney Thomas January 5, 2017

    Hi! Just wanted to know what the rules are for signs in DC. I know in NYC there were issues with wooden posts. Does DC have any regulations about them?

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 5, 2017

      Great question. I don’t know officially but I’d say better safe than sorry and stick to foam core board which stands up on its own and use that in place of wood posts which can be seen as a weapon.

      • Sydney Thomas January 5, 2017

        Thanks, Allie! See ya there, babe!

  • Xanthippia January 5, 2017

    Your excellent guide is going to make the march day better for all of us — you’ve identified necessities many of us might not have considered, and you’ve provided excellent suggestions for how to survive a cold winter’s day in DC. You absolutely rock!

  • Newsmom January 5, 2017

    I have never protested before but I intend to be there for the sister march in NYC with my husband and my sons. Thank you so much for this valuable information, so many useful tips I hadn’t even considered.

  • AllenaTapia January 4, 2017

    Even if you take the metro from RFK to the rally point, you will STILL be walking about .75 mile total. If the metro is ridiculous (likely) you’ll see MANY people walking. I was at a rally of only 30K people, and there was a LOT of walkers. That is 2.5 miles in total, approx. Just FYI.

  • Diana January 4, 2017

    How about Icon Undies, just in case you can’t get to the bathroom quite quickly enough? I’ll be marching in NYC, wearing mine!

  • Hope Underwood January 4, 2017

    I have a home in Houston, Tx and just outside the DC area and I can tell you that there are some really good thrift stores all over. Why buy new when 2nd Ave and Goodwill have a bunch of great winter things? Do a Google maps search of the area you will be staying in and you’re sure to find a resale shop close by. I’m looking forward to this and was surprised last week when my husband said that he wants to go too.

  • Alison French-Tubo January 4, 2017

    Love this, I will be in Sacramento, not DC, but it helps me picture what it will be like in Washington and much of the advice is applicable here too.

  • Maywood1776 January 4, 2017

    Hi All,

    My name is Lorne and I host a radio show here in Arlington Virginia. On Sunday Jan 22 I am going to be interviewing people who marched, why they marched, what is important to them. If you want to be a guest, email me at Lorne at Electric cow dot com. The studio is located at Arlington Independent Media (WERA 96.7 fm) in Clarendon VA just off Wilson blvd. These are recorded shows that will play at a later date and reside on the web after that. We are in studio from 10am to 8pm.

  • Steven Graves January 4, 2017

    So….Is it bad form for men to wear pink kitty hats? I ordered one in my giant head size and I plan on wearing it proudly in DC. Do you think this an issue?

  • Jeff Gates January 3, 2017

    BTW, if you’re looking for posters to print for the protest, take a look at the Chamomile Tea Party posters: http://chamomileteaparty.com/posters High resolution digital files are free.

  • Jeff Gates January 3, 2017

    As a veteran of many protests on the National Mall, don’t expect social media to work well. Too many people, too few cell towers.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 3, 2017

      Good point

    • krdunnam January 4, 2017

      Good point! As a former wireless specialist, and someone affected by the power outage August 2003, I’ll add that text messages tend to go through when calls have limited service. Wait to upload photos, and plan to not use FB Live broadcasting. If you absolutely have to make a call, you might need to walk several blocks away.
      Sometimes major carriers bring in temporary cell towers for major events, and that might happen here.

  • anna January 3, 2017

    Thanks for the post! I use to live in Chicago, but now that I’m in texas I’ve forgotten how to deal w/the cold. I’ve looked online, but do you personally have a good guestimate of how cold it might be? Also is the wind chill a huge factor? I’m trying to pack efficient & smart.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 3, 2017

      Oh gosh, this is hard to answer. In DC it can be 60 degrees or 6 degrees this time of year, and sometimes all in the same week. I looked at weather.com for that day and the record was 70 degrees for warmth and -4 for coldest. As for wind chill, some days here the wind is whipping, other times it’s calm. There will be a crowd to protect a bit, I know that has helped me at events on the Mall in the winter. I’d say pack for 20 degrees but layers so you can adjust that morning. Wish I could be more help but our weather is so all over the place!

      • anna January 3, 2017

        thanks for answering. this was very helpful. I may be investing in a new coat and boots!

  • Anya Blakeley January 3, 2017

    thanks for explaining your donation policy and choice to plug Lands End after the controversy. I love your transparency. And the tips…especially about the metro. Hadn’t thought about that 🙂

  • Sarah Tobias January 3, 2017

    Great shirts to wear above your base!!

  • lorelei23 January 2, 2017

    If you’re wearing mitten or gloves, hit your local fabric store and pick up about 9ft (3yds) of cording or stretch tape. Sew each end to your gloves/mittens and then thread them thru your coat sleeve, across the shoulders and back thru the other sleeve. If you take your mittens off — and you will — you won’t lose them.

    Mothers do this so their kids don’t lose ten pairs of gloves every winter. Do it for yourself. Frozen fingers are no fun.

  • sick of the ignorance January 2, 2017

    Bring cash to buy souvenirs or T-shirts of your attending the March. Why? Once you leave your job isn’t finished. You need to go back to your states and resist and organize and having items from the March is a great motivator of your commitment and conversation starter! I will be there with my company LeftWing-Bling.com helping the new March partner We Are Woman sell their t-shirts and LeftWing merchandise to help support grassroots causes and fund advocacy groups operating on a shoe string! Change starts in our communities!

  • adp January 2, 2017

    Thanks for these great tips! Don’t know if you’re aware of the Pussyhat Project, but it is one way to keep your head warm at the DC march (or sister marches) while helping to make a statement. Thousands of people are already involved, knitting away! Check out this activist project at pussyhatproject.com.

  • Brenda Woods January 1, 2017

    Why not wear your crossbag under your coat? I do and you never have to worry then….

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 3, 2017

      Good idea for those who are physically comfortable doing so. Thanks for that reminder!

    • Bg Mcqueen January 7, 2017

      my smaller backpack fits under my coat

  • Gail Dener January 1, 2017

    WINTERSILK is a great source for very lightweight but warm silk underlayering.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 3, 2017

      Yes, and a few have mentioned above. I chose not to feature them in the post because they have limited sizing but they make great silk products!

  • Lisa January 1, 2017

    Hi Allie, I want to thank you for your post! I’ll be marching with my 19yr old daughter. I wanted us to be prepared for the physical aspects of the march, since it’s our 1st one. While I think that much of your post is very informative, I’m just wondering if you realize the dollar amount if one was to purchase 1 of each of the items you recommended, (in my case it would be double!) It literally comes to $713.84, (and that does not include the optional cane seat, duct tape, swiss army knife or any shipping wherever applicable). Regardless of whether or not you are donating to the cause, something about the fact that you receive money from some of the links feels a little inappropriate to me. I’m not trying to bash you or be mean, but just wanted you to be aware that some folks may feel that they don’t have the right kind of clothes, shoes, etc. that you suggest. Maybe they don’t have the kind of cash to buy all of your recommended items and they may not know that you benefit financially from the links. In the future, you may want to write in such a way that you recommend the type of garmets,(as in warm, thermal, waterproof) first and then put any links at the bottom with a disclosure that any money you receive goes to the cause. It just may feel more ethical. You strike me as an intelligent and engaging person that is willing to hear feedback and I just thought I’d share that with you. Good luck in 2017!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 1, 2017

      When I wrote this, I had no idea it would have the reach it has accomplished. My blog is all about being a guide, not gospel. The post explains why I suggest the different items, so it’s very easy for one to choose alternatives. I also figure most people would already own some of the items, I wouldn’t want someone to buy a whole new wardrobe for a march, a vacation, a new job, anything in life. Borrow, thrift, there’s many options that I would think one would consider if they are packing for the march, no matter their income level.

    • AllenaTapia January 4, 2017

      This is a fairly typical way for bloggers to be compensated for their content and time.

  • Lydia December 31, 2016

    Helpful advice, thanks. Winter Silks for various weights & sizes (including petite) of thermal underwear.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 1, 2017

      Yes, they’re great! I just didn’t feature in the post because their sizing is limited but they’re awesome and I’ve shopped there before.

  • Patricia Gonzalez-Powell December 31, 2016

    Wintersilks.com has excellent silk [different weights] long underwear.
    Also, query: The Squall Parka, is it well lined? What does one need under it as far as layers? ..and, last, but not least, what are the pants that you wear [material]? Thank you!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen January 1, 2017

      Wintersilks is a great suggestion. There’s a few versions of the Squall, I have the standard a few years old. I plan to wear under it a Thermaskin tee (could be long underwear), a wool sweater, and then the coat. On the bottom I’ll be wearing the Thermaskin leggings and and these heavyweight knit pants I got on Amazon:White Sierra Women’s 29″ Inseam Power Pants http://amzn.to/2hHKBo5 they’re water resistant, I’ve worn them sledding and shoveling previous years and they’re warm but not stiff. I’d recommend something that has wind and water resistance. Lined jeans, a pair of waterproof pants over knit or fleece pants, combo of protection and flexibility.

      • Patricia Gonzalez-Powell January 4, 2017

        Thank YOU!!!! This is of great help!!

  • Allison @neversaydiebeauty December 30, 2016

    great advice! Some important stuff I wouldn’t have though of even tho I’ve been to lots of demonstrations

  • OneToughCookie December 27, 2016

    Wanted to expand on your comment that “With so many people, you can’t rely on cell service to get you around.” Please understand that it is possible/likely that with so many people in a relatively small area, the cell phone towers may become completely overwhelmed. (This happened to us at the Jon Stewart “Rally to Restore Sanity” which only involved about 200,000 people.) If you get separated from your group you may not be able to contact them by cellphone. Be sure to arrange a meeting point in case you get separated during the march. Even if you are all planning to get back together at your bus/parking lot, etc. at the end of the march, things can go wrong in the meantime.

  • nj_progressive December 24, 2016

    There’s a national knitting project making hats for the March, called the Pussyhat Project. Every knitter I know is making them! Go to http://www.pussyhatproject.com to download the free pattern. Then go dig out that pink yarn in your stash–the brighter the better!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 29, 2016

      Love it and thank you for sharing it here!

    • Pat Morse Girbach January 9, 2017

      I knitted one hat and then decided there is a better way. I am making them out of pink fleece ($4.99 a yard at JoAnn’s). That works out to $0.75 a hat. So far I have made 130 hats. I can crank out about twenty in an hour and a half. Enough for two buses with some left over. They are a lovely Pepto-bismol pink! They are my donation to the cause.

  • pdk December 23, 2016

    Great, sharing. One comment, Lands End threw Gloria Steinem under the bus when they posted, then retracted a spread with her last year, retracted due to her work on behalf of reproductive freedom for women. I would choose similar items from a different company.. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/26/lands-end-apologizes-for-gloria-steinem-feature-amid-backlash.html

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 24, 2016

      Yes, the CEO did that, and she was outed from the company earlier this year partially due to that. I updated the post with some details above regarding this. I had boycotted Lands’ End after what happened with Gloria Steinem but once the CEO was removed I decided to feature them again, giving them the benefit of the doubt. Thank you for mentioning this, it’s important for us to vote with our wallets!

      • Paul Kingsley December 25, 2016

        Thanks for your reply. It was the CEO who conducted the interview who was then ousted by Land’s End, Frederica Marchionni. She did the interview, it was her project, then after the backlash they vanished Steinem from the website and later fired Marchionni. So I will not go back to them. Here is my pic of page 1 of the 4 page handout I still keep. https://goo.gl/iUv0Ky [edit: fixed link] and here is a story discussing her tenure as well as the Steinem issue. She may not have stayed anyway, but I can’t go back, at least for now.

        • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 29, 2016

          I fully understand your decision. She was also the one who did the apology. In theory I love that they featured Steinem but I feel it was a strange choice considering their base audience. It was an unfair thing to do for Steinem, the ERA, and all of their customers. The whole thing from start to finish was an epic fail.

          • Paul Kingsley December 29, 2016

            Thank you for your reply. Agree, it was a failure, and ill considered. I guess I just wish that once the decision was made, she had stuck. Instead, it feels like she threw Steinem under the bus, yet once again. For me, once it occurred, it felt like I would be going against what GS stands for to forgive Lands End their error. Maybe its just me.

          • deckla January 3, 2017

            I agree with you, Paul. Thanks for calling attention to the issue. Your links are not constructed properly. The first should read: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4X1alc8pQaZb2JtUi1XNzlRek0
            The second duplicates information in Allie’s link at the bottom of her post, but here is a cogent opinion piece about the Lands End issue from the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/stevens/ct-lands-end-gloria-steinem-apology-balancing-0226-20160226-column.html

            And thank you, Allie, for your very very helpful protest wardrobe advice.

          • Paul Kingsley January 3, 2017

            Thank you, hopefully this shortened link will work. It’s a pic of the handout cover. https://goo.gl/iUv0Ky

  • Alex December 23, 2016

    You are so awesome, Allie. Thank you for this.

  • Dina Shtull December 23, 2016

    There is a one day Metro SmarTrip pass for inauguration day for $10.00. It says that it can be used before and after that. Can anyone verify that information? There is also a “silver lining” card for $10. Can anyone from the area give some advise on this? Also note that Trump’s name and picture will NOT be on the inauguration pass. Yeah!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 24, 2016

      The link above or the online Metro store has many different looking SmarTrip cards but they all work exactly the same. The inauguration one is slightly different in it gives you unlimited rail and bus on the 20th, but come the 21st it will just work like the other cards. The Silver Line card is to recognize the Silver line of the Metro which just opened this year. Be sure if you order one online you get one with stored value in it or head to a Metro before the 20th to stock it up with money!

    • AllenaTapia January 4, 2017

      I swear the inauguration one says ONLY that day. Might be wrong. There is a one-day unlimited pass for 14.50 that locals are suggesting.

      • Bg Mcqueen January 7, 2017

        it says that it works like a regular smartrip card the days before and after the inauguration; on inauguration day it is unlimited riding

  • Jenny December 23, 2016

    I will be marching in Spokane, WA — very cold and likely to have snow and ice. Thanks for this great post. I appreciate your stance on human rights and equality.

  • Lynne A December 23, 2016

    Hello! LOVED the tone AND the content of this blog–all good sound advice. I learned a couple of new tricks here already and decided to paste in the post I wrote for our WMW New York State Facebook page. Who knows, it might help others too! Thanks for giving us this place to share!
    DRESS IN LAYERS and for all weather conditions. For outer waterproof layers, clear ponchos work best (your personal protest sign will still be visible pinned to your back). Good sturdy ponchos cover your head, your backpack and down to your knees PLUS you don’t have to hold up an umbrella all day long in a freezing rain (don’t shoot the messenger and don’t bring a cheap poncho from the dollar store!!!)

    I bought hand warmers that will last 10 hours for my MITTENS (not gloves) and foot warmers that will last 6 hours for my boots at Agway this week for $1 each packet. I also bought merino wool (the best insulator) long johns and even socks that are battery powered ($10–not sure I should trust them completely though???)

    They say 80% of your body heat dissipates from the top of your head–get a fleece-lined “Yukon” style hat with ear flaps that tie down nice and snug (you can develop a terrible earache in a very short time in wintry winds) and a good scarf that will keep your neck warm plus you can also use it to cover your mouth and nose if the air is REALLY frigid that day (people from California and Florida have no idea what I am talking about here!) January temperatures in DC are reportedly like in the mid-20’s in the mornings rising to the mid-40’s midday.

    While most museums are free and will be open along the march route on Saturday…just remember that they all have some sort of security check line (could be very long) and you won’t be able to run right in to use the restroom, get a snack or just get warmed up again. Search online for the websites designed specifically to locate and rate restrooms in the museums and around DC in general.
    The porta-johns along the route are not going to be “user-friendly”. For one, they are not too private–at Obama’s last Inauguration, people were using them to sit on top of for better views! Often they are too far away from you and have not had the paper replaced towards the end of the day. Bring hand-sanitizer, your own paper source and maybe even the new compact version of Depends (especially important if you are hydrating like you should all day.) Starbucks has always generously offered the use of their restrooms to non-customers and most locations will let you do that (and who can’t find a Starbucks when you need it?). Hotel restrooms are usually easier to gain access to than restaurants’–just act like you belong while crossing the lobby.

    PS It was 15 below zero here where I live with a 40 mile an hour wind last week and I thought I was going to die just pumping gas for 10 minutes! LAYERS, folks!

  • Dea December 22, 2016


  • Mr Alt Right Arrow December 22, 2016

    What about some plastic bags for all the trash and litter – which is normal to see after Democrats protesting. They leave the place looking like a dump. Maybe some advice how to handle the payd crowd of protesters: tell them – do not burn cars/flags, do not loot, do not riot – behave as decent people. As leftist they do have respect for women? Do they not? Ha ha… just kidding. Yeah, make your voice heard to the violent crowd ladies – if you dare, they are not helping. Merry Christmas and greetings from Norway.

  • Lindsay Luke December 22, 2016

    Having been to several of these type events, if there are large crowds, you may not be able to use your cell phone. Even if you get a signal, there may not be enough bandwidth to complete a call or even a text. If you are planning to meet up with people, make a plan to meet at a certain place and time and try to make it a place that other people won’t be using (not “let’s meet at the Washington Monument”). If you do need to use your phone, walk away from the crowd and you can usually get a signal within 6 or 7 blocks.

    Same applies to ATMs. If they use cellular communication, they may not work. Have some cash with you.

  • Hyacinth Morgan December 22, 2016

    Also good idea to bring honey sticks. Haven’t been at a protest rally yet that I didn’t deal with at least one diabetic who was under prepared. Hard candy can be choked on if person is less responsive.

  • PiperAfloat December 22, 2016

    Utterly useful and accessibly written article — thanks so much!!

  • Ginger Odom December 21, 2016

    Another inexpensive long underwear option is Uniqlo: soft, warm, effective, though the sizes are not as wide-ranging as Lands End. Made of polyester mostly, BUT still stink-free. Very good value.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 22, 2016

      I’ve heard good things about Uniqlo and have them mentioned in an upcoming post. Thank you!

    • Emily December 23, 2016

      They are great but I find their thermal leggings run short in the crotch – I wore them for a day, spent the whole day tugging the waistband up, and eventually gave them to a friend! My dad swears by their thermal tops though.

  • Gloria Dern December 21, 2016

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I love the fashion advise and the point of view on other things as well! Thx!!!

  • krdunnam December 21, 2016

    Excellent. Just yesterday I posted this advice (see photo, Michigan capitol protest) in a rebuttal to a local fashion mag’s “leave some sexy skin showing between your boot top and your jean cuffs.”
    Lip balm, sunscreen, toe warmers, and a power bar are all in the voluminous pockets I add to my apparel.


  • Christine December 21, 2016

    Thanks so much for this post. I’m torn about whether I should march in Washington or march here in California. But at least I know that I’ll be well prepared if I make the trek out East. In my heart, I am still overwhelmed that in this day and age (2016!!!) I would even have to consider marching on Washington to support women. I feel like this election has turned the clock back 50 years.

  • nancy lendved December 20, 2016

    Wintersilks has a nice variety of lightweight, warm silk under layers. Fairly pricey, but indispensable. I live in mine.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 21, 2016

      Wintersilks is a great choice, Karl has pieces from there. I wish they had more sizes available though 🙁

    • krdunnam December 21, 2016

      Cycling or running tights, yoga pants, or jogging pants can help provide that comfy base layer. Check your friendly local thrift store!

  • Dee December 20, 2016

    Great tips! I’ll be at the Boston Women’s March for America Jan 21.

  • Lina December 19, 2016

    Such a timely post! I am going back and forth about attending my local march here in Boston or trekking down to DC… love the parka recommendation (although I my old coat still does the job so I can’t justify buying something new right now) and I agree on the silk underwear — I live in mine all winter long 😉

  • Di McCullough December 19, 2016

    I won’t be there, but I’m a longtime reader and this is officially my favorite post ever. Thank you!!!!!!

  • Little Red December 19, 2016

    I will be there with friends and I forwarded a link to your post to all of them.

  • ClaraT December 19, 2016

    Great advice! I like a secure nylon cross body rather than a backpack (can be more secure on the front of my body). Also: sunscreen (yes, I’m in California, but I think the sun shines in DC, too :-)! ) Happy protesting, my friends.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 20, 2016

      So true, sunscreen even in winter is a must! And a crossbody with a strong strap is also a very wise choice! Thanks Clara!

  • Heidi/FranticButFab December 19, 2016

    Fantastic post. I’ll be there, too!

    One additional suggestion, based on attending the very cold 2008 Inauguration: those hand and foot warmer packets. I had on the warmest boots I owned and my feet were still getting cold until I put in the warming packs.

  • Trystan L. Bass December 19, 2016

    all smart tips, seconded! & will be sharing bec. this is handy to have in one spot for the new folks 🙂

  • Michelle Van Ellis December 19, 2016

    Land’s End also has silk long underwear. Just got some and today got a 50% email link. So worth it!

  • Lorena Lorena December 19, 2016

    Been to several, comfortable wear, flat shoes and a crossbody is usually my uniform.

  • Pam S. December 19, 2016

    I’ll be participating in the Portland Oregon march. I’m 44 and I’ve never marched in a protest before. This advice is really useful for a newbie like myself. Thanks for the great post!

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 20, 2016

      Wonderful, so glad you are marching Pam! Send me an email with a quick recap and/or photo after the Portland march if you have time, I’d love to do a recap post afterwards!

  • Katie December 19, 2016

    I’m in love with this post! I can’t go (an infant and a toddler aren’t great at multi-state travel) but a friend of mine is going and I’m sending her this post while she packs!

  • Janice Riggs December 19, 2016

    Brilliant advice (of course) and a really important message. I think many of us need to start preparing our protest wardrobe, because we should all be hitting the streets frequently this next few years. Make yourself heard!
    I’ll be right beside you in spirit, bucking up your energy when you flag, reminding you of what’s most important, and giving you lots of love for being so brave and doing the right thing.
    lots of hugs

  • Lee4 December 19, 2016

    Alison, thanks for this post! You’re my favorite blogger for many reasons, your politics included! I’ll be walking in Arkansas’ March & we’ve been asked to wear purple. Our state’s weather is usually not as frigid as yours (although today it’s 24!!) but who knows what it will be like in January. I’ll be prepared.

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 20, 2016

      Fantastic! And send me an email with a recap and/or photo if you have time, I’m thinking of making a recap post of those of you who attended across the country and globe. <3

  • Tina December 19, 2016

    I am attending the Women’s March in St Louis, MO. Thank you for the tips, a local boutique has a knit cap that says Feminist, it is on my list of things to wear, plus I am helping a sister out by shopping small. I will post a photo afterwards. Rock on sista

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 20, 2016

      YES! Do share your experience with me, I may do a recap post. You can email me 🙂

    • Kelly Edwards January 3, 2017

      Love this post and also the idea of wearing a Feminist hat from a small female-run business. If you post a link to her store I will buy it. Marching at Sundance!

      • Cindy Ott Friel January 7, 2017

        I will buy one too. Marching in Philly.

  • Jeffiner Cox December 19, 2016

    I really love how you’re going about using your blog here to voice your beliefs. You’re not being pushy or rude, you’re being polite and factual and providing help in a very unique and effective manner. A commenter on another site said she wanted to “normalize political behavior”, and I think this post and the Giving Tuesday posts are perfect examples of how to do that.

  • nomadicliz December 19, 2016

    Thanks, I realized I’ve been thinking more than usual about what I’ll be wearing to DC in a few weeks- very useful tips! Loved the pic of the March for Women’s Lives! I was there too!

  • The Adored Life December 19, 2016

    I AM WITH YOU IN SPIRIT! I would also like a post called, “What to wear when you take down the patriarchy” because dammit, someday that is going to happen!

    The Adored Life

    • Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen December 20, 2016

      I like that. I may have to make that a collaboration and I’ll be sure to reach out to you when it happens! <3

  • cDs December 19, 2016

    I’ve protested before- not in a march but in front of the White House and we were CERTAINLY there longer than expected to have our voices heard. Definitely great to be prepared.

    x0x0 Caroline http://thecarolove.com/

  • patricia December 19, 2016

    Nice combination of sensible fashion advice and tongue in cheek humor (making a political statement without actually offending). While I won’t be marching in D. C., I’m with you in sensibly clad spirit.

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