I love collaborating with other food minded people. Amanda Tommey Turbush is an amazing pastry chef who trained at French Pastry school here in Chicago. She regularly visits France for inspiration. It shows in her pastry and chocolate work.
Coats: You'll buy no less than 3 coats in graduating levels of ugliness until you buy the coat that will get you a through a Chicago winter. Your first coat is cute as hell, wool blend, looked gorgeous on Blake Lively in that movie and completely useless; coat #2 will be a mid length fur collared affair seemingly stuffed with a pillow that came off your grandma's couch and about as warm; coat #3 is a full length, down filled, comforter like off a very strange bed. It will be black. It will also be the coat you wear for the next 5 years. It will take you 3 years to get to realize warmth trumps fashion whilst waiting for the El in -40 degree weather.
2. Boots: You will start off with Uggs or something similar because that what everyone on your floor wore. You will get through autumn and half of your first winter; all of it if it doesn't snow. Doesn't snow? HAHAHAHAHa. Sometimes it rains right after a big snow, that snow turns to icy sludge that you will have to walk through to get to your train, bus, job, apartment, favorite bar. Do yourself a favor, buy something not terrible, waterproof, insulated, and named after a rapper.