It’s not lost on me that the big-box stores already have swimsuits out, insane I know but while everyone is preparing for summer. I’m bundled up here in Colorado thinking of getting a new swimsuit to visit the hot springs in under my puffer coat.
There are a few things to keep in mind for winter layers.
Wool | You’re already thinking but I hate wool and don’t like wool. Well, let me tell you about how wonderful wool actually is. Wool is naturally hypoallergenic and good for cold winter weather, there is a reason people have worn it for hundreds of years and there are a lot of types of wool. Some are softer than others. We’ll talk about layering in a bit but, if you don’t like the feel of wool wear a knit top cotton for instance as a barrier. The wool blend will still provide you with the warmth without the itch. (Far more common than a wool allergy, many people with sensitive skin feel uncomfortable wearing wool. Their skin is often irritated as well, but they do not have a true allergic reaction. Many people who think they are allergic to wool have sensitive skin that would be irritated by any kind of coarse fiber. from https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/what-is-a-wool-allergy-2116305)
Acrylic | This manufactured fiber is warm, usually blended with wool as they can have a similar hand-feel. You aren’t likely to find 100% acrylic in the winter clothing section, although it is a possibility. I’m not a HUGE fan of synthetic fibers for a number of reasons, so I only have a few pieces of wool and cotton blended with acrylic. It is warm, although I find it to be more irritating to my skin than wool.
Down | Down feathers are a winter staple. They keep you warm even on the coldest of days. Thankfully puffer style jackets are ‘in’ right now making these a great layer for winter and for looking good. And there are vegan options too from brands like, Save the Duck.
Cotton | While I love cotton on the regular, cotton breathes a lot and isn’t great for cold weather on its own. You do often find sweaters that are cotton and cotton blends. In fact I’m wearing a cotton/acrylic blend right now. They are a weighty option without much warmth so be prepared to layer.
Flannel | Flannel is actually HOW a fiber is woven not an actual fiber type. Flannel is also not limited to ‘plaid’ so plaid doesn’t always equal flannel. Okay so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Flannel is a warm soft felted fabric perfect for cold weather, typically made with wool or cotton and sometimes synthetics. If you’re looking for a great base layer, flannel is a popular choice.
Winter is basically a time of year when you wear as many layers as possible for the coldest of days. Looking cute and stylish is a secondary notion. Here is how I layer on the coldest of days:
I always start with comfortable underlayers, cause those are not coming off. I prefer PACT products, fair trade made with organic cotton that is super comfy and doesn’t itch at all. Think camisole, undies, socks, and leggings. (Truth be told, I don’t always wear a bra. Small bust win.) Next, I add my basic outer layer, typically jeans & a long sleeve top. This layer is critical, should you get hot and need to remove layers this is what you’d have. (Another plug for PACT they make AMAZING long sleeve tees.) From here, I add a sweater or sweatshirt. Then a lightweight layer like a vest or cardigan/lightweight jacket, finishing the look for inside. For going outside, I add a warm outer layer like my Eddie Bauer Down Puffer Coat, leather gloves, and on occasion my Columbia hat.
While I tend to keep my underlayers a cotton blend this is not always a good idea, especially if you are planning on strenuous outdoor activity. Cotton holds onto moisture, making it dangerous for long hiking trips or lengthy trips outside. Chose polyester workout layers for strenuous outdoor activity instead. The saying around here (Colorado) is that Cotton Kills.
If you live somewhere you can look cute during the winter months, I’m genuinely jealous. Until spring begins to arrive, you’ll find me hunkered down in my puffer coat until April or so…
Stay warm & stylish,