Dressing in the winter requires a lot of dedication and persistence. You can’t just put on your beanie and wrap a scarf around your neck and think that you are ready for the outside world. It just doesn’t work that way, the world is cruel and the only thing you will achieve this way is to get tuberculosis. You don’t want that and I want to help you avoid it.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put on every piece of clothing you have in your wardrobe in order to stay warm. This will only limit your movement, make you even less fashionable, and you will become an easy target for the kids who are just waiting for their next snowball fight victim. Furthermore, you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of your style to stay warm. You don’t have to join that group of people who do everything in order to save themselves from low temperatures – huge, bulky jackets, large skiing gloves, fluorescent pants and hideous boots are just a part of their winter clothing line. Once again, they are an easy target for kids’ snowballs.
You can have everything: style, warmth and mobility, all incorporated in your wardrobe. It is hard and you won’t get it right from the first try, but you’ll get there. What are my secrets? Listen carefully, but don’t go telling people afterwards…I mean, they are secrets after all.
There is a lot of truth in what our mothers and grandmothers were telling us – take the umbrella, eat your peas, you’ll freeze… And we never took umbrella, never ate our peas and we were always cold. All this happened because we weren’t listening to them, but once I wised up, I started listening. I started taking the umbrella with me and never got wet, I started eating peas and my life hasn’t changed in any way because of it, but what’s most important, I started wearing layers.
Wearing multiple thinner layers is crucial if you want to survive the winter as it will keep you much warmer that wearing only a few, thick layers. There is much more room for warm air to be stored and warm air in between your layers means warm body under the clothes. Also, layers provide you with an incredible amount of possible outfits. You can mix and match all you want and mixing and matching is the key to looking sharp. A warm winter coat, no matter how beautiful, can never look like much on its own, but in combination with a stylish sweater vest and a cool shirt it really kicks your style up a notch.
Types of layers
There are three main layers and each of them has its purpose. The first layer, the base, is the one that firmly cuddles your body. This is often a t-shirt, an undershirt or something similar, that not only keeps you warm, but also absorbs all the sweat you make…while freezing your ass off…flawless logic.
The second or the middle layer serves as an insulator. It traps the heat and actually keeps you warm. It has to be something thick, like a sweater, a shirt or even a denim jacket.
The last layer is what really stands between you and death. Well, maybe not death, but frostbites. Okay, maybe not even frostbites in normal conditions, but it stands between you and some serious cold. This layer is usually made of one, heavy-duty, protective jacket or a warm winter coat that will keep the low temperature, wind, rain, snow or pink space monsters from harming you during the winter.
What you do with these layers is combine them. The first layer is the thinnest and each consecutive layer should get exponentially thicker. Combine different materials in order to get the most stylish look and never, and I can’t emphasize this enough, NEVER assume that a layer won’t be seen. Even the lowest layer has to be stylish as the temperature might rise or some situation that requires you to take your clothes off might emerge…whatever the situation might be.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a material that works best for each of the layers. As I already said, combine the materials to be more stylish, but also to make the most of them when it comes to heating.
The first layer should absorb, but also wick the sweat. Wool and cotton are great at absorbing, but don’t do such a good work at wicking. That is the job for thin synthetics which are specially designed for this purpose. They snuggle your body without immobilizing it and wick the sweat out.
The middle layer should store as much heat as possible, so it should be made of a strong, heavy material. Wool is the best option as it is one of the warmest materials known to man, woman, sheep, pink space monster or evolution. Also, denim works great with wool, so a nice cardigan in combination with a shirt and a denim jacket, topped off with a coat makes a great casual outfit. However, cotton is not such a bad material in and of itself, so for a more formal look you can put on a dress shirt, sweater vest, a suit jacket and a Chesterfield coat.
Accessorizing is much easier in the winter than in the summer, as you are presented with a lot more options. The first accessory has to be a hat. Beanies are cool, but you can do much better than a beanie. A nice trapper hat is always a good option which is both stylish and extremely warm. Also, flat caps can be incorporated in almost any style, and they will keep you warm if they are made of suitable materials such as wool lining for example.
The next must-have accessory is the scarf. Aside from keeping you warm, a scarf can always bring some freshness into your outfit. Wear a colorful scarf with interesting patterns in order to break the monotony of your coat and learn as many different ways to tie it as you can. That way, you will always look different while still being recognizable. However, you don’t have to learn the Lenny Kravitz’s way of wearing a scarf; it’s a bit over the top. Last and maybe the least are gloves. Why are they the least? Because you have pockets on your coat or jacket, so gloves aren’t all that necessary. Also, some people don’t like the look, but if you are a glove person, just go for it. Pick the best and warmest gloves you can find and match them with one of your layers, with your belt or with some other detail to achieve the perfect style.