Winter Layers To Keep You Warm
Both men and women need to make good choices when it comes to layering up in the colder months. Men often make two common mistakes: they pack on bulky layers and go too technical. Wearing too many layers is only going to make your outfits uncomfortable, and there’s really no need to wear a down jacket along with a thermal beanie unless you’re going to attend a meeting on the side of a snowy mountain.
Instead of wearing bulky outfits, you need to understand the concept of layering, which actually means you need to wear several layers of garments while making sure they don’t make you feel uncomfortable. Instead of wearing one thick piece of garment, choose several lighter ones to stay warmer by keeping air trapped between those layers and letting your body heat keep that air warm. It will create an invisible self-generated heat shield to protect you from the cold.
Choosing The Right Clothing For Layers
You need to be careful when selecting the types of clothing when dressing for winter. If you’re in sub-zero temperatures, going for regular street clothing is only going to leave you bulky. You need to choose the right clothing and learn to use it appropriately for cold weather insulation protection. That’s when you can divide layering into three main sections.
The Base Layer
The layer that lies against your skin is the base layer, and it is of great importance not just to keep you warm but also to help remove moisture. That’s especially true when you’re active throughout the day, which means you’ll be sweating occasionally. The base layer should be capable of letting moisture out and away from your skin. Keep in mind that letting water stay on your body in cold weather can cause heat loss and lead to serious consequences.
To deal with it, you can try old-fashioned solutions, such as layers made from loose wool strings, which can absorb the moisture but keep it from moving to the outside of the clothing. You can also get the same benefits from synthetic fibers with exceptional “wicking” properties. Many athletic cold weather garments provide you with a great balance between lightweight construction and exceptional moisture-wicking properties. Ensure they fit you properly to get enough flexibility without any bulk.
Liner socks work great if you need a layer for your hands and feet. You can buy these from any camping stores, offline or online. By wearing them under your thicker socks, you will help keep your feet dry. Similarly, thin wool gloves work great as a base layer for your hands – you can also get the same benefits from fingerless liner gloves.
The insulating layer is important too because of its main job to trap in heat and keep you warm. Wool is a great choice but other natural fibers like goose down also come with impressive insulating properties. Wool offers good insulating properties without adding weight and is, therefore, a suitable choice of insulating layer for active weather situations, such as hiking or skiing. Wool is also capable of absorbing up to 30% of its weight, which is why it manages moisture quite well.
For serious winter warmth, you can opt for wool sweaters. Angora and cashmere wool sweaters are probably the trendiest options, especially when you pair them with your cotton dress shirt. Similarly, artificial fleece will also serve as a lightweight insulator and it continues to work even when wet. Just bear in mind that fleece offers little protection against the cold wind. If you’re opting for a fleece jacket, be sure to pair it u with a tightly woven, wind-resistant garment.
For your legs, you can use fleece or thick wool trousers, which work quite impressively over a base layer. Jeans may also be a good choice here but you won’t get any insulating benefit. If you really want to go with a pair of jeans, you should seriously think of wearing an inner insulating layer first.
Once you’ve found the right base and insulating layer, you can seal the deal with the last protective layer. It works more like a shell to protect your inner layers from the harsh elements. The protective layer works to trap air, but ensure that it is breathable enough to let moisture out, which is why your choice of the protective layer should be a garment that is water-resistant but not waterproof.
While most cold-weather shells are designed for functionality and not for styling, you can still make them look reasonably well by choosing options like treated wool overcoats. You can do well with overcoats so long as they have a wind-proof layer. You can also consider buying your shell or parka in the darkest design to ensure it goes well with the rest of your outfit.
Speaking of the outer, protective layer, you should seriously think of finding some protection for your extremities. A wool stocking cap with a simple layer of weatherproof mittens will do the trick here. For added protection, try a scarf, an insulated headband, and a pair of winter boots. You can rely on your waterproof hiking shoes or boots, but you will be better off investing in natural fiber-lined pieces with soft sides and built-in insulation.
The fact is that finding the right layers will go a long way towards keeping you warm this winter. Ensure that you take your time to consider all the options and select the most functional dressing to stay warm and active. Don’t put so much emphasis on wearing tight layers because allowing some space between layers will help trap heat and keep you warm.