Probably the best thing you can do to keep yourself warm during winter is to dress in layers, especially if you’re living somewhere where the climate is cold. It simple, easy and pretty straightforward, although there are some rules you might want to follow.
It’s important to know that the quality build is an important factor. Wear different sets of layers might keep you warm or leave you shivering, depending on the quality of used fabrics. It’s always a good idea to invest in high-quality winter clothing as not only will it keep you warm, it will last for seasons to come. Quantity over quality is not necessarily the right move in this case. Also, another often overlooked factor is the weight of the material. Choose materials that have a good warmth-to-weight ratio and adjust them to your activities and temperatures. No need to carry more layers than you actually should.
While there is no optimal number of layers set as everyone has their own preferences, it’s been a common practice recently by dividing layers into three groups for easier understanding: base layer, mid layer and outer layer. Each of these layers has its own function.
Base layer is the first layer next to your skin, controlling its moisture and warmth. It’s important to move perspiration away from your skin to avoid discomfort. Best way to do so is to choose natural fabrics like wool, especially Merino wool, an increasingly popular choice lately. Cotton is also a popular choice, but for the wrong reasons as it retains perspiration and can leave you chilled. Same goes for synthetic fabrics like polyesters. Wear something like long underwear, sport tights or thermal underwear as a base layer.
Mid layer is the insulation that helps retain your body heat. Once again, natural fabrics like Merino wool and goose down are the right choice as they have excellent insulating capabilities. Fleece is another material that’s a good option for a mid layer as it comes in various weights. Depending on the weather, opt for water-resistant goose down, thicker fleece for colder and windier conditions.
Outer layer is your protection against weather elements – wind, rain, snow and everything else in between. It’s quite important to choose something that will ventilate the heat you have trapped without condensing on the inside. As weather is the key factor here, you can choose between breathable and non-breathable waterproof or water-resistant layers, depending on the outdoor activity – mountaineering jacket or a simple windproof jacket can be the choice.
Dressing in layers works effortlessly once you know what you are doing. It works even when you see elegant dress for sale and want to buy it, but are unsure if you can incorporate it in your outfit. Just be careful not to rely only on the outer layer for warmth – something bulkier in size doesn’t mean it’s actually warmer. Choosing the right layers will keep you both warm and comfortable on various temperatures.