Practical ideas to apply when choosing winter fashions, how to ensure that your winter style doesn't leave you cold.
Looking good in cold conditions calls for a focus on style rather than fashion, style is timeless and lends itself to purpose as well as simple appearances.
There are a number of aspects to dressing effectively for the cold, fabrics and materials, garment design, how items integrate with other garments, and how well they trap air that you then warm up. Air is the real insulator, losing warmed-up air makes you cold. Effective design elements in winter clothing help to to retain that valuable warmth.
to help you stay warm
Footwear - Boots are always warmer than shoes, as they cover up the ankles too. Boots provide an opportunity to spice up an outfit becoming a feature in themselves.
A thick sole is vital in cold weather as you can
lose a lot of heat downwards, man-made materials give
better insulation than leather. Recent innovations mean
that it is now possible to get stylish boots that are
seriously warm in well below freezing temperatures.
Thermal insoles - Less insulating footwear can be helped with thermal insoles at little cost, they are invisible in terms of your outfit adding extra practicality to any shoes or boots, they are no substitute for proper winter footwear however.
Outer layer, coats and jackets - there are an awful lot of very good looking stylish winter coats that are not very good at keeping you warm. It's not just about the material, design matters too.
Midlayer - Pants - The legs are too often ignored in cold weather, despite the time and effort given to coats and boots, many people just end up wearing similar things to the rest of the year with little or no concession to the weather despite the fact there is usually just one layer over them even when outdoors.
Pants are warmer than a dress or skirt, tight fitting
isn't good, a little loose is always better for retaining
the warmth and not constricting circulation. Heavier
material is better (obviously) wool or wool mix is warmer
and cotton is generally a bad choice other than moleskin
(standard Antarctic issue with a very pleasingly soft
texture) or unless they are fleece lined.
Midlayer - Tops - Under your favorite outer coat when it's cold, or as an outer layer itself in not so cold, calm and dry conditions, there are many options for different weather conditions and endless choices within those options.
- Wool is the best insulator and is best for warmth, merino is an increasingly popular very soft
option. Part or full cashmere adds extra comfort and
luxury, though such garments tend to be quite
Foundation layer - The base layer next to the skin has two jobs, the obvious one of keeping you warm and the less obvious (and slightly icky) one of wicking sweat away from your skin so keeping you dry, comfortable and also warmer too.