With winter just around the corner, we once again find ourselves planning the intricate means by which we will remain warm; digging out the extra thick woolly socks, the thermal leggings and top, hats, scarfs, gloves, neck warmers and ankle warmers, as if we’ve been invited to embark upon an expedition to the Arctic.
Once dressed we step outside and within 2 minutes of walking down the street are reminded of the great challenge of the season: how do you stay warm without becoming a sweaty mess the minute you have to do even the tiniest amount of exercise?
Who among us hasn’t turned up to work, an important meeting, or a social engagement during winter only to find we are soaked with sweat from the effort of moving while weighed down with a dozen layers of clothing?
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to minimise the problem. Let’s explore some of the best ways to stay warm without overheating this winter.
First off, when you’re picking your winter sweater opt for wool. Unlike cotton, wool clothing moves sweat away from the body and doesn’t cling to water like cotton does. What’s more, wool retains its insulating properties even when wet with sweat, which means you won’t start shivering even if you do get sweaty.
Traditional varieties of wool tend to become itchy after absorbing moister, but thankfully, modern types of wool often manage to avoid this pitfall. And, on top of its warmth giving benefits, wool is eco-friendly; wool biodegrades much quicker than synthetic materials and comes from a renewable, natural source!
Thermals are of course a go-to option during the cold season and now that you know you should pick wool over cotton you’re ready to go thermal shopping. Look for Merino Smartwool, it’s breathable, lightweight, non-itchy, and offers superb insulation against the cold. It’s typically a little more pricey, but its warmth giving goodness is worth every cent.
Choose a pair of thermal leggings and a thermal top, you’ll need to the complete set to really stay warm. Together, these form the first layer of protection from the winter chill. Once the thermals are in place it’s time to consider the next layers.
Effective layering is the best way to stay warm, but getting it wrong results in the hot mess meltdown we’re trying to avoid. Simply piling on sweaters is not the way to go. For your torso, start with your base layer – the wool-based thermal top -, then add a t-shirt or shirt, followed by a sweater (preferably a woollen one), and finally a thick winter jacket.
For your legs, again, begin with the thermals, then add tights, followed by jeans or trousers. You might be tempted to wear fleece lined tights, however, these can quickly become a source of sweat the moment you start to move or enter a heated space.
Unfortunately it’s not always easy to judge the number of layers necessary for each particular day. This is why it’s always advisable to layer up with zippered jackets and jumpers. This gives you the option to allow in some ventilation if you start overheating. Activewear offers the best ventilation options, as sports clothes often include zippers on the side or in the armpits which can be opened to allow air to flow and heat to escape.
Socks, Shoes, and Gloves
For many people fingers and toes are hardest to keep warm during the winter, so let’s give them some special attention here.
As with the rest of your attire, the layers principle applies. Don’t just wear one thick pair of gloves. Start with a thin, base-layer glove and then build up to a tick pair. Thin, stretchy woollen gloves can be a good base layer, but if you find this alone is not enough consider starting with some ultra thin sports gloves (also known as ‘liner gloves’) which can be purchased in a running shop or sports wear outlet.
When it comes to protecting your feet from the winter chill, choose fleece lined winter boots. Select a pair of thick soled winter boots to insulate you from the cold earth and opt for high quality, breathable material to ensure your feet stay nice and cosy without getting too sweaty. There’s a ton of good options from all your favourite designers over at Larizia.
Compliment your winter boots with some extra layers; a combination of thin socks followed by ultra-thick woollen socks should do the trick.
Images from STEFFI COOK For DESIGN SCENE – See the full story here