It’s been snowing on and off for about a month now. Here in the northern Midwest, as well as various other places around the world, can experience some incredible winters. Incredibly freezing (-65F/-55C) and incredibly beautiful. I’m one that tends to have an ever-changing opinion of how I feel about cold weather – on one hand, I’m cold all the time and sometimes it’s so cold it hurts to breathe, so I’m not keen. On the other, it’s pretty spectacular to see an icy winter landscape and not be able to pull your jaw up from the ground. Also, I’m quite the lover of anything Nordic-inspired and Fair Isle patterned, which I’m sure has something do with my family history.
Staying warm for winters such as these can be quite tricky. One of my favourite winter quotes from a source that escapes me is, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad dressers.” And to an extent, I believe this statement to be true. Although, on the days where the windchill makes it feel like -65F, I’d recommend staying inside under a cozy blanket with a Christmas movie and something warm to drink. There are three tricks that I’ve picked up over the years for staying warm in winter, and they primarily all boil down to this – what to wear. Ironic isn’t it? The fashion lover and freeze baby’s ultimate guide to winter.
WHAT IT’S MADE OF COUNTS
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may notice a theme of choosing quality pieces over quantity of pieces. Over the past few years, I’ve become quite selective with what I choose to invest money into, and whether I’ll get enough wear out of it. I’ve been trying to stay away from fast fashion as much as I can, and choose things made with higher quality materials. This being said, the materials that your clothing is made from are much more important than you’d think, especially when it comes to staying warm in winter or cooler months in general. Polyester, a man-made fiber full of plastic particles, won’t keep you as warm like natural fibers such as cotton, wool or cashmere will.
Now, I’m not saying that you should immediately go through your wardrobes and pitch out everything that is made with nylon, spandex, polyblend or polyester. That’s not it at all – honestly, some of my favourite cozy socks are made from a polyblend, because they’re just SO soft and lovely. What I am suggesting though, is to consider material content moving forward. There are many affordable retailers that are bringing in natural fibers to their polyblends, something I happen to be very keen on. H&M, And Other Stories and Banana Republic are a few favourites of mine that have really stepped up to the plate.
The piece that I really consider the most important to have some sort of natural fiber in is my coat. I can tell you now, that I will not purchase a winter coat without knowing its material contents now. It’s important to me to not only have a coat that looks fabulous, but that keeps me warm as well. Especially if you’re handing over $75+ for a coat. Something that’s fifty percent wool will keep you much warmer than something that’s one hundred percent polyester, even if the polyester may be a softer material. I promise, it’s worth it to check the material content. For freeze babies and money conscious people alike.
THERMALS, THERMALS, THERMALS, THERMALS
In my opinion, one of the most underrated pieces of clothing is a thermal. I remember when I was little, thinking it to be uncool to wear “Long Johns” as I’d called them. My mum would always tell me that it was cool to look warm, and she was definitely right. Now, I think one of my favourite things to purchase in the winter is a good thermal set – pants, tops, socks, you name it.
Not only do thermals help you to stay warm in winter, but they also add to the longevity of the rest of your clothing. Think about it like this: the more your skin comes in contact with your clothes, any body odor or sweat will get directly on your clothing. With a thermal, that’s not the case. It acts as a thin barrier for your clothes, not only regulating body temperature but protecting your knitwear or other pieces of clothing. You then wouldn’t have to wash your outer layers as much as you previously would have, which adds to the lifetime of the piece in your wardrobe. Plus – it’s an extra way to stay warm. Two birds with one stone, if you ask me.
Going back to mum’s point again – it’s cool to look warm. There isn’t anything in winter that makes me cringe more than seeing someone walking along the street in a t-shirt, shorts and sandals. It may sound crazy, but in the Midwest, there are people that say it’s simply not cold enough for the extra layers, whilst I’m over huddled by a fireplace in my thermals, cozy knitwear and a massive blanket scarf.
For me, warm accessories are a must for staying warm in winter. Knitted mittens or gloves, warm hats, thick scarves. In my opinion, my extremities are the first things to get cold – think fingers and toes, nose and head. Most of the heat in your body is letting out at those same places, or from your neck. Therefore, in order to stay the most warm possible, you’ll want to keep these areas of your body covered. I consider myself lucky to live in a place where it gets to be as cold as it does – not because of the cold, but because there is no lack of beautifully done winter accessories at an almost arm’s length away.
Do you live in a part of the world as cold as the Midwest? If so, have you got any tips or tricks for staying warm in the winter that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments! Until next, xoxo.