Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cold Weather Layers For My Sister

A week or so ago, I learned that my sister will be moving up north for the first time...maybe ever? She lived in Missouri briefly, but in the southern part, so I'm not sure if that counts. Anyway, she called me to find out what kinds of things she would need to purchase for the cold weather. I sent her an email, but I thought I'd make a drawing just so it's absolutely clear. And then I thought...I should post that on the blog. So, today we have my personal primer on dressing for cold weather in the northeastern united states.

Layer 1:

1. Your Underwear:
          I suppose you don't have to wear underwear if that's not your thing, but I always like to. I'm not a fan of long underwear, though, so I suppose we should note that.

2. A Tank Top or a Tee Shirt:
          This is important for two reasons: 1. Sometimes sweaters are itchy, and 2. Whenever you are no longer outside, you may suddenly find yourself drenched in sweat. It helps to be able to de-layer for a minute while your body adjusts.

3. Smartwool Socks:
          If you've been reading this blog long, then you know I have unusually hot feet. No, I don't mean attractive feet, you weirdo. They're just so...warm, like, all the time. Smartwool socks manage to keep my toes from getting frostbitten while also keeping them at a normal temperature once I get inside. I'm not sure how they do it. Maybe that's why the wool is smart.


Layer 2:

1. A Sweater:
         Or a sweatshirt...the main thing is that it has to be nice and cozy. Be careful, though, that it's not too warm for indoors...unless your under tee or tank is very attractive and presentable.

2. Stretchy Jeans:
          It's important to buy these jeans in the winter, because there are different weights of jeans used in different seasons. You can find plenty of great stretchy jeans in the spring, but they will be too thin. You will need the stretch because your socks will make your legs thicker than usual. Jeans are better than leggings, though, because the fabric is more substantial.


Layer 3:

1. A Big Scarf:
          If you're going to be outdoors for any period of time, this is key. You'll want to put your scarf on before you put on your coat. Another trick I've learned is to tuck my long hair into the scarf and put the coat on over it. This way I avoid static from the coat. You'll want to make sure the scarf is wide enough to cover your mouth and nose in case of sudden gusts of wind or just plain bitter cold.

2. Leather Gloves:
          You can have gore tex gloves or performance sports gloves, but I find those to be a bit cumbersome, and you lose a lot of finger dexterity with the insulation on those. To keep wind out, I prefer leather gloves, as they are less porous than, say, knit or fleece ones. The ones I have are also lined in cashmere knit, and I find that to be an excellent bonus.

3. Snow Boots:
          For winter precipitation, a rubber-bottomed boot is key. Sorel makes a bunch of different options here. The whole point is to protect your feet from moisture without having to wear full-on galoshes all day. Galoshes are less tailored to one's feet, making them less comfortable (for me at least).


Layer 4:

1. A Hat That Covers Your Ears:
          Now, you don't have to go full-on trapper hat here. It can just be a hat that you can pull down over your ears. In fact, you could have a hat and earmuffs if you like. It matters not. All I can tell you is that your head and ears can be much colder than you'd ever believe.

2. A Puffy Coat:
          Before I owned one of these, I likened them to walking around in a sleeping bag or down comforter. However, when I was in Seoul a few years ago, I was so cold in my New York woolen coat, I actually stopped into a store on the street and bought one of these on the spot. I'm never going back. This is by far the best way to keep warm in the winter. Side note: I don't know why, but it seems that coats that hit below the buttocks are infinitely warmer than those that hit around the waist. The longer the coat, the warmer you'll be.

3. A Bag with a Crossbody Strap:
          This isn't a matter of warmth, it's a matter of logistics. When you're wearing a winter coat, somehow it's really hard to keep a purse on your shoulder. The cross body strap solves this problem. It's also better for music festivals and flea markets. Just saying.

Now, if you, too, are moving to the northeast from the south with my sister, then this shopping list should help you out! Keep warm!

Also, here are the answers to  yesterday's crossword puzzle:


Also, if you're not into football, remember that Animal Planet is showing the Puppy Bowl tonight with the Kitty Halftime show. You're welcome.

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