Happy day, reader dear!
Our Augusta temperatures are finding winter! Again. I’m beyond excited, but I know women (and men) about town who are freezing in the sub-60 degree daytime temperatures we are experiencing right now. They’ve not had the opportunity to learn the lessons you absorb growing up in the Midwest. (Or anywhere else you can count on sub-zero temps for days and weeks on end…) Or the cold, wet climate of England where we spent three lovely years! (Wet cold is brutal and settles in your bones… Even when the temps are well above freezing!) Some of our European friends experienced winter conditions long before the calendar met winter. Southern California had snow? Crazy! And I know there was quite a drop in Arizona recently, too.
My mother always used to say that February is the cruelest month. Bitter cold. Grey days. Holiday cheer long gone. Spring nowhere yet in sight. As that cruel month is just around the corner, it seemed time for a chat about dressing for the cold! I know you know the answer to staying warm is… Drumroll, please… Layers! But how to bundle up without looking like a snowman? Or at the very least the the toddler in a snowsuit who falls down and can’t get up! Well, it’s all about keeping those layers thin and effective.
If your weather (or nature) is warm and you don’t need thermal, but love the cozy look of layers, check out my Hygge Style post for some inspiration.
How to style all those layers? Here’s a post about layering over, under, and both! Now, what else do you need to know to stay toasty and warm?
Cozy Natural Fibers
Natural fibers feel extra cozy compared to their manmade counterparts. If you are highly kinaesthetic, this softness is extra important! You’re the one who can’t think or concentrate if anything is poking or itching. Look for soft wool, especially Merino, cashmere and silk. These natural fibers are both warm and breathable. Keep the natural fibers closest to your skin and save the manmade fibers for the outer layers. That way you get the best of both worlds!
Warm Feet = Warm Body
If there’s one thing you learn from standing waiting for a bus in Wisconsin (or Minnesota), warm feet (+ warm head) = warm body. Look for wool or cashmere socks. Wool tights are great with skirts, and as an insulating layer under jeans or lined trousers. Fleece lined tights are another option. I have a client who loves hers and swears they have changed her into a winter skirt wearer!
When I can’t wear cozy tights, I’ll wear boots over regular tights. My keep cozy trick is to pull on a pair of short, thin wool socks first, before I put on my tights. The tights help the boots slide on easily, and the wool underneath keeps my feet warm and dry! This is fabulous when you spend your day standing on cold floors. (Stone school floors, for example.) Note: Rubber boots keep your feet dry, but they are notoriously cold! And make your feet sweat, leaving you more chilled.
We used to make fun of my grandmother because she always had a little scarf tied around her neck. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Apparently, I’ve become my grandmother! She wore hers because she was trying to avoid drafts. Me? I’m not so practical, but admit that a scarf tied around my neck certainly does help keep we warm in the cooler months. Again, think natural fibers like wool, cashmere or silk. I know I couldn’t wear wool around my neck for years; my skin would break out in a rash. Now, I’m more able to tolerate it, and look for baby-bottom-smooth wools!
Go cozy with a beanie, or stylish with a brimmed hat. Wool hats are warming and breathable AND hide a bad hair day. A large brimmed hat can be an issue indoors, but the classic beret works indoors and out, flatters many face shapes since you can tug it to shape as you like AND it’s a great vehicle for a brooch! I know you probably have a brooch you never wear… Try it pinned to a beret! Berets come in oodles of colors and are a great way to get a color that makes you look fabulous near your face.
How About You?
What are your favorite cold-weather dressing tips? Please share them here. Let’s crowdsource this and make it work for all climates!
Stylishly (and cozily) yours,