When it comes to winter weather, layering is key. Whether you're bundling up for the outdoors or an unreliable office thermostat, there are a few important things about layering you should know before piling on the sweaters and scarves to keep yourself toasty. Because when layering goes wrong, you can wind up sweating all day long, and who wants that? To strike a happy medium during the extreme winter months, you'll need a few layering tips that won't make you too hot, but'll still keep you warm. And boy oh boy, is that a delicate balance to strike.
As a longtime resident of the midwest, I like to think of myself as a professional when it comes to layering. I'm no stranger to negative wind chills and having to dress for indoor-to-outdoor adventures where your toes feel like they're going to fall off if you're not wearing the appropriate footwear. And yet, there are still times when I make rookie layering mistakes and wind up sweating all day long because I was naive (read: lazy) in my layering techniques. If you're like me and need a little guidance to keep you warm but not sweating like crazy all winter long, look no further. The following layering tips will keep you cozy this season, without the horrors of being too hot once you reach your destination.
1. Keep It Breathable
Though you might not be considering a long winter's hike anytime soon, the folks over at Backcountry still know a thing or two about how to layer and keep warm without overdoing it. According to Backcountry, keeping your layers breathable is key, and wearing silk or merino wool as your initial layer will cut down on sweatiness and smelliness.
2. Stick With Natural Fibers
As mentioned above, merino wool is the perfect natural fiber to layer with, according to REI. With temperature regulation benefits, the natural fiber will keep you warm without getting too bulky, and too hot. Often times, according to Bustle, manmade materials like polyester and rayon will make you sweat much more than a natural fiber. And sweating during the winter is one of those things that winds up biting you in the backside as soon as you step outdoors, and increases your chances of catching a chill. For your best bet, stick with natural fibers like wool to layer up.
3. Keep It Lightweight
Though your first instinct might be to pile on your thickest layers to stay warm, that'll backfire. Backcountry recommended sticking with the lightest layers possible for the given weather, since you can always add or remove layers. But if you've started with a thick base layer, there's not a lot you can do to regulate your temperature.
4. Layer Thinnest To Thickest
According to The Muse, layering items from thinnest to thickest is the best option not only for temperature regulation, but for not looking like a total marshmallow. This way, you can always take off your heaviest layer once you're indoors, but still have solid (and warm) layers on underneath.
5. Keep It Close Fitting
You don't want to let your initial layers hang too loose, according to Backcountry. Keeping your first layer slightly fitted will help lock in warmth and wick away sweat, but you'll want to be careful not to go with a skintight first layer that will leave you uncomfortable all day long. Snug is good, tight is bad. And as always, natural fibers are better, as they have more flexibility and breathability than most synthetic fabrics do.
6. Invest In A Vest
If you don't have a vest? Invest in one. (There are so many puns here just waiting to be made.) Vests keep your core warm, but keep your extremities free to help regulate your temperature. Plus, vests can add a pop of style to an otherwise boring outfit. It's a win-win with the vests, people.
7. Reinvent Warm Weather Clothes
According to The Muse, you can easily reinvent warm weather clothes and layer them in the colder months for effective (and stylish) warmth. By layering oxfords under sleeveless shift dresses, tights under skirts, and summer sweaters as lightweight layers, you can double your winter wardrobe without spending a dime.