Stay Warm without the Bulk January 27 2016, 0 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good snow day, where there’s enough snow on the ground to make travel hazardous in my southern hometown and most businesses are forced to close. And here on the East Coast, we've had our fair share of those these past few days! Those days are when I pull out my big wool sweater and cozy cords, and enjoy the warmth of my own home while sipping hazelnut coffee and watching the snow fall out the windows. Where I live in North Carolina, those days where the snow shuts everything down only happen once or twice a winter at most. Most of the time during the coldest months of the year, I’m running errands and working in the office, even when temperatures outside are in the teens or twenties. Of course I want to stay warm, but I don’t want to look like the Michelin Man while doing it!

The key to dressing for winter weather is to layer up. Wear two to three thin layers, rather than one big bulky layer. Not only will it keep you warm, it’s easy to shed a layer or two when the sun comes out and warms things up in the afternoon.

Layer One. A thin layer close to the skin helps trap in heat and hold it next to your body, especially when made of a natural fiber such as wool, cashmere or silk. This should be a close-fitting t-shirt, tank top or turtleneck. I like Cuddl Duds. Their products are sort of the next generation of long underwear.

Layer Two. When choosing a shirt or sweater, again it’s important to look for natural fibers, staying away from cotton, which doesn’t do much to keep you warm. Styles that are form-fitting are good for this layer as well, not only because it helps hold heat but because they won’t add bulk under your coat.

Layer Three. This is the outer layer, often a coat, but shawls are also becoming popular. One great thing is that thanks to innovations in fabrics and textiles, coats can provide the necessary warmth without adding a lot of bulk. For example, today’s down coats are often pretty sleek, and even able to be packed away in a small suitcase or backpack. Check out Good Housekeeping for the low-down on lightweight down. This is one layer where you don’t necessarily want form fitting. It’s good to have room for those other layers without stretching things too thin.

Don’t forget to think about your legs!  My go-to pants during the winter are our Go Free Lindsay cords and Margaret velveteen, but leggings and tights are a great way to keep your legs warm when you wear skirts, or even under pants. And I’m always surprised at how my knee-high boots actually keep my entire legs warm.

Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice style for warmth. Here’s to a great fashion winter!