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Dressing for Cold Weather

January 31, 2010

Dressing for the weather can be tricky, especially in the winter. My best advice, for both men and women, is to dress in layers. Below is a list of basics for keeping warm this winter, without being stuffy or overdressed.

Here are the basics of winter apparel for men:

1.) Thermal or long underwear. On the coldest days, thermal underwear is a must. Invest in comfortable, quality thermals that fit snug, but not tight. You don’t want to feel bunchy or itchy, and the thermal will be the layer closest to your skin.

2. Good sweaters such as cashmere, wool, or nylon depending on if the sweater is for casual wear, business casual or sport.

3.) Long-sleeved button downs. Flannel is soft, thin and great for layering because it can be buttoned up for warmth, or kept unbuttoned if it is not as cold. It is best to get flannel shirts in colors that go well with your wardrobe, because flannels last for a long time and will most likely be a winter staple.

4.) Wear a good winter jacket. Some time-tested brands of men’s jackets are L.L. Bean, Carhart, Northface, and Columbia. Which jacket best suits you will be dependent on the climate of your area. For cold, dry weather a Carhart jacket is ideal with its heavy sandstone cotton and Sherpa lining. For skiing, a waterproof, double layered Northface jacket with micro-fleece lining would be more appropriate.

5.) Use warm socks. Everyone needs heavy winter socks to be worn in winter boots and inside on the colder days. Smartwool is a warm, fast- drying material, guaranteed to keep your toes toasty.

6.) Winter boots or galoshes are especially important. Find a pair best suited to your lifestyle, such as boots that can be worn to the office and changed for dress shoes or weather- proof boots that are handsome enough to be worn often as winter shoes.

7.) Gloves or mittens also are important. Mittens are warmest, but for practicality’s sake, gloves are generally more popular. Underarmour makes a coldproof glove for sub-zero conditions, and L.L. Bean makes a stylish Ragg wool glove for a more professional look.

8.) A winter hat. From Beanies to Hosers, a hat in the winter is a must. Look for hats with additional ear protection that are lined to keep the cold out.

9.) Don’t leave home without a scarf. Scarves are tried and true protection against the elements. There are scarves for every one; just make sure you wear one.

For women:

1.) Some things are true for both men and women, and thermal underwear are one of those things. Duowear makes a tried and true set of long thermal underwear for ladies that are both soft and warm. Also, women’s tights have gained popularity and are great for layering with knee-high boots and skirts.

2.) Long- sleeve button down shirts are also essential in the layering process. Finding a fitted flannel is stylish, sexy and weather smart. Don’t be afraid to stock up on these.

3.) Women’s winter jackets are not only a must, they also have the potential to make great winter outfits even better. J. Crew and Banana Republic offer a beautiful line of reasonable winter coats that are fitted and flattering for everyday wear, and Northface offers great ski and snow wear jackets that are toasty and waterproof.

4.) Sweaters. There are so many styles, fits, and fabrics that it shouldn’t be hard to have a sweater for every type of occasion. Stick to wool for warmth and fast drying nylon zip ups for jogging and other physical activities.

5.) Scarves. In every color, and in every style. Own a few great scarves because you will need to wear them all the time.

6.) Gloves. Isotoners are a sleek, warm glove that are still classy and fitted to the hand. Once you’ve worn them, most other gloves won’t measure up.

7.) Winter boots. Don’t settle for anything less than warm, flattering,comfortable boots, ladies. They do exist. There is no reason to freeze for fashion this year or ever again. Stay warm!

8.) A hat. The perfect topping on a classy winter outfit is a perfectly paired hat. Get a hat that matches your favorite gloves and scarf, and build an outfit around your accessories. Your outerwear can make a statement too!

by Amy Leigh Cutler

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