Your First Winter: A Guide to Winter Outerwear and Apparel

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Strategies for staying warm all day with layering
 
Layering your clothing is the single best thing you can do to make for a relatively painless winter season. You might wonder what to layer and how to avoid the feeling that you’re wearing six pairs of pants.  All good questions.  Here is the framework for layering.
 
1) The Base Layer
 
Your base layer is what you wear next to your skin.  Look for wicking, non-cotton materials.  I like WinterSilks, which are soft, thin and breathable since they’re made of silk.  For a pair of tops and bottoms, it’s about $70, but they make all the difference.  They are thin and light weight, they don’t feel bulky.  
 
Pay special attention to the waistband of the base layer because if it feels tight or bulky, it will feel even worse when you layer pants on top of it. Look for flat seams or low-waisted long underwear.  Patagonia also makes base layer long underwear that is made of Capilene® in various levels of thickness. 

2) The Mid Layer

Your normal everyday clothes make up your mid layer.  In the winter that might be a long sleeve shirt with a sweater over it and jeans.  By wearing a layer over your base layer, warm air gets trapped between the two and keeps you warm.  If you’re still not warm enough, add another layer on your torso like a down vest or blazer.


Vests are a great way to add extra warmth.
 
3) The Outer layer

This is where your coat, hats, gloves and scarves come in to protect you from the elements when you’re outside.

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