Your First Winter: A Guide to Winter Outerwear and Apparel

Final words of advice:
Avoid wearing cotton next to your body
Cotton has many wonderful attributes.  It is soft and breathable.  But when cotton gets wet, either from rain, snow or from your own sweat, it gets cold and drains heat from your body.  That is why most of the recommended fabrics for winter are not cotton and have wicking properties. What are wicking properties? These are fabrics thatpull moisture away from your body.  Materials with wicking properties include wool, leather, silk or synthetic fabrics like polar fleece, polypropylene, and Capilene®. 
New on the market is Charged Cotton®.  It is said to have the soft breathable qualities of cotton without the problematic heat drain.
As I said above, avoid wearing cotton, especially on your feet.  Feet sweat.  Shoes leak.  Both scenarios will make your socks wet and your feet cold.  I have a hard time concentrating on anything if my feet are cold so a good solution to this problem is wool or synethetic socks.  SmartWool is a brand that makes non-itchy wool socks that resist odor.  They are around $20 a pair.  They last forever, are very comfortable and come in nice designs and colors.  You can even get away with wearing them for two days in a row. Most wool socks are itchy, so be sure to get a brand that advertises itself as non-itchy.