- May 25, 2022
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a cold, long, and snowy winter for the United States in 2022. In fact, they predict it will be so cold they are calling the next few months the “season of shivers.” So, prepare to bundle up and, if possible, bundle up with style in layers that will keep
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a cold, long, and snowy winter for the United States in 2022. In fact, they predict it will be so cold they are calling the next few months the “season of shivers.” So, prepare to bundle up and, if possible, bundle up with style in layers that will keep you warm while staying protected. Here’s a quick field guide on mastering the basics of winter layers.
In general, layers should go from thin to thick in terms of fabric and work off a base, mid, and outer structure. As you move from outside to in and back again, you may need to shed or don a layer, so you want to have that mid-layer, and potentially your base, be presentable and appropriate.
Even if you rarely leave the house, you may still need a layered ensemble to stay warm and keep cozy. A base layer of fleece-lined leggings and a long-sleeve crewneck in dark neutrals like black, navy, gray, or brown paired with a striped longline cardigan and accessorized with patterned socks and slippers is the perfect lounging outfit for Saturdays spent on the couch or Mondays working from home.
Errand runs in the winter can be exhausting at best and hazardous at worst, especially when making multiple stops and hauling kiddos around in the process. Stores may be pumping the heat while the car also blows dry, hot air. So, while you’ll want to bundle up, you don’t want to be dripping sweat at the checkout or the wheel.
For those big trips to the grocery, start with a base layer of warm, knee-high socks and a t-shirt. Add tapered or skinny jeans, a flannel, then an oversized sweater for your mid-layer, and finish your outer with a hooded coat, solid boots, gloves, and a scarf. As you tool around the store, sling your jacket off the cart handle and stuff gloves and scarf into your purse or coat pocket. Removing the coat is key in keeping you from overheating and comfortable as you go through your shopping list. If it’s really warm in the store, you may have to take off your sweater. Just make sure the handle on that cart is clean.
For days in the office, your base layer can include hosiery or thermal leggings, depending on the building’s thermostat. Even if you prefer trousers versus a skirt for work, you can still layer tights or leg warmers underneath, particularly if you go with slouchy or wide-legged pants. A turtleneck and knit blazer complete your professional look, and you can accessorize with a statement pendant necklace. For the outer layer, go with a dress coat if it’s warm enough, or wear a more durable puffer/waterproof coat if that’s what the forecast requires. And while snow boots may not be appropriate to wear in the workplace, they will very much be needed to get to your workplace. Stash them under your desk and change into a heel or loafer after you settle in.
If you’re able to get outside and enjoy a fresh winter morning in the coming months, a functional outfit is a necessity. For non-snowy winter walks, I like the idea of hiking cargo joggers with a Henley-style shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, duck-boots, and finished with a ‘shacket.’ A shacket is a shirt thick enough to be halfway between a shirt and a jacket. If you plan to be in the snow, switch out the joggers for thick leggings, leave the shacket at home, add some snow overalls, a heavy-duty coat, and swap duck boots for snow boots.
On occasions that call for a dress, a shirt dress works as a versatile mid-layer. You can create a base with a turtleneck and tights, wear your dress belted or unbelted, then extend the mid-layer with a cardigan, blazer, or denim jacket, and have your coat, hat, and gloves as your outer layer. I like layering a plaid shirtdress with a leather belt and knee-high boots for work, church, or a casual dinner.
Even if you aren’t hitting the gym here this season, activewear makes a great base layer while also acting as shapewear. A high-waisted yoga legging and sports bra crop top underneath pants and tees can work just as well as thermal underclothes or hose and a camisole. Just be mindful of whether your mid and out layers will completely cover your “gym” clothes if that’s a concern. If you don’t mind the sight of workout leggings standing in for tights under a dress, then, by all means, layer away!
Lastly, most times, your outer layer will be your standard winter coat; you may have 2 or 3 to switch things up, but not a coat for every outfit. Get creative with accessories for your outer layer. Hats, gloves, and scarves can switch up the look of a coat, as do pins and broaches and the bag you carry. You can even get creative layering accessories. Tie two scarves together to create one oversized scarf, wear earmuffs over a fitted knit beanie, or style fingerless wooly gloves over slick leather ones for some playful takes on your outer layer. I wouldn’t recommend doing all three in one look, but hey, who among us hasn’t entertained a few kooky ideas in the dead of winter. Hopefully, these layering ideas will get you into the winter spirit while keeping you warm and protected. Just remember, layers should work together but also as standalone pieces without being too bulky. Easy!