What to wear during winter
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What to wear during winter. This winter is all like: “Can’t stop, won’t stop.” Here in NYC we’ve experienced record low temperatures, and I am sick of it! As you know, I’m originally from Venezuela, where the average temperature is 24 C (75 F) year round, and then I moved to Florida, where is even warmer and more humid. So moving up North, I had no idea how to dress for cold weather. It took me about three years to finally figure out the whole dressing for winter thing, and I have to say, I really have it down.
So it’s time for me to share my secret to dressing up in the colder months, one layer at a time.
I thought that showing you a picture of myself in my undies would be inappropriate, so here’s a picture of me in a nude body suit. Much better.
Tights are a lifesaver during winter. They come in all sizes, and prints. I get a lot of opaque ones because they are usually warmer and thicker than sheer ones. My fave brands for opaque tights are Uniqlo (warning, they run small, I buy size L/XL) and Hanes. I like to layer tights depending on my outfit- two pairs of tights are warmer than one! I cut the toes off (I didn’t do a very good job with these ones) so my toes don’t feel trapped with all the layers. I wear at least one pair under jeans, sometimes two- I like to buy my fave jeans in my regular size, and one size up for the winter, precisely for this, and I’ve been known to wear up to three pairs under fleece tights. Is it bulky? Yes. It is uncomfortable? Sometimes. Do they keep me warm? You betcha.
I have conducted hundreds of experiments on the frigid streets of New York City (keep in mind that I don’t have a car and I have to walk everywhere, and that subway platforms feel like Antarctica) and I have found layered tights to be 83,468 times warmer than jeans. That’s why I spent most of my winter rocking skirts. Here I’m wearing footless fleece tights, but knit tights work just as well. I have some foot knit tights I like to wear when I wear booties, as seen here, but for the most part, I prefer footless tights. Some great places to find these on the cheap are TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory.
Base layer: synthetic fabric cami
Consider most natural fabrics to be your nemesis during the winter. Take cotton, for example. It absorbs moisture, meaning that when your sweat- and you will, since you’re wearing like 15 layers, your sweat won’t evaporate, and will be against your skin all day until you take it off. If it snows or rains, your cotton sweater is not gonna dry. That’s another reason why I’m not a fan of jeans during winter. When picking out your layers, think of the garments that dry fast when you let them air dry after doing laundry. Save that cotton cami for the summer, and instead invest in some micro fiber, nylon, spandex, and even polyester. Adea has some great camis that are perfect for winter layering.
Synthetic fabric long sleeve shirt
Depending on where you live and how cold it is, you may or may not need this layer. I really needed this one last week. I went with a turtleneck to provide a little extra warmth to my neck and throat, and plus, turtlenecks peeking from shirts and dresses are very in right now. When it comes to layering, I’m a really big fan of Uniqlo’s Heattech line. Their shirts are slim enough to layer, but trendy enough to be used as part of an outfit. Plus they’re affordable and last a long time- I’ve had this shirt for almost three years and the color has barely faded (No one’s paying me to tell you this).
This is the part when you start to look bulky, but I don’t mind it cause I haven’t been going to the gym and I’ve been vegging out and binging on Netflix more than usual- winter weight is a real thing, and I embrace it every year. I realize now I should have worn a different color sweater so you could see more of a difference, but I wear a lot of black during the winter, plus I’m a New Yorker- what do you want from me? You could do one more sweater after this if you want, maybe a fleece one with a zipper, if it’s too cold, or if you don’t have a good coat. This is a good idea if you’re just a tourist in a cold weather city, and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a real coat.
I could have thrown some boots on and left my house dressed like in the previous photos, but ladies, leggings are not pants. This is the perfect time to rock a leather skirt, or a skirt that’s too short to wear without tights.
Not cotton socks! Cotton is your enemy!! Seriously- I can’t stress this enough. Body heat escapes from your extremities, hands, head and feet, so it’s of the utmost importance that you keep these warm. In really cold weather I used to switch back and forth between fleece socks (so cozy!) and wool, but this rough winter I realized that wool is the way to go. These pretty socks are Ozone socks. Socks are amazing, they are a great way to show some personality in your outfits, and just like sexy underwear, even if no one can see them, you feel good knowing they’re there.
Sure, booties are great, but when temperatures drop below zero, the more leg coverage you got going on, the better. I don’t have snow boots, instead I just get good leather boots and spray them with waterproof spray. I really should get snow boots one of these days, though. These ones are new, because my really really good ones by Clarks finally died after four years (I replaced the zipper twice, I just loved them so much, but you have to know when to let go). So I won’t be able to say so good they are until next winter.
Also, where did my socks go? I folded them and hid them under my boots. They don’t go with my outfit.
An important part to keep warm is your core, your torso. You see, when your core is warm it easily sends blood to the extremities. But when your core is cold, the body slows down the blood flow to arms and legs and keeps the blood around your most important organs, like your heart and lungs. I’ve had this faux fur vest for four years and is my favorite winter layer. Here’s a similar one.
Don’t be fooled into thinking those $5 “pashminas” they sell on the streets will keep you warm. No ma’am. You need a proper, chunky knit scarf if you’re serious about not dying of hypothermia. This one was a gift of José of CM Foto and it’s the perfect addition to any winter wardrobe. This one was hand made by artisans in Bolivia. The scarf can be worn many different ways, like around your head for extra warm, over your mouth and nose, or even tucked into your vest, or one of your layer, for extra insulation.
A real coat
I don’t mind wearing uncomfortable heels in the name of fashion, but I’m not gonna be cold because I’m trying to look good! When I first moved to the City I asked about coats, and everyone told me the same thing: down is the way to go. Down coats are usually made of nylon or polyester, and filled with duck or goose feathers. The material doesn’t let any air through, unlike fabric coats. It’s also waterproof and dries quickly. The two most important features, for me personally, in a coat are 1. Pockets, since you have to have somewhere to put your hands, and/or somewhere to store your phone, hat, gloves, etc., and 2. A hood, so you don’t have to carry an umbrella when it’s snowing and you can stay dry and warm easily.
There are a lot of different coat lengths; I like this one because it keeps my butt and thighs warm.
Hat and gloves
Like I mentioned, heat escapes the body most easily from the extremities; so it’s important to keep them warm; especially the head. There are many hat options out there, but I just really really like beanies because, even though they give me hat hair, they keep my ears warm. The best gloves I have are leather gloves, because unlike fabric gloves, they don’t let the cold air through. I also don’t spend a lot of money on them because I always end up losing just one.
Put your hood up, and you’re good to go!
So this is how I stay warm during this stupid weather! How do you keep yourself from freezing to death?