For people who take winter seriously, long johns are a wardrobe staple. It would be an understatement to call these undergarments a second set of skin — they’re a true lifesaver when the temperature drops and you want to stay warm both indoors and out. People who already wear long johns in the winter know the benefits they bring and how indispensable they can be in the colder months, adding a layer of security and warmth to any outfit and helping you to step outside confidently, knowing you’ll be toasty underneath your clothes. So what is it that makes long johns so wonderful to wear in the winter? Here’s our guide to all the reasons we love them.
In the winter, we put a big emphasis on keeping our homes warm, using internal heat and insulation to ensure that we maintain a livable temperature indoors. It’s why we don’t open windows when it’s freezing outside. Likewise, our bodies work in a similar manner, requiring that we keep our own internal heat from escaping through small openings in our clothing or outerwear. This is where long underwear comes in. Long johns, or thermals, work to regulate our body temperature. By placing a warm, moisture-wicking fabric close to the body, they keep your internal heat inside and move sweat away from your body, so it doesn’t lower your internal temperature. Long johns should be form-fitting, not letting space in between you and your base layer where heat can escape. Choosing long johns in a warm fabric, either synthetic, wool, or silk, can instantly upgrade your winter wardrobe game, making you feel warm and secure all day.
All this work your long johns are doing to keep you insulated makes you pretty near unstoppable when you leave the house with a good winter coat, along with winter accessories including a hat, scarf, and gloves. Once you step outside wearing thermals, the cold can’t reach your skin nearly as fast, allowing you to stay out longer, and maybe even enjoy being out there in the winter. This is great news for anyone, but especially for those who like to get out and enjoy sports in the winter without getting bogged down by the cold. It takes a lot of energy to keep your body warm, so preserving that energy by wearing thermals allows you to use it to excel at the activity you’re doing. Maybe you bike in the park every day and don’t want to let colder temperatures cramp your style. Or perhaps you’re counting down the days until your ski vacation, ready to hit the slopes without freezing on the way down. Thermals are essential for any winter activity, from hiking to snowboarding, and are an easy step you can take to improve your performance simply by conserving a little energy.
The traditional image that may come to mind when you hear “long johns” might be someone dressed from head to toe in long underwear, or a onesie, perhaps holding a candle and wearing a nightcap. But there’s a reason why everyone wore thermals back in the days when it was more difficult to heat a home — they work to keep the body warm at night! When temperatures drop after the sun goes down, it’s important to keep your body warm. Being too cold while you sleep can lead to a dreaded winter cold or flu, which can affect those around you as well. Long johns aren’t just warm; they’re comfortable, hugging the body and allowing for easy movement as you cuddle up on the couch or sprawl out in bed. We highly recommend investing in long johns for yourself, as well as every other member of your family.
Packing a pair of long johns in your suitcase as you prepare for your winter trip can benefit you in more ways than one. When you’re on the road, especially when you’re going for a long drive, keeping warm is essential. Traveling also brings with it unexpected circumstances, and staying warm under your outerwear is the first step towards being prepared for whatever comes next. Packing a layer of thermals can also help you to pack less overall since they make your clothing go the distance, turning a long-sleeve t-shirt into a superpowered thermodynamic wardrobe item and your jeans into super warm protection for your lower half. Thermals keep you from having to pack multiple different sweaters for the varying temperatures you might encounter, allowing you to stretch one item as far as it can go.
Once you invest in thermals, there’s no going back — you’re a winter warrior for life. Check out the links below for more tips and tricks from Lands’ End!