A Guide to Shopping for Thermal Clothing

A Guide to Shopping for Thermal Clothing

Worn beneath your regular clothing to keep your body warm, thermal clothing is more high-tech today than the typical long underwear that your grandparents used to rely on in freezing temperatures. These days, it can be deceptively thin but extremely warm while also wicking away moisture. If you're planning some outdoor activities this winter and are worried about staying warm, you're in luck. You should have no problems shopping for thermal clothing with these ideas to keep you warm and toasty, no matter how cold it is outside.

Key Considerations for Shopping for Thermal Clothing

Staying warm outside (or even inside, for that matter) starts with the layer of clothing closest to your skin. That's typically called the base layer, and it is something that can comfortably be worn under other types of clothing. If you want a warm base layer, you want to look for the word "thermal" or simply "therma" in the description. Thermal clothing is typically lightweight, is made of fabric that generates heat by absorbing moisture, and wicks away perspiration. It is also intended to fit snugly since it has to be in direct contact with your skin in order to work effectively. You can also find midweight and heavyweight thermal clothing for really cold temperatures, but those aren't the best choices for anyone doing outdoor activities, since they may prohibit your movement or even make you overheat.

Thermal Camis

Women's long underwear has come a long way over the years. It can feel not only smooth and lightweight, but also quite comfy and silky. They are even made in camisoles now, so you have something to keep you warm under sweaters or button-down shirts without feeling too bulky. Make sure a thermal cami is tight enough to keep you warm but not so tight that it makes you uncomfortable. Some have built-in bras for extra comfort, but if you need more support than what they offer, you may want to make sure it is roomy enough to comfortably fit over your preferred bra or sports bra.

Thermal Leggings

If you're hitting the slopes or doing some other fun outdoor activity, some thermal leggings can keep your legs warm either under snow pants or on their own. They're great for lounging around the ski lodge or sitting by the fireplace between runs, and they look stylish with boots. While thermal material is great at wicking away moisture, however, don't assume that thermal leggings will repel the snow entirely should you find yourself involved in a snowball fight. You'll definitely want an extra layer over you for doing any activity that involves ice or snow.

Thermal Turtlenecks

When your neck is exposed to the elements, why leave its protection to a scarf or bulky jacket? Both can be scratchy and uncomfortable, or even too warm when you just want a thin extra layer to protect you from the cold and wind. Thermal turtlenecks are great for this purpose and can come in the form of full-necked turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks. They also look completely normal peeking under a sweater or flannel shirt. Many women wear thermal turtlenecks under snow bibs when skiing as well. Keep them in mind when you want more coverage than a thermal camisole or crew top can offer.

Thermal Pajamas

Whether in bed or lounging around the house, you can't be expected to sleep well when you're haunted by a chill in the air that won't seem to go away. Don't make your furnace work overtime if you don't have to. A good pair of thermal pajamas will do the trick to keep you warm when the winds are howling outside. Plus, you can either wear them by themselves or under a pair of existing pajamas. Pair them underneath some flannel pajamas and you'll be good to go no matter how cold it is inside.

Don't make the mistake of layering on clothing assuming that you'll get the same benefit as wearing something intended to be thermal. You will need something that traps your body heat to keep you warm, and that doesn't always involve simply dressing in tons of layers. If you wear too many layers or the wrong type of fabric, you may cause your body to sweat. And while that does mean you've accomplished the task of staying warm, the wrong type of fabric may not absorb that sweat like it should, thus making you feel wet and uncomfortable. Stick with tried-and-true thermal clothing, and you'll be ready to face the winter like you own it.

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