Even in the generally warm coastal regions of the U.S., winter is the coldest time of year. In other regions, winter can get extremely cold. Temperatures can drop to 20 below and even the cold-tolerant wild animals look for shelter or to add extra layers to stay warm. No matter where you live, winter is the time to break out the layers and your winter jacket. And what fabric is warmer than wool?
Wool is the best insulating fabric to keep you warm during the coldest winter months. It is also moisture-resistant, and unlike many other warm layering materials such as down, it will continue to keep you warm even if it gets wet. Wool also comes in so many shapes, sizes, and styles, it is easy to stay warm, and also look chic and fashionable. Here is what you need to know about wool this winter.
Merino wool is known for its fine fibers which make the fabric feel extremely soft and flexible. This soft wool type is a great natural insulator, which makes it an ideal material for a base layer. This is the first layer you wear that has direct contact with your skin. Typically, cheaper and less processed wool will feel itchy and potentially irritating, so many people think this is a fabric they don't want directly on their skin underneath many layers. However, merino wool is made differently. It is ultra-fine and super soft. Wear merino wool socks with your women’s thermals as your base layer.
Merino wool is your best option for outdoor activities this winter. This wool is a favorite wardrobe staple of skiers and backpackers alike and can outperform and outlast other winter apparel while keeping you comfortable and warm. Merino wool retains 60% of its insulating power even when fully wet, so you don’t have to pause your outdoor fun if you get snow in your boots or accidentally step in a freezing cold stream on your hike (it happens!). This wool type will keep you cozy and warm so you can keep playing.
Cashmere wool, usually referred to as simply “cashmere,” is a fiber spun from cold-climate goats. It has been used to make clothing and textiles for hundreds of years and it is known as the softest version of wool readily available on the market. Not only does it have a buttery soft and luxurious feel, but it is also a warmer option than regular wool because of its tightly spun fine fibers. A cashmere sweater or cashmere sweater dress is a great option for layering in the winter. This fabric is chic, beautiful, comfortable, and will keep you cozy and warm.
Cashmere is also extremely versatile and can be worn in nearly any situation. Heading to the office? Wear a cashmere sweater with chinos. Going on a date? Don a cashmere sweater dress. Running errands or lounging around the house? You guessed it: Throw on a cashmere cardigan. Do not overlook this versatile and highly wearable winter staple.
A good wool coat will keep you warm while adding a chic, classy vibe to your winter wardrobe. A wool pea coat is timeless. This makes it worth the investment as it will never go out of style. The wool fabric is also durable and long-lasting, so it is also an investment that will maintain its warmth and wear ability all season long, year after year. Though not fully waterproof, wool is water-resistant because of its natural lanolin content. Because of this, most wool coats can be worn in light snow and even a light or misty rain and still keep you warm and dry.
When looking into purchasing your women’s wool coat investment piece, consider what you are going to be layering with it. Do you normally wear darker colors such as black, dark green or navy? If so, you may want to consider a taupe, eggshell or off-white coat to add contrast and depth to your winter wardrobe. If you are someone who has lots of color in their winter wardrobe, consider a simple and elegant black pea coat to really make your colors and patterns pop.
There isn't any type of winter hat that is appropriate for all winter occasions of course, but a wool beanie sure comes close. Super cute and highly practical, a wool winter beanie is a must for any winter wardrobe. Scarves and gloves are also probably necessary, even for quick jaunts to the grocery store or on your way to work, depending on how cold it gets where you live. Keep the snow and wind off your skin with wool scarves and winter gloves as well. For these items, a wool blend with either cotton or a synthetic material is recommended to ensure softness against your skin and ultimate wind-resistant warmth.
Now that you are well-versed in the wonders of winter wool, get out there and stay warm in your wool layers and wool winter accessories.