Layer by Layer

Layer by layer: building the best winter outfit

Here in Wisconsin, it gets cold. And we don’t mean some kind of casual cold – cold that’s more like “chilly.” We mean the mind-numbing, everything’s frozen, “Why can’t I feel my face?” kind of cold. Even so, we still have to go to work, right? That means we know a thing or two about what it takes to venture outside and dress warmly in the winter.

Having a good women’s winter coat is one thing, sure, but we all know that the key to staying warm is layering. Layers trap pockets of warm air between the cold weather and your body, and it’s those warm air pockets that make the difference between staying warm and succumbing to the cold. A well-layered outfit made of several moderate layers can be much warmer than a single thick layer. What to pick for the constituent parts of your outfit? Let’s take a look, layer by layer:

  • The warmest winter outfits start with the best base layers. A good pair of long underwear is the first line of defense in keeping your body’s heat close to your skin. Lands’ End Thermaskin base layers are made to move with you, wick moisture away from your body and trap warmth. If you’re looking for something more naturally-derived, Lands’ End silk long underwear is naturally insulating and made with a warm and dense interlock knit.
  • Next, add on a warm shirt. Lands’ End flannel shirts are some of the warmest and coziest around. We’re not talking about your dad’s scratchy old flannel – we brush our flannel on both sides to develop that classic flannel fuzziness (folks in the industry call it the “nap”). Lands’ End flannels are substantial enough to make a great warming layer, and add a lot of warmth without adding too much bulk.
  • Here’s something you may not know: flannel’s not just for shirts. On those cold winter days when your regular pants just don’t quite hold up to the cold, try some flannel-lined chinos or women’s jeans. On the outside, they look just like your regular pants, but on the inside they’re lined with our soft and cozy flannel. Cuff them up a little and show off a little flash of flannel. They’ll add a whole layer of coziness and warmth to your legs, which play a huge role in your overall warmth.
  • Here’s a fun optional layer: a fleece jacket. Fleece is known for its warmth, and Lands’ End Sherpa fleece is so soft and warm it even makes sheep jealous. Whether you opt for a fleece jacket or a fleece vest, you’ll be adding a lot of warmth and comfort.
    • If you don’t care for fleece, and it’s not terribly cold, this is a good opportunity to finish off your outfit with a down vest. Down is nature’s best insulator, so there’s not much that’s better at keeping you warm. And the strategic placement of insulation in a down vest keeps your core warm and comfortable.
  • If the weather is really cold or really snowy, you’re going to need to think about some snow pants. With a light-but-warm PrimaLoft insulating layer, Lands’ End snow pants help keep you warm from the waist down. Gaiter cuffs in the legs help make sure snow and cold air don’t make their way up your legs. Combined with a pair of good snow boots, boot socks, and that great long underwear base layer, your legs will stay warm and dry.
  • You can’t really beat a winter parka to top it off, which will be your warmest and most effective option. We designed the Expedition Parka to be one of the best pieces of winter gear around. It’s outfitted with all kinds of great features, starting with a 100% waterproof, seam-sealed shell and a cozy lining stuffed with 600 fill power down. It’s got an extended length to cover your assets, plus a bunch of pockets to protect whatever you need to carry with you. (For those in Wisconsin, we recommend that be handwarmers. Lots and lots of handwarmers.) In short, if you need serious warmth you can rely on season after season, look no further than the Expedition Parka. Combined with a well-layered outfit, it’s simply remarkable.
  • Don’t forget the accessories, though. All these shirts and pants are nice and all, but they’re not going to do their jobs as well if you keep your head and hands exposed to the cold. Your winter outfit isn’t complete until you’ve got a good winter hat (we like the ones with the fun puffball on the top), a cozy scarf and a pair of winter gloves. We design our winter gloves with plenty of techy insulation, grippy palms and fingers, and a handy pocket on the back for holding those much-needed hand warmers.

Invest a little time and care into assembling your warmest winter outfit. Remember, a good winter outfit is like an onion – it has layers. Those insulating layers will help trap warm air close to your body, and keep you comfortable all winter long.

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