If you think long underwear is something worn exclusively by old-timey lumberjacks and cartoon characters, think again. Long underwear is alive and well, and it's likely being worn by far more people than you'd expect (after all, you don't see it).
But the long underwear of today isn't all scratchy red wool or something out of a classic holiday movie. No, today's long underwear has taken recent innovations in synthetic fabric and clothing design into account to ensure that you stay dry and warm while barely feeling that you're wearing long underwear at all. Read on below to get our reasons for why long underwear should be in your everyday rotation this winter.
A parka or winter coat may be the most outwardly visible piece of any layered ensemble, but any layering expert understands that it's the first layer that counts the most. That's because your base layer sits directly against your bare skin, which is ground zero for catching a chill.
Instead of sticking to a pair of men's boxers and perhaps a T-shirt to provide that first line of defense against cold, opt for a pair of long underwear. Whether that pair of long underwear happens to be made from 100% silk or a synthetic fabric like Thermaskin, it will provide a greater area of coverage and a more effective rate of insulation.
But warmth isn't the only positive factor that a pair of long underwear contributes. Thermaskin fabrics are also moisture-wicking, which means that they will quickly pull moisture away from your body to make you drier, faster. Few things can help a chill creep in quite like moisture, so having a layer of clothing that can deal with this threat sooner rather than later can greatly increase your chances of staying warm.
Forget, for a moment, all the arguments for wearing a pair of long underwear as your base layer. Wearing a pair of long underwear allows you to add a whole other layer to your look in the simplest, sleekest way possible.
When it gets cold enough, you may find yourself rushing to incorporate every layer possible: a t-shirt, under a thermal men's Henley, under cardigans, etc. But the more layers you are already wearing, the harder it is to layer additional clothing on top. This problem can be solved if you take the reverse approach and sneak an additional layer under your clothes.
That route is open thanks to long underwear, which tends to be made from fabrics like 100% silk or a polyester blend that manages to insulate while staying light weight and sleek. That way, you won't have to worry about them bunching up under your clothes or feeling bulky.
Sometimes you know precisely how long you'll be standing out in the cold, as in the case of an afternoon ski session or an evening stroll. But other situations, like changing a tire on the side of the road or participating in an unplanned snowman-making competition, may put you out in the cold for longer than you had anticipated when getting dressed that morning.
As a solution, think of long underwear as your insurance policy against extended stays in the cold. Thanks to its insulating power, a pair of long underwear will increase your overall body warmth, even if its appearance can't be detected from the outside. Start with it as a base layer every day through winter, and you'll be prepared to take on whatever even the coldest days have in store.