Long Underwear:  Winter Wardrobe Essential | Lands' End

Why Long Underwear Should Be in Your Everyday Rotation This Winter

If you think mens 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.

Long underwear makes for the best base layer

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.

However, 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.

Long underwear allows for a whole extra layer of warmth

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 a men's cardigan, 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 lightweight and sleek. That way, you won't have to worry about them bunching up under your clothes or feeling bulky.

Long underwear keeps you warmer, longer.

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.

Where should you wear long underwear?

The best answer to this is that you should wear long underwear anywhere you go to brave the cold, but especially anytime you’d like to enjoy what the winter season has to offer outdoors. The cold chill can make it so that you don’t want to step outside, especially if you’re not a big fan of winter. However, dressing in the right amount of clothing can make a huge difference in your outlook toward winter and even fall. For example, going to the pumpkin patch on an October night may be too cold to enjoy yourself normally. A couple of extra layers such as long underwear underneath a pair of jeans or joggers and a long sleeve undershirt underneath a sweater and a jacket can make you enjoy the night and forget about the freezing temperatures. 

Another place you’ll be glad to be wearing long underwear is if you’re out for a night on the town during December to see the Christmas lights displays downtown. Layer up, grab your family (or your date), and enjoy a hot chocolate together as you stroll down the street admiring the hundreds and hundreds of lights. If you’re going to Time Square to witness the Ball Drop, you’ll want to bring the extra layers with you. New York can get as high as 41 degrees and as cold as 31 degrees on a typical New Year’s Eve. Be sure to bring some gloves, and a fleece balaclava to protect your hands and face. 

Don’t worry, long underwear has come a long way since it was created for cold climates. There are many different materials used for long underwear, for example, cotton long underwear is most often associated with casual wear. However machine-washable long-lasting synthetic long underwear has become the material of choice for long underwear in formal attire. If you’re looking to shake up your style or avoid all the glares when wearing long underwear at the office, try long synthetic long underwear. This long underwear is made of a thin material that ensures your long underwear will not be spotted, unlike cotton long underwear which is much more likely to leave long underwear lines when worn under clothing. 

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. There’s nothing wrong with wearing long underwear, so long as you wear long-lasting long underwear.

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