Learning to layer

March 24, 2022

Recently, a friend excitedly shared that they were going to Chicago for the first time in February, and immediately asked what to wear to survive in winter weather.  Our best advice, great waterproof boots and lots of layers!

It's that time of year, the heat is up inside and the temperatures are down everywhere else. We love layers because they keep us at the right temperature regardless of rain, sleet, snow, and wind.  It's a way to  control our own personal climate, by relying on our own body heat, rather than air conditioning and furnaces, to regulate our temperature. Since it’s cooling off, we thought that we’d layer on some recommendations for first-time frost adventurers and weathered winter veterans alike.


Start at the base. Look for light, breathable, easily washable fabrics. These choices won’t be visible, so you can choose colors and styles that are outrageous, silly, or boring, as long as you feel great in them. Long johns are classic but may not fit as well with your whole ensemble. You may want to try your favorite old t-shirt or other clothes that are out of daily circulation but are not yet ready to be retired. Otherwise, there are also options specifically designed to be a base layer, primarily for more active outdoor time. We recommend our renewed bases like:



Mix It Up Middle

There can be a lot of wiggle room for choices in the middle, and there may well be more than one middle layer. In fact, you can often get away with wearing multiple middle layers instead of adding an outer layer if you aren’t planning to stay outside for too long. For fabrics, look for something that adds a bit of warmth, or maybe blocks the wind, but also lets you move as needed. Style can be chosen to reflect how you want to present yourself for whatever occasions may fill your day, but don’t be afraid to try fun patterns and bright colors to contrast the winter gloom and the bland versatility you may pick for your outer layer. Try these renewed long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts to start:




Outer Options

Outer layers are meant to keep the dirt and weather off of you and may be worn on a daily basis. Fabrics should be warm, water-resistant or water-proof, and have some wind resistance. A bit of breathability is a plus, in case you have to wear it inside for a bit. These pieces are usually a bit more of an investment, so you will want to pick out styles that work well with most of your wardrobe and daily attire requirements. Pick the right option for what you are actually planning to do: you do not need the longest, thickest overcoat if you are going to run between buildings in a city center. We recommend these renewed jackets and vests:




Of course, this is just a starting point and there are endless ways to combine layers. Have fun trying some out and figuring what works best for you.

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