Us Canadians are usually prepared for the colder months of winter. Okay, except for Vancouver, perhaps – although this year, they got what we normally get in the rest of the country). We’ve learned to bundle and layer to brave the conditions like a champ.
Layering has come a long way since we were kids. Yes, there are tried and true layers and there are undergarments with the latest technology in fabrics to keep us warm with less bulk. There’s also a method to the layering – what goes on first? and depending on your outdoor activity this is just as important as the material used.
Outdoor Sports like skiing, skating, and hockey requires a different approach to dressing for the weather as oppose to a night on an outdoor patio or walking through the forest.
When you’re planning for outdoor activities you’ll want to start with a BASE LAYER that helps take moisture (sweat) away and keep your skin dry. If your skin feels wet, you’ll feel a lot colder. These are best fitted and close to the body. Long sleeve tops and bottoms both with cuffed ends help. MIDDLE LAYERS are used to keep the body warm and comfortable. Wool has always been a good choice for it’s natural ability to keep the body warm yet it’s breathable and now there are amazing options that are less bulky and less itchy. TOP LAYERS help to shelter out wind and should ideally be waterproof.
When I’m dressing for an outdoor patio or just getting some fresh air, the layering is all about keeping in the warmth. My go-to is a warm base layer but thin (HeatTech from Uniqlo inner wear is an absolute must), a cashmere sweater, and a fitted down filled coat.
Some of our favourite layering pieces:
I discovered this line and the pieces have been consistently been part of my winter wardrobe for quite a few years now. The cut close to your body fit and finer material almost feels like nothing on. The Japanese technology behind the fabric helps absorbs heat and retains to keep the body warm while the moisture wicking abilities help you stay dry. It’s also anti-static and made with ultra fine fibres so it’s smooth to the touch. The line is also crazy affordable. Look for leggings, tights, camisoles, long sleep inner wear in staple colours.
for days or nights when I don’t want a full layer, a fitted camisole has served me well. I like this particular style from this Canadian company for it’s soft feel (Bamboo Rayon/Spandex). The fabric is breathable and odour resistant too. I love that it has a built in shelf bra so it’s much more comfortable for times when I am transitioning from indoors/outdoors often – perfect base layer for when I’m headed out to the mall or grocery shopping.
KNIX Base Layer Seamless Top and matching Leggings:
recently launched just in time for the colder weather that says put and maintains warm and mobility with a sleek fitted silhouette for a great range of sizes. Made with their form-fitting non-chafing and non-itch SculptWool. Great for activities such as skiing, skating and winter running as it locks in body heat and wicks away moisture.
There are many retailers that sell cashmere sweaters and at varying price points. I’ve noticed, however, that not all cashmere is the same quality. Price or label also doesn’t dictate the quality. But I do know that cashmere keeps me the warmest and most comfortable. Soft to the touch, it is the most attractive piece. For everyday, I am once again drawn Uniqlo. Their cashmere sweaters are staples (don’t ask me how many colours I own as I keep adding a new colour or two each year) in my wardrobe because they offer many colours and styles plus they haven’t pilled on me yet! They can easily go from casual to work to outings. What’s also great is their cashmere can also be hand-washed.
The North Face Metropolis:
For those days or nights in the city when you don’t want to look like you’re on an Arctic expedition, this Metropolis Parka offers you the warmth with a slim, flattering fit. The three-quarter length offer coverage to keep your bottom warm but won’t get in the way. The option to remove the hood makes this a versatile must-have. The down-fill offers warmth and it’s water resistant. Consider finer details like coverage around the neck and arm openings.