Your winter coat and boots are essential for keeping you warm, but don’t underestimate your less visible winter gear: your accessories. These items may be less noticeable, but they go a LONG way toward keeping you warm and comfortable. Choose your winter accessories carefully, and you’ll be cozy from head to toe.
Here’s a thorough list of tips for buying every winter accessory you’ll need this season.
Buy both a base layer and an outer layer.
You need two types of winter accessories.
• Base layer: Long underwear, leggings, and socks that will keep your skin dry as well as trap your body heat.
• Outer layer: A scarf, hat, earmuffs, and gloves to keep your extremities from losing heat in the cold.
Choose the right materials.
There are two basic categories for materials: synthetics and naturals. Each one is appropriate for different situations.
For your base layer, you may want to go for a synthetic fiber like polyester. Synthetics can effectively wick moisture away from the body, so your clothes won’t become soaked with sweat – a bad idea if you want to stay warm. Some natural fibers, like merino wool, are also useful for this purpose. Thermal underwear, for example, is often made of wool and/or synthetic fibers.
For outer-layer items, you want to go with a well-insulated, midweight material. Natural materials like wool, leather, and fur are all wonderful options, and synthetics such as polyester fleece, woven acrylic, or faux fur also work well.
For gloves, leather and fleece are especially good because they can be easily wiped clean or machine-washed. For hats, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality wool, fleece, or fur.
Aim for full coverage.
Ideally you don’t want much, if any, of your skin to be exposed to the cold air. This is important for every layer – your long undies should go all the way to your ankles, your gloves should actually cover your wrists, and so on.
Headgear is especially important in this respect. Your head needs to be completely covered in order to stay warm in the cold! If your hat doesn’t cover your ears, then invest in some earmuffs.
But look for a dexterous fit.
While you do need the material to be thick enough to keep you warm, you also don’t want bulky, puffy accessories that will prevent you from being able to walk, bend your knees, reach with your arms, and use your fingers.
You especially need your gloves to be slim and dexterous so that they don’t restrict movement. Look for a stretchy but warm fabric, and of course, go with gloves instead of mittens.
Consider special features.
Lastly, consider which special features you’d appreciate in your accessories. For example, some gloves have touchscreen capability on the fingertips. Some can be converted into mittens as needed for extra warmth. For scarves, you might want to buy an infinity scarf that can also double as a shawl. The sky’s the limit, and your winter accessories should be useful for your personal needs.