The secret to staying warm and not looking like a puffy marshmallow ball or wild furry animal throughout the cold winter? Thermals. Formerly referred to as long johns and now best known as technical base layers, thermals help you keep that lean and mean athletic look when the temperature drops.
Thermals trap heat next to your body. In cold weather the only available heat is generated by your body, so it’s good to keep that heat close. You work so hard to make it – don’t let it get away! For best performance, make sure the fit is next to skin. If the garment is too loose it can’t do its job as well. Those who can’t afford to lose any heat (freezy cats like me) should wear both upper and lower body thermals. Remember to pull thick socks over the bottom base layer to keep that precious heat from escaping! Once bundled in toasty thermals, you can choose lightweight, less bulky outerwear without compromising on warmth. This allows you to remain mobile for active pursuits and keeps you looking slim and stylish.
Ranging from micro to heavy, there is an ideal thermal layer for every cool/cold weather condition. These can be worn alone or as part of a layered system depending on your level of activity and the weather forecast. A bonus feature of wool, silk, or synthetic thermals is that they move moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and preventing chills.
My recommendations below are guaranteed to be among your favorite cold weather garments.
Smartwool – merino wool, lightweight pattern crew or midweight turtleneck.
Patagonia – Capilene® midweight zip-neck and Capilene® midweight bottoms.
Ditch the oversized coats. Try out some thermals this season and start to enjoy walking in a winter wonderland!