To my dearest:
How has everyone’s weekend been? It was super chilly here in NYC with temperatures dropping to as low as 30 °F. I was out in the city all weekend for work and just to enjoy some time with friends and boy was it cold! As the weather is getting colder, how are you all keeping warm? I’ve already seen people whip out their Canada Goose down jackets! For me, that is a bit excessive. I like to enjoy my time without having to be in a puffer jacket for as long as I can! That’s why, I choose to layer.
Layering is really my best friend. I find that layering to keep warm has great benefits. But first and foremost, it allows you to look more fashionable! Which is a HUGE plus in my books! When you layer, you’re able to wear outerwear that’s actually trendy, instead of just being a big marshmallow! I admit, not all down parkas are terribly unflattering, but it definitely leaves your silhouette figureless.
Besides the fashion aspect, I find layering to be a more practical way to battle against winter chills. Layering allows more combinations for any temperature. Sometimes, a winter afternoon may consist of running an abundance for errands and you may need to wear less. Some winter nights may have drastic temperature drops. I find that layering allows for more flexibility.
Here is my 5 step fool proof guide to layering.
Under layer – Heat Retaining Layer
Choose something that will help you retain heat. Different sports brands and undergarment brands make these type of clothes. Underarmour is a good brand for something like this. If you’re a local New Yorker, Paragon Sports is probably a good place to shop for this. However the most accessible would probably be Uniqlo’s Heat Tech. It is also what I choose to layer with. I like that they have styles for scoop neck, v-neck, long sleeve, short sleeve, tanks, and tees. I also like that they have different material for different degrees of warmth – ranging from regular, extra warm, to ultra warm. This gives even more flexibility to layering that I love. If you want to be PLUS-ULTRA warm – I suggest layering a regular heat tech under the ultra warm for extremely cold days! I also love that they go on sale from time to time. I just grabbed two long sleeve regular heat techs in stores the other day for $4 USD each!
Cozy Layer – Everlane Wool blend or Cashmere Sweaters
For the second layer, I like to wear something that will keep me cozy. Sometimes I am in the mood for chunky sweaters, but actually, chunky sweaters are not really as warm as they are perceived to be. What really matters is the material. My favorite to keep light and non-puffy would be a cashmere sweater. It’s light weight and feels great to touch.My favorite selections are from Everlane – with prices starting from $100 USD for 100% cashmere. I’ve played with the idea of cashmere at different price ranges. I found Everlane’s quality to be your best bang for the buck. I also love that they come in a variety of colors and cuts, so there’s definitely something out there that’s flattering for you. I’m actually trying to “build an empire of cashmere sweaters”. My boyfriend laughs at me and says I can’t build an empire because I’m not taking over the world. I retort back and tell him these little sweaters are basically my soldiers at helping me fight the brutally cold winter!Honestly though, I’m just trying to collect them all in different colors and styles. The possibilities are really endless. It’s not to say, I am ONLY buying sweaters from Everlane. I just try to ONLY buy cashmere sweaters PERIOD. Or at least some type of cashmere wool blend. Because they’re much more worth it than any other type of sweaters – feels so luxe, comfortable, and keeps me ultra warm! In fact, I’m in love with this one and this one, from Theory, and I can’t wait to add them to my collection.
If you’re not trying to “build an empire” like me. Honestly, investing in one to two cashmere sweaters should be a winter essential and a wardrobe staple. They’re basic classics so they’ll work with practically anything and you’ll be able to dress them up or down.
UNIQLO ULTRA LIGHT DOWN JACKET – $79.90
Add an extra layer – Ultra Light Down Jacket
This extra layer is extremely important. It plays a major role in layering, because it’ll change your warmth level drastically. I find that adding a little down will help retain heat much better. I am highly intolerant of the cold – and this is a big help to me in keeping warm. I love Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Jacket because it comes in different cuts for layering with all different types of jackets. They have vests, hip length, and knee length. I love that’s they’re also super nifty and gives you the option to tuck in the collar for a v-cut instead of crew. They’re also truly ultra light and thin so it’s a perfect layer without adding bulk.
Top Coat – Throw a Party with Your Favorite Fashion Style!
This top coat is going to be your personal party! I find the top coat to be so important in the winter! Because, let’s face it – most people you see, will only see your coat! You’re likely going to be traveling in your coat about 70% of the time and even if you’re indoors, chances will be that it will still be a bit chilly indoors. That – or they blast the heat and you’ll be suffocated and sweating bullets. I love the variety you can do with top coats. With the three previous type of layers, now you can choose a long coat, short jacket, thinner coat, thicker coat, or whatever you want for this top coat! The possibilities are endless!I just bought this gorgeous burgundy long top coat from Theory that’s 90% wool and 10% cashmere for $519 USD after tax! You know how I feel about the warmth of cashmere and wool blends! It’s super thin and unlined, but I know it’ll keep me warm due to it’s material. For a shorter jacket, I got this cute moto jacket with pink faux fur. I love brighter colors during the winter to brighten up my day! It was on sale at Bloomingdales for under $60!
Top it off with a Scarf
The final finishing touch is a good cashmere scarf. Scarfs amps up your entire outfit and it maxes out your warmth level! I love how different colored scarves changes a look so effortlessly! I love a good cashmere scarf because my neck is very sensitive and many types of materials cause rashes. Cashmere is also one of the warmest materials so needless to say, it’s a clear winner for the best scarf pick.The best cashmere scarf you can get in my opinion would be a Loro Piana‘s at $450 USD + tax. It’s a hefty price point alright, but you’ll probably wear it to death. I find it a better investment in terms of cashmere quality than Burberry’s cashmere scarf, which is priced at $435 USD + tax. However, Burberry does have a wider range of colors. A midrange cashmere scarf would be Theory’s Blanket Scarf at $235 + tax. Or for a cheaper price range, you can get a Portolano Cashmere Fringe Scarf for $60 online at Century 21. The cheapest cashmere scarf I saw was on Amazon for $40, but I can’t vouch for it’s quality.If you’re not 100% set on quality like me, a softer type of wool scarf may suffice. Acne Studio’s Canada Scarf is 100% wool and made in Italy for $180 + tax. You can also get a Moschino Scarf that’s Merino Wool and made in Italy for $50 at Century 21 online.
EXTRA TIPS FOR MORE WARMTH
Other ways to keep warm of course includes wearing a hat, as it’s where you lose heat the fastest! Wear gloves and don’t forget Heat Tech socks! Yes they have Heat Tech for socks too and they’ll keep your feet warm and toasty! For bottom layering, I suggest adding a pair of Uniqlo’s Heat Tech leggings underneath your usual pants. They are lightweight and thin, but definitely adds warmth!
And this basically sums up my winter layers in one simple picture!
Hope this helped you all! Write back and let me know what little tips you use to stay warm and layer! Have a cozy week!
For reference, I am 5 feet 2 inches. I typically wear XS/S or 0-4 for apparel and 6.5-7.5 for shoes.
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