Does it sound like something too simple to even talk about? Dressing for winter? I thought perhaps this was a area that people just didn't care about because they already KNEW how to dress for winter. But it wasn't until I met a young lady who told me her story about moving from New Mexico where she knew nothing of winter. Her first year was spent off the grid wearing jeans and a very impractical jacket. She shared how cold she was that first winter and how she now relishes in her layered polar tech and new lined pants.
So I got to thinking about those out there who may be looking at relocating to a wintry state who never had to ponder what to wear when it gets twenty degrees and below!
Now you will know!
There are only three concepts you need to know.. Close to skin moisture management, mid layer for insulation, then the shell
My first layer starts with a light chamois that is wicking. Moisture management is key to staying warm in this first base layer. Materials that work well are merino wool or a brand name material like Patagonia Capilene®.
There are other materials you can use for close to the skin-base layer such as silk but I find the moisture management of some of these brand name companies pretty darn good.
I buy all of my active winter wear from Sierra Trading Post. This is a online store that sells brand names at deep discounts.
Your next layer is going to be the mid layer for your insulation. I always check to see what the temps are to decide how "thick to go." Polar fleece comes in different weights so if you buy this material it is versatile for your mid layer. We also like merino wool Merino wool is a commercialized wool which is more streamlined then regular wool. You can wear it close to your body and its warm soft and works well for winter use! In fact most of the socks we own are merino wool.
Lastly will be your final outer layer which will vary also according to the weather. For cold windy days I pull out my Good Will ski jacket from Solomon. It is thick and woven tightly but not to thick to restrict my movements. Ski jackets usually are not as practical for chore wear but that is why I use Good Will. I can buy a brand name ski jacket that will work for my chores and not worry about getting it dirty.
My husband will wear a waterproof shell on windy days when the temperature drop below zero and he finds himself in the woods or on the ice fishing. We also both swear by WOOL!
Wool is warm and is water resistant. We both have army issued wool pants that are over twenty years old still in excellent condition. In addition we both have wool shirts and sweaters. Nothing beats wool and I find myself wearing my wool pants and sweater more then my conventional winter jacket.
Car Hart And Skirts
One brand we haven't mentioned is the workhorse Cart hart. This is a tried and true brand of many farmsteads and homesteads. We purchase a off brand Cart hart wear that is just a tough and durable. You will not go wrong with this brand but for me personally as a woman I find the jacket a little to restrictive stiff and not warm enough.
Another Starry oddity. I do wear skirts and tights during the winter. I crouch and squat and crawl around when doing my chores. (I know that sounds weird but I do) From picking up wood to cleaning out the coop. I find my winter skirts very useful for these types of range of movements. I then wear winter thermal leggings which keep me very warm and toasty. So dont "knock" the skirts and tights. I can bear weather down to zero with my "Starry" outfits!
So just remember there is three simple principals you need when dressing for winter. Next to skin warmth and moisture management, mid layer for insulation and then the outer shell. Keep these in mind and you will be able to do all of your chores without being cold this winter!