Winter can be very challenging, so much so that most people “hate” it. Maybe you live in a winter country/city yet you’re still not a fan of winter, snow, and the cold. I could convince you to love winter like I do by saying things like: “There is no such thing as a bad weather, just bad clothes”, but you do you. Whether you like it or not, maybe it’s your reality and you need to go through it anyways. So here are some winter hacks and ideas you can leverage to make your winter experience better!
Roll up hoodie and make them your neck warmers
So if you’re living/visiting a winter country, chances our you’re wearing hoodies already (what are hoodies?). If you haven’t been doing this, this is a great idea to add warmth to yourself.
The next time you step out with your hoodie, you’ll probably put on a winter jacket on top of that right? What most people do when they wear their jacket is either: a.) they just flatten the hood on their back and then wear the jacket on top OR b.) as you wear the jacket, you pull out the hood of the hoodie out of the jacket so it’s dangling outside. Most people do this for style, some people do this because they want/need to use the hoodie on top of the jacket.
I say, what you can do is pull the hood out like you would BUT instead of just letting it dangle outside, you tuck the hood around your neck (inside the jacket) and then you zip up and close your jacket.
This way it plugs the holes between your neck in the jacket and prevent the heat from seeping out. It’s a quick and easy hack and it definitely adds noticeable warmth to your upper torso. Keep the warmth in, keep the cold out. Win!
Casual boots as winter boots
Well what I would originally say is to just invest in proper winter boots especially if you have a lifetime of a winter anyways. But let’s say you’re not there yet. If you fashion yourself with boots on the other seasons, you’d be surprised that maybe your boots have some of the characteristics and advantages of a proper winter boots.
If you casual boots have…deep treads (is that what you call it? I’m thinking tires lol), that’s perfect for winter walking, especially snow!
If it’s ice…well, avoid it, no matter what footwear you have. But if it’s snow, the treads help. Imagine having Converse (or any footwear with flat bottoms): what you’re essentially doing as you step on snow is that you’re compressing the snow underneath your shoe and since your shoes are flat, the snow you press also becomes…flat. So no matter how much snow you step on, it’s essentially like you’re stepping on compressed, fine, and smooth snow surface (close to ice) and das not good. That’s a safety hazard and you might slip!
The height and thickness of the treads also help distance your foot from the snow so it’s slower to get your feet cold.
Usually in fashion they try to market these as military boots. If you’re lucky enough that the material is thick and dense and the boots ride high up from your ankle, those are definitely useful for winter! The more skin it covers and the thicker the material is, the better!
Gloves, scarves (or any accessories that plug holes), TOQUE/BEANIES are actually a big help
It’s no secret that any thing helps during winter but what I’m trying to show here is that while these are small items, their effect is nothing small. In fact, they actually have a big effect.
For example with gloves, you would think that the gloves (the material that wraps itself around your fingers and hands) are the ones keeping you warm. Well they are but you know what’s actually greatly contributing too? You know the part of the glove that extend from your wrist down to your forearm? That’s actually a big help. Because what’s happening is that when you wear your gloves with your winter jacket that “flap” sinks down in your sleeves and it acts as a plug so no cold air comes in.
It’s the same concept for scarves plugging necks.
Toques and Beanies
Toques/beanies are my thing lately because they have such a big effect. First I hated it because it gives you this weird hat hair after the fact, but I’ve since figured that out hehe. Also, what’s more important, being warm or looking good right?
On warmer days or if I feel like being “stylish”, I’d just wear it just partially covering the top parts of my ear but when I really want warmth, I cover my entire ear; down to the lobes.
I developed this habit of walking during summer. I do this right after work hours. It’s a way to decompress, get some natural/fresh air, get away from my desk(especially with covid quarantines), and get the posture right + blood pumping.
I made it a life goal to continue this year round, INCLUDING winter. Yes, I am proud to say I still do them. So now I comfortably (and willingly) walk outside even if it’s -4 to -10C). The beanie’s a big help because it keeps the head warm. Without it, sure my body’s warm but then my ears would be cold and crisp and it’ll hurt and this’ll force me to go in right away.
The beanie allows me stay longer and stay warm outside. If you combine this with my first point above (rolling up your hoodie), essentially the only thing you have exposed will be the jaw to eye line area. Not only will you be warm but it’ll feel comfy.
Material matters: Cotton, Fleece, or Wool
Most people don’t really know, care or even check out the material composition of their outfit. When in winter, you’d want to pay attention to this since the different materials have different effects on warmth.
Also for this section, I’m talking about the materials of soft goods (e.g.: the clothing you wear inside your winter jacket, so that’s tee’s, hoodies, base/midlayers, etc. NOT the outer winter jacket)
Most likely most of your clothes in general would be made of either cotton or synthetic materials. It’s a good start actually. If you’re just stepping outside and it’s a relaxed, easy, and chill (ha) stroll on plowed roads, you’re fine. If you’re thinking of winter activewear, athletics, and winter sports, yea no. Cotton’s the worst thing you can do.
I don’t know about synthetics but for cottonwear, you can just stack them and then you get warmer and warmer. You’ll be fine. The drawback for cotton is that it is heavy in itself and the more you stack them, the more it gets heavier. More importantly, when you start to sweat, cotton absorbs and holds your sweat. Your jacket then feels heavier. You’re losing the ‘warmth’ too with your cold sweat and then it just snowballs (ha) from there. Eventually it’ll feel like you have cold water all over your body and this is where you get sick and get super cold lol.
Fleece is your next best accessible material. You know that material in that sweater you had way back when? It’s that hairy/furry material and then when you wear it, it causes intense static and your hair gets all over the place? Yup, that’s fleece.
Contrary to cotton, it’s lighter (not “super light”, but relatively) and it does not absorb sweat.
Wool is the next level. It’s basically fleece but pseudo water-repellent, and if it gets soaked it still warms you up (so it’s not like a cold wet towel around you). If you use something like a merino wool snowboard socks (or I’m not sure if it’s wool in general) they’re antimicrobial so that means not only are they water-repellant, they don’t absorb and retain stink! I love ’em.
Ps, snowboard socks look like football socks. No they’re not the same 😂 They look the same but football socks are synthetic I believe. Sure you can use them to snowboard, but don’t expect the same properties. Last I did that it felt like my foot’s sliding side to side of my football socks 😂
For more information, read this for the pros and cons and difference of fleece and wool.