Wednesday, February 18, 2015

attaining winter wardrobe nirvana

Last Sunday's high temp was 15, with a wind chill of -18. Complete with wind gusts up to 55 mph. It was, uh, a little chilly for a morning and afternoon full of chores in an unheated barn. 

But my layering game was on point. Not once was I cold (even in my fingers and toes), nor did I have to peel off any layers. It was the nirvana of winter wardrobes. 

picture from eBay, but a google search returned a whole host of sellers

I started with a base layer of thin-but-fleecy Mopas leggings underneath my Kerrits winter riding pants (the best, for serious). My aunt snagged these leggings for our whole family from a street vendor in NYC and I LIVE in them now. Seriously comfy and cozy! They are one-size (and stay in place perfectly!), tho amazon also carries a plus-size variety

Last fall I hit up Marshalls (same parent company as T.J. Maxx, Home Goods, and Sierra Trading Post) to grab a bunch of seriously discounted technical running or yoga type shirts. These make excellent base layers (esp when combined!) and are usually long enough to tuck in easily.

why pay $42 to buy from Jockey when you can find it at Marshalls for $12??
pink running shirt w/thumb holes (can't remember the brand) is my go-to base layer

These are great bc they wick away sweat and insulate my core. After seeing Sunday's forecast I went back to get an extra layer - still from the active wear section, but thicker and more sweatshirt-y (while still being that technical type material) with a high neck, quarter zip, and fleece lining. Also with the thumb holes bc those things are perfect under gloves. 

Toss on a regular hooded jacket and a carhart on top of that, and the upper body is set. Fleece cap under the jacket hood, thin infinity scarf to protect my face, and thin fleece gloves under leather work gloves and my head and hands were cozy and DRY all day. (Noticing a trend here? There's a layer of fleece for pretty much everything haha).

Then for the feet: regular old knee high socks as a base (and to hold down the leggings), then these crazy fuzzy socks my stepmom gave me for christmas. 

according to google, Dick's Sporting Goods sold these, but might be out of stock

They are SUPER thick and fuzzy, and probably won't last for more than a season or two... 

look at that fuzz!


But they are super warm! Top those off with some insulating SmartWool socks under my Blundstones and we're all good!

Definitely a lot of layers - but none of them are particularly bulky (except the carhart and fuzzy socks), so I didn't feel like I was slogging through mud all day. Hopefully this will be the last time I'll have to combine all these elements together for the year, tho each individual piece will probably stay in rotation through spring. 

What about you? Now that it's mid-Feb many of you have had a chance to really test out your winter layers - anything that stands out as a wardrobe staple for future years? 

32 comments:

  1. Great advice! And, who doesn't love Marshalls?!?!!

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    1. seriously!! every time i see some cute polo or sun shirt or something on sale on smartpak or wherever, i have to walk myself back from the ledge and remember that i can still probably find a better deal at marshalls lol

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  2. I loooove TJ Maxx for running/riding gear. It's pretty much the only place I buy that stuff (besides Old Navy and Walmart, for the pieces I wear out quickly, like running tights). For me, the only thing that can cut my trip to the barn short is cold feet. So winning a pair of these heat holders socks from Behind The Bit Blog totally changed my life. Despite their awesomeness, I rarely actually wear them to the barn. Instead I save them for when I get home with frozen solid feet. These are the only socks that can bring my frozen feet back to the land of working nerve endings in less than two hours. In fact, they usually get my feet feeling normal in about 20 minutes. Totally amazing. Especially when you consider I'll work at the barn until my feet are so frozen that I can't walk right, and even my heater blasting on them the whole 30-40 min drive home can't bring them back. I need to buy a pair to actually wear to the barn. They are phenomenal. They are also bulky as hell, and the pink is hideous.

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    1. oooh those socks look amazing!!! cold feet are seriously the worst (and cold fingers ughhhhh) -- and i kinda feel like one pair of bulky socks getting the job done > a million layers of socks that still don't quite work haha

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    2. Probably true! If I wasn't so cheap, I'd buy a second pair just to wear to the barn! Grossly, my feet sweat a lot even when I'm cold. So layering socks is a must to keep warm. Stupid feet.

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    3. haha i know exactly what you mean - which is why my 'base' sock layer is usually of the athletic type that wicks away moisture lol

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  3. My mom gave me some of those fuzzy socks, love them!!!

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  4. I only wear them when its super cold, but a few years ago I picked up a cheap pair of snow bibs and they are fabulous for barn work when its freezing out.

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    1. nice!! that's what our BM wears (and swears by) too!

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  5. Ski pants. Over my fleece kerrits. Stop the wind which is soo important. Also have some fleecey winter boots. Much warm. But it is now 30-50 here :)

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    1. yea stopping the wind is definitely a critical part of a winter wardrobe's function lol. i need to improve my winter boot game tho - they always seem to wear out so quickly! (or maybe i just need to invest in better quality haha)

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  6. Walmart also has some good running clothes to layer up with too! I get my long sleeve layers there.

    I bought a pair of used fleece-lined Ariat knee patch breeches late November from someone online...seriously the BEST $10 I've ever spent. It's just a single layer and they have kept me warm in Northern NJ. I like them so much I've been trying to find them online but I don't think Ariat makes them anymore ):

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    1. oooh those ariats sound like an awesome snag! hopefully they last a while, since it's so tricky to find new ones !

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  7. Nice warm gear! Mine consists of layering ridiculously. And still being cold. I'm not even as far north as most of the bloggers. :( wimpy wimpy wimpy.

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    1. haha i hear your pain completely! nothing drives me crazier than when i'm completely encased in a million layers and still cold... so i'm now on the quest for the perfect pieces to limit bulkiness and maximize my comfort lol

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  8. I am super into SmartWool socks! I have several pairs of really thick woolly ones as well as thinner ones. (I also like their running socks!)

    My favorite base layer is my Patagonia long underwear. It's pretty thin, but it holds heat well and more importantly, it cuts down on the effects of the awful, awful Oklahoma wind. I need to order another couple of pairs, because my current pair is getting hole-y. :(

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    1. finding the right long underwear or leggings or whatever is so key!

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  9. Great tips! Love this post (but hopefully spring comes too!). I need to find those leggings. I also buy a lot of my riding apparel from Marshalls, fleece lined workout shirts for $15 max!

    xx Lindsay
    <a href="http://theinsideturn.blogspot.com>The Inside Turn. Equestrian Blog </a>

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    1. those leggings are my whole life now. i wear them ALL THE TIME and will absolutely be ordering a million more bc you literally can not beat the price!

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  10. I don't get cold very easily but I am a fan of vests. I will happily layer vests too. As long as my shoulders are warm the rest of me is totally fine.

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    1. yep - vests are absolutely my jam for fall and spring and most of winter. i've got one black puffy vest from the Gap that is literally 15 years old (has been a dedicated barn garment the whole time too) and is still in perfect shape and i wear it constantly. just got a thinner ariat vest for warmer temps too that i'm excited to break out lol

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  11. I couldn't survive the winter without Under Armor. True story.

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    1. seriously. i've read a couple reviews about their base layers and they sound pretty impressive!!!

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  12. Warmth ftw - wish winter would shove off, although cold again here *knock-on-wood* for no more snow!
    Hope spring & thaw gets to you guys asap

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  13. No amount of layers of clothing could prevent me from becoming completely frozen in your kind of weather! Even out here when the high is in the 50s, I'm all layered up with leggings, under armor, and a big jacket. I basically am stuck in California for the rest of my life due to my intolerance for cold weather.

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    1. lol you might be surprised at how quickly you can adjust to certain temps -- like after spending all day out in the temps listed above, when it was ~25 a day or two later i felt downright indifferent to it haha

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  14. Just this year I discovered the joy of fleeced-lined leggings under breeches. HOLY MOLY does that make a difference! Somehow I've always managed to have a billions layers on my torso, and then just breeches on the bottom. That doesn't really work, lol.

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    1. haha no - legs need love too!!!! i had previously used a pair of gap body running pants (they were a size or two too small and were skin tight white- so naturally i snagged them for about $5 bc who really wants that look?), and those worked ok for wicking, but weren't super warm. these mopas are amazing!

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