How to: Look Cute and Stay Warm in the Cold - Hapa Time

How to: Look Cute and Stay Warm in the Cold

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Credit: Pinterest

After freezing my butt off in Italy and New York last year, I wanted to be ready for Alaska! So I did a lot of research!! This is a compilation of all of the most useful stuff I found (tried and true). Enjoy!

Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest, 5 Inch and Up

1. Thermals. Base Layers. Long Underwear.

Let's stick to calling them thermals. Thermals are great because you wear them under your clothes. They are pretty much invisible if you're careful to get clothing that covers it properly. There are a bunch of different materials and colors used for thermals. Silk, fleece, wool, etc. There are levels such as lightweight, mid-weight and heavyweight. There are also types of thermals for different activities. Don't get thermals made of cotton if you plan on doing anything active. When you sweat, cotton absorbs it but also stays wet and when it is freezing cold, you DO NOT WANT TO BE WET! You will lose body heat extremely fast. Cotton thermals are okay if you are lounging about the house or wearing them to bed. In prep for Alaska, I decided to get fleece thermals from CuddlDuds: Top, Bottom in Small though in retrospect I could have gotten XS. They have a really huge selection though I wish their tops had bigger necklines, like scoop neck.

You can find TONS more info about thermals here.

Credit: Gal Meets Glam, Kenzas, Make Life Easier

2. Layers.

Layers are one of the greatest things to ever happen. Just think about it. Delicious: triple layered cakes. Stylish: layering a pea coat over a sweater over a denim shirt. Volumizing: layered haircuts. Beauty: layered foundation for better coverage. Or layered eyeshadows for a multi-dimensional effect. Like wow.

I always knew it was good to wear layers, but I didn't know why. I honestly didn't even think it made much sense. Why don't I just wear one heavy coat or sweater? Multiple layers are better than one big jacket because they trap heat in between each layer. I found a video about a guy in Siberia and he said he had to wear 4 heavy layers on his legs, torso, feet and head because it was negative 50 degrees Farenheit! So common sense = the colder it is, the more layers you should wear. Fleece is also the best layering material. Even though it's sporty so it will probably not go with much. Again, in prep for Alaska I bought a fleece jacket and vest from The North Face. Merino wool (merino wool is softer than regular wool) and cashmere are also very good. 

Here are some other great choices:

Credit: NYFW, NYFW, Native Fox

3. Hand Warmers. Toe Warmers. Heated Insoles.

Goodies!!! These things are relatively cheap (but amazing). Instead of running to buy a hot coffee or tea just to keep your hands warm (which also cools down considerably quickly) just think ahead and buy some hand warmers. Good hand warmers stay warm for about 5 to 8 hours. They are disposable so if you are worried about the environment, I'd suggest buying these only if you are really going to need them! Toe warmers and heated insoles are very good too because you can sneak them in your shoes as long as you are wearing closed toe shoes and if it is freezing why wouldn't you?

Some of the ones I've tried personally (and loved) are:

Credit: Pinterest

4. Shell

The "shell" is just your outermost layer. Ideally your shell layer has another type of insulation, like 500+ goose down or polyester/polyfill. Even better if it is wind resistant and waterproof. But then we are getting into the sportier, puffy style jackets. So I say if you are just trying to look snazzy in a frigid city, make sure you are wearing your thermals, and other great layers + hand warmers and such. Then wear a nice big wool coat on top. Go for a fun color or print to give your look more pop. If you are on the slopes though, some great styles include:

Tons more info on layers and insulation here.
Great wool coats (most coats are on sale right now):

Credit: Barefoot Blonde, Kenzas, Pink Peonies

5. Accessories

Do not undermine the power of accessories! Our hands, feet and especially our head very easily affect our body temperatures! Wear a hat made of knit materials, one of the most popular winter hats are beanies of course! And don't forget gloves, you can stick hand warmers in your gloves! Did you know they even have battery operated socks? Of course you can find battery operated pants, vests, jackets, but then you are getting into tricky stuff with wires and everything. The only thing about battery operated socks is I think they have a high likelihood of not working right or breaking and it doesn't seem like a lot of reliable sellers have them. Also the battery sticks out quite obviously unless you have thick high boots to cover it. As for regular winter socks, you will want to get the thickest kind you can fit in your shoes, merino wool preferably but understandably most booties and heels won't fit thick socks so just do what you can.

Great accessories:

Credit: Pink Peonies, Marissa Webb, Atlantic Pacific

I'm going to be honest: it wasn't that easy to find winter streetstyle outfits I liked. Or outfits that looked truly warm. Now these ladies all look amazing, but what the question is - are they really as warm as they look? Using the tricks I have suggested above, you can make any of these looks work and be super cozy in a straight up BLIZZARD! So good luck and let me know if you liked this article!



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  1. Great tips, I live in Texas so there's not much cold here but I'm traveling to the mountains soon and I'm freaking out since I'm not sure what exactly to wear to keep warm and still look good.
    ~~ Diana~~

  2. Actually, a heavy coat and not so many layers are what I use daily for Winter in Germany. For a normal day, you won't be out more than 15min, and it's usually much less, going from an indoors place to the nearest public transportation. Because everything is heated, wearing too many layers is often unpractical, so having only one warm coat you can take off as soon as you're indoors is better. And it doesn't even have to be a giant parka, it takes longer than a 5min walk to the subway for your body to feel the cold!

    But for holidays with lots of walking around and places where indoors heating isn't commonplace (hello, Portugal! I always freeze there in Winter), layers are definitely better! :)

  3. Yea, so true! Not easy at all. Love this post:)

    Shall We Sasa

  4. I've been wanting a thermal for ages!
    Well to stay warm I usually just stick with layers and also wear gloves, a scarf, a beanie and leggings underneath my jeans.
    - Alícia

  5. This post is so informative. Definitely needed this because it is freezing in the east coast. I need to go get thermals now!

    Enclothed Cognition

  6. I'm from LA and I recently took a trip to Chicago. I had pretty much the same style inspo, but then I got there and I was more worried about staying warm in the below 0 degree weather than looking cute lol.

  7. I did not know that layering is more efficient in keeping warm as heat is trapped in each layer! Useful information and will definitely keep this in mind when I visit colder countries!


  8. You are right, it is so hard to find really warm and beautiful outfits. The most are not that warm and comfy!!


  9. I have the same problem. I live in Montana and it's always freezing here. The girls in the pictures above have to be freezing. I like your idea of layers and Under Armour. I usually wear a tank top and a long sleeved shirt under my sweater. And wool socks. Hats, scarves, and gloves are a must for below zero temperature (along with a big, puffy shell). Thanks for the post :)

  10. Thank you for posting this! It's a huge help! :D

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  12. I totally wish I had saw this post before my trip to Europe earlier this month. This is super helpful! Thanks for sharing this since I will definitely bookmark it to reference for my next winter trip.

  13. Love your selection :) not that easy to look nice and to be warm ^^

  14. Great inspirations! Most of them are brilliant! :)

  15. Today Fashion become a passion of life and those picture really great and specially your dress so much beautiful. 

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