Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tips for Ladies on Cold Weather Dressing

I have received more than one request to share some tips for cold weather dressing.  I am not an expert on this topic (I prefer a warm fire to winter sports), but I do have a few suggestions.
1. Layering is the key to warmth.
Deborah & co.'s fleece lined leggings: http://www.deborahandco.com/fleece-lined-leggings/
 If the ladies of past centuries were able to do it, so can you.  Dressing warmly does not have to be about wearing ski clothes and Under Armor.  Layering is the key to warmth, and ladies usually can do this quite easily and safely.
Three layers are appropriate for cold weather and should include:
a) basic layer against the skin such as a simple cotton tee and tights/leggings
b) insulating layer such as a warm sweater and flannel petticoat or slip
c) protective layer such as a coat and denim/corduroy/wool skirt

2. Feet, hands and face freeze first.

Every time I have been really cold, it is my feet and hands that feel it first.  In fact, the rest of my body usually does not get cold easily as long as I am dressed appropriately.  Thus, prioritizing cold weather boots, gloves, and scarves/hats is essential.  Gloves and scarves are quite easy to obtain and there are many tasteful/ladylike colors and styles available.  It does not have to be expensive to obtain a good pair of boots at the end of the season or on consignment either.  It is better to buy quality though since these items will have to be durable.

It is interesting to note that the most common complaint of women and cold weather seems to be wearing skirts when in fact, the feet and hands are what suffer before the legs.

2. Do not compromise elegance for practicality!

"You are what you wear" is very true.  The most important part about a lady is her soul.  Clothing not only expresses her spiritual nature to the world, but influences a lady's character.  Do not compromise elegance when it comes to cold weather dressing.  It is not worth it, even if temporal comfort must be given up.  In my opinion, there are many sporting activities that would far better be sacrificed before appropriate attire.
Now it is up to you!  If I have any readers from Canada or Alaska or other cold climates, please let me know what I have missed in the comments below!


  1. My winter clothing is usually warm tights or leggings under a long warm skirt. I always have slippers on when I'm in the house, and boots if I'm going outside. Often, I wear socks over my tights too. When I was in college, and had to walk outside around campus all day in the cold, I'd often add sweatpants or pajama pants under the skirt and over the tights, tucked into my boots so no one would know! All the slips I have are synthetic silk, and not warm in the slightest.

    I wish they still made practical feminine winter clothing...quilted (literally - two layers of fabric with batting in between!) skirts, wool or flannel petticoats, woolen stockings, knit or woven shawls and wraps to wear around the neck as part of everyday dress....but I have to make do much of the time with the synthetic materials which are just much easier to find (and much less warm).

    Our society has become used to living in over-heated homes and never going outside in the winter (except straight into a heated car). In the past, the only heat you had came from fires (whether wood-burning, coal-burning, gas, etc. depending on when we're talking about), which produced pockets of extreme heat and extreme cold throughout the house...which means you had to dress appropriately! And women usually needed to go outside several times a day: for water, wood, to feed animals, etc.

    We keep our thermostat low to save money, and I wish it was easier to dress warmly these days without a thousand layers.

  2. My daughter and I usually wear long underwear both long sleeved tops and the bottoms under our skirts. We also tend to wear socks instead of stockings except on Sundays to Mass. We live in a northern climate and heat and cook with wood. We knit fingerless gloves and shawls and are used to layering up. Plus excercising ~ even if it is just a brisk walk outside will make it warmer when you go back into the house. I just found the other day at a box/chain store fleece lined leggings in cream, black, brown and grey. They weren't too expensive. I am hoping to get two pair for my daughter. I would love to make a wool skirt, and corduroy skirts...just need to find the time.


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