Friday Open Thread: What Do You Wear To Stay Warm All Winter?

lead photo from Shutterstock

Hello Autostraddlers! How’s your week going? I hope you are feeling warm, fed and loved.

Winter is coming. Winter might have already come. Maybe a little, maybe a lot depending on where you are at (I see you Midwest). I have a hard time with the cold. and become fairly insufferable once the balmy west coast dips below 10 degrees. I know, I know, it’s not actually cold. But as far as temperate rain forests go, it’s practically glacial around here. My typical sartorial antidote is GIANT ASS SCARVES. Every winter I try to find the widest, longest, thickest knits and wrap myself up in an almost mummy-state so that I can keep from crying.

Maybe I’m a touch over-dramatic, but being all wrapped up will make the next four months bearable.

I'm bundled and trying not to cry...

I’m bundled. Trying not to cry…

Some current favourite scarves to get into: a cozy chunky knit and giant, doubles-as-a-cape scarf.

All this talk of scarves has me wondering… How the heck do you dress to stay warm? Are you more of a “layers are best, even if they render me immobile,” or “I’ll just wear thin layers of heat retaining garments that are practical and futuristic?” Somewhere between the two? I tend to get a little frivolous with my winter clothes and somehow I end up in a thick knit sweater, faux fur collar with a giant coat and fuzzy earmuffs. I want to know what you are gonna wear/thinking of wearing/into wearing, ‘cause we’re about to get chilly.

Minions from Giphy (PS Hannah, this is for you)

Minions from Giphy (PS Hannah, this is for you)

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. Being British, my go-to solution for most problems is drinking tea. So my level of tea consumption (which is quite high anyway) goes up in winter. Tea and jumpers.

  2. Re: staying warm–I am in denial that it is cold (although it snowed last night where I live) and so I didn’t even wear a coat today, which was stupid. I really need to buy a new winter coat.

    Also. I’ve been actually sitting at my computer waiting for this to go up because I need to gush about my crush and no one understands because of the gay. She is so cute I can’t stand it! I hate feelings so much and there are so many! It’s a hard time.

    • Ahhh I’m in a bit of the same place! I can talk to like maybe two people about my crush because I freak out just knowing I’m gonna see her again! I don’t really know what to say except good luck and I hope everything works out! (Also, fanfiction is like 90% of how I deal with crushes just so all my gay feelings have a somewhat good place to go, idk if that’d help though, but always feel free to gush!)

      • Ahh! I wish I could write at all, but I’m the worst. I get all academic. Also, her name is similar to yours and my heart skipped a little. I spent the morning all jittery trying not to talk too much about her.

  3. So far, I am staying cozy in smooshy socks, warm leggings, and this amazing cocoon cardigan thing. I actually might just live in it all winter long.

    Today is particularly cozy, because I get to work from home and am enjoying it with a new (holiday!) candle that crackles like a fire as it burns, and coffee fresh from the French press. Tonight, my girlfriend and I are putting up the Christmas decorations, and maintaining our tradition of her directing me from the couch as to where each ornament should go. (She really loves my couch; I think she would choose it over me most days.)


  4. In the Winter i wear wool everything; my favorite is probably wool socks. I’m wearing them right now. I love wool tights under a wool skirt, with a wool undershirt (like merino wool) and a nice wool jumper.
    I just moved from the south of France to the UK midlands so I purchased an awesome wool beanie from Nepal which still smells like goat, it’s wonderfully warm but kinda leaves a funky smell in my hair.

    Sometime I look weird in all this wool but fuck style! I’m keeping warm!.

  5. I gotta have layers to navigate the indoor/outdoor temp differential. I found a rad faux olive green quilted hoody lined with faux lambs-wool fleece at GoodWill. It even has what looks like a RavenClaw crest on it. But the zipper broke! So I have a winter project to sew in a new zipper, unless someone has a trick for how to get the zipper teeth to stay zipped ….

    I loved the pics, and in a perfect world, would join you and Lenny K in wearing a giant knit scarf every day. (Not bicycle-friendly though, heh).

  6. This wearable sleeping bag:

    Otherwise, I drink a lot of tea, wear polar fleece socks around the house, and am always knitting. Sometimes my dog lays on top of my feet and I loooooove her.

    Gf is big into the microwaved rice bags for bed, though I usually give her mine because I am a furnace and she is runs cold, and she is not allowed to put her otterpop toes under my legs. Too cold!

  7. I do a lot of hopping on and off public transportation, so I never really bundle up since layers will just have to be removed anyway.

    Last winter I got a practical dark grey peacoat, and this beauty from Betsey Johnson, both half price since it was January:

    Just discovered the magic that are pashminas (I have a black glitter and gold glitter one), and I have plans to get a pretty wide brim wool hat. Otherwise, I do thin layers because my office either runs super hot or super cold.

    • I also layer a lot! My work is nice and toasty but I have to transit on my commute. I’ve been known to do a coat/jacket/cardi/sweater layering system, so that I’ll be fly when I inevitably remove layers!

  8. I’ve been wearing the same L.L. Bean coat since high school and I’ll probably keep wearing it until it falls apart. This is a genetic trait: my mother has had the same two coats since she was teaching figure skating in the early 90’s, and my dad has been wearing the same ROYAL BLUE AND HOT PINK SKI JUMPSUIT since the 80’s. It’s the most amazing thing.

    I wear Star Wars pajamas under my jeans all winter.

  9. Wool for the win! I live in Kansas, which is incredibly windy. I find myself perpetually in a fleece with a scarf. When I have to go outside, it’s all about my heat-reflective ski jacket. I also live in a drafty old house with bad windows and little insulation, so I’ve invested in a space heater and an electric mattress warmer. This year though, I have my roomie’s big hound dog to sit on my feet and keep me warm.I don’t think he appreciates it–

    • Ayyyyyy, Kansas too!

      Cold as fuh. Most of the time. Or sweltering. No inbetween. LOL. I keep warm with my rage tightly coiled like a ball in the pit of my stomach. Kidding.

      Wool socks. Wind-cutting wool peacoat or leather jacket. Scarves. They will keep your neck toasty. Hats. Always. Layers. Lots of layers. Leggings under pants, etc.

      Also, that dog’s face. LOLs. He’s like another day’s work. *sigh* :D

  10. Uniqlo heattech leggings! I live in Maine (no, not the queer paradise that is Portland, think north!) so I’ve battled my fair share of cold weather and I swear by these things! My girlfriend is from Japan and boasted about these leggings, so Uniqlo was my first stop when I visited New York. Since slipping them on, I’ve never looked back. They’re much more affordable than most long-johns and they’re thin so you can wear them under anything. I wear them every single day, all winter long, which can last up to 6 months up here! 10/10 would recommend!

  11. To deal with the cold, I finally embraced my lesbianism and wore flannel for the first time last week (as pictured below in a snapchat pic lml) So many people said it looked good on me which totally solidified my gay vibes haha, so I’m now going to stock up on more to wear this winter!

    The winter is always a problem for me because i like the stuff associated with it, such as my birthday and the holidays that comes with, but it seems i can never dress warmly enough for it. In the meantime, I guess I’ll stick to tea and over-priced fancy starbucks drinks to keep myself from freezing as a short-term solution.

  12. Today was SO COLD and I felt wildly underdressed, even though I was wearing 4 layers and a scarf.
    I do have a longer black jacket with pockets that’s good for the cold, but today was more of a plaid hoodie, denim jacket, stompy boots day. Aka, I am John Bender, today is the greatest.

    In other “keeping warm, today is a great day” news, the bubble tea place near me was giving away free matcha lattes!

  13. Well since I live in Arizona, staying warm consists of a long sleeve tshirt. Maybe a leather jacket once it dips below 50. And a beanie…I miss wearing real winter clothes :( But I cant complain too much cause I can still wear tank tops in November!

  14. I currently live in Malaysia. I have to artificially induce cold (via aircon) because it’s too hot to exist here.

    Although, I’m told, not quite as hot as the heatwave taking over Australia at the moment.

    Interestingly enough, I was just in the UK last week or so to visit my sister, and found that I could manage the cold way better than people expected. My parents wanted a zillion layers but I didn’t end up finding that necessary (2 layers including overcoat worked fine). Maybe all those years in the Bay Area paid off.

    • I used to live in Malaysia and I know, it gets so hot! But I live in Aus now, and yes it has been a very hot week ?

    • If you were in the UK over the last week you got pretty lucky – we’ve had practically autumnal temperatures for most of November (until today, anyway). At least, that’s how it’s been in London: super mild, and I am super not complaining.

  15. down vests!!! I would not be able to survive without these. My cat loves them too. It’s a night ritual – I climb up on my bed wrapped in my vest like a cocoon, and she hops up on my down best and “kneads” at it while purring loudly. And fleece vests. Any vests, actually.

    When I go hiking, I always wear wool socks with my pants tucked inside.

    And then hats. Felted wool hats, fleece hats, knitted hats, beanies. I need hats. I perpetually wear hats.

    I also have a beautifully patterned knitted wool Norwegian ski sweater, and it is the best way I have to stay warm.

    And then there’s non-clothing ways of bundling. I love my down sleeping bag. And electric blanket.

    And of course coffee. Extra hot coffee. And hot soup and hot rice and anything hot to put inside my stomach.

  16. Being a Minnesota gal, I do layers. Layers of undershirt, long sleeves, sweatshirt, coat. Long johns and jeans. Layers of socks. Beanies are my go to for headware. A bandana or scarf around my neck depending on wind chill. Sometimes I do ski goggles if the wind is really bad. And one pair of finger gloves under warm mittens. All of this because I walk to and from work which is about a mile. I haven’t owned a pair of proper snow boots since high school for some reason. I typically just wear old sneakers I don’t care much about. I have snow boots on my xmas list this year though. We’ll see!

    • Sorel’s are totally worth it. With any Serious Business Boots though, I’d leave a pair of shoes at work, because of the heaviness and weight over time.

  17. I second the wool everything, scarves, and Uniqlo leggings. Also, fleece leggings. And down. A down vest can look like indoor clothing in a way a jacket never can. When it’s very, very cold (I live in northern NH) I wear tights under jeans and wool socks over them.

    Mostly, I recommend keeping the wood stove going 24/7 and never leaving it, if that is at all a possibility.

    But my main trick is sweaters that are 100% wool and actually cover your wrists and neck. Even a thin sweater can be warm enough if it’s wool. Do not fall for the false charms of cotton or acrylic, no matter how cozy they may look. They will fail you in your moment of need.

    I might be a very chilly person living in a very cold place who thinks about this question quite a lot??

  18. i live in mississippi, so i generally don’t have to do too much to keep warm, but i love slippers and silk long underwear under jeans. it’s finally cooling off a little bit here–gonna have lows in the 30s for the next week, so i’m looking forward to crazy things like actually maybe needing to wear a jacket. i love cold weather clothes. and having so many pockets!

  19. I’m always hot. I sleep with the window open. When I am cold, however, I just snuggle up with my dog under the covers, and I’m good to go.

  20. Due to the fact that I’m from the northern Midwest ( I have always lived between Madison and the U.P) , it is totally normal to see me shoveling snow in jeans and a tee shirt when it’s below zero ;) However, when it comes to staying warm ( or skiing), Columbia jackets are awesome.


    Seriously, I’m a Hawaii-transplant to Boston and wool socks saved me last year when I had to shovel myself out of the 100+ inches of snow. Keep your hands, your head, and your feet warm and the rest is just maintenance.

    I also have a deep abiding love for bulky sweaters with layering long-sleeved tees underneath with jeans. This may as well be my November through March uniform.

  22. This is so apt, I actually bought (winter) clothes I like last week. Not only that I managed to take a photo I like. It’s been a pretty great week to be fair. So yes, knitwear. Knitwear all the way. Jumpers, hats, scarves, gloves. I cloak myself in the stuff until I feel like I’m inside a cocoon.

  23. This is so apt, I actually bought (winter) clothes I like last week. Not only that I managed to take a photo I like. It’s been a pretty great week to be fair. So yes, knitwear. Knitwear all the way. Jumpers, hats, scarves, gloves. I cloak myself in the stuff until I feel like I’m inside a cocoon.

    • AND NOW I SUCCESSFULLY POSTED A (perhaps rather large) PICTURE!! I am done, too much greatness for one day.

    • I hope this is okay to say, but I am so digging the Griffyndor-Molly-Weasley-knitted-sweater vibe of that outfit!

      • HAha someone did ask me why I’d gone all Ron Weasley, but considering how much I LOVE the knitwear on the harry potter films, I am not at all offended or surprised by the reference.
        I mean all those faded colours, chunky knit, classic designs. I’m drooling at the thought.

  24. I’m all about layers, and layers of plaid flannel shirts…or plain flannel shirts…and tees, and tanks, and sweatshirts, and hoodies, and parkas/duffle coats, and maybe a down vest, and sheepskin mittens, and a beanie. I can just roll down the street by the time I’m done. I know it’s really cold by the scraping of my steering wheel against my duffle toggles.
    It’s grim up north right now. We’ve had crazy weather this week e.g. torrential rain, blindingly bright sunshine and then hail within 5 minutes + gale force winds. England is a strange weather place.
    I hope you’re all bundled up where you are and wish you many cosy outfits.

    • Stay safe in those gale force winds, that sounds wild! Your layer strategy sounds formidable, I’m taking notes.

  25. It is really hot here at the moment (i live in Australia) so to stay cool I am just eating a lot of icy poles and wearing shorts. It’s been an awesome week though for me as I had my eighteenth birthday on Wednesday ? And I had my first drink (Apple cider) but I’m not really sure if that’s my thing. Last night I went out for dinner with my friends and tonight I have more pals coming over for drinks.

    • Happy Birthday!!! Apple cider is a great celebratory beverage, and PAL hangouts are a perfect bday zone.

      Can we trade places so that I, too, can wear some shorts?

  26. faux fur collars are my fave look to pair with a coat, but i like a big, warm, versatile pashmina most of the time because I can also wrap it around me like a shawl or wrap it to shield by face or head from the wind. It’s all about versatility for me!

  27. i live in chicago, which is oft regarded as one of the coldest cities in the US, and it’s probably true, since last year it got down to -35 degrees F with the wind chill. here are some things i do when it’s REALLY cold…

    — PSYCH YOURSELF UP: this is probably weird, but before i go outside, i like to imagine the coldest, most uncomfortable i could be and it’s (usually) never as bad as that. mind over matter.
    — LAYERS: 2-4 top layers depending on how cold it is (undershirt, shirt, sweater, coat)and up to 3 bottom layers (tights, pants, wind-resistant snow pants). the downside to this is once you get on public transit you can sweat a lot, so you have to also make sure your hat/scarf/coat can come off easily so you don’t sweat to death.
    — FEET: usually 2 layers of socks, one cotton (breathable)& one wool (warm); then i usually have separate socks for work. at home, i have these obnoxious wool Chicago Bears slippers that go all the way up to my knees = best. if you can, try to invest in some good warm/snow boots; i got some Sorel’s like 6 years ago and they are looking beat up, but they still work great.
    — HEAD: usually i rock 2 layers of head coverage, e.g. hat+hood, earmuffs+hat, long scarf wrapped around head+hat.
    — SMART WOOL (wool, but thinner): i invested in some Smart Wool leggings, socks and a pullover and i love them. it’s pricey but you can probably find it on sale or get something similar from another brand. they are easy to wash and kind of look like work out clothes so you can wear it alone or layer it.
    — SPACE HEATER: i find these give more ‘direct’ heat and are more energy/$$ efficient than heating your entire living space. i only use this and leave the rest of my apartment cold, when i know i will only be in one room for a while.

    • #1 is so important in the midwest!

      I get text alerts from the National Weather Service, and they usually include a nice metric of how long you can stay outside without inadvertently freezing to death. I find it very motivating!

  28. I don’t really like to wear super warm stuff (even though I live near Cleveland, land of lake effect snow) because I don’t like to feel like I’m wearing all kinds of bulky stuff. I have a fleece North Face jacket, and I’ll never admit to my mother that it isn’t really warm enough. I do my best to layer it up with all kinds of cardigans, scarves, button down shirts, hoodies. I really hate wearing heavy socks, so I’m all about the wear the warm shoes to work and change when I get there approach. I also recently bought a very cute hat, so hopefully I won’t hate it by the end of the winter. Thankfully though, I am a teacher which means work is closed whenever it gets below -10, so I don’t have to worry that much about venturing out on the mega cold days.

    I mostly just spend all winter shivering and hoping it gets warmer soon.

  29. Hey all!! Happy Friday!! How’s everyone? Did you make it through the week okay? Are you having plans for the weekend ? It’s 5pm somewhere and I think we all need a shot of something. LOL

    Winter is coming. Will that really ever get old? Haha. Right now it’s about 80deg outside here in Socal. Some winter weather. I do wish it would snow like every 6 months or something. Just enough to play around in. LOL. I usually stick to my hoodies. I have a favorite leather jacket that I love. And also my varsity jacket that has my initials on it. =) I have my chukkas from Clarks and Seavees to keep my feet warm-ish.

    These are the metal earth I managed this week. This is Thor’s hammer. Look at that garlic crushing action!!

    MY IRON MAN. OMG so proud of this one. It’s like 3 inches tall.

    Me finishing my first 10k in 1:18:15. now I have shin splints. Oh well #norestforthewicked Also really heavy medal. LOL. I have a 5k coming up this sunday! Mustache Dache!!!

    Andy also says hi but he’s currently sleeping outside because christine says it’s a little humid. LOL

    • Ouch shin splints dude, been there. Hope they stop hurting soon. Congrats on the 10k. Iron man looks sick :)

      • I HATE THE SHIN SPLINTS. Worst part is it’s on the inner part so I thought it was like my ankle but really its the lowest part of the shins. -.-


  30. Last year, my mum bought me this amazing coat which is:

    -waterproof, windproof, and fleece lined
    -possessed of many pockets
    -aesthetically pleasing (fitted with adjustable waist, and the waterproof shell is printed to look like herringbone. I cannot stress how cool the latter point is). I have the olive green version, which co-ordinates with the entirety of my wardrobe.

    I’m so happy this is the topic of the Friday open thread, because I honestly love talking about how much I love this coat. I wear it almost every day October through March, with a massive scarf and many, many layers underneath.

  31. Wisconsin winters don’t play so I’ve developed a pretty solid routine of wool tights under my pants (bc jeans are hilariously inadequate in keeping the cold out, doubly so since most of my pants have holes in them from wear & tear), layering undershirts with a sweater, gloves/hat/scarf/etc., and a warm winter coat. Oh, and thick socks. My combat boots aren’t very warm on their own but it helps that they’re a size too big bc I can get my thick socks + aforementioned tights into them with little hassle.

  32. 1. Layers all day erry day. As someone that binds every day I’m actually REALLY EXCITED that it’s cold enough to wear all the layers now because it’s much easier to conceal my chest this way, plus I can get away with a sports bra under enough layers if my ribs are especially angry.
    2. All the warm beverages. Tea, hot chocolate, cider, I’ve finally started drinking coffee… Basically all hot beverages are delicious.
    3. SOUP. I love soup so much and it makes me sad that in my whole dorm living situation I have limited access to vegetarian soup.
    4. (Queer)platonic cuddles. This is really the best way to stay warm, right?
    5. Forget going outside, just hide under the blankets with tea and a cuddle buddy and binge watch Orphan Black. (Unfortunately, responsibilities exist…)

    • Hi five for team underlayer chest concealment. Frankly that’s what makes this the most wonderful time of the year.

  33. I live in SoCal so for me staying warm is just a jacket over a plaid shirt, or a sweatshirt, or a really cold night a thicker jacket. I wish I could wear a bit more cause as a trans person that could cover up the times I have forms on and don’t full want to show it(for safety reason).

    My week has been a bit long, ending with me taking a half day. I am home with a bit of a cold I caught from my parents. Speaking of which I again came out to them in my own way, when they asked me question. They asked essentially if I identify as male, I said “no,” then they asked so then you are a female, I said no(I rather not mention I fully identify as gendequeer trans woman, cause it’s not really their business). I said I am me, not gendered. I don’t fully think they got it, as the proceeded to misgender me. Such is the life on a trans person not within the binary….

    Speaking for which, while I am amab trans and look like it to some extent, I am always worried in public spaces like a bus that people will see I am trans and harass me.

    I live in an area with no abandoned houses, but we do have abandoned buildings(at least for now).

    Thank you for reading and viewing my post. Have a positive weekend.

  34. My grandmother just moved to South Carolina and she decided that she didn’t want her fur coat anymore and gave it to my mother and THEN my mother said she’d give me HER old fur coat and I am so excited for this winter I can hardly stand it. I feel weird about fur, but I feel a lot better getting something that’s recycled and not buying a new one, plus it’s honestly the cutest thing in the world!

    Other than new fur coats, I’m in love with a puffy jacket. I live in the middle of NC, and it gets down to the 20s and 30s here, but most of winter is in that weird 35-50 range that’s cold, but if you wear too much you end up sweating through your clothes. My lands end down puffy vest has been the perfect in-between. Put a flannel or a sweatshirt underneath it with a scarf/hat situation going on and I’m good to go

  35. I just wanted to mention, that I own a Ravenclaw scarf, that I wear whenever I need a scarf, which is every day in winter.
    I bought it at track 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station, which is a real place now, and it gives me endless joy to be nerding out on a daily basis.
    Like today, I went to a very schmanzy fancy lecture series in my city’s foreign embassy and I wore it with my suede blazer.
    No one noticed.
    I’m planning to upgrade my conference game to Hogwart’s House ties next year.

  36. I am allergic to wool and as such I believe I am not meant to live where the temperature permits snow to be a thing. Also I am built like a chicken long limbs worthy of a confident tangle and a short wide, lil torso.

    So thin heat retaining garments that are practical and futuristic it is but under layers of “normal clothes” that are um beyond masculine leaning and in the realm of “what gender is that person really” of what I could but won’t call butch ( not afraid of the word, just unworthy).

    Dickies carpenter jeans or something close and if my thin futuristic heat retaining undergarments are too dirty to stomach wearing I end wear men’s pajama bottoms or basketball shorts and ski socks under said jeans.

    Solid colour long sleeve shirt with a short sleeved t-shirt over it. I have t-shirts organised by sleep only, public use and then by will or won’t fit easily over a long sleeve shirt.

    My outerwear is the most varied it’s been in my life and love it.

    I have 2 thick ultra warm sweaters in olive green. They make me feel like one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men when I wear one of them with this brown leather vest I got last year for a present, it has an allowance zipper in back which gives me mobility even with the thickest sweater.
    You have no idea how much fun it is to spin a staff while looking like 21st Merry Man.

    There’s my ole faith long black coat that I love dearly as it is one of my childhood dreams come true. Since I was a little kid I wanted me a long black coat and I have it, someday I want another but today is not that day.

    Another thing I wanted since childhood is a leather jacket and I’ve got 1 and a half. By half I mean it is faux leather and peeling. The other is real leather, it’s a more than a bit big on me but all the more room to go over a fluffy sweater, a work shirt or a suit jacket.

    Lastly there’s stuff from The Family Trip to the great frozen north, frozen postcard hell. It was part family reunion, part adventure. It yielded me 2 of those thin super warm sweaters skiers wear under their jackets, black beanie of the same material and a black ski jacket. Ski pants and snow boots too but down South all I really need is some good tactical boots.
    I use to wear the ultra thin hooded ski sweater under my poor peeling faux leather jacket. So warm and mobile a combo they where.

    I kinda hate winter scarfs, they’re just too thick for my wrapping and draping skills. Chitons, exomis, togas, and old world head coverings I can do with ease but winter scarfs I fumble like a child.

    Beanies I love because no one can judge my hair and a covered head doesn’t solicit as many questions in winter as it does in summer, but I have only 2. One of course is camo because I guess I’m Southerner after all. Still need more beanies.

  37. I live in the northeast but I run super warm so unfortunately there are no chunky sweaters and wool everything for this girl :/
    To strike that careful balance between cozy and holy-hell-I’m-melting-is-it-toasty-in-here-or-what?!, I end up wearing a lot of layers: flannels, light sweaters and scarves. Which on one hand is sad, in that I don’t get to live out my winter fashion fantasies, but on the other hand is great because my summer wardrobe doubles as my winter wardrobe, with the addition of some cardigans!
    I also end up drinking lots of hot coffee. Holding the warm cup feels so nice, and as a bonus the shaking from being over-caffeinated helps me fit in with the rest of world while they shiver! Ha! ;)

  38. “There is no bad weather, there is only bad clothing” – Norwegian saying. If I am out all day and active (hiking), I wear many layers, wool and synthetic wickable only, to be able to shed and put back on as appropriate given the pace. If I am out all day and mostly inactive (birdwatching), I wear a few layers with wind-proof shell and wind-proof outer pants over wool long johns. My fashion color is Blaze (fluorescent, “hunter’s”) Orange because I want to be seen and avoided by the deer, turkey, etc hunters. “Fargo” style earflap cap, neck buff, heavy ski-style mittens, heavy wool socks, extra pair of socks available for changes mid-day. My style sense is “Bass Pro x REI”.

  39. As a librarian, its kind of the law that I wear lots of cardigans. Also I’m just all about the sweaters. Cardigans, pullovers, thick knit, thin knit all the colors I fucking LOVE sweaters. Also wool socks and lots of layers since outside is cold and my work is usually boiling.
    Also just never getting out of bed unless completely and utterly absolutely necessary is my general strategy for the winter.

  40. Okay sooo I have a curiosity as what people call certain clothes or articles of clothing and why.
    Is it a generational influence? Regional? Both?

    Indulge Me:


    Is this a sweater, a coat, a hoodie or sweater that is a hooded?


    Is this hose, pantyhose, stockings, tights or leggings?


    Leggings, tights, or both?


    Footless stockings, footless hose, footless panyhose, tights, leggings, or footless tights?


    Is this a sweater, a sweatshirt or a jumper?

    Stuff I want in your answer:
    Age group, general region from which you hail and what country too and if English isn’t your first language is your English closer to UK or US English. Any thing else that seems like an influencing factor.

    I’l do me as an example I guess

    18-25 US, metropolitan southeastern Louisiana
    #1 is sweater to me, but easily also a hoodie or hooded sweater. #2 is a pair of stockings and specifically pantyhose stockings. #3 is tights to me or leggings. But #4 I want to call footless leggings or footless tights because of ballet even though I’d only call them stockings due too their thinness. #5 is a sweatshirt to me, never a sweater.

    Play my little game?

    • This was hard.

      1. Hoodie b/c zipper + hood.

      2. Hose or pantyhose. (Too sheer for tights.)

      3. Leggings.

      4. Don’t know. Not in my brain as a clothing option.

      5. Sweatshirt

      26-40, US, Eastern (lived a number of places by now), not really fashion-oriented

      • #4’s more an accessory than clothing option if you’re not a dancer.
        Hose is what my East coast hailing relations say, all of them in every age group.
        I should get a survey monkey thing for more data before proclaiming hose an Eastern thing.

    • #1) Hoodie

      #2) Leotard tights

      #3) Footies (footless tights)

      #4) Peter Pan tights

      #5) Sweatshirt

      I’m 29, from Western Quebec/Midwest USA. As you can see, “leggings” lever entered my vocabulary growing up :D

      • …I see that

        Also I’ve heard of footies but only in reference to a type of women’s ballet tights (stockings/hose)

        Image because describing them as convertible doesn’t do their wonderful oddness justice.

    • 1) Definitely hoodie.

      2) Tights.

      3) Leggings.

      4) Footless tights.

      5) Sweatshirt.

      Also 18-25, US, always lived in cities in the South.

      I like this game! And right now I want to be wearing the “hoodie” from #1 with the “leggings” from #3.

    • 1. Hoodie
      2. Tights*
      3. Leggings
      4. Footless tights
      5. Sweatshirt

      26-35, US, northeast. *I called these “nylons” until college, when a dorm mate called my use of the word quaint…and I realized the rest of the world knew these as either tights or pantyhose.

      • Interesting and a strangle little aside my mother calls knee highs and thigh highs nylons but uses all the terms I list for #2 with the exception of hose.
        Nylons was the common term starting not long after nylon became a common material and began to wane around when synthetic fabrics were no longer the coolest, bestest thing ever.

    • 18-25, from rural-as-fuck Upstate NY USA

      1. hoodie all the way. Could see someone calling it a sweatshirt on a rare occasion tho.
      2. My first instinct was tights, but i wouldn’t bat an eye if someone called it pantyhose (though that person would probably be in my mother’s age).
      3. Leggings would be how I refer to them, but I’d also accept tights as a way to address that item of clothing.
      4. I really don’t know? It could be anything except footless stocking and footless hose because I’ve never heard anything called those things. But I’ve also never seen an item of clothing like this so maybe it could be one of those things.

    • Interesting…
      26, US, Pacific NW
      1- hoodie
      2- tights or pantyhose
      3- leggings
      4- not sure? Footless pantyhose?
      5- sweatshirt

    • Hey there! So I’m 18-25 and from Southern California.

      1. That’s definitely a hoodie. I’ve never heard those described as sweaters or hooded sweaters before.

      2. Those could be pantyhose or tights I’ve heard it both ways. Stockings are totally different because they’re essentially thigh high socks tho made of the same material.

      3. I prefer to call them leggings, but some people call them tights. And I saw someone else call them footies, but hell no. Footies are one-piece pajamas. Altho the usual term is “onesie.”

      4. wtf are those? I never even knew those existed before today. I guess footless tights?

      5. That’s a sweatshirt because they’re made of the same material as sweatpants.

      As for the hats:

      1. A baseball hat if it has a baseball logo or wtvr on it. Otherwise it’s a snapback. Altho now that I think about it, I would never refer to it as a snapback if an older person was wearing it. Huh. Probably a generational thing.

      2. Technically they’re trucker hats, but no one around here would call it that unless they were being silly and imitating truckers. Weirdly specific scenario I know.

      Regional slang is fascinating!

  41. 1. Seriously large down jackets, hood to ankles (oh, Canada, oh Canada… you know how to do cold.)

    2. Wool socks. All of the wool socks, to the knees, over the knees. Do laundry before you run out of clean wool socks. This is very important, particularly if you have to shovel a car out of a snow drift in the dark. And then you have to shovel out a parking spot in the dark.

    3. Cashmere sweaters/scarves/shawls. Wool is acceptable when used cashmere is unavailable, but cashmere is preferable for seriously cold days. (My mother has a the nose of a truffle pig when it comes to cashmere sweaters in used clothes shops.) A pashmina-type thing is versatile indoors but more difficult to wrap around the face under a tightly buttoned coat.

    4. Insulated heavy, leather, knee-high, sturdy riding boots (not for shows, but for the barn/practice). Way better than the snow boots (all rated well) I’ve ever owned.

    5. Lightweight gloves (so you can just wear gloves when you need dexterity) under heavy, felted mittens.

    6. Long underwear. I like silk or wool, depending on conditions and clothing.

    7. All that hot tea mentioned above.

    8. Large fuzzy dogs who lean on you.

    I don’t like being cold, and it was a rough winter last year. Can you tell?

    • This is an A+ list. If I am ever brave enough to go anywhere colder, I’ll consult this list to save me.

  42. Guys,
    Nursing is hard.
    Girls are difficult to figure out.
    Work is solid.
    Recovery is ongoing.
    And this is how I am staying warm this winter:

    Actually, Minou is living with a neighbour now, so I kidnapped her for a sleepover, and took her to the vet for some shots and flea treatment. :)

    Layers are the secret to warmth!

  43. It’s super hot in Brisbane today so I’m happily in air-con.

    This week (and every week for months) I’ve been obsessed with the game Neko Atsume. Anyone else love this game? I’ve created a Neko Atsume Facebook group if anyone wants to join ^_^

  44. Okay, I usually go with: leggings under my pants when it’s really cold outside; long sleeved shirts under my flannel shirts; lots of tea and soup; hats and scarves although that can be really irritating because then you have to take them off as soon as you go inside; and this obnoxious set of fleecy pajamas that my grandmother gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago that I think were actually designed for 9 year old girls.

    Oh, and I live in Tennessee, so anyone who lives in an actually cold place, feel free to laugh at how much of a baby I am about the cold :)

  45. TBH the Southern California weather has been non-wintery and barely-autumny most days, so there aren’t many people rocking stylish layered fashions around here. Although I hear that the weather is going to start dipping next week. We’ll see then.

    As for ME, since I’m underweight (I’m working on it!) I’m pretty susceptible to the cold. I also have what a dentist once called “petite veins,” so I have a really shitty circulatory system too. I wear layers almost all year round, usually just light cardigans and hoodies.

    When it’s colder than my normal wardrobe can handle, I wear sporty undershirts like Champion and Underarmour (even tho I don’t play sports or do any kind of exercise at all) and leggings under my pants. I’m a huge fan of Superdry which will also keep you Superwarm (badum-tiss) although there aren’t many stores in the US. Less than 12 IIRC. I have their Arctic Windbreaker and Fairisle sweater (that’s actually way too long on me but idc) and they’re AMAZINGLY warm. And I wear my long Boy Scouts socks (Venturers REP!) with my floral or Chelsea Doc Martens. I need more boots and I’m saving up for riding boots atm.

    OH! and I have just learned the magic of flannels this year and stole my brother’s. He doesn’t care he just wears the same hoodie everyday cause he’s boring (Bro:I’m Consistent!).

  46. I usually go for many layers, but to avoid becoming immobilized, I skip out on the big jacket. Some people spend lots of money buy huge-ass coats, but you can’t layer with that kind of coat. That kind of coat is best in places where it only gets really cold once in a blue moon. I usually have on an undershirt, t-shirt, long-sleeve shirt, hoodie, scarf, gloves, and coat. It sounds like a lot, but it’s pretty practical and even when I get inside I usually don’t have to take off more than the outermost layer.

  47. I’m really bummed that I left my go-to winter jacket at my apartment when I moved this spring. It wasn’t super warm by itself but it was big enough and pretty and broke the wind like a FUCKING CHAMP. (not like “broke wind” farting, but acted as a windbreaker) . It was also a jacket that I had since 8th grade so I’m feeling its loss. I’ll have to visit the local ski/snowboard shop and try to find a similar one to replace it with. Unless I’m not as much of an idiot as I think I am and it’s actually packed away somewhere. That would make my holiday season if I found it because I love that jacket so much.

    I also recently invested in a patagonia nanopuff jacket AND IT’S SO GREAT HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. I need my old windbreaking/waterproof shell jacket to really seal the deal but so long as it wasn’t precipitating or super windy the nanopuff is GR8. And it fits perfectly under my drysuit for those winter boating days.

    But honestly mostly I’ve been chilling in my union suit. It’s basically a fleece onsie but the softest fleece you can imagine. The only downside is needing to use the bathroom because due to sizing things I got a men’s size and while the whole flap situation is super compatible with my pee funnel (I was really happy to find out last weekend while boating), I don’t typically use said funnel indoors, and like, sometimes you don’t just need to pee and then it is HARSH AND COLD to do your business.

  48. I am broke and don’t have a car, so I spend about an hour and a half of my commute every day walking in the cold. So let me tell you how to get through that.

    I lived in Finland for years, and now live in Scotland. That means I know how to dress in serious subzero weather (Finland), and also in horrible, 100% humidity freezing damp weather (Scotland). These require TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF CLOTHING.

    Dry subzero weather:
    You need wool tights and LAYERS. The layers need to be thin and they should be wool or something synthetic that pretends to be wool if you are vegan. No cotton. Nothing plant-based. It will not keep you warm. I knit and I wear multiple pairs of tights, wool socks, docs, and then jeans. If it’s only something like -5C, you can get by with lots of wool tights, wool socks, and still wear a dress. I like to femme it up even when it’s really cold, just to get a break from slacks and jeans every day.
    You need mittens, and you need to wear two scarves – a thin cashmere type one around your neck, then put your good coat on, put the hood up, and then put a second scarf AROUND your neck and over the hood of the coat.

    Cold damp weather:
    Wool is not enough. You can’t just wear warm clothes – the damp gets in them and makes them pointless, and you will get sick. You can’t just wear a cool jumper and then a wool coat and expect to be warm. If it is DAMP, you need to stop the damp, and it will go right through your clothes. You need to get some kind of warm, insulated hiking jacket that is *waterproof*, and layer that OVER insulating layers like jumpers.

    Never forget mittens and a hat. The best mittens have fleece lined on the inside, and are knit on the outside. In a pinch, wear finger gloves underneath the mittens.

    In every place, Docs are good shoes. Just get them in a big size and wear lots of wool socks underneath them.

    If you are broke like me, there are a lot of different brands that work, and you will find wool and cashmere waaaay cheaper in secondhand stores than new. You need to look at the label of every single thing you buy. The shell of your coat can be nylon if it’s for Scottish-type weather and you’re wearing wool underneath, but if it’s dry, look for long wool coats. Long is key – it should cover your butt.

    Do not be afraid to wrap your head up in a scarf like an old-timey babushka. Sometimes you need to do it to stay warm. Make sure no cold air can enter any holes – tuck your clothes in everywhere so that the warmth stays in. Layers insulate, and you can remove them and wear clothing combinations depending on where you end up.

    Good luck, fellow living-through-the-recession queers. In Scotland, people die in their homes every year due to the cold – I hope everyone stays safe this winter.

  49. Hi everyone :)
    This is my first contribution to a Friday Open Thread since I signed up (it took me a while to get over my socially awkward self, but now I’m here :) )
    The first little snow storm of the season is just happening outside my window, and it’s really beautiful! I love this time of the year. It’s been snowing in the surrounding mountains for a while now, and we were just waiting for it to happen in the city.
    Where I live, we have about 0° Celsius right now (32° F, google tells me), and everyone’s preparing themselves for when it will go down to -10, -15 °C ( 14 to 5° F). At the moment, I wear lots of layers, with a big fluffy hoddie on top of it all. I have a super thick coat from bench, which I wear when it gets very cold. I also have a very nice fleece from them, which I usually wear when my job forces me to spend hours sitting in freezing churches. Oh, the musician’s fate around Christmas-time ^^” Tights under my pants and thick socks are a must, too :)
    Everyone stay warm and safe!

  50. Slightly late to the party (wow way to go Ari who let u be an adult) but as a knitter this thread is important to me on a personal level.
    I generate sweaters at an alarming rate (currently working on a teal and grey striped one and wearing an electric-blue one knit out of bulky yarn that sort of became a dress after the first time I washed it…in my defense I was not warned how much it would stretch) and own a truly ludicrous amount of scarves, hats, cozy socks, and other knitted accessories for keeping the cold at bay. (Interestingly my favorite scarf is not one I made but one my first girlfriend gave me for Hannukah my senior year of high school – it’s a peachy orange and big enough to basically be a small blanket).
    (I just finished knitting a really soft blue sweater for my friend for Christmas and I really hope they wear it cause it kinda feels like a wearable hug.)
    Also I am so not ready for snow yet. I live in Boston where it usually starts snowing around Thanksgiving and last year’s snowpocalypse fucked me up so bad that if it snows within the next month I might just lie down on top of a pile of snow and cry.

  51. I joyfully repurpose my blanket scarf as a blanket when the spring comes, and then joyfully re-repurpose it as a scarf in winter, meaning I am able to literally and legitimately wear actual bedding outside in the winter. I am quite small so I look ridiculous in a blanket scarf but this only instructively highlights in my opinion the unreasonableness of winter.

    • I also tend to look ridiculous in my blanket scarves, and I think you are right. Winter, stop being so unreasonable!

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