How to Dress Smart for Outdoors
January 7, 2009
“Welcome, Polar Bear! Keeping yourself warm, huh?”, remarked my co-worker one evening as I donned layers of clothing ranging from fleece jackets, gloves, woolen socks, cap, and a long coat, getting ready to head home after work . My skin show was restricted to eyes and nose, so it’s not hard to imagine what one would have looked like. This was five years ago in Chicago. For someone who had spent a better part of her life growing up in a tropical climate like India, living in sub-zero temperatures with the Lake effect was as good as moving to the Antarctic. Well, not really! In retrospect, I wish I had known the tricks of choosing appropriate layers of clothing without looking like a Polar Bear or sweat like a pig in the hot Indian summers.
One is not spoilt for choice in India when it comes to outdoor clothing especially for winter. It’s hard to shop for the right clothing at reasonable prices and it only gets worse if you are traveling from southern to northern parts of the country that get a good deal of snow and waves of cold air. For a recent trip to Delhi, here’s how I went about carefully packing the right kind of dresses for my husband:
- Inner layer - Woolen socks and thermals made of polypropylene.
- Middle / Insulation layer - Sweaters, woolen hats, gloves, fleece, polypropylene jacket, full-sleeve t-shirts and dark pants.
- Shell or outer layer - Long woolen coats, and wind gear.
Some points I keep in mind so as not to feel bogged down by the layering in winter or overheating in summer:
- Prefer woolen as it is an excellent insulation material. Looks elegant though it can be a little pricey. Shop for winter gear in one of those end-of-season sales to get the best bargains. It will come in handy for the next winter.
- Cotton is strict no-no for winter as it is a bad insulator in wet conditions. But this is the fabric to swear by in summer.
- While buying outer layer clothing, try not to get a size too fitting or small to ensure you leave enough room for other layers. This will keep you comfortable.
- Fleece is great at regulating one’s body temperature in winter.
- Wearing two layers of socks does the trick - a thin inner layer and athick outer layer. Often, I have found that if the feet is kept warm, the body feels much warmer.
So, what are your tricks of smart dressing for outdoors?
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