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People who live in cold climates - helen-louise
People who live in cold climates
Can you tell me how you dress in the winter?

I'm trying to work out what sort of clothes I need for this Canadian trip, and I'm confused about what to wear when it's -10 degrees C outside and 20 degrees C inside. See, I'd generally assume that when it's -10 degrees, you want to wear thermal baselayers - but I wouldn't want to wear thermal underwear indoors. So I'm trying to figure out what order you put the layers on in.

Also, sitting in a wheelchair, I get colder than people who are walking around. But I'm loathe to get one of those wheelchair-user leg-cosy things in case I need to stand up for some reason.

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redbird From: redbird Date: 22nd January 2014 04:10 (UTC) (Link)

What I do

Layers, definitely, with silk long underwear for the bottom layer. I often go looking for a ladies room to change out of the long underwear, and then back into it when I'm heading out again—I usually leave it on for an hour in a restaurant, but not for all day at an office. Similarly, I sometimes put on a silk knit shirt (sold as long underwear, again, but respectable to be seen in) over my bra, then a more ordinary shirt over that, which I am prepared to unbutton or even remove if it gets too warm. I also have a quick-drying knit cardigan that can go over that, and under my parka, on really cold days or if the silk undershirt is in the laundry. That's probably simpler in terms of removing/replacing a layer when you go indoors.

I suspect that all of this would work with synthetic thermal base layers as well.
veryfineredwine From: veryfineredwine Date: 22nd January 2014 11:21 (UTC) (Link)
I was just popping in to mention "silk underwear". The stuff is amazing. It feels sooo nice against my skin that I wear it even when it won't be really cold.

Hat and sweater, for sure. Wool is best, but if not wool or another animal-hair fibre, then the "polar fleece" synthetics are the next best. The hat should cover a lot of your head, not a beret perched above your copious curls. A scarf will plug a draft in the collar of your jacket.

Take extra socks, and change them at the first sign of dampness. Mitts are better than gloves, but you lose all dexterity. I've got some work gloves that have a great grippy surface and are insulated. When are you arriving in Montreal, again?
baratron From: baratron Date: 22nd January 2014 21:07 (UTC) (Link)
We're arriving on Tuesday 28th January, and staying for a minimum of two weeks. Richard isn't sure if the job he's been sent to do will be finished within that time.

I actually found knitted touch-screen gloves made of synthetic yarn, so I can double-layer them with thicker gloves most of the time and wear them alone when I need to use my phone. Hurrah! (I've only been looking for touch-screen gloves I can wear for about 3 years :) ).
veryfineredwine From: veryfineredwine Date: 24th January 2014 11:19 (UTC) (Link)
Darn. Too soon for me to get more work gloves and forward a pair on to you. :( But because they're pretty good, and cheap, when I do order more for myself, I'll grab some for you.
From: pir Date: 22nd January 2014 12:39 (UTC) (Link)
Thirding the silks comment. When I'm wandering around in those temperature ranges I put long silks (originally bought for riding motorbikes in cold weather) on under my trousers. It keeps me warm outside yet doesn't overheat me inside.

I usually layer enough and have a warm jacket that I don't usually put the silk top on, generally short-sleeve t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirt, hoodie and jacket is enough for me. With layers I can drop down as many as I need if it's particularly warm inside somewhere.

Living in cold weather I started wearing a fleece neck warmer rather than a scarf since they don't fall off, don't have an end to create a gap unless you carefully wrap them and don't have end bits to get in the way of the jacket being in the right place to prevent heat loss.

Gloves are varied as well, I have very different gloves I will wear in -2 weather to -10 weather. Gloves intended for skiing, etc, can be good for that.

If it's getting to nearer -20 outside then I need over-trousers (in my case usually my lightweight snowboarding trousers) as well and will wear the silk top half too. Jacket hood up over my hat if it's windy.
hobbitbabe From: hobbitbabe Date: 22nd January 2014 14:28 (UTC) (Link)
When it's cold enough for me to want long underwear outdoors, I always take them off when I've arrived at my destination (like work or school). In the bathroom. It's not nearly as embarrassing as I thought it would be. I wrote a post about it which I will find and link. Doing a series of outdoor errands and going in to stores, it's trickier, because overheating makes me cranky. I guess I'm cranky a lot. But really, I don't get warmed up in a few minutes in a store, so it's okay to keep the long underwear on. (And by long underwear, I don't mean the thick waffley stuff, I mean thin technical fabric, top and bottom).

Socks: clean, dry, and handknit. For really cold weather, changing socks so I'm never going outside in slightly damp ones.
Boots: Wide enough that they don't press on my achilles tendon, long enough they don't press on my toes. Too-small boots always make my feet cold.

Have a bag with you so you can take off your hat, scarf, and mitts when you enter a building and not lose them. Also unzip your coat. It takes a lot longer to go places because you have to manage all this stuff. If you are at a museum or something you can give all of it to them at the coat check (other stuff down your sleeves or in a bag). I wear hooded sweatshirts a lot because I like how the hood reduces drafts. In colder weather I wear a wool sweater with something under it.

Some people keep their houses significantly cooler than 20C, either by preference or just because it's drafty. Slippers indoors are a good idea for people who tend to cold feet.

If it's snowing, brush the snow off you when you go indoors. Especially if you're wearing a cloth coat, but also from your trousers, knitted hat, etc.

People who have good manners will recognise that you are from a warmer climate and not be jerks about "THIS isn't cold...". Not everyone has good manners.

epi_lj From: epi_lj Date: 23rd January 2014 01:35 (UTC) (Link)
I tend to wear jeans and either a t-shirt or a pull-over indoors (with regular socks and underwear), and then when I go outside I add boots and a winter coat if it's mild-ish and also gloves and a hat if it's less mild. I don't do any kind of other layering or anything. But I also find that I'm more cold-tolerant than most people. I do keep a hoodie and slippers around for the parts of the house that are cold. (Our house is highly variable in climate.)
From: artremis Date: 23rd January 2014 09:57 (UTC) (Link)
I obviously i don't live in a cold climate and it has turned out that my visits to Estonia haven't been very cold but it was a bit of a contrast to the south coast! The modern thermal underwear like Uniqlo's Heattech and M&S' s heatgen work very well as a base layer and don't look under-weary so it's fine (for bra wearers at least) to strip down to them indoors. Unlayered they are only slightly warmer than a regular t-shirt so you are unlikely to overheat indoors.
We wore Merino liner gloves under bulky gloves/mittens - silk ones are available for people who can't do wool. I know some people also layer socks (we didn't need to) but you have to be very careful to avoid rubbing and friction between the layers which could lead to blisters)
Some kind of ear covering is essential - so a hat with flaps or some kind of cowl or scarf. I really like Buffs (but there are plenty of similar brands) - I wore mine as a cowl with a ear-flap (and very nelfy!) hat and Dad pulled his up over his head like a hood with a hat on top.
Mum had a fleecey blanket for her knees when she was in the wheelchair which worked well because we could fold and layer it as appropriate to the temperature and it's quick to wash and dry (apparently salt/grit getting kicked up from pavements can be a problem). But I think it might be a bit fiddley to manage for an independent chair-user like you.
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