By- Rashi Mittal
The weather may be cold, windy, wet, warm or dry. But does that make a difference as to how we look? Well the knowledge about the right kind of clothing can actually let you look well dressed all the time. It’s winter time! February, the most romantic and one of the coldest months is here. Whether you are skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or just running errands, versatile winter apparel is worth the investment.
Shopping for winter clothing can be a bit overwhelming. Proper winter dressing means three layers- wicking, insulating and protection. This gives you flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your activity.
-WICKING LAYER : This is the layer worn next to your skin, usually consisting of long underwear. Look for thermal made of a synthetic, usually polyester, fiber that has “wicking” power. This means the fibers will wick (move) moisture away from your skin and pass it through the fabric so it will evaporate. This keeps you warm, dry and comfortable. Silk is also a good, natural fabric that has wicking abilities.
-INSULATING LAYER: This middle layer includes sweaters, sweatshirts, vests and pullovers. The purpose of this layer is to keep heat in and cold out, which is accomplished by trapping air between the fibers. Popular insulation materials include ,fleece, a synthetic material which maintains its insulating ability even when wet and spreads the moisture out so it dries quickly and wool, which naturally wicks away moisture.
-PROTECTION LAYER: The exterior layer, generally a shell and pants, serve as your guard against the elements of winter. It should repel water from snow, sleet or rain and block the wind, while also letting perspiration evaporate. Most genuine winter shells and pants are made waterproof and breathable to some extent by using tightly woven fabrics teamed with a coating or laminate. This keeps moisture on the outside but allows perspiration to escape, keeping you dry and comfortable.
Up to 60 percent of your body’s heat can escape from an uncovered head, so wearing a hat, headband or helmet is essential when it’s cold.There are thousands of styles of hats and headbands, usually made from fleece or wool. Many have non-itch liners. Not only do they protect your head from bumps, but they also keep your head warm. A fleece neck gaiter (like a collar) or face mask is a must on cold days.
Sunglasses do much more than making you look cool. They also protect your eyes from the damaging solar radiations. Snow, or any other reflective surface, makes ultraviolet (UV) rays stronger, while increased altitude also magnifies the danger. On flat-light days or when it’s snowing, goggles are vital. They protect your eyes and special lens colors increase the contrast so you can properly discern terrain features.
Here are some tips to follow:
-Look for gloves and mittens that use waterproof, breathable fabrics. Mittens, in general, are warmer than gloves, but offer you less dexterity.
-The wicking layer should fit snugly next to the skin in order to effectively wick moisture. Comfort is the key for the insulating layer. It should be loose enough to trap air between layers, but not so bulky that it restricts movement.
-Look for 100 percent UV protection in sunglasses. Make sure the glasses fit snugly behind your ears and rest gently on the bridge of your nose. Goggles should form an uninterrupted seal on your face, extending above your eyebrows and below your cheekbones. Watch for gaps, especially around your nose.
-Don’t buy gloves or mittens that are too tight. There should be a little air space at the tips of your fingers, which acts as additional insulation.
-Cotton is a no-no. Cotton is great for towels, because cotton soaks up and retains moisture. That’s precisely why cotton is all wrong for on-slope apparel. It absorbs moisture (sweat and snow), and retains it. When the wind blows, you will feel really cold. Don’t wear cotton athletic socks, cotton jeans, cotton sweatshirts, or cotton T-shirts.
-Resist the temptation of putting on too many pairs of socks. You’ll restrict circulation and actually cause your feet to get colder.
However harsh the weather may be,keep it simple and stylish.Wear what comforts you and don’t forget to put on that bright smile on your face.