Under(clothes for) the Weather

We are apparently under a winter storm warning here in Central Virginia. I’ve heard anywhere from a 60-80% chance of either snow/rain mix or 5-10 inches of the white stuff. Don’t like the Richmond weather? Wait a minute…

With the tenacious grip of winter and Mrs. E.’s recently diagnosed Raynaud’s Disease, my mind has been much occupied by clothing that will keep one warm while keeping in good form.

As with any endeavor, it’s best to start at the beginning of things. In our case, that would be a “base layer”, which sounds ever so much more “man of action” than “underwear.”

I’ve mentioned my fondness for long silk underwear. I first heard about such a thing from an article about George Hamilton, who swears by them as they eliminate the need to travel with a topcoat in all but the most extreme conditions. I swear by them for use under my winter weekend staple: the cashmere turtleneck (rollneck.)

(On sale at Sierra Trading Post)

They are also very useful if your closet is full of the ultra lightweight suits so popular these days.

OK, so you and I are watching our cash these days and we like to have pieces that do double duty. Consider, then, using technical fabric base layers as workout clothing and under your dress clothing. The trick is to keep it relatively snug fitting.

(The C9 Running Shirt available at Target)

(Also via Target)

Your feet will be much happier in a good pair of lightweight ski socks, like these from Smartwool at REI.

Or their dress sock merino wool version at Sierra Trading Post.

Last, but not least, glove liners that let you wear your good leather gloves and still keep relatively comfortable without having to resort to ski gloves. Silk glove liners on sale at Cabela’s. (They make silk sock liners, too…)

I have yet to come up with the perfect winter hat that is warm, covers the ears, and stylish. I have a Persian Lamb Ambassador Hat, but it’s hard to pull off, even for me and I’ve worn some dubious headgear by modern standards. (Although I’d like to try on one of those huge Cossack hats in some sort of fur, I doubt it would fit the bill either.)

In very cold weather, I settle for my black cashmere watch cap. It is lightweight, warm, secure in the wind and slips into a pocket very easily. Portolano cashmere cap in chocolate from Bluefly.

So tell me, those of you who endure the worst of the Snow Miser’s wrath, how do you weather the storm?

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