How to Stay Warm in Winter without the Bulk

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Hi Imogen!

First, just let just say that I’m so thrilled to have discovered your fantastic blog!

I have a very small natural waist, a feature that I of course would like to highlight. However, I’m always cold at work, and by the time I pile on all the layers I begin to look like a bit of a marshmallow! I’ve been doing the belt over sweaters, but I was wondering if you had any other tips for how to still have a figure while dressing warmly?

I might mention that I work in a rather casual environment, but will hopefully be transferring to a more profession environment soon. I also always feel my best in dresses, winter or summer.

Thanks so much!
Annie

Stay Warm in the Winter Without the Bulk

The belt over cardigan or belted jacket is great if you have a defined waist, but what if you still need more layers and don’t want bulk?

Firstly, think about the fabrics you’re choosing – fibres such as cashmere are very warm but can still be lightweight and fine.  Cotton is not on for winter if you want to stay warm.

You can layer multiple fine knits made from wool or cashmere without looking like the Michelin man.

 

 

What also pops into my mind is thermal underwear. You can get some really great fine silk thermals as well as very fine wool thermals that you can put under your clothes, they don’t add bulk, but keep you warm.

Also, if wearing a skirt or dress, look for some lovely wool or thermal opaque tights, and then add a pair of knee-high boots, a sheepskin liner in the sole of the boot will also help to keep your tooties toasty.

A beret or other small hat will keep your head warm, and think about adding a scarf as an accessory, not as something you take off when you arrive at work, but as a piece of your outfit.

Of course you need a great and warm overcoat to wear outside too!

For some inspiration on layering, check out Audi on Fashion for Nerds, who has a lovely hourglass figure and manages to layer up 2 skirts or 2 dresses at a time without looking bulky.

If you live in a colder climate – what are your tips for Annie?

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10 Comments

  • I always carry a spare pair of thumbhole armwarmers in my bag. I find that having super warm arms and wrists helps keep the whole body toasty. Ditto for a fine wool scarf to tuck into the neck of your overcoat…

  • I love slightly longer skirts with boots. Wool and silk are the fabrics that keep me warm here in the north of England. Wearing a silk scarf around my neck is also useful to keep out drafts. Cardigans that cover your shoulders, arms and back can still be warm worn unbuttoned if they are not figure hugging enough for you. Long underwear is another option of course.

  • There's a fine knit but extremely warm fabric (Thermolactyl) sold by a company in UK & Australia called Damart. I LOVE it as I can wear this thin Damart camisole under a silk blouse or cotton tee without added bulk yet I'm very toasty. Wish I could buy it in the US but their online offerings here are very limited.

    When I'm really cold, I layer the Damart cami under ski underwear (Hot Chillys) then wear a merino wool sweater over that.

  • Hi from the second coldest country on earth, Canada.
    1. Silk long underwear is adds an extra layer without bulk. If you wear short skirts buy long and alter to bike-short length.
    2. Avoid polyester or poly blend clothing (including lingerie) as it is not breathable, and captures body moisture, which makes you colder.
    3. If you wear boots, you can put a pair of thin merino or silk socks over your tights. Often tights are not enough to keep feet warm.
    4. How long is your hair? If it's really short, you'll be colder.
    5. A scarf worn as a wide headband will look pretty and keep you warmer, especially in drafty offices.

  • We in Utah definitely get cold winters and I ditto the thermal underwear tip. Not the waffle-weave of the past, but the super thin silkies. So great! And Duchesse is right about altering to knee length! I also alter sleeves to 3/4 or just above the elbow so I can wear with more tops.
    Ditto also the thin scarf as all-day accessory. I've also found if my head and feet are warm, what's inbetween will be too. A cute knit hat to wear all day will do much to keep you warm! Just don't wrap blankets around yourself at work! No, no no!

  • Silk thermal underwear was always my answer to warmth without bulk. Also, a cute wool hat helped keep the warmth in.

  • Thanks so much for all the tips! It seems like I need to invest in some thermal underwear, and tailoring it is a great idea! Hopefully I'll be nice and toasty in no time!

    Thanks again!

  • Great idea to use thermal underwear. Hopefully my family will see less of my fleece vest and more of my nice clothes coming winter!

  • Silk long or medium length underwear covered with merino wool underwear (medium to long in length) along with wool stockings or socks over silk ones. Likewise with gloves and head coverings wool on top of silk. Merino wool is the least likely wool to itch. Especially since silk is in between.

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