Warmest materials for cold weather
Knowing your materials is key to choosing the best winter attire. Different types of fabric have different features and attributes, including their ability to keep you warm and protect you from chilly winds and moisture during the winter season. Here are some of the best materials to include in your winter wardrobe.
Wool is a great material and a natural fiber to wear during winter when the temperature drops because it keeps you warm by trapping air close to your skin. Wool is also a breathable and odor-resistant fabric that regulates body heat and prevents overheating when wearing too many layers.
Additionally, the outer layer of wool fibers has a natural ability to repel water, which keeps you dry during light rain or snow. Cashmere and merino wool, sourced from merino sheep, are two popular high-quality wool options for colder times of the year. Read more about wool.
Down comes from the soft, fluffy layer located beneath the outer feathers of ducks and geese. These feathers offer impressive warmth in cold weather because of their exceptional insulation properties.
The unique structure of down creates thousands of tiny air pockets that trap and retain heat, forming a natural barrier against the cold. Down is also lightweight and breathable, ensuring you stay warm and comfortable without feeling overly sweaty when dressing in many layers.
Fleece is a synthetic fabric made from polyester, and it has a soft, fuzzy texture that traps heat close to the body. The material is designed to be lightweight, breathable, and quick drying, making it an excellent choice for cold weather.
Fleece also wicks away moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable by preventing the accumulation of sweat. Its insulating properties make it a popular choice for various cold-weather garments, such as jackets, sweaters, and other outdoor apparel, providing a balance of warmth in cold and windy weather.
Synthetic materials are known for trapping moisture, which is not usually ideal for cold weather clothing, but Gore-Tex is engineered in a way that allows moisture vapor to pass through the material, in a way that mimics natural textiles. This is crucial for comfort during physical activities in cold and wet conditions.
Although Gore-Tex may not be the warmest or most insulating choice for your winter wardrobe, it's a water-resistant material that provides a waterproof barrier, keeping you dry even in heavy rain, snow, or wet conditions. In addition to its waterproof and windproof capabilities, Gore-Tex is also relatively lightweight, which is ideal for those who want to do outdoor activities, without feeling weighed down by heavy clothing.
5. Cotton flannel
Cotton flannel is exceptionally soft and comfortable against the skin, making it a favorite for blankets and pajamas. Flannel is a warm fabric that provides excellent insulation, especially when the temperature drops during winter. The fabric traps heat close to the body, making it ideal for winter clothing.
Despite its warmth, cotton flannel is usually quite breathable. It can wick moisture away from your body, keeping you dry and cool, which is important for a comfortable sleep.
Leather may not immediately come to mind when thinking about warm clothes for winter, but it's effective at blocking cool winds and cold air, providing a natural barrier against the cold. This makes leather an ideal material for accessories like gloves and boots.
Leather is also very durable. High-quality leather products can last for many years, making them a good investment for winter wear. Leather is a natural material, and many people prefer it over synthetic alternatives because of its texture and overall feel.
7. Faux fur
Among all cold-weather fabrics, faux fur is one of the most fashionable to use in your winter jackets. Faux fur is often found in the lining of gloves, adding extra warmth and a stylish touch to winter clothing.
Faux fur has a better price point compared to real fur and is therefore a favorite among many fashion designers. The most significant advantage of faux fur is that it is cruelty-free compared to real fur. Meaning that no animals are harmed or killed when producing the material.
When in doubt, wear layers
Finally, remember that layering is key during cold winter weather. Start with base layers with warm materials, and finish with a waterproof and windproof outer layer. It's better to wear too much initially and then have the ability to peel off layers if you feel too hot. And don't forget to wear appropriate winter accessories like scarves, hats, and thermal socks to keep warm during the winter months.
And don't forget to take good care of your winter garments so they last as long as possible. Read our laundry guide for classic winter wear
for some tips on how to wash outerwear and other bulky winter items.