Wool socks and long underwear. Yes, THAT is the secret to my success. Or at least why I am one of the very few people smiling as they walk down the street in this unusually cold cold snap that Portland is experiencing. The wool sweater, subzero down vest, fleece, snow boots, wool hat, gloves and GORE-TEX shell might have something to with it too.
But the key essentials are the wool socks and long underwear.
Wool socks — you really can’t go wrong with a pair of wool socks. No one can see them and they somehow magically make your whole body warmer. I recommend “smart wool” — the kind that doesn’t itch. I do have some cashmere socks and while they are very soft and warm and toasty, they wear out really fast and are better for at home socks than tromping around in the snow socks.
Long underwear — I once dreaded long underwear until I realized that I didn’t have to be cold all of the time. Silk long underwear is absolutely fab — it is so soft and keeps you snug, but it does wear out relatively quickly and they often come with thick waistbands which is totally weird and doesn’t fit under low rise jeans. Cuddle duds are a great alternative. I don’t know what they’re made out of but they are silky and thin and have tiny waistbands.
I don’t recommend regular old school waffle long underwear made of cotton unless you are going for that extra curvy snow bunny look. It’s bulky and makes you feel like a stuffed sausage. Also, cotton just isn’t that warm. I’m not sure who came up with this idea of waffle cotton long underwear but I think it may have been a joke.
With smart wool socks and silky long underwear you too can stomp down the street grinning foolishly! If you want to make an even bigger spectacle of your great snow happiness, I would recommend getting the snow boots that make little snowflake prints in the snow — you can have hours of fun walking backwards watching your own footprints behind you.