How to Layer Like a Minnesotan

This is a reprint from the “spring” but became relevant again this week.

Preparing to Go Outside: The Order of Operations

First, determine the outside temperature. This system of layering will be too warm for above 20F, but below that should stand you in good stead.

Next, remember what your mother said: use the toilet.

If you wear eyeglasses, consider contacts, as they don’t steam up. I’m heading steadily into bifocal territory, though, so I rarely wear my contacts anymore. Steamed lenses are better than loss of close vision.

Apply moisturizer to face, neck and lips. Heck, everywhere. During the winter, I forego sunscreen to maximize what little vitamin D I can get from the sun.

In order, don:

1. Underwear (underpants, and bra if you wear one)
2. Undershirt (thermal or silk, longer length is best)
3. Long johns (thermal or silk). Pull waistband over bottom of undershirt. This will keep your lower back (or overbutt, as my 7yo calls it) from unwanted exposure.
4. Socks, long and thick. Pull tops over bottoms of long johns.
5. Shirt(s)
6. Pants, over bottom of shirt. Do NOT tuck overshirt into long johns.
7. Sweater
8. Snowpants
9. Boots, hat and scarf
10. Gloves/mittens. Gloves inside mittens is the warmest, but diminishes dexterity.
11. Coat. The lower the temp, the puffier and longer it should be, covering at least your butt and the top of your thighs.

This order of operations has you always pulling something over a previous layer, rather than tucking in a subsequent layer, which makes for a smoother line and means you don’t have to double back, for example if you accidentally put boots on before snow pants. Also check out Sal’s post at Already Pretty on Layering Without Lumps.

Stay warm. And remember, it’s only six months till spring.

One Response to “How to Layer Like a Minnesotan”

  1. Patricia Says:

    About three weeks ago I remembered that you had posted this so I went back to look for it and review it. It was COLD here this weekend. -4 F. Don’t go outside cold, but today at 32 F I was out with a sweater and a scarf. How we adapt.

    We have made a few changes. I bought a pair of goose down mittens rated down to -30 F, but I can’t drive my car in them. And I have my Uggs. Don’t leave home without them and if I also wear socks my feet overheat.

    Best investment ever … a block heater for my car. When the temps are below freezing even in the garage, my car warms up quickly.

    I’d love advice on cold weather emergency kit for the car!