The Secret to My Success

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.

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  1. I learned in a first aid class that cotton actually wicks heat away from your body. The instructor did an experiment with two coffee cans filled with hot water. On one she put a cotton sleeve made from a T-shirt. The other she left uncovered. By the end of the class the water in the T-shirt covered can was noticeably cooler.

    During this cold weather I’ve been taking my daily 2 mile walks in my Muck boots, Army jacket, and fleece pants with my rain pants overtop. I haven’t gotten cold yet. And yes, I’m smiling. 🙂

  2. Ahh yes..long underwear is key! The secret to my smile too. Also, my enormous sleeping bag-esque coat left over from my days of living in New York (where it was needed every day in the winter.) It’s enormous! But does the job.

  3. I’m with you. dress for the weather and be happy. When the weather turned I went all fleece. It is actually just an extention of my bed, as I have fleece sheets and fleece blankets, and so I don’t want to climb out of bed in the morning unless of course I can slip into my fleece socks, pants and jacket.( since I can’t very well drag my blanket around all day now can I) I’ll have to try the silk underware. There is a product called “circulation Plus” however that really helped me when I had cold hands and feet and no one else did. warmed me right up.

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