A winter wardrobe can be a wonderful opportunity to play with layers and textures. However, for those particularly colder days, smart dressing with base layers is just as important as the perfect coat.
Base layers: how they work
Base layers provide a protective inner shell, helping regulate body temperature. When it comes to selecting base layers, there are four main reasons why you should choose ones made from Merino wool.
- Merino wool fibres can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour then move it away to evaporate into the air, so Merino wool clothing is extremely breathable and less prone to clamminess.
- Merino wool is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature, so it helps you stay warm when the weather is cold, and cool when the weather is hot.
- Natural elasticity helps Merino wool garments stretch with you, yet return to their original shape, so Merino wool clothing is ideal to wear when exercising.
- In contrast to synthetics, Merino wool can absorb moisture vapour which means less sweat on your body. Merino wool even absorbs the odour molecules from sweat, which are only released upon washing.
Merino wool base layers come in a variety of options, from all-over body to specific regions. Need, and circumstance, should dictate the particular style you choose, and while heavier weights are generally favoured, even lightweight varieties will provide a welcome additional barrier to the cold.
The long-sleeve crew
This garment is tight-fitting and ideal for wearing under shirts and sweaters or even as an extra layer under your gym-gear. Choosing breathable Merino wool will help keep you warm, dry and smelling fresh while being as light as a cotton tee.
The short-sleeve shirt
Tight-fitting like the long-sleeve, the short sleeve is great for playing weekend sports such as football or soccer. It can also be worn beneath tees and best for those who, while not so affected by the cold, still need a little extra warmth.
Worn beneath pants and workout gear, or worn with a long-sleeve crew, these are particularly great for anyone who cycles, offering both protection against wind and freedom of movement. They’re particularly good for wearing under cotton jeans, which can be quite rigid in the cold.
All-in-ones are essentially a body-suit and more often reserved for extreme cold conditions, or worn while skiing for additional protection. Like the other styles, it is meant to be worn quite fitted. Don’t be tempted to think that looser equals comfort as once it is underneath other layers it needs to provide a seamless barrier.