Ohio is for Layers

This is my first fashion post on This Ohio Life! And by fashion, I mean that this post is about clothes, which can be fashionable… let’s just call this a fashion-lite* post for now.

Winter 2014 was freezing cold and miserable and apparently Winter 2015 wants to follow in her predecessors’ footsteps. The Polar Vortex that graced our doorsteps (and froze our car doors shut) last year is back and going nowhere soon. After surviving last winter without losing any of my digits to frost bite, I feel confident that I can survive this winter too.

Layers 4

Confidence in being able to do something is quite different from actually wanting to do it.

I want to pick Ohio up and stick it in between Mississippi and Alabama until April. Hello Gulf of Mexico! I think Cincinnati would look amazing with a beach, don’t you?

I want to hole up in my apartment for the next three months – I’ll order what I need on Amazon.

I want to hibernate in my bed and I think our cats would join me.

I don’t want to do winter anymore.

But… since I can’t reasonably do any of these things ( 🙁 ), I’ve decided to share my best winter layering tips with you instead. And learn to take photos of myself with my phone.

Layers 1

This is the fashion-lite portion of the post. On a typical Polar Vortex day in Ohio when I’m forced to leave my heat fortress (AKA, my bed) this is what I’m wearing:

  • Underwear + bra (duh), but both have to be comfy. I’m not messing with adjusting an underwire that’s buried under three+ layers of clothing.
  • At least two pairs of socks, knee socks work great for layering.
  • 1 pair of long underwear, tights or leggings; lightweight pajama bottoms work in a pinch, or on laundry day. I like Sonoma’s warmwear.
  • 1 pair of jeans, it’s better if these are not freshly washed, wear jeans you’ve worn a few times already so you can still move with the extra layers underneath.
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts, one can be a matching long underwear top.
  • 1 zipped up jacket, a jacket with a zipper is better than a hoodie, if I get hot I can unzip my jacket instead of having to remove an entire layer.
  • Winter coat, scarf, gloves, winter hat and boots.

If I’m not sweating by the time I leave the apartment I’m not wearing enough or Emma has turned down the thermostat again (she does it when she’s hungry, it’s rude).

Emma + Thermostat

In addition to wearing half the clothes I own at once (kidding, it’s only like a quarter of my clothes 😉 ), I also have a set of tucking and ordering rules I follow:

  1. Tuck the bottom of the long underwear or tights into the first pair of socks. Pull the second pair of socks up over the long underwear or tights.
  2. Tuck the bottom of the first long-sleeved top into the long underwear or tights.**
  3. Put on jeans.
  4. Layer second long-sleeved top over jeans**
  5. Put on jacket.
  6. Put on scarf, wrap around neck as many times as possible (without choking oneself), leaving at least one loop a little loose. I pull this fabric up over my nose and mouth before stepping outside. Any extra fabric can be zipped up into my jacket to cover any skin that might still be showing.

Layers 2

**IMG_0468Depending on how tight the layers are, it may not be comfortable to tuck your long-sleeved shirt into your long underwear and still button your pants, especially if you wear skinny or fitted jeans. You’re adding two extra layers of fabric to your waistline. I’ve worn my shirts tucked and untucked and have still been warm both times. And if I’m not warm enough, there are always Hot Hands hand warmers, toe warmers and my personal favorite, foot warmers (they stick to your socks!).

The final product is very layered and keeps me warm, but is not what I would call fashionable by any stretch of the imagination. I look less like a fashionista and more like I’m going to rob a bank. But I’m ok with it. My main concern January through March this year is keeping warm and not breaking anything when I inevitably slip on ice.

Layers 3

This is what I wear for work. I’m a cashier at a home improvement store so casual dress is ok. I’m also inside all day, although I work near outside doors which open frequently throughout my shift. If you work outdoors or are doing some winter hiking in these frigid temps my layering tips may not be enough for you. I wear a lot of cotton and cotton blends which is the worst thing you can wear if you’re going to be working outdoors and/or working up a sweat. Cotton does not dry quickly nor does it wick away moisture so if you get wet or sweaty you’re going to be wet and really cold for a long time which can lead to hypothermia. So do your research before gearing up to tackle an outdoor project or enjoy the winter wonderland outdoors.

I will be spending my time off work at home, cuddled up with my cats, five blankets, and a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate waiting for this whole “winter thing” to blow over.


*Courtney is not and does not claim to be a fashion expert. The content presented in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional fashion advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your fashionista or other qualified fashion expert with any questions you may have regarding a fashion crisis, faux pas or who wore it better situation. Never disregard professional fashion advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.