Friday, August 7, 2020

Eleven Ways to Keep Your Legs Warm in Winter

How to Stop the Cold Air from Breezing Up Your Skirt

Let's talk about cold legs. Actually, no. If you suffer from cold legs, you don't need to know about cold legs. What you need is solutions. Let's talk about ways to keep your legs warm.
I made this dress for an inland valley region of New Zealand which can experience lows of 8°C during the day and -2°C at night. Typically we only heated a couple of rooms in the house. Wearing layers was key for comfort.

Long Hems, Warm Fabric, and Linings

This dress is made of medium denier cotton corduroy. The skirt is lined with premium cotton flannelette. The bodice is lined with smooth cotton gingham for that helpful slippery effect when pulling one garment over top of another. I added a hem extension of doubled cotton sateen, stitched to the lining, so the dress reached the top of my sheepskin slippers (Snugglefeet from Classic Sheepskins).

Wool, Multiple Pairs of Socks, and Leg Warmers

In that climate, I would wear a mid-calf length brushed knit chemise (BN design) underneath the dress, merino wool socks, and chunky knitted wool leg warmers bunched around my ankles.

When I moved two hours north to a Mediterranean seaside climate (lows of 11°C to 1°C, but typically 5° warmer than my hometown), the hem extension was excess to ankle warmth requirements, so I removed it, which also made my more active life easier.

A short, store-bought chemise is sufficient now, but I still wear merino socks, and the leg warmers if it's a very cold day.

I don't need the sheepskin slippers now (which is a relief, because the wool was wearing thin and the price had risen by NZ$100). A second pair of socks is sufficient indoors.
There are three places I typically wear this dress.

It's great on a beach excursion, for which I wear two pairs of socks inside my aerated crosstrainers, or rubber boots if I'm planning to get damp feet. The hem is weighty enough that I'm not worried about the wind blowing it up around my waist.

The same garb works for a visit to my neighbours in their unheated, uninsulated house, where I sit on the floor to play with their young children. The dress hem is full enough that it doesn't impede my movements. With my shoes off, I'm very grateful for the wool leg warmers.

The dress is a flexible style. I also wear it to meetings. It's easy to elevate it from casual to smart by changing the jacket and the footwear, and adding some pretty accessories.

Further Layering Tips

Five other ways to keep your legs warm

  • wool or thick denier nylon stockings
  • wool or cotton knit leggings (footless tights)
  • thermal leggings (long underwear)
  • wool or cotton knee-length socks
  • fleece track pants

Now you know eleven ways to keep your lower limbs more comfortable in winter.

Look out for more Boutique Narelle posts detailing liberating modest fashion techniques.

Fiat lux!

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