Cold snap snappy dressing

Man in hooded fur coat
Stay snug…

Feeling a tad nippy? We’re not surprised! The snow has set in and temperatures nosedived to -11C in parts of the country last night.

Forecasters have released a cold weather warning, with no respite in sight from the snow, ice and bitter winds. But as renowned fell walker, Alfred Wainwright once put it: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

We thought we’d pay heed to those wise words and share our top tips for staying warm during this bitter cold snap.

Stand in line

Three colour options of Clifford James Thermal Trousers
Image source: Clifford James
Stay warm and stylish with lined trousers.

If you want warmth without the inconvenience of bulky undergarments, why not give thermal lined trousers a try? They’re a great way to stay warm without compromising on style.

Choose from a range of looks that includes rugged rugby trousers, lined poly cotton chinos, and jeans. There’s even a waterproof option.

Need something for work? How about a pair of smart casual thermal trousers – you’ll look the part at the office or on site and while everyone else shivers you’ll be cosy as can be.

Hat trick

Man wearing a coat and hand outside in the cold
Image source: Natasha_from_Russia
Heads are extra sensitive to the cold, so a hat is crucial.

An urban myth that deserves debunking is the idea that you lose 40 – 45% of your body heat through your head. It’s total nonsense. The figure comes from a 1970s US Army training manual. Recruits were made to don arctic warfare clothing then stand in a freezer with their heads uncovered. The science was shonky from the start; if only your head is bare, of course it will account for more heat loss than the rest of your body.

The truth is that you lose as much heat through your head as you do any other part of your anatomy. Even so, you should still wear a hat because your head is one of the areas of your body most sensitive to cold. A hat will only reduce heat loss by about 10% at most, but it will make you feel much toastier.

Great deals on great winter warmers

Wool up

Man wearing a Clifford James blue woollen jumper
Image source: Clifford James
Choose wool for warmth.

Fancy a jumper made from a super fiber? You need a wool knitted pullover. That’s because wool has some very special properties. Take a strand of wool fibre and bend it 20,000 times and it still springs back into its original shape. Wool has great thermal properties too, and because it’s able to absorb and release moisture, it’s great for keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer.

Hypoallergenic lambswool is an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin, and because wool retains a small amount of natural oil, it repels grease and dirt keeping your clothes fresher for longer. And of course wool looks good too!

Put a sock in it

Winter socks warming up feet by fireplace.
Image source: alexraths
Like a hug for your feet!

What did the Romans ever do for us? Well they may in fact have brought socks to the British Isles, and stripy ones at that! Udons were cloth or crochet garments often made with a separate big toe so they could be worn with sandals.

The Vindolanda Tablets are wafer thin pieces of wood upon which are written letters home from Roman soldiers stationed near Hadrian’s Wall. Among the correspondence are requests for warm socks from home. Clearly Roman soldiers paid attention to their trotters. Given the Roman penchant for conquering new lands, it’s well worth remembering that warm feet make for success on and off the battlefield.

If you work from home, or a particularly casual office, team with a pair of lined slippers for the ultimate in cosy footwear.

Proud as a peacock (in a peacoat!)

Man in a Peacoat on a boat
Image source: Neven Mrgan
Ahoy, Sailor!

Proven on the stormy high seas, a peacoat makes for a great winter warmer coat selection. Worn by mariners the world over, this woollen favourite is double breasted and slim fitting with a flare at the hip to allow seafarers to climb the rigging.

The origin of the peacoat is lost in time, but might derive from the early 18th century Dutch pijjakker, or “coat of coarse cloth”. It’s also true that the rough wool, natural oil-rich originals would have offered a degree of waterproofing as well as warmth. Whatever its origin, a peacoat is a classic winter coat style that will keep you warm whatever the weather.

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