What to wear in cold, wet weather

Windy, wet, cold weather is nobody’s favorite. It makes us feel uncomfortable and it can be even depressing. This post addresses how to stay in thermal comfort and in style in cold, wet weather on windy days.

Contents
  1. Avoid to enhance the misery of windy,wet weather with your clothes
  2. How to stay warm in style
  3. Why you shouldn’t wear a down coat on a wet, rainy day
  4. Why you should add a pop of color
  5. Best outfit ideas for cold, wet winter days
  6. Wrapping up
  7. References

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

Avoid to enhance the misery of windy, wet weather with your clothes

Gray and black winter clothes enhance the miserable feeling of gray, wet winter days. The wind blows the rain or snowflakes into your face. The wet and cold creeps everywhere. As if the gray skies, gray streets, and nasty wind weren’t enough everyone at the tram station is dressed as if they are coming just out of the coal mines. Gray and black everywhere, the umbrellas, coats, anoraks, scarves, gloves, bags, shoes, boots, …, you name it. A typical winter day somewhere in mid-latitudes – it takes down everybody’s mood. Everyone looks dull, annoyed and miserable. You wonder whether it is a new contagious virus. How to up your and other people’s mood? What to do about windy, wet weather dressing wise?

fashion blogger in layered winter look with motorcycle jacketLookbook Store motorcycle leather jacket with Anne Klein turtleneck cashmere sweater, London jean boyfriend jeans styled with pearls and Kieselstein Cord belt (all own) for a warm look with pop of color on a gray winter day

over 50 years old woman in red winter coat on a gray day Pea coat with London Jean boyfriend jeans, Michael Kors camouflage wedge sneakers (all own) worn with the left outfit to up the mood by a bright color on a gray winter day

You can't change the weather, but you can change your mood. #mood #wx Click To Tweet

But you successfully can change how you dress to up your mood and make the day less miserable. Here are some tricks to do so.

How to stay warm in style

The closer the weave of a fabric is, the better it protects you from wind. My favorite fabric to keep the wind out is leather. It does not matter whether it is the outer layer (see above).

It is also important to understand that wind chills. Thus, even though it may be just around freezing (you hear the Alaskan talking here), the air feels much colder, the stronger the wind blows. Take this in mind when dressing!

A thin air layer is a great insulator. Thus, layer. For instance, a layering top under a sweater/jacket under your coat, tights under your lined pants or jeans. Boots are better than booties, longer coats better than short coats. If you hate the heavy weight of a long coat on your shoulders, go for a short coat plus insulating over-skirt (see example below). For tips how to layer posh casual on cool or windy days see the post at the link.

stylist in spring inspired winter look Jones New York signature striped cardigan with Investments mock neck cashmere sweater, Newport News leather pants, Christian Louboutin heels (all own) for a warm winter look that looks like spring

fashion book author wearing winter wind protecting outerwear Newport News leather pants under Skhoop short insulating skirt with jacket, Hunter rain boots and beret (all own) worn with the left outfit on a cold windy winter day

Why you shouldn’t wear a down coat on a wet, rainy day

Unless your feather puffer coat has a water repellent outer layer, it is not a good idea in wet weather. Recall the cold feather-beds when you slept in granny’s attic during your childhood! The feathers take up humidity. The water evaporates due to your body heat and the evaporative cooling makes you feel cold. Thus, in general, go for fabric that lets moisture go just one way – from your body to the ambient air, but not vice versa. You can find what to look for in a down coat in this post.

Why you should add a pop of color

Wearing bright colors make you feel like a gold fish in a sea of herring and make you feel good. You can achieve the same effect by creating an interesting outfit with different structures. The secret behind this kind of outfit is that when everything seems to look the same the humans’ eyes get bored and search for something different. In the moment, the eyes fall on your outfit there is an unconscious glimpse of success in the onlookers’ eyes. It makes them and you feel better than before at least for a moment. Mission accomplished!

Add a pop of color to your outfit to brighten up a cold, wet gray day. #feelinggood Click To Tweet
mature woman layering for a windy winter day Orvis suede blazer with GNW Luxe cashmere wool sweater, J Brand skinnies, Dior over-the-knee boots accessorized with silk scarf and statement necklace (all own)

style blogger in classic winter look for windy cold weather Striped winter coat(consigned) with head band, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, gloves and Dior over-the-knee boots (all own) worn with the left outfit to stay warm on a windy, cold winter day

Best outfit ideas for cold, wet winter days

Try these outfits on wet, cold winter days:

  • Long-sleeved T-shirt/layering top under flannel shirt, cardigan, winter coat with long leather gloves, leggings under lined leather pants, soft, but tightly woven scarf, wind-secure hat (e.g. beret, beanie, pompom hat), socks and booties
  • Skinny J Brand jeans with Dior over-the-knee booties, long-sleeve T-shirt under cable-knit sweater and a long coat with scarf and hat
  • Two pair of tights, skirt, boots turtleneck sweater under blazer under a long coat with gloves and hat
winter office look with waterfall cardigan Brown waterfall cashmere cardigan over Investments mock turtleneck cashmere sweater with I.N.C. leather pants, Clark booties and peacock necklace (all own)

#over50fashion woman in winter look with beret to protect from wind and wet weather Diamond leopard print jacket worn over INC leather pants accessorized with beret, gloves, fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim bag, and Clark booties (all own) worn over the outfit shown to the left

Stylist’s tip: Style your outerwear like an outfit under consideration what shows from your “indoor outfit”.

Wrapping up

Wind goes thru all gaps in your outfit. Wet weather like wind has a chill factor when temperatures are around the freezing point. Leather is great to keep the wind away, but it needs layering underneath to stay warm. Windy wet, cold weather often occurs on the west side of mid-latitude continents like western Europe, British Columbia, Washington State even Southeast Alaska, i.e. the Pacific Northwest. You can find a post devoted to the secrets of stylish dressing for Pacific Northwest weather around the seasons at the link.

When you like the style advice and tips in this post, you want for tips for all kind of dressing situations you may want to  buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Do you style your outerwear like an outfit of its own? What are your fashion and style challenges on cold, wet days? Let me know, I am curious how I can help you and add more on what you want to read more about.

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References

Mölders, N., 2019: Outdoor Universal Thermal Comfort Index Climatology for Alaska. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences9, 558-582. doi: 10.4236/acs.2019.94036.

Shulski, M. and Wendler, G. 2007: The Climate of Alaska. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks. 216 p.

Photos: G. Kramm

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