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The Best Clothes for Cold Weather

December 15, 2023

While we've been enjoying an unusually mild December here in Minnesota, it's only a matter of time before our weather gets colder. Bracing ourselves for chilly winter often means layering in warm clothing before stepping outdoors.

When heading outside with your recipient of care, knowing how to choose the right clothes for cold weather is essential so everyone can stay snug and healthy. Let's talk about what to wear on a cold day!

How to Dress for Cold Weather

Dress in Layers

When choosing clothes for cold weather, layering is your best friend. Layers allow for the removal or addition of clothing based on temperature changes or physical activity.

Consider these three fundamental stages:

  • Start with an inner layer of wool, silk, or polypropylene. These fabrics hold more body heat than cotton and don't absorb moisture.
  • The middle layer is the insulation layer. Wear wool, down, or fleece clothing to isolate heat by trapping air close to your body. Keep legs warm in winter with fleece tights underneath pants.
  • For the outer layer, opt for tightly woven, water and wind-resistant materials to reduce loss of body heat.

Wear a Hat, Scarf, and Mittens

The head, hands, and feet are often the first to feel the cold. Opt for a high-quality winter hat and choose scarves or knit masks that cover the face and neck. Regarding hands, REI reports that mittens generally keep hands warmer than gloves since our fingers generate more heat when they're not separated by fabric.

Keep Feet Warm and Dry

Choose foot protection that is going to keep heat in and moisture out. Socks made of wool or fleece are designed to keep feet very warm. Choose water-resistant boots with a good grip to deter slips and falls on icy surfaces.

Avoid Overheating

Dressing for cold weather is all about balance. While you need to protect yourself and your recipients of care from the cold, avoid sweating, as it can make you lose heat faster. Adjust layers to match the temperature and the level of activity.

Watch for Signs of Overexposure

Awareness of the signs of overexposure to cold weather is critical to ensure safety during freezing weather, especially when outside for longer durations. These signs include:

  • Continuous shivering
  • Exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness

When these signs are present, it is best to get indoors and warm up, as these could be indicators of hypothermia.

Remember, certain activities and conditions during cold weather might not be advisable for everyone, especially those with particular health conditions. Be mindful when planning outdoor activities or considering what to wear during a cold day. Take precautions, and when in doubt, stay indoors.

Stay Connected

At Best Care, we understand your focus on ensuring the safety and well-being of your loved ones and yourself. That's why we are ready to assist you with any questions or concerns related to family caregiving. Stay warm and safe!


Young child wrapped in snow gear to play outside in snow.
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