Its the middle of winter, and some of you already live in a snowy-area, and there are some of you that don't. Either way, if you're going to be traveling as an athlete during winter, or you want to take advantage of wearing your comfortable athletic layers, then having the right winter clothing as an athlete will be critical. These are the winter essentials an athlete never leaves the house without:
Having layers for cold weather helps you stay comfortable and prepared for all different types of weather. You give yourself the opportunity to add or subtract as the weather gets warmer or cooler.
First, the base layer is the layer that is closest to your skin. This layer is about managing moisture so you're most comfortable throughout the day. If you choose a base layer that is made with synthetic or moisture wicking material, it will not hold moisture like cotton will. I have certainly made the mistake of thinking a thicker cotton tee or long sleeve would keep me warm. If I am perspiring at all, a cotton tee and sports bra will hold all the moisture in and keep me cold. Above, I am wearing a long sleeve by Lululemon that is called the Yogini 5 year Long Sleeve (find here) made of a lycra blend fabric made for moisture-wicking. I even choose to go with a non-cotton sports bra by Athleta with the same properties. This long-sleeve tee is great for warmth and easily transforms for any venue, not just sports!
I also throw on my favorite buff that you can wear as a neck warmer, over your face, as a head band, and even more! They are AMAZING!
Your second layer should be your insulating layer. A sweater made of great materials for keeping in the warmth. Wool and down or a synthetic down are great for keeping you warm. The one I am wearing is by Avalanche and is made of poly. It may not be the best for keeping me warm, but I do love the length and how this sweater buttons high and slouchy up on the neck, or I can unbutton and lay it flat to ventilate if i get too hot. I will definitely be in the market for a sweater layer that keeps in the warmth better than this one day. But for now, this one is great. I really take my time looking for good pieces that will last.
Your last layer will be for weather protection. It should zip in all that warm goodness you put on before, and then protect you from wind, rain, and snow. Hoods are a must-have, and I am a big fan of a hip length jacket. This one is also by Lululemon called the Fleecy Keen Jacket (find similar here). It zips high up the neck so the hood fits tightly down on your head for fierce winds. It also has thumb holes and additional fabric that covers your fingers like mittens!
Pants shoes accessories
Finding a light weight legging that can fit under form fitting pants is so huge! With technology today, there are so many options with warm leggings that dont take up the space of older thick "long johns" of the past. I am wearing Uniqlo's Heattech leggings in dark gray (find them here) underneath my waterproof pants layer by Columbia that cinches at the bottom to prevent any water or snow from getting your feet wet! Wool socks are a must have in my book, as well as ankle high boots. These ones are by Nike and were made for the Winter Olympic Team athletes. Hat and gloves are your own discretion :)
The most important thing to remember is that this is not about enticing you to get out and by a whole new winter wardrobe. Most likely, you already have a few pieces like this in your closet. I have used many of my dry-fit clothing for workout as my base layer, and the sports bras are the same ones I use at wrestling practice that wick sweat away. Start your search for one or two pieces that you can really invest in that will last you years. Try to not make the mistake of buying something in fast fashion because its cheaper and you can get it immediate. Save your money and take time seeking out great brands that that look classic, wear well, wash well, and you can wear for years!