A Lil about me 😀
Thermal wear, base layers, winter innerwear, or even long johns. I have so many names and have been around for a long long time. You guys like me because I am soft, comfortable and keep you warm and dry during those cold winter days. Now that the temperature is dropping again and you are making travel plans (hopefully not just plans :D), I believe that I am going to be out of those dusty cupboards and back to life again. But I also know that many of you have a lot of questions about me, so here is me honouring your wishes and answering 5 of the most googled questions about me aka thermals B-)
For those who don’t know me, the Cambridge dictionary says that I am that piece of clothing worn under your other clothes, that is designed to keep you warm and dry. I am the first article of clothing in the winter layering system, so it is important to choose me wisely. As I am the closest layer to your skin, I am also called winter innerwear or thermal underwear or body warmers. Alright, now that we are all on the same page, let us go to the questions.
1. How many layers should you wear in the winter?
Hmm. Good question. See, it all depends on your body’s resistance to cold. If you have a thick skin like me, you might survive with just me and any of my sibling layers. But if you are one of those people who is not a fan of the cold, well, let’s say you will need a lot of my family members.
To keep things simple for you kids, let me divide my family into 3 – base layer (me), mid-layer (my immediate brother) and the outer layer (she is the eldest and the toughest). You can also include my cousins, accessories, to your layering system as they play a major part in keeping you warm as well.
Not to bore you with my family tree, but if you want to understand how many of us you need, you will have to know more about us. So, bear with me for a while.
As I mentioned before I am the closest layer to your skin so I mainly have two roles. One is to keep you warm and the other is to ensure that you are dry from all and any kind of wetness including sweat. How do I do that? Well, like most of my family members in clothes for the winter season, my superpower is my fabric. I am usually made out of fabrics that are high water absorbent and quick dry. If I lack in any of these departments what happens is that you will either feel cold or worse, I will be damp. How is that bad? The answer my dear is that when I’m damp your body will be moist when your body is moist you will feel even colder and will start shivering. And not to forget the itchiness you will have from me drenched with sweat clinging to your body. And trust me, neither you nor I want to be that uncomfortable! So you see, my fabric DNA is really important.
Next comes the mid-layer. As the name suggests he is the middle layer and his job is to provide insulation for your body. He ensures that your body heat does not escape outside. Then comes my sister. She is the outer layer and her job is to protect all of us including your body from the weather. She is tough and acts as a barrier to wind, water, and snow depending on the weather.
Now coming back to the question of the number of layers. You would need me if the temperature drops below 15°C. Depending on the weather, add my sister in the form of a jacket. If the weather drops below 10°C you can add one or more of the mid-layers between Sis and me, depending on your resistance to cold. So that’s 3-4 of us now.
If it is anything below 5°C, apart from us, you will have to call my cousins as well (you might need them even when it’s 10°C, but below 5°C is a must). There are gloves, socks, scarves, and a bunch of others. So yes, depending on your comfort level you can experiment with mid-layers and accessories.
2. What should I wear under my 10-degree temperature?
Uhh, kids these days!! I am guessing what you meant to ask google is about how you should dress when the temperature dips below 10°C.
So as I said before, it mainly depends on your body’s insulating capacity, but since you were very particular, let me be particular as well.
First of all, below 10°C is not very specific, so as let me divide it into two ranges
(1) Anything from 10°C to 5°C and below 5°C:
In this range weather is such that you have started feeling the chill, most of you might enjoy it, but hey, I have seen some who really dislike it as well! Okay coming back, as always you have to start with me: your trusty base layer! Here since the temperature is decreasing you might have to be careful while choosing my fabric DNA as well. I would say go for a wool-blend or a pure wool version. It’s your choice!
You can add a mid-layer in the form of a hoodie. If you want you can add a based on how cold you are.
In case you want to keep it light and stylish, opt for adding my sister (jacket) to protect you from the weather and my cousins. They are cool and colourful. Gloves, socks, and scarves protect h so you would be warm.
(2) Anything below 5°C: you will be shivering and you can expect snow. Here, you need me in performance mode, so the woollen fabric is the best thermal wear for snow in India. If you have warm and comfy merino wool thermal, the better. Also, you might need 4-6 of my siblings here to make sure you are properly insulated.
Here is a family secret for you: the key to staying warm, without overheating and bulky layers is to opt for the right fabrics for the temperatures. Many humans make the mistake of layering only the torso part of their bodies and then complaining as they shiver! My sibling and I have many avatars. Choose us in performance and multifunctional modes for the best results!
3. Is merino wool the best base layer?
Ooh… This is getting juicy. I am not being partial or anything but let’s be honest here-Wool is one of the warmest materials in the market and Merino wool is considered as one of the best kinds of wool sourced from the Merino sheep.
What makes me partial to the merino wool thermals is mainly three reasons:
First, is that they are made of extremely fine fibres. When I say fine I am talking about 18 microns diameter and about 70mm length. How does that affect you? Well, the thinner the fibres are the more insulated you are. These extra thin fibres make it impossible for heat to escape and make sure you are soft and comfy.
Second, is that they are very soft and smooth. Now now, the layer closest to your skin, the. Merino wool’s inherent texture allows me to be skin-friendly for those with sensitive skin. Third, is that merino wool blends well with other fabrics to produce cool and enhanced designs avatars of me. No more dreary colours and basic heating properties. In addition to the classic colours of skin and black, I can now be in an array of colours -that too with enhanced properties like quick-dry, lightweight, climate calibrated and so on. So, of course, merino wool is my latest fave. Followed closely by Merino × Bamboo blend!
4. Can you wear a base layer by itself?
Okay, so I have the most interesting answer to this question. For a long time, I was considered plain and boring. Something you guys are forced to wear because I keep you warm. But guess what? Kosha has come up with this brilliant innovation wherein they find a mixture of Bamboo and Merino Wool(yes, you read it correctly) that makes me more colourful, bright, lightweight, temperature regulating and I can also be worn as a T-shirt (I am so excited!!!). I just got upgraded into a two in one winter T-shirt for men and women that you can now wear on the outside!. If you are going on a winter trip, you can use me as your plain old base layer by covering me up, but when it’s warm and the sun is shining, you can show off my new version without having to feel awkward. Did I tell you that I am available in a number of eye-catching colours and am everyone’s favourite now? (No shade to my siblings – love them just the same, in fact – Kosha has been decking them out with cool features too. Check them out here).
5. What are the best cold weather thermals?
Alright, so here comes the last and most sought after question. It’s not a tough question but it is one that needs a lot of input from the one who is wearing it. So let me give you a number of features that would define my quality and you can choose.
The first factor that affects my quality would of course be the fabric I am made of. As you know I have a partiality towards merino wool thermals but I am also available in wool blends, cotton, and synthetic fabric.
The next feature that you want to look into is the occasion or intent of your wearing. If your day is planned with hot cocoa and a beautiful book curled up near the fireplace then your focus is on warmth but if you are planning adventurous winter sports, then you need me to be more temperature-regulating and need to wick off the sweat fast. So keep that in mind.
The third feature I want you to be aware of is the weight. See, you wear me inside your normal clothes, so you do not want me to weigh you down. I am supposed to be light and comfortable.
If you find something that satisfies all these conditions, go for it, because it would be the best winter wear brand.
So there you go, I have answered 5 of the most sought after questions about me. But before I wrap up, I have a tiny request for you guys. I do not enjoy harming this wonderful world nor any living beings for my production. So, if possible, try to make me as sustainable, as eco-conscious, and as cruelty-free as possible. I know you will honour my request. Talk to you later 😀
This article was written by Kosha Team member: Reshma Rajendran
Till next time!