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Best tips for kitting yourself out for winter

21st October 2020

Winter is just around the corner and as the temperatures begin to drop and the weather takes a turn for the worst, you will need to swap out your summer clothing for your thermals and warmer clothes.

As you get older, changes in your body can make you feel colder more often, and this can mean that you develop health problems caused by the cold weather. This can include things like hypothermia, respiratory problems and frostbite and cold snaps have been found to increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

The clothes you wear can make a big difference to your temperature and it is therefore vital that you are wearing appropriate clothing for this time of year. It is not just clothing for outdoors that you will need as older people who suffer from mobility issues and need stair lifts for the elderly may spend most of their time at home, especially with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing. That is why wearing the appropriate clothing at home as well as outdoors is vital.

Read on for tips on what new clothing you should consider buying to protect you from the elements this winter.

A raincoat

When it comes to the British weather, one thing is for certain, there will always be a high chance of rain during the winter months. That is why people like to invest in a warm raincoat so they can enjoy the UK’s great outdoors whilst remaining dry and warm.

Josephine Lalwan, who runs the fashion and beauty blog Chic At Any Age, highly recommends people buy a new raincoat.

“I would recommend that you invest in a good quality raincoat. If you can find one with a detachable warm lining all the better. If not, a good trick is to wear a sleeveless padded gilet underneath for an extra layer of warmth.

“I would recommend the raincoat because whatever the weather it is good to get some fresh air at least once a day if possible. It helps to boost our immune system as well as our mood.”

Hiking boots or waterproof footwear

It isn’t much fun having cold and wet feet, but fortunately, winter hiking boots have evolved over the past 10 years and are now lighter weight and more comfortable than ever before.

The days of choosing between military surplus boots, plastic mountaineering boots or heavy walking boots are gone as nowadays there are waterproof and breathable boots available to buy.

Josephine Lalwan recommends buying some boots ahead of winter: “I would recommend a pair of water restart boots. I’d recommend the boots because they help to keep our feet dry and warm.”

According to Trek Addict some popular hiking boots and waterproof shoes are:

  • Karrimor Bodmin Mid IV Weathertite Men's Shoes
  • Regatta Men's Holcombe Iep Mid High Rise Hiking Boots
  • Hi-Tec Men's Eurotrek Lite Wp High Rise Hiking Boots
  • La Sportiva Trango (women’s)
  • Scarpa Zodiac Plus Gore-Tex Boots (women’s)
  • Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX (women’s)

Slippers and thermal socks

Being at home can get cold during the winter months and it is therefore essential that people have warm clothes and footwear that they can put on.

Slippers and thermal socks are great for keeping your feet warm and comfortable, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Experts have revealed that wearing slippers can decrease your risk of catching colds and the flu. In an article on Footfiles, Dr Ron Eccles, director of Cardiff University's Common Cold Centre, said: “Chilling the feet causes blood vessels in the nose to constrict. It’s a protective reflex action which slows down the loss of heat from the body, to try to keep you warm.

“The skin goes white, the inside of your nose and throat goes white and blood flow to the nose is reduced. The white cells that fight infection are found in the blood, so then there are fewer white cells to fight the virus.”

Other benefits of wearing slippers include:

  • Slippers can prevent household accidents - most slippers have a bit of grip on the soles which can reduce slips and falls.
  • Slippers can reduce fungal infections - there’s a reason spas hand out slippers to guests who are visiting the pool, sauna and other public areas of the facility. Slippers act as a comfy protective agent against communicable foot diseases like athlete’s foot and toenail fungus infections.

A scarf

There is a lot more to scarfs than just being a fashion accessory. The changes of the seasons can often lead to colds, aches and pains, but instead of looking for an over-the-counter remedy, you might just need a simple scarf.

The neck is one of the most vulnerable areas in the wintertime and wearing a large scarf can be your best protection for your neck and chest. It can also be used to cover your nose and mouth to protect your face from the cold.

According to Vision Times scarfs can help with aches and pains: “A warm scarf dilates the blood vessels of the muscles surrounding the neck and shoulders. It increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, alleviating aches and pains in the neck and shoulder area while helping to heal damaged muscles.”

Thermal underwear and base layers

If you don’t wear a base layer in cold weather, then this could be at the top of many people’s shopping list as it can increase your overall body temperature and help you stay warm even in the coldest of weather.

This is something that Josephine Lalwan also recommends: “Thermal underwear is an economical way to add an extra non-bulky layer under sweaters etc.”

You might not need to buy new thermals as there might be clothing that you can use as thermals already in your wardrobes.

“I always advise my readers to shop their wardrobes before making a purchase. It is amazing how many different outfits you can create by mixing and matching the clothes that you already own in different ways,” says Josephine Lalwan.

Thermal long underwear can be really useful as some people not only wear them around the house but outdoors underneath other clothing and even when they go to bed.

Sweatshirt or fleece

A pullover or zip-up fleece is another item of clothing that is great for keeping people warm during cold weather and there are lots of great brands available online.

If you don’t want a fleece, then a zip-front sweatshirt might be a better option as it is casual and comfortable enough to wear lounging around the house or can be worn outdoors underneath a coat or jacket.

If you don’t want to buy a sweatshirt, then something that you could consider making at home is a woollen jumper. Karen, the blogger behind Did You Make That, has written about fabrics that can keep you warm and she thinks wool is a great option.

“And on the topic of wool … any wool is good for this time of year, though you’re looking at trips to the dry cleaners. I’ve even been known to make wool dresses.”

There are lots of different types of clothing that you can buy and to recap, here are just some of the clothes you might want to consider buying ahead of the winter months:

  • A raincoat
  • Hiking boots or waterproof footwear
  • Slippers and thermal socks
  • A scarf
  • Thermal underwear and base layers
  • Sweatshirt or fleece

If you find you don’t get outdoors as much because of coronavirus and are shielding or that you struggle with mobility problems and rely on stairlifts to help you get about, then some of these items of clothing are great for keeping you warm at home as well.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.