Two Pairs of Long Underwear is Not Enough!

Friday, January 7, 2011
Last week, the temperatures crept above freezing and the skies let loose with a slug of rain. As the sloppy mix of precipitation fell from the sky, apparently the weather checked out the calendar and determined it was, indeed, still winter. The rain turned to snowflakes and just like that we had a fresh eight inches of snow. Now this week, temperatures are hanging out around the 0F mark.

Apparently the weather has been consulting the calendar, but I can't be bothered. Yesterday  I headed out to the mailbox with jeans on. (Fear not, I had plenty of other warm clothing on: hats, mittens, down vest, down jacket, boots too.)  Remember all those cotton commercials with people hopping around in cotton clothing, looking as fresh and sunny as if they'd just danced off the clothesline? Those commercials were so summery because cotton is not designed for winter -- at least not if you live north of the Mason-Dixon line. That ol' north wind whistled right my cotton jeans for the duration of my short little walk yesterday.

You may remember from my earlier post, the Northwoods Puritan  that I typically leave the house wearing this:

Yep, that's a lot of down and a lot of wool.

One of the hardest things about returning to your hometown (homeland?) is having to come to terms with some of your assumptions about the place. It's really easy to head down the rabbit hole of "hey, I grew up here. I know how to handle this winter stuff." Although I did not go far away for college, during those four years away, I developed some funny winter dressing habits. Namely: "I'll just throw on this winter jacket and just run from heated building to heated building rather than dress weather appropriately." Last winter was an exercise in relearning how to dress for winter and saw me acquire a pair of L.L. Bean wool pants and a second pair of long underwear. Last winter I learned wool pants are an article of miracle clothing that will keep you the perfect temperature be it 30F or -20F.  Worth the fashion faux-pas? Oh heck yes.

And this winter? This first honest to goodness "real" winter in who knows how long?

This winter I have learned that two pairs of long underwear is simply not enough.

Wool pants are itchy and I cannot wear them without a pair of long underwear on first. I treat my wool pants like snow pants: they don't get washed a whole lot. However, the underwear I treat like any other article of clothing: it requires regular washing.  

Except we don't have laundry capabilities at the cabin.  I don't want to wear my long underwear for a week straight. That's kind of gross. And to be honest, sometimes I just get tired of wearing loden green wool pants day in and day out.

Still, not a big fan of freezing my tushy off.

Today, as the sun rises, it's 0F outside. Looks like wool pants and long underwear weather to me. Not even going to think about putting on jeans.

How do you keep warm in the winter months? 


  1. Brrrr it's extra cold out today! I wear tights/leggings under my pants in the winter. I started doing this when I started walking to work, and now I can't stand the feel of winter denim on my legs without a barrier :)

    I also have an Elmer Fudd style hat I bring out for the colder days. It's pretty awesome!

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