I tend to fluctuate between hot and cold all day, all year. If you’re like me, forget this post and try this one instead. If you’re someone who’s always freezing no matter the season and just longs for hot summer days, read on for tips to stay cozy year-round.
Fabric and fibre choice
First off, a quick distinction between fibres and fabrics. A fibre is what is used to create the fabric your garment is made of. Different fibres have different properties. Some are naturally warm, some are naturally more or less breathable, some are even somewhat water repellant. That’s why that big cozy looking acrylic sweater isn’t as warm as your thin wool one. Wool is naturally warm so if you aren’t bothered by the itch factor and you like to be cozy, wool might just be your fave fibre.
Here are my top warm fibres to search out if you’re always chilled:
Wool from sheep (merino is my fave,) rabbits (angora,) goats (cashmere and mohair,) or muskoxen (qiviut)
Silk (this one might not make sense to you, but hear me out. It’s a great insulator so wear it under your sweater for added warmth!)
Hemp (this antimicrobial and antibacterial fibre is also a great insulator)
Nylon (this durable, water resistant man made fibre is often used in sporty outerwear because of its easy care and versatility.)
If you want to geek out on fibres some more, check out this article, where I go into more depth about the properties of many commonly used fibres.
Many fabrics are woven in such a way as to create warmth not naturally occurring in the fibre used to produce them.
Here are my top cozy fabrics made from these( and other) fibres:
Fleece (think of this as a wool knit wannabe. It was created to mimic the properties of wool, but is lighter weight and dries quickly. Even though it’s usually made from polyester, it’s very warm and is a great choice for exercising.)
Sweatshirt weight fleece (I love the bamboo or Tencel blend fleece I use for many of my layering pieces like the Helluva Sweater and Helluva Vest as well as the Jeannie Jogger and Sabine Tunic.)
French terry (I use bamboo/cotton and Tencel/cotton French terry A LOT. It is cozy enough to give you a little warmth without making you feel sweaty so it’s a great option for cooler summer mornings and evenings. It’ll bring you into fall and works well for layering even in the coldest months. I wear my Ramine maxi skirt throughout the summer and into fall. The French terry Pippa shrug is great for layering year round.) I often carry the same fabric in merino wool/cotton for an even cozier option.
Faux fur (Not nearly as warm as real fur of course, but still cozy, if not very multi-seasonal!)
Flannel (This is a great example of a fabric weave that can make a summer fibre warmer for winter wear. Cotton can be woven into a flannel to feel much warmer than your cotton dress shirt. Not all flannels are created equal. As you might expect, the thicker it is, the warmer it’ll feel. For the coziest flannel, try a wool flannel.)
Corduroy (Just like flannel, corduroy is a thick weave so a cotton corduroy will feel much warmer than a cotton chino)
Instead of one thick layer, try multiple thinner layers to keep toasty warm. The benefit of layering is that you have layers to remove if the weather fluctuates and you start to feel too warm. Just use your newfound fibre knowledge and layer smart! Start with a breathable long sleeve layer of silk, Tencel, bamboo or a super cozy feeling wicking poly fabric like this Meghan top. Add a vest like the Bonnie or the Helluva Vest (yes, really! Vests should be worn by everyone in my opinion. Don’t underestimate how much warming your core will raise your body temperature. You don’t always need extra layers on your sleeves. If that’s still not warm enough for you, try a lightweight sweater or jacket like the Faye jacket or Helluva sweater as a middle layer.