A bomb blizzard is thwacking the East Coast all the way down to Florida right now, so if you’re not stocking up on long underwear and warm gear right now, you’re making a mistake. These next couple of weeks aren’t going to get any warmer, so we got in touch with warm-gear experts, undergarment designers, textile savants, and snowboarding stylists to come up with a list of some of the best long underwear and base layers out there. Read all about them below.
“My No. 1 recommendation for long underwear is merino wool. This is because it wicks moisture away from your body, which makes it extremely breathable and odor-resistant. It’s an active fiber that reacts to your body temperature, which will keep you warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather, making it versatile to wear all year round. Unlike traditional wool, merino is very soft and feels very nice against your skin. I have a top-three pairs.” —Sarah Savala, gear expert, Backcountry
“The last time I bought long underwear was on a freezing-cold trip to NYC, so I got the extra-warm Heattech from Uniqlo. These are super thin, so they were easy to wear under jeans and saved my built-for-70-degrees self!” —Iva Pawling, co-founder and CEO, Richer Poorer
“I know many people swear by merino wool, but I am very sensitive to wool. I like Patagonia and Athleta because both are made from polyester that feels like soft cotton, and include a silver salt application that keeps it from getting smelly. Warm, soft, and odor-free — yes, please!” —Heather Wilson, director of marketing, the Comfort Sock
“I’m pretty simple and unsexy when it comes to long underwear. I stick with men’s because I steal my husband’s. These are perfect for the cold weather because it feels like you’re wearing two extra layers of skin. Makes all the difference. They say size down for women.” —Adele Tetangco, founder, Garmentory
“I get cold very easily, so I created the technical leggings out of a frustration with bulk from layering long underwear under my trousers. I want a polished, luxe pair that’s warm enough to wear on its own, but that you wouldn’t mind being caught wearing if you, say, ran into the queen. They’re made from fine Italian merino, so they don’t feel too hot indoors, either. I am otherwise a fan of Patagonia’s Capilene thermals. Their commitment to responsible sourcing is really neat. For instance, these thermals are made from 92 percent recycled PET bottles. When you grow out of them, you donate them back to Patagonia’s Common Threads program, which would recycle them again into another new garment. Being able to recycle a garment twice or more is a big deal because it is hard to keep the fibers stable enough after multiple recycling processes.” —Carolyn Yim, designer, Ply-Knits
“I love the Uniqlo Heattech for layering because they have different warmth varieties, breathable and comfortable fabric. It’s perfect for those extremely cold winter days. I love that they have a turtleneck Heattech top as well. It doubles as a layer you can show. It is also very easy on the wallet.” —Krisana Sotelo, celebrity stylist
“Hanro makes great products. I love these because they’re not bulky under pants, and when you’re inside they don’t overheat. Bottom line, when you need to be warm running around, they’re great without constraint.” —Ashley Pruitt, celebrity stylist
“My favorite base layers the last few seasons have been from Sweaty Betty. As a snowboarder and obvious lover of fashion, we women need long underwear that are both functional and fashionable. Their heat-regulating base layers not only keep you warm under your snow gear or day-to-day looks, but also are super flattering and fashionable on their own.” —Jasmine Caccamo, celebrity stylist
“I like Patagonia because they really do work and they last. I still have pairs that I’ve had for years.” — Lauren Snyder, owner, the Primary Essentials
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