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I’m a fair weather kinda gal. I can’t stand extreme cold temperatures and lots of messy snow, but you’ll also hear me complain about the heat of summer. Give me mild spring or fall weather (not too rainy), and I’m happy as a clam. Too bad the fall and winter seasons don’t last very long in Central Pennsylvania where I call home. Maybe some day I can be a snowbird and stay someplace nice all winter (I can dream, right?!). Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m often the coldest person in the room, so winters are especially hard on me. If you’re like me and need some help getting through the harsh weather extremes of winter, these Cold Weather Clothing Hacks are exactly what you need to protect you from the coldest weather and keep you warm all season.
For more ingenious ways to stay warm this fall + winter, check out Stylish Upcycled Sweater Projects You’ll Love.
Cold Weather Clothing Hacks That Will Make This Winter So Much Easier
WARM YOUR CLOTHES
Who doesn’t love the feel of clothes taken straight from the dryer – especially when it’s cold outside? Seinfeld’s Kramer may have looked ridiculous heating his clothes in a pizza oven, but he had the right idea – even if his execution was a little off. The rest of us can achieve the same warmth – and much less scorching – by placing our clothes in the dryer for a couple minutes before putting them on.
WEAR NATURAL FIBER HATS TO PREVENT HAT HAIR
Knitted hats made of natural fibers like cashmere and wool help prevent dreaded hat hair, whereas synthetic fibers encourage it.
WEAR YOUR SCARF FOR ULTIMATE WARMTH
Yes, you can be stylish and stay warm at the same time with this tutorial that shows you two ways to tie a scarf for ultimate warmth.
From Style by Joules
Sweaters take up loads of room when stored in drawers. You might want to stack them in your closet, but those stacks can easily fall and make a huge mess – and more work for you! I find that hanging my sweaters is the simplest, neatest way to store them, but hanging sweaters the usual way can stretch the fibers and form bumps on the shoulders. This hang-fold method prevents those unsightly bumps and is the perfect way to store your sweaters to keep them looking great!
From One Good Thing
REMOVE SWEATER PILLS EFFORTLESSLY
Washing your sweaters on the gentle cycle or hand washing and air drying are the best ways to prevent your sweaters from pilling, but even with the best care, all sweaters pill at least somewhat. There are a few ways you can remove these tiny, unwanted balls of fabric. If you frequently wear sweaters, you may want to invest in an Electric Sweater Shaver. Sweater Stones also work great for less money. You can also try a disposable razor – just be careful not to cut your sweater or yourself!
UNSHRINK A SWEATER
No matter how careful we are in caring for our clothes, accidents can still happen. Luckily, even if you shrink your sweater, natural fibers like wool, cashmere, mohair, and alpaca can be stretched back to normal size. Synthetic, man-made fibers like acrylic and polyester have less ability to stretch, but it still wouldn’t hurt to try this method before discarding your favorite sweater.
If you pull your sweater out of the washer and realize it’s shrunken – DON’T PUT IT IN THE DRYER! If you do, it’ll probably stay small with no hope of stretching it out.
To stretch out your sweater, fill a sink or bathtub with enough water to soak the sweater, and add two tablespoons of baby shampoo or fabric softener. I like to use all natural products in my home, so I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Baby Soap. Let the sweater soak for around 30 minutes, which should loosen the fibers enough to allow for stretching.
Remove the sweater from the water mixture, and squeeze it gently to remove excess water. Don’t wring out the sweater – you want it to maintain its shape. Lie the sweater flat on a clean towel, and roll it up in the towel to remove even more water. Then, lie the sweater flat, carefully stretch it uniformly, and shape it into its original size and shape. Once you’re done stretching the sweater, lay it flat to dry.
This method usually works, but it’s not a sure thing. If you absolutely can’t save your sweater, you can continue to wash it to make felt fabric for crafts, or try some Upcycled Sweater Projects.
WEAR MITTENS INSTEAD OF GLOVES
Mittens keep your hands warmer than gloves because the skin-to-skin contact between fingers helps spread and hold in warmth. However, mittens can make it more difficult to do things with your hands and fingers, so if you really can’t bear to wear mittens, at least make sure to buy double knit or fleece lined gloves. Make your own stylish mittens from an old sweater with this easy tutorial.
WEAR TIGHTS UNDER YOUR PANTS
Depending on how tight you wear your pants, you can fit tights, long underwear, or even leggings under your trousers for an extra layer to protect your skin from the cold and keep you warm this winter. For outdoor chores, I like to wear a pair of oversized jeans with my tight workout pants, which makes chores like snow removal and tending to my chickens much more bearable even in the coldest temperatures!
WEAR WARM SOCKS
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but many people (including me) opt for cheaper socks to save money when the more expensive socks can be a better option. I typically buy inexpensive packs of socks from Wal Mart. These socks are fine for most of the year, but when it’s really cold outside, they just don’t keep my feet warm enough. Conversely, it can be hard to lay down $10+ for one pair of socks – but, believe it or not, these prices are totally worth it.
I have super nice, warm socks from Keen, Woolrich, Smartwool, and more. They cost more, but they last a lot longer and keep my feet much warmer, too, which makes them totally worth the extra money. I’m lucky enough to live close to the Woolrich flagship store in McElhattan, PA, so I can get Woolrich brand socks and some other brands at good discounts there. Such discounts can also be had in stores and online if you keep a lookout. Keen has wonderful off season sock sales. I took advantage of this several years ago, and all my socks are still in great condition despite regular use!
PRO TIP 1: I like to wear men’s hunting socks when it’s super cold outside. Since men’s socks are too big for my feet, the long hunting socks go clear up to my knees providing ultimate warmth and protection. Women’s socks don’t tend to go that high on me, and it can be difficult to find thick knee socks for women.
PRO TIP 2: If your thick socks are sinking into your shoes (this happens to me a lot with those oversized men’s hunting socks), wear a pair of thin ankle socks underneath to keep them in place.
LINE YOUR SHOES
Wearing warm socks in winter is helpful, but you can also line your shoes with Wool Felt, an old sweater, or another fabric to help make your feet even warmer!
From Krazy Coupon Lady
WATERPROOF YOUR SHOES
Even the warmest socks in the world won’t keep your feet warm when your shoes are wet! Waterproof your shoes with All Natural Beeswax to help keep your feet dry and warm this winter. This is an especially great option for canvas shoes that normally get soaked in wet conditions. Make sure your shoes are clean before you start – you don’t want to seal in dirt. Then, simply rub beeswax on the outside of your shoes. Heat the applied wax with a hairdryer to ensure it gets in all the fibers, cracks, and crevices. Let your shoes sit for at least 5 minutes to set.
I like to use a Beeswax Bar for this so that I can just rub the bar directly on my shoes, but you can use beeswax pastilles, too. Just melt the pastilles in a wax warmer, and apply the melted wax to your shoes with a toothbrush. You still want to use the hairdryer for a good seal.
PRO TIP: I don’t recommend this hack for suede shoes – I think it would ruin their appearance. If you’re worried about how it will look, you can always test a small, hidden spot on your shoes before covering the entire shoe.
EASY DIY BOOT SHAPERS
Keep tall boots organized and looking great by stuffing them with inexpensive pool noodles!
I hope these 12 Cold Weather Clothing Hacks make winter weather suck a little less this year! Even though I complain, winter can be beautiful and a great time to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and more – just be sure to dress appropriately, so you stay safe and warm! For more great cold weather clothing ideas, see Stylish Upcycled Sweater Projects Anyone Can Make.
I would love to hear from you!
What do you think of these Cold Weather Clothing Hacks? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.