Competitive layering

competitive winter clothing layering illustration

As you well know, the key to staying warm in very cold weather is layering. But in these cold, competitive times are you willing to stand idly by while your co-workers or neighbors out layer you?

No, you are not. To that end, here is a competitive layering metric to help you accurately score the way you've deployed your winter clothing.

A high score will definitively prove you have out layered the crowd. And that you're warm.

Award yourself 5 points for: Each layer you are wearing.

Award yourself 5 points for:
+ Wearing a hat.
+ Wearing boots.
+ Wearing something on your hands.

Award yourself 2 points each for:
+ Wearing a synthetic or wool base layer. Because you know that cotton won't be keep you warm if gets wet or damp. ("Radiant Orchid" may be the color of 2014, but wool is the new black.)
+ Wearing mittens. (Add 1 more bonus point if you do so proudly and without reservation. Because you're not ashamed to have warm hands.)
+ Wearing glove liners under your mittens. Because sometimes you need to exhibit some measure of manual dexterity.
+ A scarf.
+ A zip-able second outer layer. Because shoveling works up a sweat.
+ Wearing some sort of outer pants that are not jeans. Fact: Few people truly look hot in skinny jeans -- even fewer look warm in them.
+ Wearing synthetic or wool socks. See above about cotton. (Add 1 bonus point for wearing two pairs of socks.)
+ Waterproof footwear.
+ Those YakTrax things that keep you from slipping on the ice.

Award yourself 1 bonus point each for:
+ An especially dorky hat. Concerned you are not by hat hair.
+ A shamelessly bulky or un-chic scarf.
+ Covered ears.
+ Wearing a balaclava. But: Subtract a point if it's a creepy balaclava. Noted: Most balaclavas will be a wash in points.

Subtract points for:
+ Animal fur. Even if the fur is from a loyal (and very warm) companion. (10)
+ Uggs. (2)
+ A sweater with any sort of reindeer on it. (2)
+ A Snuggie. (5)
+ Not being able to put your arms down. (5)

Special 50-point super bonus for:
+ Just wearing whatever does the job and keeps you warm, not worrying about what you look like.

Comments

Well, without the 50-point super bonus, I scored a 77. Since my battered old leather jacket has kept me surprisingly warm despite its looks, I claimed the bonus, too. Nothing I wear is particularly fashionable or coordinated, but I never complain that I'm cold.

I was totally rocking all the layers. I got all the points! I went to the park. I walked too fast and got super sweaty. Definitely lost points for failure to regulate.

45! I'm Queen of the Snow Dorks.

I'm guessing my hideous rabbit fur-lined bomber hat would be worth 40. Does my reflective construction worker safety vest count for another 50? It should. I'd like to call my winter look: ugly but alive.

If im adding correctly, I think I was at 54 points while shoveling today. Thermal pants were probably my greatest discovery this year.

I scored a respectable 53, I think. And, I should get bonus points for not looking like this:

http://www.getbig.com/boards/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=449394.0;attach=493967;image

I hate to ask but are wool socks some kind of luxury item these days?
We cannot find reasonably priced non-itchy wool socks anywhere. Even Eddie Bauer has let me down: $12 pair of socks, really?
Any suggestions?

@ Lu: For affordable, good quality, name-brand wool socks, (both men's and women's), try TJ Maxx. I've gotten many great pairs there from about $4.99 to $6.99.

Synthetics will wick away perspiration but will do nothing for you if they become wet from the elements. Stick with wool for warmth using a liner or inner layer to prevent itchiness.

Thinking back to those very cold days last week, I got a 62! Plus some sort of partial bonus because I looked like a complete dork. I'll give myself five extra points.

@ Lu

Too late for this year, but next year in late October - November look for good quality wool socks at Ocean State Job Lot. I got a couple pairs if nice thick Merino wool socks for $4 each this fall.

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