Fashionable Fabrics That Keep Us Warm

by Dominique Fernandez

Winter is nearing us, and those who don’t live too close to the equator (like myself) are starting to feel the cold! Brrr. It’s definitely time to bring out the gloves, double pair of socks, tights, scarves, coats, and ear muffs. However, before you do, there are a few fashion tips to keep in mind regarding the fabrics that are meant to keep you warm and the ones that won’t. Too often I’ve been asked why wearing jeans won’t keep someone cold – or what’s the absolute best fabric for repelling the cold? Here’s some of these fashion secrets, along with great cold weather finds for your closet!

1. It All Starts At The Fibers

Anyone who has studied fashion design, myself included, has at some point studied Textile Science. It’s probably one of the hardest subjects, but one of the most helpful. Here I learned in depth the importance of not only textiles, but also the fibers. Before absolutely anything, we have the fibers that are used to make fabrics. These are what will determine the properties of a fabric. Is it absorbent? Will it light up in flames? Does it have a good hand? And most importantly, will it keep me warm? So, what are the fabrics with the best warmth- producing fibers?

2. Stay Away From Denim

Well, you don’t really have to stay away from denim altogether, but I can assure that wearing only your favorite pair of jeans this Winter won’t keep you warm. Why? Denim is made of cotton! And cotton just so happens to have great absorbency which is only convenient when it’s hot. Its poor insulation makes it hard to dry once it’s wet. My advice is that if you do want to wear a denim piece, (which many do) layer it with thermal-like pieces. Also, if you’re freaking out because you’re also realizing that most of your clothes are cotton…

3. Wool, Polyester, and Fleece

Wool and polyester are actually fibers, while fleece is a fabric, but these are the top three keywords to look out for when shopping for Winter clothing. They’re the definite go-to’s that will keep you nice and toasty. For the most part, each are meant to provide durability, great insulation, and the right resistance for harsh weather.

Fabrics to consider:

Uniqlo Ultra Light Down Parka


This parka, along with everything else by Uniqlo, is one of my favorite options when it starts pouring or the temperature drops. It’s quite a unique garment, since it’s actually so lightweight and thin that you can fold it and pack into the small pouch it comes in. You can basically carry it with you at all times! But how can such a lightweight garment keep you warm? Thanks to its awesome Japanese Heattech technology ($69.90).

Ellen Tracy Petite Wool Blend Swing Coat


There are always great looking coats at Lord & Taylor that are simple, yet fashionable. This particular one, done in a wool/polyester blend, is in the classic black or brown, allowing you to match it with any outfit. It has a funnel neckline, button closure, and pockets ($350)!

Columbia Women’s Fast Trek Vest


Winter vests are quite the trend this year, and what better vest to buy than one in fleece? This Columbia one in White can be paired with absolutely any outfit for layering, or can even be worn as the outermost piece if your Winter is not the coldest. It’s soft, provides great movement, and has a great fit ($50).

12 Comments

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  • Halli:

    Also, I’ve gotten a couple of recycled polyester ultra-light down jackets at nau.com, and I love them!

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  • Halli:

    For me it’s not all denim that gets cold, but only stiff denim, because it doesn’t stay against your skin so it gets cold as soon as it loses contact with your skin. Soft denim has always been nice and cozy for me.

    {Reply}
  • Alexis:

    Adorable pieces so you don’t have to choose cuteness over warmth.

    {Reply}
  • princess159:

    Love a swing coat

    {Reply}
  • princess159:

    The parka jacket seem bulky to me but will try

    {Reply}
  • princess159:

    I wear denim all the time. Denim the go to dress up or dress down

    {Reply}
  • princess159:

    Like the vest

    {Reply}
  • avatar
    jenny-o:

    great ideas :)

    {Reply}
  • Julie:

    I find wool horribly itchy. Perhaps wear a long sleeve t-shirt underneath? Layering is key! Stay warm, everyone!

    {Reply}
  • Crispy:

    nice

    {Reply}
  • penelope:

    this article was interesting for I am also interested in fashion design

    {Reply}
    1. princess159:

      Information very helpful

      {Reply}

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