Layering 101

person in pink jacket falling backwards into the snow

Hey Cats! If you’re reading this, congrats! You got through the extremely chilly temperatures two weeks ago! We know that you must feel like a pro at layering by now, but we want to give you some extra tips just in case you’re still a little chilly! Below you’ll find the basics of how to dress in layers to stay warm during the cold weather, as well as a few other tips! 

three umbrellas and one is smiling

Tip: keep a small umbrella in your backpack

If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen fellow Catamounts get drenched walking to class before they even look at an umbrella. I love my umbrella; it’s so small and lightweight that I can keep it in my backpack. It’s crucial to stay dry when it’s cold out. So, stick to rain jackets in the warmer months, but umbrellas during the cold 


blue star sunglasses, red heart cat-eye sunglasses, black "meme" sunglasses, orange sunglasses, rainbow sunglasses

Tip: keep a pair of sunglasses in your jacket pocket

This may not be a cold weather tip, but it is a necessary one. We all know how sunny it can get in Vermont when we are fortunate enough to get it, so it’s essential to keep your vision protected! The best types of sunglasses are those with UV protection. 

Base Layers:  

grey sweatshirt and pants

If you need to wear multiple layers, it’s best to start with a base layer. Base layers are meant to wick the sweat and moisture off your body to ensure you stay warm. Cotton base layers should be avoided, as they hold onto moisture and take a long time to dry (making you colder). The best base layers are made of merino wool, silk, or synthetics. You want your base layers to hug your body. Base layers are meant to keep your body dry and add an extra layer of insulation. If your base layer is too loose, it defeats the purpose of wearing one! 


pink, cream and orange stripped sweater, a cream button down, a blue sweater vest, and a color-blocked button down

Mid-layers are insulating layers. They are meant to keep body heat close to you while protecting you from the cold. For more intense and prolonged outdoor activity, you’ll want to opt for a middle layer like a puffer jacket or a wool layer. Suppose you’re just walking around downtown or going from class to class. In that case, you can use a wide variety of materials, like thicker sweatshirts, sweaters, or button-downs. If you’re heading to class, your mid-layer is what will be most visible, so feel free to express yourself! 

Outer layer: 

a yellow raincoat, a green puffer jacket, and a yellow puffer jacket

Your outer layers are meant to keep the wind and rain off your body. Outer layers should be water-resistant, if not waterproof, and wind-resistant. This layer helps keep the body heat you produce close to your body. It is best if this layer also fits well, but it shouldn’t be too tight; you want to have a little room between your body and outer layers in order to have room for your body heat to circulate. 


a pair of yellow socks, a blue patterned sock with brown stripes, and a pair of wool stripped socks

Since we (hopefully) made it out of the coldest weekend of the year, you shouldn’t need more than one layer of socks. On colder days, opting for a pair of medium to thick wool socks is smart. If it’s frigid, you may want to double-layer. Put on a lightweight, wicking sock before putting on your wool socks to keep your feet dry and warm.  

Remember, it’s always wise to put on more layers than you think you need. You can always take a layer off, but you can’t put on a layer you don’t have.

Stay smart and stay warm, cats.