How to Dress Up for Winter if You’re from the Tropical

How to Dress Up For Winter

Are you from a tropical country traveling to a country in winter? And never experienced cold? Congratulations! You just prevented frostbite upon visiting this blog! Let me tell you a bit info about myself. Clearly, I’m from the Philippines specifically, Metro Manila and the coldest temperature I’ve felt was 18 degree Celsius, that’s 64.4 degree Fahrenheit.

It was when I met my then fiancé-now husband gave me the chills when I found out that he wanted to get married in the US, specifically, in the State of Maine. I died one second as I scrubbed the interweb when I found out that it was one of the coldest states in the US! “Damngermengard, am I going to survive?” I asked myself. And I panicked!

Coming from a tropical country, there are few things I need to tell you first to avoid the mistake I once made:

  1. Don’t panic.
  2. Don’t buy cheap or secondhand warm clothes (coats, sweater, etc.) from your country. It will just be a waste!
  3. Buy clothing from U.S. or U.K Websites which ships internationally if your travel date is at least two or three months in advance. They are actually cheaper. However, if you’re traveling within the week;
  4. Invest in high quality clothing and purchase them in specialty stores like hiking or mountaineering shops as they have the best warm clothing you need.

Now that you know these tips, let’s proceed on which clothing you need to prepare when traveling in winter. I honestly didn’t know that these stuff until I arrived in the US. My in-laws just told me about these especially the thermal underwear or long johns as they call it.


First layer (Base)

Base Layers - How to Dress Up for Winter
First row: Thermal Underwear for men and women from Macy’s. Second row: Fleece tights and Lacoste wool sock from Macy’s, high wool socks from tactics and etsy.

For base layers, you would need these items:

  • Thermal underwear or fleeced lined tights or leggings.
  • One or two pairs of thick socks preferably wool or polyester-wool that can be pulled up high to the calf of your leg.

Our precious tropical skin isn’t used to cold. So, this is the most important step when dealing with freezing winter weather. Materials or details you need to keep in mind when buying base layers: thermal, fleece, and wool or acrylic (inexpensive type of wool) for socks. Avoid wearing cotton as they absorb your sweat.


Second layer (Insulation)

Second Layer (Insulation) - How to Dress Up for Winter
First row: Sweaters for women and fleece jacket for men from Macy’s. Second row: Sweater for men from Macy’s, Fleece Jackets from Northface and Columbia.

On top of your base layers, heavy sweaters allow more insulation. Additional fleece on top of your thermals or tights if it’s -20 and below. Avoid tight-fitting sweaters.

Materials to keep in mind when buying second layers: fleece, cable-knit, wool, polyester or acrylic materials.


Outerwear (Bundle up)

Outerwear - How to Dress Up for Winter
First row: Puffer coat, wool coat, and winter boots from Macy’s. Second row: Hawke & Co. Hooded Jacket, Buffalo David Puffer Jacket from Macy’s, and winter boots for men from The North Face.

You’re all nice and warm now but you cannot go outside without an outerwear. An outerwear is worn over your overall clothing for warmth or protection outdoors. For complete comfort and warmth, puffer coats are the perfect piece. For a stylish winter look, wool pea coats are prime choice for both men and women. Although you have to be extra careful when choosing the right fabric. Avoid wool coats with large percentage of nylon blended with wool as they tend to look worn out in the long run.

Buying winter boots can be tough but just keep in mind depending on where you plan to wear. For casual morning walks, make sure they are lightweight, warm, and sturdy and with comfortable insoles. If going for a short hike, consider boots that are waterproof with ankle support. For a stylish look, any type of boots will work as long as your tootsies are warm. So it’s up to you!


Accessories (Gloves, hats, scarves)

Beanie hats, scarves, gloves - How to Dress Up for Winter
First row: Beanies, scarves, and gloves were all from Urban Outfitters. Second row: Red beanie from Macy’s, and the rest were all from Urban Outfitters.

And to complete the package, wearing other winter garments such as gloves, hats, and scarves will help with keeping you warm. Scarves, most especially, is very essential during winter to keep your neck warm and can add a new whole style to your winter wardrobe.

A wee note: You can buy similar winter items as shown in the picture but you don’t have to buy the exact one. I prefer buying from Macy’s and Walmart as they have a wide range of thermals, sweaters, and coats at reasonable price. Keep in mind that these tips are good for winter temperature ranging from 6 to 0 degree Celsius or 42.8 to 32 degree Fahrenheit. Just add up a little more base layer or second layer for extra warmth and protection!

Are bundled up for your next winter travel? If you think I am missing something please feel free to comment below!

This is not a sponsored post. I am no way affiliated with the companies or individuals mentioned above. I receive no compensation for this post. It’s a personal recommendation only as I owned few items from them.