13 TO 18 DEG C

When it comes to dressing for chilly temperatures, the key is layering, as it gives one the flexibility of adding or removing layers as the temperatures fluctuate.

For temperatures above 13 deg C, one can get away with keeping the layers minimal and thin, says retail manager of Universal Traveller, Ms Ang Liping.

“A wool-blend coat paired with a light cotton cardigan and pants should suffice. For those who feel cold easily, cotton thermal underwear is a good addition as it is comfortable and not too warm.”

A pair of high boots and gloves can also serve to provide warmth.

“Choose leather ones as they keep your hands and feet insulated, while also keeping them dry if it rains,” says Ms Ang.

7 TO 12 DEG C

When temperatures drop into the single digits, it is important to step up the level of insulation with the right fabrics.

A Uniqlo spokesman says: “Thermal innerwear made from acrylic, rayon or polyester is a must as it is breathable and wicks sweat away, keeping you dry and warm.

“Also, instead of automatically going for wool, look at less conventional fabrics, such as cashmere, for your inner layers, as these provide great insulation, but are also comfortable to wear.”

For those having to battle wind chill, a down or padded waterproof jacket is also a must, as air pockets trap warm air and retain heat while offering protection from wind.

Waterproof shoes, woollen socks and touchscreen-usage-enabled gloves are also good accessories to add to the mix, so the hands and feet are never exposed.

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0 TO 6 DEG C

Once temperatures veer towards freezing, the material of inner and outerwear becomes crucial, says Danish national, Mr Adser Poulsen, who leads leisure travel and hiking tours in Denmark, often in sub-zero temperatures.

“Fleece, down and wool should be your best friends when it comes to layering for temperatures near freezing point, though I recommend a bamboo or polyester-blend thermal as a first layer if wool makes you itchy,” he says.

“But beyond just keeping your body warm with woollen sweaters and fleece-lined socks and pants, it is also essential to ensure your outermost layer is completely waterproof – everything from your down jacket and pants to your gloves and shoes – to ensure your inner layers don’t get wet by snow. Wet clothes make you lose body heat quickly and this can give you hypothermia.”

Keeping the head and neck warm in low single-digit temperatures are also key in preventing body heat from escaping, so wear a beanie and scarf at all times.


If temperatures fall below minus 5 deg C, pad up on insulation with a “heavy duty, dual-layer hooded jacket that can be unzipped to expel excess heat if you are doing activities such as skiing or trekking,” says full-time tour guide Adser Poulsen.

“These layers can be zipped up again once you are more sedentary. Also, keep your head and ears warm when you are inactive with at least two layers, such as a beanie or balaclava under the hood of your jacket.”

A fleece neck warmer and socks, chemical warmers in the pockets as well as shoes and waterproof boots with good grip are also sub-zero essentials.

This story was originally published in The Straits Times