How to stay warm outside but cool inside?
October 6, 2012 2:30 AM   Subscribe

Practically and stylishly dressed men of Metafilter (and those who shop for them): how do you stay warm outside and cool inside in winter?

Autumn is coming and there is a chill in the air so I've started dressing a bit warmer and have encountered a problem which has dogged me every winter - how to dress so that I'm warm enough outside but cool enough when I go inside into the warmth.

The problem is above the waist. I generally wear a sort of vest/t-shirt thing tucked into my trousers to prevent draughts. Over that I'll have a jumper/pullover/hoodie. This is great for keeping me warm outside (in conjunction with jacket etc.) but when I go indoors where the heating is on I'm instantly too hot. I can't take the jumper off if I'm somewhere public because what I'm wearing underneath is basically underwear.

Fashion is not my strong suit so I'm hoping there is a really obvious solution to this problem which I haven't thought of yet.

(I have considered carrying a change of clothes around with me but that seems like a lot of hassle)
posted by neilb449 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Light layers. Your its-warm-inside inside shirt with a cardigan or something over you can take off.
posted by colin_l at 2:43 AM on October 6, 2012

Jackets and coats. Get a good, well-made fall jacket and a separate good, well-made winter coat. Bonus: you get to take them off when you enter a room, giving you a moment to case the joint and an opportunity to adjust your clothing to make sure you look perfect.
posted by Etrigan at 2:45 AM on October 6, 2012

If you're looking for well-made t-shirts that you can wear indoors, Banana Republic, Armani Exchange, uniqlo, etc. has stuff.

Personally, I'd lose the vest and wear a light-weight cotton dress shirt over the t-shirt, and your outerwear over that.

Also, avoid hats, gloves, wool socks, etc. in all but the coldest weather. Not using these items allows your body to dissipate excess heat more quickly, especially when making the transition from outside to inside.
posted by dfriedman at 3:05 AM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

I usually just wear a long sleeve shirt buttoned shirt (sometimes with a T-shirt underneath) inside. Then to go out I might put on a thin wollen jumper (pullover) and a heavy jacket.

With turtleneck jumpers (pullovers) I wear a nice T-Shirt underneath that will look OK If I go somewhere too hot. - Either just a plain black or dark grey.

I think you just need to wear an acceptable T-Shirt under your Hoodie / Sweater. I thought that was what everyone did?
posted by mary8nne at 4:50 AM on October 6, 2012

Presumably in warmer weather you were wearing a single shirt that was presentable indoors and out. Can you wear that as your base layer (with an undershirt if you prefer)? In the fall you can wear lighter/thinner sweaters/hoodies ( to compensate for the slightly warmer than tshirt nicer shirt you are wearing) and then switch to heavier in the winter.
posted by bluefly at 6:04 AM on October 6, 2012

I had a pea coat for this purpose when I lived in Washington, DC. It is not a top coat, it is a heavy double breasted blazer. The question then becomes what does one wear on their head. I suggest a flat cap.
posted by parmanparman at 6:12 AM on October 6, 2012

and get a really nice pair of gloves and another pair of fingerless gloves in case you have a smart phone.
posted by parmanparman at 6:13 AM on October 6, 2012

Yeah, you need a nice t-shirt (or, if you're feeling fancy, a button-up) under that hoodie.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:47 AM on October 6, 2012

This is actually a great time to have this problem, since cardigans are fashionable and available in a wide variety - including fleece ones. This is the kind of cardigan I'm talking about, although there are also standard v-neck ones. They should be widely available at mainstream/high-street places with any pretense at keeping current on men's styles. You notice that the slightly 1000-yard-stare model in that link is wearing the cardigan over what is probably a medium-weight t-shirt, possibly long-sleeved.

So your outfit would go this way: t-shirt is base layer; fleece or other robust cotton cardigan; chore coat/peacoat/medium-weight jacket. You could even get a denim jacket, but honestly any mid-level men's store will have a medium weight wool jacket with a nylon lining (and possibly thinsulate or something heavier) which zips up the front. This way, if it's chilly indoors you can wear the cardigan, and you'll find that buttoning and unbuttoning it also helps, depending on the temperature.
posted by Frowner at 8:19 AM on October 6, 2012

I'm guessing from "trousers" and "draughts" that you're in the UK, in which case "vest" means a singlet, not a waistcoat, right? It sounds like a shirt might be too formal for your style, in which case have you considered replacing the hoodie with a long-sleeved T-shirt (e.g., first Google result) and a lighter jumper? In New York, I've also seen people wearing long-sleeved T-shirts under short-sleeved T-shirts, which looks a bit odd to my eyes but seems to be an accepted combination.
posted by d. z. wang at 1:36 PM on October 6, 2012

I don't know how formally you need to dress, but my husband in the winter wears a t-shirt, then a long sleeved button down, and a jacket or coat over it (layers are important, he heats up quickly!). He doesn't wear sweaters (jumpers) very often, but when he does, he'll wear a light one with a nicer t-shirt underneath so that he can take it off and just wear the t-shirt if he gets hot.
posted by echo0720 at 6:02 PM on October 6, 2012

I don't know what stylish means to you, but I commuted on the T into Boston every day for years and a wool Burbury Topcoat with a scarf and leather gloves was all I needed over a suit and tie on the most blustery winter days.
posted by partner at 8:24 PM on October 6, 2012

I can't take the jumper off if I'm somewhere public because what I'm wearing underneath is basically underwear.

Wear (with or without an undershirt) a coloured henley shirt as your base layer, or a polo shirt with long sleeves, and a cardigan with zipper or buttons.
posted by iviken at 11:40 PM on October 7, 2012

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