Please scroll up and look at how purple/pink my hand is in the last picture. It was 30 degrees when these pictures were taken… Note taken, continue to take pictures inside… Winter layering for work is very different than winter layering for a shoot… not prepared. Seattle is not optimal for taking outside photos, ever. Either it’s raining and cloudy or when the lighting is perfect, it’s 30 degrees. Come on, Seattle! Help a teacher out! (No more rain… indoor recess isn’t as glamorous as I remember it being as a kid).
Maybe it’s just me that has noticed this, but there seems to be an unspoken rule about teaching and learning in jackets. I get it, me in my olive green puffy Eskimo jacket might be a little distracting, but the heat in my classroom is rogue. My experience with schools and jackets is the outerwear has a home and the home is not your body.
And because of this expectation, students have interrupted me mid-morning lesson and asked why my hands are purple. I do the obviously thing and then sit on my hands to warm them up. They’ve stopped commenting on that one. Fast forward to the afternoon and I’ve broken a sweat.
I use to bare through 4 hours of Iceland because I knew I would warm up eventually. No longer! I can’t be the only one that experiences a roller-coaster of heat temperatures every day, right? In any case, here are my 5 tips for winter laying in the classroom!
Tip 1. An Everyday Jean Jacket
If you don’t own a jean jacket, here are my favorites. If you own a jean jacket, pull it out and toss it near your teacher bag or keep it in your classroom. Now that jean on jean is an actual trend everywhere and not just Canada, you can wear your jean jacket with almost every outfit. I know, I know, jean jackets are typically a spring and fall trend because they aren’t very warm, but I’m not saying you should only wear a jean jacket to school. I’m saying because you can’t wear your actual warm puffy or wool jacket, wear your jean jacket. You will be warmer!
Tip 2. Versatile Cape Scarves
I love cape scarves for their versatility. You can tie it around your neck like a traditional scarf or wear it like a poncho. Cape scarves can be easily layered with any style of jacket or outfit. Button downs, shift dresses, pencil skirts, you name it– cape scarves go with everything. The best part is they can be easily transformed to meet our body temperature needs within seconds. I prefer cape scarves over most winter scarves like chunky-knit, blanket, or over-sized scarfs, because they are a non-distracting layer. Sometimes my face disappears when I try to teach in chunky scarves.
Tip 3. Seamless Layering Tank
For years I had been layering different tank tops to accommodate my outfits. There’s nothing worse than a sheer shirt or a deep v that goes just a little bit too deep. During the coldest of days, wear a seamless tank top to contain your body heat. I had a Gerry Brooks duh moment when I was discussing the freezing classroom temperature with one of my students and he responds with, “my mom makes me wear shirts under my shirts!” DUH. Why had I not thought of that? My classroom might not be warm and cozy but I will be!
Tip 4. Toe Covers
There are hundreds (that might be an exaggeration… don’t quote me on that) types of flat socks out there– in all different shapes and sizes. I’m not a big boot-to-work gal which makes chilly feet during the day inevitable. Flat liners are great and all except you can see them. Solution? Toe covers! They are perfect for layering warmth with your flats, mules, or any close toe shoes. Toe covers made with cotton will retain our body heat better than nylon toe covers. Another awesome extension of toe covers is peep toe liners. Peep toe liners is the opposite concept and perfect for layering our feet when we want to wear open toed shoes. Yay for being able to wear our favorite shoes without our toes freezing off! Layers for the win!
Tip 5. Wear Your Hair Down
I enjoy myself a good messy bun & target run but when it comes to layering in the winter, our hair is our greatest layer. We lose so much of our body heat through our head– there’s data to suggest around 40-45%. Depending on if you need to layer up or layer down, changing your hairstyle can make a huge different to your body temperature. This is hard to practice when it’s dark before we leave and dark when we get home. At least for me, I’m constantly having to chose between sitting on the couch and watching Grey’s Anatomy or showering. Grey’s Anatomy 946, Showering 4. Who knew dry shampoo would help anyone with their outfit layering!
Bring on the winter fashion, the winter behavior, and the winter chills! We’ve got this!