Think of thermals and practicality comes to mind. The thermal vest you were forced to wear under your school uniform? Check. The thermal gilet your dad wears for a Big Walk? Absolutely. Often considered a solution to a problem and not much more, Team R29 is here to prove that while thermals are sensible, they can be stylish too.
First off, what is the point of thermal layers? Thermal clothing (which can be anything from T-shirts to pants) is designed to keep body heat in. On extra cold days, the temperature difference between our body and the outside air is at an all-time high, which means that our body loses heat more quickly. The easiest way to resolve this (other than hibernating all winter) is to put on insulating clothing that retains warmth.
Sadly, when clothing is made for function rather than fashion, it often means that the options are less than exciting. Thankfully, a handful of brands is changing that, with both high street and higher end names creating thermal pieces that look as good on the outside as they feel on the inside.
To figure out which pieces look best for work, day and play, we decided to try out a few different thermal options from a range of brands to put their warming capabilities and stylistic props to the test. Below, discover exactly which thermals we're wearing this season, along with how we'll be styling them for the winter days ahead.
Leggings are a holy grail thermal product, given how tightly they cling to the body. If you are going to invest in a pair that will work for a dog walk or après, these SKIMS leggings are simple and stylish.
The ribbed thermal fabric is soft to the touch, while elasticated ankles and a thick waistband keep the heat sealed in. They could definitely get you through a quick walk in the park with a sweatshirt and puffer coat but they aren’t thick enough for you to stay outside for a long time.
The best way to make them work for maximum cold protection would be styling them under a pair of joggers or jeans for that base layer cosiness.
The very mention of thermal trousers was music to my ears when I thought about dressing for the office. These pinstriped suit trousers from Uniqlo have the brand's Heattech built into the fabric, meaning they are thoroughly thermal outerwear.
Initially I was sceptical about how much warmth a non-wool trouser could really bring but spending time in the snow I was pleasantly surprised. They're an easy fit with jumpers and shirts but the tapered cut means they can also be dressed up with a blazer for a smarter option.
I’m keeping these on hand for January office days, paired with a thermal T-shirt and socks.
If you regularly hit the town for a night out then a bodysuit may well be a staple of your going out wardrobe. For winter, this can easily be switched up for a thermal bodysuit, like this one from M&S.
Though the style is more sheer than I anticipated, the rollable neck is a perfect feature, giving you the option to be completely covered or rock a regular turtleneck.
Hugging close to the body, this is ideal with leather trousers and statement shoes, treading the line between warm enough for the outside area but not boiling hot for the pub. Because it's so sheer, I will probably utilise this most as an undertop for chunky knits, with the statement collar popping out.