Living In LA Thinned My Blood —  Here's My Secret To Staying Warm.

Living In LA Thinned My Blood —  Here's My Secret To Staying Warm.

Where to find some of my favorite thermal layers for winter

When winter comes, we’re faced with the age-old question: can you be cute when it’s cold?

I’m not talking about the “Cold Girl” makeup trend or the “Frazzled English Woman” aesthetic. The déshabillé that inevitably arrives with the cooler months is not as glamorous as TikTok trends make it seem. Perhaps the aesthetic chaos of cold weather is a symptom of snoozing the alarm one too many times to stay in your warm cocoon under the covers. Perhaps it’s the abbreviated days that make everything feel rushed. Either way, neither of these aesthetics gives me an answer. Is it possible to dress well and dress warmly? With thermal layers for winter, maybe.

For so long I had resigned myself to Super Puffs and sweatpants whenever I left the house in the winter. However, I am trying to make winter less of a slog by dressing well even when I don’t feel like it. Whether I’m going out or staying home, making the effort to put an outfit together helps me tell the days apart and gives me a feeling of accomplishment that is oh-so-important for my Seasonal Affective Disorder.

However, throwing fits should not come at the expense of protection against the cold. Whether I’m indoors or outdoors, I’m dressing for warmth above anything else and you can’t really layer sweatpants under jeans. I’ve tried the trick from my school days of layering different tights, but I don’t want to ruin my good quality tights and the cheap options don’t offer much protection from the cold.

I started wearing thermal layers for winter to finally find a solution to this problem and stop shivering on Zoom meetings and nights out. They have since seen me through the holidays and a frigid start to the New Year.

While I used to think thermal layers were for children and characters in a Dickens novel, they’ve changed my life. I’m warmer than ever without having to trudge around in layers upon layers of bulky garments. They also fit tightly to my skin so cold air doesn’t get through the gaps like it would a hoodie or even a long-sleeved shirt layer.

And these days, thermal layers are stylish too. Whether I’m alone in my house or with company, the cute ribbed turtlenecks I get to add an element of sophistication to my winter outfits. I feel like I’m serving Dark Academia, even when it’s just a turtleneck peeking out over my hoodie.

So rid yourself of the idea that wearing thermal layers for winter can’t be cute. I did, and it’s the best winter decision I’ve ever made. I’m even considering gifting them to my family along with fuzzy socks next holiday season so we can all have our comfiest winter yet.

Here are some of my favorite thermal layers for winter:

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Negative Underwear

I started getting these ads on Pinterest in July and by the time it was winter, I was fully convinced. I haven’t looked back. Though pricey, the Negative Underwear whipped thermal layer is unmatched. It feels like butter on my skin, even after almost daily washes, and keeps me warm despite being so lightweight. I have it in white and I’m saving up to get all the other colors.


Influencer-intimates brand Parade doesn’t just make those sustainable undies, they also make thermal layers. For a stylish and sustainable option, you can’t go wrong with Parade. However, I miss the days when Parade was sending the most random influencers (and just …regular people?) gifted PR packages. Parade team, if you’re reading this, it’s not too late.


These are the thermal layers of choice for fashion girls. I see them layering different colors of these not just under their clothes, but as main features of their outfits. Start collecting colors to stay warm and add some dimension to your winter outfits.


Even if you don’t ski — or, if like me, you just like to Apres — this brand is made for performance. Its thermoregulated tech is no joke, featuring odor-resistant merino wool that is moisture-wicking and fast-drying as well as naturally breathable and insulating in the -30°F - 32°F temperature range.

Organic Basics

One of my go-to brands for all-natural attire, Organic Basics believes that everything that touches your skin should be safe. Made of 100% organic cotton, their core collection offers leggings and long sleeves that you’ll never want to take off.

Elastique Athletics

For a base layer that does more, try layering with a workout set from Elastique Athletics, the compression socks of workout gear. The targeted compression keeps your circulation going and gives you a lymphatic massage while you wear it. As someone whose circulation is horrible in the cold, this keeps my fingers from freezing when I’m out.

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