My blouses and shirts don’t get much action for half the year because I much prefer wearing warm and cozy knitwear in the late Autumn, Winter and early Spring. But every so often, just to change things up, I will wear a blouse or shirt in the colder months as long as I can insulate them in a reasonable way. Granted, temperatures must be above freezing and toasty central heating is a must. 

These are the exact blouses and shirts from my wardrobe that I will wear in cold weather. They are long-sleeved, high-necked, opaque and covered. And in the case of the plaid shirt, brushed flannel is cozy against the skin and feels adequately Winter-y. 

Here’s how I insulate my blouses to stay warm:  

1. With Long-Sleeved Thermal Underwear

I’ve found Uniqlo’s Heattech thermal underwear to be best because it’s fitted, lightweight, extremely soft, and warm. Heat without the bulk. I will wear a long-sleeved, crew neck Heattech T-shirt in black or white under a shirt or blouse, and finish off the outfit with a coat for outdoors. Sometimes I’ll also layer a camisole under the Heattech tee. You can barely see the Heattech tee under the opaque blouse or shirt, which creates a more polished look. In this way you can sport “the blouse look” instead of “the sweater look” in cold weather. 

2. Layered Under Knitwear 

Wearing a shirt or blouse under a pullover or cardigan is another way to insulate the item indoors. It creates a fun look when the collar, cuffs and shirt tail of the blouse or shirt are peeking out from under the pullover (or upscale sweatshirt for an athleisure vibe). For further insulation, I will also wear a camisole or Heattech tee under this combination. Top off the look with a wool coat and I’m good to go.

I run cold so it’s important that I insulate under and over blouses and shirts in cold weather with the right pieces. But some of my clients don’t bother because they run much warmer than I do. They will happily wear a sleeveless blouse year round without a camisole — forget the Heattech — and simply layer a jacket or cardigan over the top. It is hard for me to understand how they manage this in the dead of Winter without feeling cold, but they do. They might pop a coat on if they’re outside for any length of time. In some cases, these clients are worried about overheating when wearing knitwear indoors, which means that they need the option of removing layers and wearing light layers to be comfortable.

Over to you. Do you wear shirts and blouses in cold weather, and if so, how do you insulate them?