Dressing in layers

Base layer, mid layer, cover layer. Three warm layers make all the difference between indoor and outdoor fun.

How to do layers right

Getting children dressed to go outside can be a hassle. You might wonder: How can I make sure my child will be warm enough but won't sweat? The key is dressing in layers.

A little-known fact is that it’s actually warm air trapped between layers that provides warmth. Make sure the layers aren’t too tight or the warm air won’t circulate. The base layer allows the skin to breathe, the mid-layer keeps the warmth in and the outer layer provides protection from the wind and cold.

Dressing in layers can also save money. Most base layers can be used year-round, as long as they still fit! By putting on extra layers and taking them off as needed, a single outfit can adapt to changing weather conditions, and different base and mid layers can freshen up everyday outfits.

1. Base layer

Nowadays, functional base layers are also available for children. These are suitable for sports, active outdoor play and games. Synthetic and mixed-fiber clothing removes moisture from the skin and transfers it up to other layers. This ensures that children remain comfortable even when they get hot during hectic play. When possible, choose a material like Thermolite, Play Jersey or wool—all of these are breathable and feel comfortable on the skin. Wool is great at transferring and absorbing moisture and it even provides warmth when wet.

2. Mid layer

The next layer is known as the mid layer. On very cold winter days, several mid layers can be used, but in warmer weather one mid layer is usually enough. The mid layer provides a comfortable amount of additional warmth but make sure that it’s loose enough—tightly packed layers feel restrictive and don’t provide warmth. You can test to see if your child is warm enough by feeling his or her neck, if it’s cold, they might need another layer.

Fleece makes for a great mid layer because it’s breathable and its heat value is the same as wool, but it’s easy to care for and dries quickly. Another alternative is a light down vest or jacket, which can be worn as a soft warming layer under an outer jacket.

3. Outer layer

The most important function of the outer layer is to provide protection from the weather. It’s worth opting for a waterproof outer layer so that it can be used in a variety of conditions—on sunny but cold days, in the rain or in wet snow. To be completely functional, the outer layer must also be breathable so that moisture can escape. This keeps children warm and comfortable.