Basics for creating a warm outfit that protects you from the elements while staying mobile:
Baselayer– Synthetic base layers are the starting point and the premium base layers are generally merino wool based. these lightweight skin fit thermal layers keep you warm and the sweat off your skin. Cold sweat touching your core is bad, so these are really worth investing in.
Midlayer– This can be anything you deem appropriate for the current temperatures, something long sleeve that can keep you warm , a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, thermal jersey etc. preferably also a product with some level of sweat wicking.
Shell– your shell is your jacket and pull over pants that keep out wind and rain. keeping out the elements allows your thermal layers underneath to do their job properly. basic shells are single layer plastic which don’t breathe well which means that the sweat you build up during activity doesn’t evaporate easily. the more premium shells are made with multi-layer laminate textiles that keep out the water and wind while still breathing just enough to help your sweat evaporate and skin breathe.
Worn over each other an outer layer of shell keep out the wind, rain and snow , the mid layer provided warmth which can be removed if you start to overheat, and the baselayer is like a second skin wicking sweat away and regulating your temperature. This work for both your upper and lower body. removing your shell is a bad idea if you are overheating in the cold as you sweat will then become colder and colder due to the air rushing in against it, thus removing a midlayer and keeping your wind blocker on is best.
Socks– cotton is out and wool is in!
wool socks can keep you warm when damp and are anti-microbial and odor resistant.
Footwear– Study with good traction, when in wet and snowy weather opt for a waterproof pair.
gloves– depending on how fast you are moving and what activity you are doing you may opt for windproof, waterproof , and warm gloves, the warmer the glove generally the thicker the fill is and less dexterous. a mid weight glove can be made into a really warm glove by adding in some glove liner or if you riding a bike try out bar mitts.
face and head covering-there are tons of products to keep you warm, many jackets have hoods to keep out the rain but you still need to stay warm.
Balacava-1 piece neck, head and face covering that usually allows you to move the piece over your mouth down
Beanie and multitube – beanie can keep your head warm and the multitube can cover your neck and be pulled up further if needed
facemask– a little lighter duty than a balaclava this doesnt cover your neck or top of head
If you are out long a long hike or trip a spare set of socks and baselayers might end up being lifesavers.