Cold Weather Layering Done Right

Super-chic fitness women tell us how they stay active, warm and stylish all winter long.

By Emily Rekstis


Working out in the cold has its merits: Some studies show that you burn even more calories when exercising in frigid temperatures than you do in warmer environments. Plus, the bright blue skies, crisp air and near-empty running paths have an energizing charm of their own. The only problem, of course, is staying protected from the cold—and avoiding looking like a Pokemon Jigglypuff.  “I perform to my maximum potential when I feel I look my best,”New York City SLT instructor Nicole Byrnes says. “So I actually take the time and put thought into my workout outfit, even when I have a couple more layers on.”


We polled some of our favorite fitness friends to find out their tricks and tips for staying warm while still looking chic enough to snap an Instagram.


Avoid cotton and stick with moisture wicking fabric

“We want to keep our body heat up while still using breathable materials,” says Nike and Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Rebecca Kennedy. She recommends Nike’s Dri-Fit apparel to keep things simultaneously toasty and ventilated. “You have to do your research and purchase quality products that are meant to avoid over-heating,” seconds Byrnes. “I usually look for long sleeve tops with moisture wicking fabric to keep me cool.” These tops make for the perfect base layer. “Its important to have a breathable base layer that keeps the heat in so that you don’t have to add too many layers on top,” says Jaime Tomei, Westchester SLT instructor.


Form-fitting helps you keep in form

Adidas Xperior Shoftshell Vest, $99
Adidas Xperior Softshell Vest, $99

We love a good, fluffy down coat as much as the next person, but they’re waaaay to bulky and restrictive for work out purposes. Body-hugging pieces help improve the overall look of the outfit and will also help you move more naturally for a better, stronger workout. “I like to buy workout gear that hugs my body shape and shows my silhouette,” Byrnes says. “Even though we have to put on a couple of layers this time of year, that doesn’t mean we should be drowning in our clothes. Find pieces that have a snug fit so your Insta followers can see all of that hard work you have been putting in,” she adds.

Pick a color scheme

Nike Dri-Fit Running Top, $80
Nike Dri-Fit Running Top, $80

If you’re like us, you work out multiple times a week, which means you’re going to need more than two or three items to keep you chic and warm. Kennedy’s advice? “Find a brand you love and a color scheme that works together. That way you can layer up all the pieces and exchange them out.” The easiest, of course, is black. But different shades of blue also work well together and with red or yellow pops of color. Whatever palette you choose, just makes sure they mix and match well together.


Fitness-star Favorites

The high-rise powerful gleam tight from Athleta, $89
The high-rise powerful gleam tight from Athleta, $89

“Oh, I think it’s so easy to layer and stay warm while still looking cute with all the activewear options these days,” says Jordan Younger from The Balanced Blonde. When the temperature dips below freezing she reaches for cozy zip ups, hoodies, pullovers and super soft crew necks. Her number one go-to is the Lululemon Define Jacket, $118, which comes in 10 shades and features a high-zip collar to keep the neck extra warm. Meanwhile, Nike Hyperwarm and Tech Fleece tops are Rebecca Kennedy’s go-to pieces for winter’s coldest days. “They’re chic and functional.” Tomei is also a fan of the long sleeve tops from Nike. “They fit perfectly, are very figure flattering, and most come in my favorite color, black,” she adds.





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