What I Wear to Keep Warm in Winter in the UK

What do I wear to keep warm in winter here in the UK? OK let’s just say fall, winter and spring shall we? Because here it is the first week of March and it’s snowing and 34F!

Wearing light layers is the secret to staying warm

Light layers are the secret to keeping warm, comfortable and adaptable. If the weather warms up or you have a hot flash, you can easily adjust.

I live in my M&S thermal tops all winter long, in fact I sometimes sleep in them! It’s a very lightweight almost sheer thermal (Layer One photo), not a waffle texture. The scoop neck means it stays hidden under most sweaters or other layers.

If the temps turn colder or you’re naturally a cold bunny, then it’s OK to add another layer especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. Just keep them lightweight.

Experiment with putting on and taking off layers, but start with the basics.  Layer your synthetics with natural wool for the best insulation. I love cotton in the summer but forget it in the winter, it just doesn’t keep you warm!

This is how to make layering work for you.

What I Wear to Keep Warm – Upper Body

1st layer: 

Synthetic thermal long sleeve top (this is Marks & Spencers Heatgen Thermal – I live in these all winter)

2nd layer:

Synthetic or lightweight wool long sleeve top (this is a discontinued Athleta top)

3rd layer:

Wool, or cashmere sweater | jumper (this is a Marks & Spencers Cashmere crew neck)

4th layer:

Lightweight packable down vest or gilet (mine is a down vest from Costco)

5th layer:

Down or synthetic quilted hip or knee length jacket (this is a discontinued jacket from Eddie Bauer)


What I Wear to Keep Warm – Legs, Lower Body

I wear jeans most of the time but if it’s going to be really cold, I’ll add a thermal legging under my jeans. Marks & Spencer’s makes a thermal Heatgen legging but the ones I’m wearing are similar and by Cuddlduds.

But here’s the true secret to staying warm.

Keep your FEET warm with wool socks and insulated shoes or boots. I’ll even double up on socks and wear a Smart Wool low ankle sock under a soft wool hiking length sock. Make sure you still have some wiggle room in your boots because that breathing space is what keeps your tootsies warm and toasty. Oh and have a pair of gloves handy. If you keep your hands and feet warm, you’re golden.


My toes get really cold so to keep them warm, I’m all for an insulated or sheepskin lined boot. It can make all the difference when navigating cold train platforms, wet sidewalks and extended walks. I’m currently wearing a low Uggs boot and my insulated Blondo’s

So that’s how to stay warm in this chilly UK climate. Whether you live here or plan to visit, buy what you need before you need it. The shops have a cheeky habit of discontinuing cold weather wear even when it’s still cold! I went all over the place trying to find these thermal tops at M&S last spring and they had already packed them away. So get it while you can. Stay toasty my friend!