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The Best Fabrics To Keep You Warm

By Shirtspace | Nov 30, 2016 |  Updated Nov 24, 2021

Since many of us are not professionals in the world of materials and textiles, it’s not always common knowledge what the best fabrics to keep you warm may be. As winter creeps up on us and temperatures start to drop, many of us dig into our closets to retrieve the warmer clothes we stashed away last spring. Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones with a nice collection of different fabrics for the first frost or an unexpected snowstorm. Despite there being an overwhelming amount of fabrics available today, we’ve broken it down, so you can figure out what’s what and which fabrics are must-haves this winter.

Cold woman wearing knitted hat, sweater and scarf in snow storm.

Warm Fabrics Used for Wholesale Blank Clothing 

The Warmest Fabrics To Keep You Nice & Toasty

Cold man wearing tan sweater and red scarf wrapped around the bottom of his face.

Among the many fabrics available to dress up or dress down- and stay cozy of course!- are natural fibers and man-made fibers. Some must-haves that are included are wool (worsted and woolen), manufactured wool (flannel, cashmere, tweed, and mohair) fleece (sheep and lambs wool), polar fleece, knits, leather, corduroy, fur and faux fur, sheepskin, and suede. A handful of these fabrics are lighter weight than others, but for the most part, these are going to be your warmest options for braving those frigid temps that are ahead of you.

Some people may be guilty of layering a not-so-warm cotton “sweater” underneath a warmer woolen cardigan, and that’s perfectly fine. But, as a rule of thumb, if your main objective is wearing an option that’ll keep you cozy (not just cute), then cotton is not your best bet as a standalone fabric as it’s typically pretty thin and offers little insulation. The same goes for bamboo, hemp, and silk—but keep in mind that when these lighter weight fabrics are used as thermal underwear, and paired with spandex, rayon, or nylon, they have great elasticity, are soft, and are perfect for layering.

Warm Flannel for Everyone

Half of a person visible holding green foliage while wearing a red plaid flannel shirt in the woods.

Flannel is not only a classic option, but is extremely in-style right now. You’ll be pleased to find a huge selection of flannel shirt options, as well as pajama pants, bags and other plaid-patterned articles of clothing. Look forward to warm and fuzzy flannel for your festive holiday season!

Warm Wool Clothing

Close up of knitted wool yarn in browns and blue colors

Wool is a great option for dressier pants, skirts, blazers and suits, as well as timeless sweaters, coats, socks, and scarves. You’re likely to find worsted wool for your suits, skirts, and blazers given that it has a smoother texture. Some articles will likely be woolen and are going to be the warmest of warm this blustery winter season!

Warm & Cozy Fleece

Close up of aqua blue colored fleece jacket with zipper

Other essential pieces of winter clothing include fleece jackets and outerwear that serve as a toasty option for your cold-weather collection this year. They have a completely different feel than wool, but do a great job of keeping you insulated when it counts. Best of all, there are countless fashionable options on the market so that you can look put together when you brave the elements.
Types of Fleece to Try:

  • Microfleece

  • Sherpa fleece

  • Premium fleece

  • Polar fleece

Animal Hide Clothing for Warmth

Image comparing orange leather, brown suede and cream-colored sherpa fleece.

Finally, another great consideration for all of your coat, jacket, and hat needs is leather, suede, and sheepskin. Each of these materials provide the warmth that you seek and are extremely durable too! Best of all, adding one of these pieces to your collection is an addition that will stand the test of time. Remember, though—buy nice, or buy twice!

The Warmest Styles of Clothing to Keep Warm 

Cold man wearing red and black checkered buffalo plaid scarf, gray sweater and maroon beanie with an aqua blue background.

So, now that you know what types of fabrics you’re sure to find on the quest to creating your perfect winter wardrobe, you may be wondering what articles of clothing are best to dress for chilly temperatures? The best way to prepare for cold weather is to dress in layers. The more layers, in varying fabrics, the warmer you will be. Starting with a long sleeve t-shirt (you can even wear a tank top underneath for extra warmth and comfort). Then try a fleece hoodie a for the last layer, invest in a quality jacket or coat. If you are expecting to be exposed to precipitation, consider a waterproof jacket or coat that will keep moisture from penetrating through your clothing to the skin.

Warm Long Sleeve T-Shirts

Man modeling Gildan H400 Hammer Adult 6 oz. Long-Sleeve T Shirt in the color "Fluorescent Blue"

Shirt Pictured: Gildan H400 Hammer™ Adult   6 oz. Long-Sleeve T-Shirt

For the first layer of a warm outfit, long sleeve t-shirts are the perfect base for an outfit that will hold strong against cold temperatures.  A 100% cotton long sleeve t-shirt will be comfortable, but a cotton/poly blend long sleeve is also a solid choice that will wick moisture more than a shirt made solely from cotton. A heavyweight t-shirt is a smart choice for a thicker and more insulated garment.  

The Warmest Sweatshirts

Black woman in a red hoodie and sweatpants and black jacket smiling in the falling snow

Whether it be a hoodie that offer extra warmth with a drawstring hood and a pouch pocket to keep the hands cozy, or a crewneck or quarter zip sweatshirt that will fit snuggly under another layer of clothing, sweatshirts are a closet staple for those that experience cold weather. With a variety of material options from ranging all the way from fleece to velour, there is the perfect sweatshirt material and style available for any preference. 

Warm Sweatshirts & Cardigans 

Soft pink button up ladies' sweater

For knitted clothing that is super versatile, consider a sweater or cardigan. The beauty of these styles of blank apparel is that sweaters and cardigans can easily be dressed up, or dressed down. As equally ideal to abide by an office dress code, for a holiday party or during a lazy day around the house, sweaters and cardigans make a great piece of layerable clothing created to keep the wearer warm as can be! 

Warm & Protective Outerwear

Back view of two children wearing puffer coasts and beanies sitting.  One is looking back at the photographer taking the photo.

A quality coat or jacket is essential for those preparing to face low temperatures. Sometimes a lightweight waterproof windbreaker layered over a hoodie is enough to keep the warmth in and repel moisture so that the weather remains dry. Other times a more heavy-duty jacket or coat is necessary. Durable workwear coats and jackets will keep construction workers and other tradesmen warm while working outside. Insulated down jacketspuffer coats and parkas have been known to keep heat in very well.  

Many Options for Fabrics to Keep You Warm

Woman in front of blue painted wood boards wears a kelly green puffer coat, red pom-pom beanie, gray gloves and a tan scarf laughs as her beanie falls over her eyes.

Ultimately, there are many quality options available that are sure to suit the climate that you find yourself in, whether downright frigid or cool at best. Take some time to consider what winter clothing options are appropriate for you. Do you often wear formal trousers and suits to the office? If so, a sophisticated wool suit may be right up your alley! But, if your days or weekends are filled with sledding with the family and an occasional trip to the mountain, maybe a couple of flannels and a nice weatherproof jacket or coat will suit you just fine. 

Whatever you decide on, make sure you thoughtfully consider the fashion and function. Don’t let yourself get caught on the first day of winter without a warm hat and an insulating fleece jacket to keep you warm. Also, if you have an opinion of what the warmest fabrics for winter wear are, let us know your vote in the comments.  

Man pouring warm drink into woman's thermos. They are wearing scarves and beanies.  The text reads: The best fabrics to keep warm

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