With cabin fever destined to be next level this winter, many are expected to look to the outdoors for a great escape — even in frigid weather. It can be invigorating to head outside when the temperatures drop, but what to wear to dress your warmest can be a question.
Determined not to leave you in the cold, we’ve talked to Long Islanders used to taking on the coldest temperatures as part of their professions to get their advice on what’s hot for dressing to stay warm.
Bundle up starter pack
This type of mask, worn by the MTA’s Jerome Petronilia, is great for keeping both your head, neck and much of your face sheltered from extreme cold.
“The concept is that two or three thin layers work much better than one or two thick layers. [It’s] much less bulky, more comfortable and warmer,” Kornblatt says. She wears a Para Jumper Long Bear Special Jacket, $1,890.
Insulated or heated jacket
Petronilia wears a company-issued jacket on the job but the rest of what he wears for work in the cold comes from his personal wardrobe.
Heat escapes from your head, so stay toasty with a fashionable hat. Sno-Haus shop owner Monica Kornblatt wears a Rudsak Rory Hat, $65.
Heavy-duty snow boots
Petronilia’s other cold temperature standbys are insulated waterproof boots.
“I always wear a quality base layer top and bottom, mid-layer top, outer layer parka and pants as well as quality thermal socks,” Kornblatt says.
TIP: Layer, layer, layer
“Layers are the trick — with Under Armour, a good set of wool gloves, a warm hat, a wool sock and a good pair of insulated Red Wing or Timberland boots — if your feet go cold, you’re finished,” says Robert Tavarone, 57, owner of Creative Touch Landscaping in Water Mill. “We’re outdoors all the time in the winter, working to plow snow and working in the bitter cold,” he adds, and you have to dress for success.
Tavarone notes the standard go-tos just won’t do when you want to stay really warm. “If you’re standing in the snow all day and you have sneakers on, you won’t last for 20 minutes.” He also suggests an insulated Carhartt jacket and coveralls.
Monica Kornblatt, buyer and manager at Sno-Haus Ski and Snowboards that has locations in Huntington and Hempstead, agrees that layering is key. “The concept is that two or three thin layers work much better than one or two thick layers. [It’s] much less bulky, more comfortable and warmer.”
TIP: Fleece up
Kornblatt, 33, an avid skier, says she “lives for snow” so she’s very accustomed to dressing for the cold.
“I always wear a quality base layer top and bottom, mid-layer top, outer layer parka and pants as well as quality thermal socks and insulated mittens and gloves — this is whether I’m skiing or just enjoying a walk at Caumsett State Park,” she says. “You always want your first layer to be something that can wick moisture away from your skin while keeping in heat at the same time.”
Kornblatt says that when spending time outside in frigid weather, a jacket is best for being active but she recommends a long coat for everyday use. “More coverage is always going to keep you warmer.” She also likes to top things off with a hat. “I always look for something that has fleece on the inside or that’s doubled in fabric.”
TIP: Grab the gear
Richard Daly of Mastic Beach, 40, holds the Guinness World Record for fastest ice carving and has displayed his talents at many Long Island events including winter festivals in Port Jefferson and Sag Harbor. He’s worked his magic outdoors when it’s been 30 degrees below zero and says, “I’ve never been cold” thanks to his cold-weather gear.
Included are Ice Armor ski gloves, a hooded sweatshirt and a wind-repellent suit designed for ice fishermen with insulated pants and a “super-heavy jacket.” He adds that sometimes he’ll don a masklike hat to keep his head and face warm and he likes Columbia insulated snow boots.
Jerome Petronilia, 54, of Hempstead, is a cleaning foreman for the Long Island Rail Road who does snow removal at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters and corporate and administrative offices in Jamaica, Queens. Another fan of layering, he wears a company-issued jacket on the job but the rest of what he wears for work in the cold comes from his personal wardrobe. His main piece is a “winter overall” made for skiing and he likes the protection of a Balaclava ski mask.
Petronilia’s other cold temperature standbys are insulated waterproof boots, and a very thin white glove he wears under a heavier glove for added protection against the cold that he calls his “Michael Jackson glove.”
Layer — When dressing in your frigid-weather outfit, start with a good base layer — that used to mean wearing white long underwear but now there are more modern pieces to choose from. These have the weight of a T-shirt, fit comfortably next to skin and wick away sweat. Women’s UA ColdGear Authentic Mock, $44.99, Men’s UA ColdGear Armour Compression Mock, $37.99 — $49.99, underarmour.com.
Mask Up — This type of mask is great for keeping both your head, neck and much of your face sheltered from extreme cold. Black Polar Fleece One Hole Winter Balaclava Mask, $7.99, armyuniverse.com.
Get Heated — Electric blanket and heating pads were just the beginning. Now you can feel toasty in heated clothing that’s warmed up with a battery. Pieces range from jackets and scarves to hats and gloves. This hooded jacket has 5-zone heating — four in the front (chest and behind the lower pockets) and one large zone in the back. You get up to nine hours of heat on a single charge. Victoria Women’s 5 Zone Heated Jacket; $239, cozywinters.com.
HEAT AND SOUL — Step right into warmth with these heated shoe inserts with self-adhesive fabric covers and strips for installation on insoles of your choice; $48, Sun & Ski Sports, 197 S. Service Rd., Plainview (516-249-7980).
GIVE COLD WEATHER A SOCK — You won’t get cold feet about venturing out into winter weather with these colorful women’s Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks; $23, REI, 144 Glen Cove Rd., Carle Place (516-873-8540). Order online at rei.com for in-store pickup.