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Dress like a cabbage to stay warm this Latvian winter

Latvian winters can be cold affairs, but the best way to get through one without feeling like a frozen pea is to make like a cabbage, according to an expert in the field.

Stylist Žanna Dubska provided Latvian Television (LTV) program Revidents (Auditor, which you can watch above) with some seasonal advice on avoiding the big freeze.  According to her, the best way to approach winter clothing is to dress in multiple layers.

“Layers like cabbage. And then those cabbage leaves can be peeled off. Each subsequent layer is thicker and air must be allowed between them. ”

The stylist also added that the first layer should fit the body snugly, while each subsequent one becomes more and more voluminous. 

Dressing in multiple layers is not just a fashion trend. In the army, where soldiers often have to endure harsh weather conditions, the clothing set consists of several layers of clothing, augmented as necessary. The so-called three-layer dressing system is also popular in the Scandinavian countries where traditional wisdom has it that there is no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.

As regards fashion sense, Dubska suggests that the colors of the different layers of clothing should be mutually compatible - a maximum of three or four colors can be combined unless you are of a particularly extrovert nature.

It is recommended to use natural materials, such as silk, cashmere and cotton, closer to the body. Subsequent layers may contain synthetics.

True, cotton clothing should be avoided if one is planning to engage in physical activity. Tatjana Ļiņova, an immunologist and dermatologist at Veselības centrs 4 and Capital Clinic Riga, explained that cotton clothing can get wet from perspiration and cool the body quickly.

"Nowadays, there are various microfiber garments that both absorb the existing moisture and prevent the formation of a large temperature difference," said Ļiņova. Wool and especially merino wool clothing will also provide warmth.

The warmest outer jackets, on the other hand, will be those filled with porous fibers or down.

Rīga Technical University's (RTU)  Faculty of Materials Science and Applied Chemistry Professor Inese Ziemele  said that it is important to pay attention to whether the chosen clothing contains a laminate cloth, which allows the release of body moisture and at the same time promotes heat retention.

"At best, it is a three-layer laminate fabric with a layer of nanofibers between the two layers, the top and the lining. It lets out moisture - our body moisture, but it doesn't let water in,” Ziemele explained.

In previous times, animal skins for various types were often the answer. Ziemele told the show that the topic of wearing fur is very challenging. They are warm, of course, but the fur should be where it should be - on animal bodies or as part of clothing in the north, says Ziemele: "Where Eskimos live, where there is no other and more environmental option."

Ziemele also invited everyone to think not only about the clothes we have on our backs, but also about gloves, hats and warm socks:

"The heat core is in our chest, where the temperature is 36-37 degrees.

The farthest from the core are the legs and arms, with the feet and hands. The first traces of cold are found furthest from this core. That's why your feet and legs need to be warm and your hands are the same. ”

The expert explained that the head and especially the ears must also be warm, because they have a lot of small blood vessels, where heat exchange takes place very quickly. If your ears get cold, they will contribute to cooling the body over time.

While we at LSM do not claim to be experts, we would like to offer one extra piece of advice. When it's really cold, ditch your gloves and don a nice pair of knitted Latvian mittens. They are warmer, hands down. Or even hands up. 

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