Originally known as long johns, thermal clothing was mainly seen as underwear and has long been worn to help combat the colder weather. It is specifically designed to provide an extra layer of insulation, keeping the body heat in and the cold out. It does this by using materials that are designed to wick moisture from the skin, ensuring continual warmth and comfort.
Nowadays, thermal clothing extends to outerwear, such as jackets, tops and trousers. In this article, we will look at the origin or thermal clothing, the science behind them and the best ways to incorporate thermals into your winter wardrobe.
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Origins of Thermals
Although there is some confusion over the origin story, it is widely accepted that John Smedley manufactured the first set of thermals (or ‘long johns as they were originally known as) in the 18th Century and named them ‘long johns’ after the American Boxer John L Sullivan. They were meant to be worn under clothes, to help keep warm during the winter In 1897, the company moved away from boxing and started producing underwear for prospectors and miners that were “unshrinkable”.
Fast forward to the 20th Century, and technological advancements have given manufacturers a better understanding of fabric properties. This led to Peter Duke (founder of Steamboat Springs) creating outerwear from merino wool, as unlike synthetics, wool did not move the heat or moistures away from the body, but rather prevented the excess of moisture building up (which would lead to making the body feel damp or cold).
Now in the 21st Century, thermals are being manufactured into outerwear as well as underwear. Such outerwear includes thermal lined tops and trousers.
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How Thermal Clothing Works
Most pieces are typically made up of two-ply fabrics (wool, fleece nylon or cotton blends), and designed to trap heat close to the body, thus preventing it from escaping into the cold air. This in turn keeps you getting too hot and sweaty by regulating your body temperature. These materials are also designed to wick moisture away from your skin, ensuring that you stay dry and comfortable throughout the day.
Why Choose Thermal Clothing?
The choice to invest in thermal men’s clothes, especially thermal trousers and tops, is a smart one for several reasons:
Thermal clothing is specifically designed to keep you warm in cold conditions. It provides an additional layer of insulation to protect you from the chill.
Thermal clothing is incredibly comfortable, with soft, moisture-wicking materials that move with your body. This makes it perfect for various outdoor activities.
Thermal clothing can be worn as a base layer or on its own, depending on the weather and your preferences. This versatility makes it a valuable addition to your wardrobe.
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Types of Thermal Clothing
Thermal Trousers: Stay Comfortable from Hip to Hem
When it comes to staying warm in cold weather, it’s not just your upper body that needs attention. Keeping your legs warm is equally important, and this is where thermal trousers come into play.
A Closer Look at Thermal Trousers
Thermal trousers, sometimes referred to as thermal pants, are designed to fit snugly against your legs to provide an extra layer of insulation. They are typically made from soft, stretchy materials that allow for easy movement while keeping you warm. However, this is not the case for all thermal trousers, as sometimes thermal refers to the lining rather than the material.
Thermal Expand-A-Band Trouser
The Thermal Expand-A-Band Trouser from Carabou Menswear is an excellent choice for those who prioritise both comfort and warmth. With its expandable waistband, it offers a customised fit that’s perfect for all-day wear. The brushed lining inside provides an extra layer of warmth, making it an ideal option for outdoor activities in the cold. The trousers are designed to be functional and stylish, ensuring you look great while staying cosy.
Thermal Original Expand A Band Trouser. Brushed Thermal Fabric for Warmth and Comfort. Hidden Self Adjusting Expandable Waistband gives 2 inches for that Extra Comfort and Flexible Fit. Machine Washable Zip Fly Four Pockets Rear Button Pockets Self-adjusting Waistband Polyester Available in 27″ leg
Men’s thermal trousers are often designed to be worn as a base layer, ensuring that they are not bulky and can fit under your regular clothing. However, as mentioned above, manufacturers are now incorporating thermal lining into traditional trousers, allowing men a range of different trouser styles that will continue to offer them warmth, style and comfort.
Thermal Action Trouser
For those who need a more active and versatile option, the Thermal Action Trouser from Carabou Menswear is an exceptional choice. These trousers are designed to be both warm and flexible, making them suitable for various outdoor activities. The stretch fabric allows for freedom of movement, while the thermal lining keeps you comfortably warm. With multiple pockets for convenience, these trousers are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts.
Fully Fleeced Thermal Multi Pocket Action Trouser with Side Elastic for Extra Comfort. Made from a Poly Cotton Fabric with a Water Repellent Finish. Ideal for Work and the Outdoors. Machine Washable Fleece Lined Hem Zip Fly Moisture & Stain Resistant Nine Pocket Side Elastic Poly/Cotton Available in 27″ leg
Top It Off: Thermal Tops for Ultimate Warmth
While thermal trousers keep your lower body warm, thermal tops are crucial for maintaining overall warmth and comfort. Whether you’re layering up or wearing them on their own, these tops are a must-have for any cold-weather wardrobe.
The Versatility of Thermal Tops
Thermal tops, sometimes known as thermal shirts or long-sleeve thermal shirts, offer versatility in your wardrobe. You can wear them as a base layer beneath your regular clothing or as standalone pieces. They come in various styles, including crew neck, V-neck, and zip-up options, allowing you to choose the best fit for your needs and preferences.
Let’s explore two remarkable thermal tops from Carabou Menswear:
Ryc ¼ Zip Thermal Fleece
The RYC 1/4 Zip Thermal Fleece is a stylish and functional choice for those seeking an extra layer of warmth. With its quarter-zip design, you can easily adjust your level of ventilation. The thermal fleece material is not only warm but also soft and comfortable against the skin. This top is perfect for a wide range of activities, from casual outings to more adventurous pursuits.
Dorset Full Zip Fleece Lined Jacket
Made with bonded chenille, making it extra soft, stay stylish and comfy, our Dorset Full Zip Fleece adds a touch of sophistication to your winter wardrobe, making it suitable for various occasions. The thermal fleece material ensures that you stay warm, while the versatile styling options make this top a valuable addition to your collection.
Layering for Maximum Warmth
The secret to staying warm and comfortable in cold weather lies in layering. By combining thermal trousers and tops, you can create a winning combination that keeps you toasty throughout the day.
Layering is the practice of wearing multiple layers of clothing to trap heat and keep your body warm. Start with a thermal top as your base layer, which wicks moisture away from your skin. Over this, add thermal trousers to keep your lower body snug. The combination of these two layers ensures that you have all-over warmth and comfort.
Looking Good in Thermal Clothing
Thermal clothing doesn’t mean sacrificing style for warmth. Many brands, including Carabou Menswear, offer a wide range of stylish options to keep you looking sharp while staying warm. From classic designs to contemporary choices, there’s a thermal outfit to suit every taste.
Now that you’ve learned about layering and coordination, it’s time to delve into some tips for choosing the right thermal men’s clothes for your specific needs.
Choosing the Right Thermal Mens Clothes for Your Needs
Selecting the perfect thermal clothing for your needs involves considering various factors. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices:
Activity Level: Think about the activities you’ll be doing. If you’re planning on more active pursuits, such as hiking or skiing, choose thermal clothing that offers mobility and breathability.
Climate: Consider the climate in which you’ll be wearing your thermal clothing. For extremely cold conditions, you may need heavy-duty options, while milder weather may allow for lighter materials.
Layering: Decide how you plan to use your thermal clothing. If you want a versatile layering option, choose thermal tops and trousers that can be comfortably worn as base layers.
Fit: Ensure a comfortable fit. Thermal clothing should fit snugly to trap heat but not so tight that it restricts movement.
Material: Pay attention to the materials used. Synthetic fabrics are excellent for moisture-wicking, while natural materials like merino wool offer natural insulation.
Brand and Quality: Invest in quality brands like Carabou Menswear, known for their durable and stylish thermal clothing.
Photo Credit: caraboumenswear.com
Tips for Maintaining Your Thermal Clothing
To ensure the longevity of your thermal clothing, it’s essential to care for it properly. Here are some tips for maintaining your thermal trousers and tops:
Follow Care Instructions: Always check the care label for specific washing and drying instructions. Most thermal clothing can be machine-washed, but it’s crucial to use the right settings.
Avoid High Heat: While thermal clothing is designed to withstand cold temperatures, it’s sensitive to high heat. Avoid using hot water and high-temperature drying cycles, as they can damage the materials.
Use Mild Detergents: Stick to mild detergents to preserve the integrity of the fabric. Harsh chemicals can reduce the insulation and moisture-wicking properties.
Store Properly: When not in use, store your thermal clothing in a cool, dry place. Avoid hanging them in direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and damage.
Inspect Regularly: Check your thermal clothing for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying seams or fabric thinning. Replace any worn-out items to maintain their effectiveness.
Thermal clothing is your ticket to staying warm and comfortable during the cold winter months. With its wick moisture material regulating your body temperature, while also dispersing heat equally around your body, you can stay warm and comfortable in any weather.
In terms of styling, with the right combination of thermal trousers and tops, you can venture into the outdoors with confidence, knowing that you are fashionably protected from the chill.
From the flexibility of thermal trousers to the style and warmth of thermal tops, Carabou Menswear offers a fantastic range of products to help you embrace the comfort of thermal clothing.