How does a Homesteading Woman stay warm—even in Skirts and Dresses?
First of all: let me say that just being a homesteading woman is an accomplishment all by itself! By stepping off the beaten path to live as a modern or old-fashioned homesteader, you’ve made a choice that few make.
Now, if you’re also a homesteading woman who likes to/chooses to wear skirts most of the time, you’re not alone. There are many women who have always done everything in a skirt, and nothing’s gonna stop them now!
Other women may tentatively dip their toe into the water of skirt wearing to see if it is comfortable, inching in a little at a time before taking the full plunge. And some don’t fully immerse themselves, but rather take a swim when the weather is fair, leaving the frigid days for something else.
I kind of hover between the three scenarios.
I’ve been the woman who gardens, rides bikes, hikes and even jumps on a trampoline in a comfy skirt. It’s totally doable! And I do like my skirts! I’ve also gone snow sledding, hauled wood, and all other manner of homestead chores with sturdy skirts.
With our property just being so muddy most of the time, and having limited space, I’ve gravitated towards jeans a lot lately. Something about not much space and climbing into our bed (that we do have to climb into) that makes me frustrated with how my skirts hang me up and also about how muddy they get! We can’t do laundry yet here, so, anyway, I save my skirts for nicer days right now.
I did digress there.
My point was that sometimes it’s practical to wear different things. I recently did a post on Seven Things I Like about Wearing Skirts and Dresses on Weekdays!
Some women will choose skirts and dresses, some will don pants, but the question remains: how does a homesteading woman stay warm?
Because I’ve spent a lot of time wearing skirts outside, I’ve come to understand that you’ve got to make some provisions to keep warm! That air blowing up on your legs is no bueno!
We will address that.
On super chilly days, even a pair of your favorite blue jeans won’t cut the cold either, so we need a little something better than those old denim duds.
I’m a homesteading woman who hates to feel cold!
So let’s deal with that!
Staying warm as a Homesteading Woman!
Keeping Warm From the inside out:
- Drink hot liquids. Start your day with a warm drink to keep your core warm. Sip on a hot drink through the day. If you’re out in the cold, take a thermos full of tea! It will stay piping hot until you drink it.
- Eat hot meals. Don’t skip a warm meal when it’s cold out! That just forces your body to warm you up once it warms your food up! It uses more energy that could be used in keeping you warm! Again—use a thermos to put hot soup into if you are going to be out in the cold.
See my post on Vegan Hot Lunches in a Thermos for some ideas!
- Skip the iced drinks. Make sure your water isn’t ice cold! It’ll be ok to drink non-freezing water! It’s actually kinder to your body to not shock your system with ice water anyway! But it’ll make you feel cold since it drops your internal body temp for a little while!
Homesteading Woman: Keeping Warm on the Homestead From the Outside In:
Each item has an important function in your wardrobe, if you want to stay warm. The important thing is not to lose heat.
If you think of your body in terms of each uncovered area being a potential heat drain, then you begin to see the importance of not leaving any area exposed, like your neck, for instance. The more skin you can cover, the less heat you’re gonna lose.
Old Timers used to have a saying:
If your feet are cold, put on a hat!
This actually holds some truth. Try it if you doubt it! Don’t go out with your head uncovered if you want to stay warm!
In the above graphic, you can see how much surface area your particular body parts cover. Keep that in mind for realizing how much heat loss can occur if you keep one or two areas uncovered.
For a homesteading woman, you can stay warm by just retaining your own heat and preventing loss by wearing appropriate clothing for the weather.
Clothing to Keep You Warm on the Homestead
- Layer up! This is the best way to stay warm! Several thin layers that are snug fitting actually keep out the cold better than a big bulky layer.
- Leggings. Leggings are my go-to in the wintertime to stay warm! I can slip on a pair under skirts or jeans, and they are thin enough that they don’t add much bulk, but because they cover my skin tightly, I don’t feel air billowing up under my skirts.Some will like high waisted leggings, but I like them to fall at my natural waist.
- My preference are leggings made from mostly cotton, rather than polyester. To me they feel better. The polyester leggings are thinner, though.
- If you’re in a extreme area, you might want to find fleece-lined leggings. These will get too hot on ordinary days.
- To be honest, most of my day to day leggings come from Walmart. I get the blue jeans leggings and wear them for a base layer or PJ pants.
- Long Johns. Similar to leggings. Made to be worn under clothes. The best are made of Silk, so they’re thin, but very warm. These are an investment but will last for years.
- You can also find the traditional waffle weave (cotton) LJ’s and some made of polyester or fleece lined. Most of mine are the cotton. 😌
- Tights. Same as leggings, but thinner usually, and they have feet.
If I have my choice, I prefer to not have feet. That way I can wear whatever socks I want and my toes don’t get squished. But I have some very warm fleece lined tights that really do keep me warm. If I’m wearing a skirt with no socks, then I prefer tights.
- Socks. For winter socks, I just like a good wool blend. I don’t really like to layer up on socks, so I want them to keep me warm in one layer. I hate to wear socks that leave my ankles exposed!
I got some nice socks at Costco recently, and was excited, because they were a nice cotton marled blend. When I got them home, and tried them on, I was super frustrated to find them short! Ugh! Warm socks should cover your ankles!
- Costco also has (used to carry) some great wool-blend socks that I really do love! But my favorites are these funky designed socks that I bought off of Amazon.
- Tights. Same as leggings, but thinner usually, and they have feet.
- Boots. The main thing is to find some good boots that will keep your feet dry! I know there are a ton of cute and warm boots available, but for homesteading, walking through mud and snow, I love my Skellerup Quatro boots. They are super sturdy, have great traction, go over pants or under skirts, and are lined to keep my feet warm. They are not a fashion statement, and are kind of klunky, but I find them to be super practical. You can get the Quatro Boots for Men/Women Here (unisex sizing)
- Pullovers. Whatever you like! Polar fleece, and whatever you find in the sporting goods stores are lightweight and very warm.
- Wool Sweaters. I know some people don’t love wool, but I do. Alpaca and wool just keep you warm! I like to wear wool cardigans, and can often skip the coat!
- My favorite sweater I bought before I was married on a trip to Ireland. We stopped at the woolen markets in Galway and I bought a woolen cardigan. It is SO WARM! Sadly it does not have a collar like this one, but if you can invest in one, you’ll wear it forever! You can get this one (from Ireland) off Amazon.
- Down Jackets. A down coat or jacket will keep you very warm, while still being very lightweight. You can find humanely gathered down coats. Bright Orange Down Parka from amazon
- I like the Lands End Waterproof Parka for use on the homestead.
- Hats. Pick what you’ll wear! Then make sure to put it on!
- Scarves. A scarf is not just an accessory! Combined with a hat, you can prevent 9% of your heat loss just by using both! I personally love scarves and my neck now feels kind of naked without one on!
- Gloves. Not trying to insult your intelligence, but do remember to wear your gloves. Cold hands are just miserable. Cold, wet hands are awful! Make sure your homestead gloves are waterproof! These are some waterproof, lined work gloves.
- Lined Pants. You can find flannel or fleece lined pants that will make working in the cold much more comfortable. I happened to find a pair of Cabela’s flannel lined jeans today in a thrift shop for $3 and they fit me! I did snatch them up! In case you can’t find some at a thrift store, you can find similar lined pants from Eddie Bauer.
- Wool or Twill Skirts. Make sure your skirts for the Homestead are tough and roomy. Comfortable too, or you will hate them. Most of my favorites have an elastic waistband to give some breathing room. If you’re going to be wearing some leggings underneath, then just make sure the waist has a teeny bit of extra room, so it doesn’t get too tight. I hate tight stuff around my waist!
- Hot Hands, Hot Socks Nowadays you can stay warm while out in extreme weather, with extra heat supplements. I’ve never actually used these, but sometimes I’ve been tempted. Hot hands can be tucked into your pockets while working.Make a Fire. If it’s feasible, this can help a lot, but a bonfire isn’t too portable! 🔥
If that’s not enough to keep you warm while out on the homestead, I don’t know what is!
Whether you’re a skirt or jeans wearer, you’ve gotta stay warm! Chores need to be done, and homesteading is hard work! Keeping warm is top priority!
I’d love to hear some of your best ways to keep warm as a homesteading woman!
Please let me know so others can learn ever better ways of keeping warm!
And if I haven’t convinced you of how much I like to keep warm, you might enjoy this post about How to get your Bed Warm when you live Off Grid