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  • Jackets / Sweaters to keep warm in a cold office

    Hi folks,

    I work in a fairly casual office environment (in tech), but run cold. Beyond that, living in Seattle, it's frequently chilly.

    My go to for everyday wear around the office is either a shawl-collar sweater (worn with a long sleeve warmup layer underneath), or flannels (layered with the aforementioned warmup layer) and chinos.

    Even with those things, I still frequently feel cold around the office. That means I often end up wearing one of my 3 staple jackets (something similar to this one most often, but sometimes this or a packable down) for most of the day.

    Looking for suggestions of additional jacket-type warming layers I can incorporate. Just ordered my first thick cardigan, and that might be a good option over my flannels, but wondering if you all have alternative suggestions. Jackets? Shirt-jackets? Thick versatile sweaters? I'm open to ideas!

    Thanks in advance for your guidance,
    Daniel

  • #2
    What about a base layer underneath? Something like a merino smartwool base layer, a button up, a lightweight v neck, a chunky cardigan or bomber cardigan should keep you warm enough. You could throw a tweed blazer over all of that as well if you were still cold.

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    • #3
      Not trying to be a jerk, but have you had your thyroid checked? Having to wear a down jacket all day inside seems a bit excessive to me.

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      • #4
        I have a couple shawl cardigans from Gap and even though they are 100% cotton they are nice and warm due to their bulk. You could also try a fleece lined base layer. My wife has a pair of Hot Chillys that she loves.

        Don't forget a pair of merino wool socks or a heat retaining synthetic.

        But yeah if you are wearing a good fleece lined base layer, a flannel shirt, a heavy shawl cardigan and still need extra warmth I think you must be working in an igloo.

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        • #5
          and by the way, I have that 32 degree warm up layer...I am a big fan of 32 degree but I dont think those things help very much. My merino wool layer was a little more money but us way better at retaining heat.

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          • #6
            Getting your thyroid levels checked is never a bad idea. Mine went temporarily haywire about a decade ago and while it was spilling hormone I would break into sweats periodically just sitting at my desk. I was losing weight without even trying. One of my female colleagues was like "I want a thyroid disorder" but...after that I went deficient for a while and was cold all the time and the weight came back on. I eventually normalized.

            I was in an office that was really chilly last year. I'd opt for a good mid to heavy weight wool cardigan. You could go with a shetland or heavier merino wool crewneck or something but cardigans are nice for the office because you don't have to pull them off over your head. Or, a wool shirt jacket, which leans even more casual than a cardigan. Or, if your office is not so casual that this would be out of place, a casual tweed sport coat would add warmth and style, and is more indoor appropriate than outerwear. It also gives you multiple indoor layering options - shirt with sweater, shirt with sport coat, shirt with sport coat AND sweater.
            “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Creature View Post
              Not trying to be a jerk, but have you had your thyroid checked? Having to wear a down jacket all day inside seems a bit excessive to me.
              depends. my office is kept cold as hell for some reason. i estimate 60 degrees. it's ridiculous. that said, a simple basic sweater is enough for me. today i went with one of the shawl collar sweaters from target recommended on here. quite surprisingly nice for the low price i paid, and the shawl helps warm the neck a bit.

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              • #8
                Some good suggestions here. Thanks, everyone, for the ideas.

                [MENTION=12021]idvsego[/MENTION] I like the idea of a more substantial and warm base layer. You're probably right that my current undershirt isn't doing that much. If I did that with a flannel and chunky cardigan, I think I'd be ok, warmth wise.

                [MENTION=12684]Creature[/MENTION] my wife is a nurse and says I'm fine. Don't have any signs of a low thyroid - everyone in my family just seems to run cold. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                [MENTION=19117]Ron[/MENTION] - I could see how something like this would make a difference. Fleece lined base layer also sounds very warm, and didn't know they were a thing. Something to google, along with merino base layers. So many more base options than I initially thought about!

                [MENTION=4392]mark4[/MENTION] I have been looking at a sherpa lined shirt-jacket. Can't imagine that not being warm enough. My office is about as casual as it can get - not uncommon to see t-shirts and jeans (though flannel etc is more common). If I wore a blazer, it would look like I was trying too hard (alas, because I'd actually LIKE to wear them more often).

                [MENTION=17082]Hebrew Barrister[/MENTION] as you'll see, I'm trying much the same thing

                A few days back, I did order this cardigan during cyber Monday. When that arrives, we'll see if it's helpful. I

                Based on this thread, I'm also about to go on a base layer online shopping spree. Thank god for free returns.
                Last edited by Danny; December 6, 2019, 01:12 AM. Reason: formatting

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                • #9
                  How about getting a smaller heater for under your desk? my coworker runs extremely cold all the time. When the other guys are in the office they crank it down. I am also freezing but not to her levels. She got a little heater under there. Keeps her feet warm and adds heat to that area. Also helps avoid having to wear a big jacket at work.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
                    How about getting a smaller heater for under your desk? my coworker runs extremely cold all the time. When the other guys are in the office they crank it down. I am also freezing but not to her levels. She got a little heater under there. Keeps her feet warm and adds heat to that area. Also helps avoid having to wear a big jacket at work.
                    those heaters are banned in a lot of large offices. huge current draw. get 2 or 3 on the same breaker and pow...lights out for that section. has happened more than once at out office.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
                      How about getting a smaller heater for under your desk?
                      Decent idea, but my goal with asking this question was to find a less-embarassing way to stay warm at work. To me, a space heater is just about on par with wearing a coat indoors for the ridiculous factor.

                      I've been encouraged by other comments here which have urged me to reevaluate my base layer - I think that by notably stepping that up, I'll be fine.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Danny View Post
                        Decent idea, but my goal with asking this question was to find a less-embarassing way to stay warm at work. To me, a space heater is just about on par with wearing a coat indoors for the ridiculous factor.

                        I've been encouraged by other comments here which have urged me to reevaluate my base layer - I think that by notably stepping that up, I'll be fine.
                        You know your office best but I don't think a small heater under the desk is ridiculous. I've seen them in almost every office I've worked at. The key is the right size and not making sure it's too loud. My coworkers is very small and not loud. Honeywell. The benefit is it gives you flexibility if going somewhere else. With base layers if you get stuck in a hot room you are stuck. You cannot easily remove a base layer like a sweater, or jacket.

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                        • #13
                          Follow up question for the fine folks on this thread (@idvsego, [MENTION=13934]hockeysc23[/MENTION], [MENTION=19117]Ron[/MENTION] etc):

                          I'm looking at base layers, and these seems to be different weights. Also, most options are predominantly polyester (see here or here). Generally, I try to avoid poly like the plauge... but in this case, the synthetic nature might make it more warm? What do you think of those options?

                          The most ideal I know, would be something merino.... but I just can't justify spending ~$100 on ONE base layer. I'd be looking to buy 5 or so total, and $500 is more than I want to invest here. I was thinking $25-30 each. Any specific suggestions for layers that would work? Beyond choice itself, what weight should I look for - Medium weight or Heavy weight (which seem to be rated for ACTUALLY freezing temps)?

                          Thoughts / suggestions for what i should go with?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by hockeysc23 View Post
                            You know your office best but I don't think a small heater under the desk is ridiculous. The benefit is it gives you flexibility if going somewhere else. With base layers if you get stuck in a hot room you are stuck. You cannot easily remove a base layer like a sweater, or jacket.
                            Didn't mean to disparage your comment, it's just that I'd want something that A) keeps me warm regardless of where I am (I work in software sales, so I frequently use meeting rooms away from my desk for customer calls) and B) is less visible.

                            I'm not as worried about issues taking off a layer, because I've never be too hot at work. If I do encounter that problem, I can scale back the warmth rating of the base layer, and will have just acquired a good base for snow excursions.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Danny View Post
                              Didn't mean to disparage your comment, it's just that I'd want something that A) keeps me warm regardless of where I am (I work in software sales, so I frequently use meeting rooms away from my desk for customer calls) and B) is less visible.

                              I'm not as worried about issues taking off a layer, because I've never be too hot at work. If I do encounter that problem, I can scale back the warmth rating of the base layer, and will have just acquired a good base for snow excursions.
                              No offense taken Just throwing out some alternative ideas. Best of luck finding one that works.

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