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Long johns: style hell, but a necessity.

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  • Long johns: style hell, but a necessity.

    I fully realise that I'm opening myself up to all sorts of jokes by starting this thread. I only ask that my fellow Dapperedites remain mature.

    It's darned cold here in Scotland and I've started looking for a decent source of long underwear. Does anyone have any recommendations? Long underwear may not be the most stylistically sound undergarment, but it's an absolute necessity in sub-zero temperatures.

    I have a few of Uniqlo's Heattech long johns, but they don't seem to do much.

  • #2
    Merino wool baselayers will be the most comfortable and do the best job at trapping heat and wicking moisture, but also among the most expensive. Icebreakers and Smartwool do a bunch of different variations. Fortunately merino is pretty hard-wearing and highly resistant to odor so you should only need a couple pairs if you go this route.

    A synthetic blend with wool or silk will be the next most effective, and probably a lot cheaper. Look for a waffle pattern if you're looking for maximum warmth.

    Cotton and pure synthetics are generally the least effective at trapping heat and managing moisture. Cotton, especially, retains moisture like a sponge and can become pretty uncomfortable over an extended period of wear. Synthetics trap body odor like no one's business, so you will need more pairs of these to wear between laundering. But these are also by far the cheapest options you will find (I know Target sells cotton/synthetic blend baselayers for something like $10).


    • #3 ships internationally, has a 100% lifetime guarantee, and sells their own merino underwear under their Stoic brand label. The pricing is a lot better than the big brands like Smartwool.


      • #4
        I have a few pairs of long underwear. Great for Michigan winters. I agree you can't go wrong with merino wool. Also look into products from Marmot. They make some great underlayers and they are widely available online.


        • #5
          Personally, I own Icebreaker stuff. Can't go wrong there. The Stoic that BenR linked to is also supposed to be good. But like everyone said, merino wool is the way to go.

          Keep an eye on They have both Stoic and Icebreaker, I think I average about $35 or so per Icebreaker shirt, all purchased from there.

          Edit: Also, if you think about it, these things are really style savers. The Merino wool is so thin, no-one will ever know you have them on... Unlike bundling up OVER the clothes you want to wear.


          • #6
            I know it may not be what you wanted, but anytime I'm out in the cold (mostly backcountry snowboarding), I'll wear some compression thermals as my base layer. Some wool stuff usually, but the first thing I thought of when being cold and looking good, was something lightweight and trim... Something like this shortsleeve or this longsleeve, not sure how the Under Armour stuff holds up, but it was the first amazon thing I found.


            • #7
              I also agree with SteepAndCheap, used to shop there a lot, but keep an eye on amazon or similar shops, sometimes you can get a better deal than SAC.


              • #8
                +1 to what everyone else has said about merino wool. I own a number of SmartWool pairs for camping in cold weather/extreme climes and they have never failed. You can wear them for a few days in a row without working about odor and they stay warm even if you're wet!



                • #9
                  I have never really worn long johns, and I'm not a fan of Abercrombie, but the long johns they have on sale right now look pretty awesome. If you buy them online today they are an extra 20% off and you won't have to take a cologne sample from a dude sans shirt.

                  Abercrombie Bartlet Pond Long Johns