Back to basics with thermals

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Seeing as spring isn't playing ball, Anna Hunter takes a look at the thankfully new and improved thermals designed to get you through the winter weather in style

Spring. A time for frolicking new-born lambs, cheeping baby birds and blossoming flowers. Bunnies race across crisp green fields and trees regain their glossy leaves. We ditch the winter woollies and make way for chiffon, florals and hotpants (if the shop floors of Topshop are anything to go by). Hang on, hold that thought; I think that we can all acknowledge that the above is NOT HAPPENING.
 
Instead the sun has scarpered and we are living in a perennial snow globe with the temperature struggling to climb above zero. We can safely assume that, for the moment at least, spring isn’t playing ball and so we must adjust our seasonal sartorial strategy. We’ve already spent more than six months dealing with this less than desirable dankness and we haven’t abandoned our shivery little island yet; our stiff upper lips have held firm and we will soldier on. Hear that, “spring”? We’re getting tactical and we will fight you. With our thermals. Yeah. Don’t mess with our base layers, biatch.

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In all seriousness I hope that most of you have noticed that thermals aren’t what they used to be. In a good way. Dad’s saggy long johns and Gran’s bobbly bloomers are no longer the order of the day when it comes to self-insulation; we are pleased to report that thermals got hot.
 
For all of you thermal first timers out there, we suggest that you ease yourself into said underrated undergarments during weekends. Kick back safely within your comfort zone with some cockle-warming classics from good old Marks & Spencer. Just as their lingerie range has been given a much-needed injection of sex appeal from the ravishing Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, so their thermal collection has been brought bang up to date with the addition of Heatgen™, a lightweight fabric with a two star thermal rating. Slip on a silky Lace Empire Line Camisole, £11.20, and stay snug while maintaining an air of seduction.
 
Clearly we’re not suggesting that simply prancing about the house in an under vest is the path to balmy joy. Ladies, we need to get on board with layering. Here to help is the reassuringly named Hush, whose range of sleepwear and loungewear will keep out the chill and cocoon you in a cloud of cosiness. Team the Two Tone Sloppy Joe Dress, £45, with a pair of super soft Leggings, £25, Ankle Sheepskin Boots, £95, and a Cashmere Ribbed Ring Scarf, £70. Layer with a Cashmere Crop Hoody, £225, by chic yet understated label ME+EM and get some Gluhwein on the AGA. When spring is acting so coy you might as well make like you’re in Chamonix, and happily your loose layers will help to conceal any fondue or Raclette related overindulgence.

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Unfortunately, we can’t all retreat into hibernation when the frost sets in, yet few of us would verge into the realm of the work thermal. It’s time to take the plunge, and Japanese basic wear label Uniqlo is here to hold our hand and keep us toasty on the commute. If you haven’t heard of their HEATTECH range, from £7.90, it’s time to get acquainted with these cutting-edge winter wardrobe staples, as each item in the collection is made of a heat-generating, high tech fabric that absorbs body moisture to produce warmth.

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Despite the fabric’s technological complexity, it is feather light and gloriously soft, ensuring that you can layer to your heart’s delight without ever risking a Michelin Man silhouette. HEATTECH also contains an antibacterial agent to minimise odours and has anti-static properties, so fuzz and clamminess won’t figure in your 9 to 5.
 
For all over warmth at work combine a HEATTECH base layer with some boardroom worthy additions from the sophisticated Warm Collection by Hot Squash. With patented, in-built thermal technology, the Pleat Fronted Top, £55, and Slouch & Glam Trousers, £65, will conserve heat while looking sleek. For other workwear warmers head to American Apparel to pick up a pair of Winter Leggings, £33, and a go-with-everything Unisex Thermal Long Sleeve Henley, £24.  

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 Just as we can’t skip work, it’s inadvisable to become a full-time duvet dweller over the colder months when exercise regimes are concerned. If the thought of a jog in the park during a Baltic spell is sending shivers up your spine, you need to take a trip to Sweaty Betty. A pair of Nimble Thermal Run Tights, £70, will shield your pins from polar winds, and to ensure total-body temperature control team them with a Chill Resist Run Hoody, £145, Burn Up Thermal Top, £65, and Run Wool Gloves, £28. Fitness fanatics can also fight the freeze with Nike Element Thermal Tights, £50, and a Nike Sphere All-Time Full Zip, £60, or Thermal Half Zip, £40.

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 Now that we have given you some ideas for chill eliminating outfits, Blighty will probably go all Caribbean on us, but don’t fret - we have a feeling that such insulation is a sound investment. We are casting our minds back to last summer and championing that hardy Scout motto: ‘Be prepared’. The seasons can be naughty, but you’ll be ready to put them in their place.


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