Thursday, January 15, 2009

Favorite tools: Neoprene face mask and other stay-warm clothing

Today is very cold. It was minus 18 F (-26 C) as I waited for the train. About minus 10 as I trekked the mile across the Loop to my office. But I was toasty warm, thanks to my four favorite tools to combat the cold (two old-fashioned, two from new-fangled materials).

Neoprene face mask - Sure, I look like a bank robber when I wear it, but it keeps my face warm and lets me breathe. Yes, I could achieve all that with a tightly wrapped muffler, but here's the significant advantage: my glasses don't fog up and ice over. The design directs my exhaled breath down and away from my face, and I can proceed confidently instead of viewing the world through an admittedly artful icy haze. ($11 from Campmor)

Silk long underwear - This stuff is fantastic. It is gossamer-like, as thin and elegant as a white lie. It lies unconspicuous beneath a pair of slacks or jeans, and your legs are miraculously warm. Much more comfortable than nylons.

Polarfleece - Yum! I have a couple "fuzzies" that are stylish enough to pass as casual office wear. They're light and warm and wash with no fuss.

Down - God bless the geese who gave their downy bottoms to keep me warm. (Down doesn't make me feel as guilty as fur does, though maybe it should.) I just got a very long down coat from LL Bean, and it is "ultrawarm" as promised. After a few blocks' walk, standing on the corner waiting to cross, I sense that I'm enveloped in a column of warmth.

In French you could say "Je ne crains pas le froid," (literally, "I don't fear the cold") for "I'm staying warm."


Kay Morrison said...

You're doing a great service for the public of the northern tier, currently in the deep freeze.

Furthermore, you look pretty cute in the bank robber get up.

Jeffrey said...

If you use the mask to rob a bank, it pays for itself. Bonus!

"thin and elegant as a white lie." Now that's a vivid metaphor.