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My Winter Workout Gear – What I’m Wearing And Loving Both Indoors And Out When It’s Chilly (And Even Freezing)

Despite the weather being different up here than in SoCal, I love the few months after the holidays when I hunker down, stay in every night, make so much cozy food, and recommit to an exercise routine that was forgotten during most of November and December. Honestly, part of it is just the need for endorphins during the darkness, and I am forever grateful for these dogs that force me to walk in nature for 1-2 hours a day (which is a huge mood boost and very missed when I don’t do it). So today I’ll show you the pieces that I wear inside (for yoga classes and Pelaton rides) as well as the base layer when I go outside and the different jackets and coats that I need for different temperatures or weather. If you have coat confusion and never know what coat you need for what weather or temperature, you are not alone. I’ve figured some things out.

Matching Sets (That Are Also Easy To Throw On A Top For Zoom Calls)

Tank | Leggings

I booked a partnership with Vuori which I said yes to immediately because almost everything that I’ve bought from the I’ve loved (this post isn’t sponsored, just instastories, but I wanted to show you here because I love them). I bought these leggings recently (which I’ve linked up before) and couldn’t believe how soft they were and proceeded to buy two more (and then Oscar ate the crotch out of one of them so I’m back to two). So I knew that for this brand (as well as for most) I like to size up in leggings to be more comfortable. This patterned version I’m wearing is a bit slicker, but still extremely comfortable and very, very flattering. I can wear them all day every day – they don’t cut in anywhere and the subtle pattern makes them forgiving – it shows nothing underneath. I can’t HANDLE when pants are thin and you see all the bits and bobs – the fabric technology is so much better now so don’t settle for this if you don’t want to.

I rarely wear a tank top because I’m self-conscious, which is dumb, but I’m more comfortable covering them up. I recently started back into a heated yoga class and I need to wear less clothes so I don’t DIE. As far as the tank/sports bra – this one has a support shelf and shaping pads (that don’t add too much bulk, they just give your ladies a nice shape). I can definitely wear this for yoga, but not anything too high impact as it’s not a super supportive sports bra (but again, I have large 43-year-old natural lady DD boobs, so they like support if I jump up and down a lot:). I love the cut of this in front and back – it doesn’t cut in in the armpit at all (I’m wearing a medium) and I like a racer back. The tank stays down more than any other (you can watch some yoga moves in stories if you want to see it in action). I’ve historically not worn super cute matching sets because I don’t love wearing really tight or small clothes, but this set is so cute and it changed my mind quickly and made me honestly just feel a little better/cooler. I like the peek of the midriff without showing off too much in different poses.

Tank | Leggings

I’m pretty sure I’m watching Cody ride, listening to Kelly Clarkson, as we were shooting this (IFKYK). This gray tank is so cute but less supportive than the other. Brian is a fan, FYI, so I wear this more for weight lifting in our bedroom (until we figure out where we are going to put all our home gym stuff) and like it for more mellow Peloton rides (not the HIIT and hills ones). These pants are also excellent. A different cut than the others, in a dark camo which is again flattering and forgiving.

T-Shirt (similar) | Tank | Leggings | Shoes (similar)

I put this together so you could see my favorite pants but they are all sold out in black (stay tuned). I’m more likely to go to yoga wearing this crop top and then de-robe when it gets hot, revealing my tank underneath. Also, I couldn’t find my mat so yes, that is a bathroom runner turned upside down, fooling even myself:)

My Base Layer For Colder Days – Mostly Dog Walking

After walking the dogs for a year and a half up here I’ve gone through a lot of coat confusion and there is NOTHING worse than when you are 2 miles away and you are either A. still cold or B. sweating inside your coat. So I start with a good base layer then let the temperature of the coat match the weather. It’s a patented formula, science-backed.

Top (similar) | Bra | Leggings | Socks

These awkward poses are because I was trying to show you both the finger holes on the shirt (which keeps my hands colder) AND the pockets in the pants for my cell phone. These pants are on the warmer side which is good if I don’t want to wear a long coat. They also have great compression, which is so good for a fast performance. That shirt doesn’t look anything special but I find the cut more flattering than longer cuts. I couldn’t find the shirt online, but this one looks very great and similar function. What you can’t see is the most supportive sports bra I’ve bought in a long time (great for high-impact anything – I can run again!!) as it has clasps and zipper in front and clasps in the back. Neither pants nor sports bra are “sitting around the house” comfortable, but they are both high-performance for HIIT workouts or when I muster up the willpower to actually run the dogs.

Solving My Coat Confusion – What I Wear Outside On My Long Dog Walks

Coat (similar)

It should be known (again) that I was a professional dog walker in my early 20’s in New York – a job that I really loved and clearly, it turned into a very committed daily hobby (can walking be a hobby? If so I’m really nailing it these days). But it took me a while to dial in my dog-walking attire in the PNW winter months. I don’t want to layer because I don’t want bulk or to feel claustrophobic, but I hate being cold and definitely not sweaty while it’s cold outside. You have to strategize and I take it very seriously. I start with a good base layer that is thin but warm (above), then I need to calculate the temperature and the precipitation chances to choose the right coat for the time of the day (and the time of day matters!). I want to warm up quickly but not get sweaty on mile three.

This first one is my 20-40 degree coat that I wear especially when I don’t want to change into super warm pants. I can wear any of my above thing and comfy leggings, throw this coat on and I’m warm from my neck to my ankles (I hate cold legs). It is extremely warm and if I wear it when it’s 45+ degrees, on a big walk, I will get too hot and sweat which is annoying. But it’s perfect for the 34-degree mornings when leaving the house in the pitch black which feels painful unless you are bundled up properly and it’s great for standing on the sidelines of any games in the winter.

One of the things I love about it is that the top half is lined with fleece so that it’s extremely cozy. I don’t layer anything underneath except a long sleeve shirt. The bottom half is slick parka material making it light and easy to walk in. And there are zipper pockets on both the outside and inside. I read a lot of good reviews on this coat before I bought it and would buy it over and over and over. It zips from your calves to your neck and is just so warm, without being heavy. UGH. I can’t see to find the link for it (I bought it last year). I’m sorry! But this one is super similar.

Jacket

Next up is my 45 – 55 degree jacket. This is great for long walks (but might not be warm enough for just hanging by the soccer field in winter, but def good in fall/spring). I like that it’s long enough to still keep my butt warm. Lululemon loves a fitted body-con coat which I don’t think is necessary (meaning they contour their coats to create a flattering hourglass shape) so yes, it is slimming. Definitely size up – this is a 6 and there are days when it feels too tight (I have an even older model of the same coat in a size 4 which still fits – I don’t get it (and yes I’ve been frustrated buying online, so I try to it just in person when I need something new).

It’s a good jacket, and on final sale for $50 off, that I do wear a lot. I wish that the current colors were available when I bought this one (that blue is so good!). If I didn’t have this one already I would buy it now in the reflective gear colorway as gearing up with my reflector vest and headlamp is annoying…

The Oversized Fleece

Warm Fleece

Another for 45 – 65 degree brisk walks, and this one is warm enough on its own if you are standing outside for soccer. I just got it and have worn it a lot in the last 2 weeks. It’s a great oversized fleece that is extremely cozy on the inside (it drives me nuts when fleeces aren’t fleece-y on the inside!). It doesn’t look very flattering up there, but I feel cute wearing it. I like that it has so many pockets and is just really warm.

It’s long enough to cover your butt (which keeps you SO much warmer than just going to your waist) but you can also style it up like that (which is cute in a bulbous kinda way). I find that I wear this around the house a lot, like a grandpa sweater.

The Long But Light Raincoat

Raincoat

This is my 60+ degree raincoat (or long windbreaker). I avoid walking the dogs in the pouring rain because nobody likes that, but I definitely walk them in sprinkles or take the risk during dryer moments on rainier days. When it does rain I don’t love my legs getting wet, so this one goes down to my knees and feels more like a long windbreaker than a big raincoat. Definitely not for warmer days, but sometimes in the afternoons it gets warm enough that I just want a layer (like a top sheet for those of you who like to sleep with just a bit of fabric). And it has a hood in case I get caught in the rain, which I obviously have.

The Short Rain Jacket/Windbreaker

Jacket

Lastly, for my afternoon walk when it’s not cold (55+) I want something lightweight, with a pocket that will block the air/wind. This guy isn’t really flashy (I have other spring windbreakers just you wait) but it is simple and good.

It has a zipper pouch, zips up to your chin (keeping your neck warm), and is water and windproof. I suppose if you were a big winter hiker this would be a great one for you – super lightweight but keeps out the elements.

And there you have it. I can’t believe how much I had to say about each one. I do think there is a big hole in the market specifically for cool ‘dog walking’ clothes. I’d be happy to collaborate with a brand on this because I have a lot of grievances and suggestions. We dog walkers deserve to look and feel cool, too, while being safe at night and warm during the day. Once again giving away a million-dollar idea … 🙂

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Annie
1 year ago

Okay, “mid-drift” is officially my favorite typo ever!

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Annie

lol fixed!

SLG
1 year ago

Wait is there a link for the most supportive sports bra you’ve bought in a long time? This DD wants to know! Don’t leave us all hanging lol!

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  SLG
SLG
1 year ago
Reply to  Jess Bunge

Amazing, thank you!

caroline
1 year ago

Thanks for this! I’m hoping to move to the PNW in a year or so.
Question: what do you wear when you’re outside (not walking the dogs) but it is below 55 degrees and raining pretty heavily? Extra base layers or a down vest under your light weight raincoat, or another coat entirely?

Laura
1 year ago
Reply to  caroline

As a Portlander, I was curious about the same. Good post but it doesn’t provide tips for the most prevalent Portland weather for about 5 months out of the year—when it is rainy and under 55 degrees! I would love to hear suggestions for both active outerwear as well as more dressy options. It’s something I still struggle with after living here for 15 years!

Shanna Dixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Laura

Umbrellas!

Karen
1 year ago
Reply to  caroline

I wear a down jacket, somewhat similar to Emily’s lululemon one in style/length but mine is from Patagonia, with a high performance gortex waterproof shell on top. Generally I wear a merino wool shirt and a merino wool neck warmer as well. Then, depending on the weather, I add a fleece mid layer, hat, gloves, etc. as the weather changes. I live in Southwestern BC, Canada, where our weather is very similar to Portland.

Stacy
1 year ago
Reply to  caroline

Hi! Maybe I can answer from Seattle? At least up here it doesn’t rain *heavily* all that often, and usually when it is actively raining it’s on the warmer side (apparently clouds are insulating – who knew!). I think a thinner down coat under a rain shell works well, and the real key is wearing warm waterproof shoes (bean boots or similar work great!) with gloves and a hat. Basically, layers! If I’m going somewhere nicer I found a wool coat with a hood. Since it’s wool it can get a bit wet and still be very warm.

Sheila
1 year ago
Reply to  caroline

I think it’s kind of individual – everyone has their own comfort level depending on both the weather and what you’re doing. For me, waterproof shoes and a butt-covering rain shell or parka made of a technical, breathable fabric with a hood that has a visor (I wear glasses), pockets, pit zips and is roomy enough to accommodate a fleece vest gets me through a lot. Hiking/outdoor shops like REI are my sources. North Face, Patagonia, Columbia, Mountain Hardware, Marmot and the like are brands I like. I’m not stylin’ here, just staying comfy!

Katy
1 year ago
Reply to  caroline

Longtime PDX resident—I have a waterproof Columbia hooded jacket with their special heat-reflective lining that’s my go-to for cold and rainy! They don’t have the exact style I own but it’s pretty similar to this one. It’s a little too warm for long walks when it’s closer to 50+ degrees (the reflective lining really goes into overdrive when you’re moving around) but works a treat for colder. 50-55 degrees I usually do a sweatshirt with a hooded rain jacket on top—or just throw on a baseball cap and live with being a bit damp 🤷🏻‍♀️

Jen
1 year ago

Another request for the bra link, or brand…. needing those adjustment points in a non-couch, actual support bra!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

Aaaah……I’m just here for Buttercup & the crotch-pants-eating Oscar!!! 🤣🐾🐾🤣

Oh…and walking IS a hobby. 2 of my friends and I each quote walking daily as a hobby. 👍

Kj
1 year ago

I just bought this light puffer that looks good layered over the full zip hoodies and hooded sweatshirts I wear all the time in the winter. https://www.nordstromrack.com/s/powder-quilted-puffer-jacket/6714691

I also bought these cute slip-on sneakers: https://www.nordstromrack.com/s/z-by-zella-girl-drift-slip-on-sneaker-women/6999494.

Kate
1 year ago
Reply to  Kj

Thanks!

Danielle
1 year ago

Along with jackets for every weather forecast, Cody is a must for getting me through the PNW winters! 🙂

Reehana
1 year ago

That sports bra looks really promising, but the size chart is the most confusing thing ever!

Laura
1 year ago
Reply to  Reehana

Totally agree! I would never be able to translate to a bra size. Could someone explain it?

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Reehana

Did you try Nike’s two-step quiz? https://www.nike.com/size-fit/womens-bras

1 year ago

Vuori joggers are SO NICE. I put them on immediately after I get home from the office.

Donna
1 year ago

I start with a base layer, fleece or terry lined leggings, depending on how much insulation I need, and silk tank top. Then layer as needed merino wool or fleece quarter zip which acts as a neck warmer and if I get hot, I can unzip since I have the tank underneath. Puffer vest as the top layer if 55 or warmer. Top coat if needed is either rain anorak or light weight puffer shacket that covers the behind. In really cold weather, I can wear puffer vest under the coat, but even in freezing weather I find that to be too warm if walking the dog more than a couple of miles. The point is outside layers that can be shed. Shoes are sneakers, Born(good support for me) or Aquatalia or LLBean waterproof ankle boots. What I’m really looking for, EHD team, hint, hint, is a warm hat that is flattering on a woman of a certain age (no pom-poms ) 🙂

.

Karyn Meadows
1 year ago

I don’t care about weather wear. I went through this post soooo slowly because I was looking at all of the dog pics!! They are SO DARN CUTE!!!!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Karyn Meadows

They must’ve been SO PATIENT during that lonnnnng photo shoot with all the wardrobe changes!!🐾🐾

Suzanne
1 year ago

Yes! I’ve often thought there is a hole in the market for good dog-walking clothes! I hope someone reaches out to you to create cool, totally functional dog-walking clothes. 🙂 As a fellow PNW dwelling dog-walker, I have to agree that it’s all about the layers – although I definitely have more waterproof gear than you. Waterproof coat, shoes, hat and gloves are a must for me. They make all the difference! As they say, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes”.
By the way, I think the blue base layer you are wearing is a Swiftly Tech from Lululemon…
https://shop.lululemon.com/p/women-maintops/Swiftly-Tech-LS-2-Race/_/prod9820596?color=4780?ta=1&taterm=swiftly&tasid=rzo9u4TKo4

Martha
1 year ago

Thanks for this! Timely for me, as we just moved to a house with no fence, so I’m now walking the dog a lot! I have a question about the long coat, if Emily or anyone else might be able to answer. Despite my short legs, I have a pretty long stride when walking the dog, and sometimes long coats feel kind of binding. Does this one give enough “leg room?” I’m always cold and would love a long coat that works!

Amy
1 year ago
Reply to  Martha

I just got an Eddie Bauer coat for Xmas that looks exactly like Em’s long puffer coat and it is very non-restrictive in the legs for walking. My friends joke that i wear my sleeping bag around but it is so cozy and just perfect for winter in PA.

Steph
1 year ago
Reply to  Martha

I have an REI long puffy that zips on the sides for leg movement.

alana
1 year ago

I cannot BELIEVE how timely this article is. Walking my new standard poodle pup at 4am in 20 degrees is extremely painful and the amount of money I’d pay for that long puffer is obscene.

Champagne Supernova
1 year ago
Reply to  alana

This coat is a gam changer. I’m 6 feet tall, bought a medium tall. Just back from a 20 degree dog walk, nice and cozy. Has a bottom zipper to unzip down by your feet for better mobility. Ends about 8 inches above my feet. Better than fancier branded coats I’ve owned.
https://www.landsend.com/products/womens-down-maxi-winter-coat/id_327570?attributes=19492,43307,43326,43398,43628,43919,44256,44967

Courtney
1 year ago

I love Vuori! I wear their performance joggers basically daily (I’m 100% telework). For the daily leggings, what is the waistband like? I see it’s drawstring–does it have any give or is it tight/fitted like a legging? I prefer an un-fitted/elastic waistband for my workout pants so I wanted to check.

Jen
11 months ago

The links don’t seem to be working.

kiki
11 months ago

If any other plus-size ladies are in the market for a great dog walking jacket, I snagged this one a few weeks ago and I LOVE IT. No struggling with the zipper, can easily layer it over sweaters, it has enough flex and room through the chest / shoulders that I can even drive in it zipped up!! HIGHLY recommend, and it’s on sale! https://www.lanebryant.com/livi-ski-jacket/prd-370825.html?dwvar_370825_color=0000081590&dwvar_370825_sizeHeight=regular&catid=cat1361030