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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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