Winter landscapes like those in Iceland are a joy to look at — when you’re not freezing to death. Here’s a guide on what to wear in winter, keeping you warm even under the harshest conditions.
I’ve never enjoyed getting ready for winter. Dressing up becomes much more complicated than just packing the travel basics, making it super difficult to pack light.
Cosmopolitan destinations like Seoul, Tokyo, and London require a bit of fashion-forward planning. However, hiking trips need smart layering so you don’t overheat while being active. Then there’s also harsh sub-zero temperatures like in Iceland and Mongolia, where your clothes determine how much you can enjoy your surroundings.
In the wilderness of North Mongolia
This winter season, we geared up for stylish Seoul, hiking paradise China, and the harsh plains of Northern Mongolia, aiming to stay warm and comfortable the entire time.
Hiking at Tiger Leaping Gorge, China
Stylish winter wear — perfect for the city
For Seoul, our challenge was to stay warm while also looking cool. After all, the city is known for setting the latest trends with fresh off the runway-style fashionistas and Insta-worthy photo spots.
In the spirit of being fabulous, we chose bright tones like pink, blue, and green that add a pop of colour, livening up your outfit against winter’s muted colours.
Playing with different textures adds dimensions to your looks so we experimented with soft and fluffy polyester fleece. Apart from adding a touch of fashion, fleece is highly functional too!
Pictured: Pile Lined Fleece V Neck Cardigan in Red (S$49.90), W’s Soft Knitted Fleece High Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt in Pink (S$19.90), and Fluffy Yarn Fleece Full-Zip Jacket in Off White (S$29.90)
It’s breathable, quick-drying and great at retaining heat — the perfect top for you to transition from roaming the city to exploring the great outdoors. And as a bonus, they’re cosy and feel great on your skin. More on that later!
Tops: You can’t run away from functional thermal wear (and you shouldn’t). You can, however, make them stylish as hell — HEATTECH tops come in colours so pretty, we didn’t want to layer anything over! Find out more about what we really thought of the HEATTEACH line.
Soft Knitted Fleece High Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt in Pink (S$19.90)
Alternatively, there’s also the Soft Knitted Fleece High Neck Long Sleeve that functions great on its own or over a HEATTECH top when it’s colder.
Bottoms: Puffy ski pants and oversized winter wear? Not fashion. With Uniqlo’s Ultra Stretch Denim Legging Pants, you can now wear your favourite denim pants that are made with HEATTECH material! This means you can ditch your inner tights and move comfortably in the cold with just a single layer.
Women’s HEATTECH Ultra Stretch Denim Leggings Pants (S$49.90)
Outer layer: Go bold with a highly-textured, sheepskin-style fleece like the Pile Lined Fleece V Neck Cardigan. The collarless V-neck design gives it a modern, sporty look. It’s especially good for cold days and we love how even the pockets are lined with fleece!
Pile Lined Fleece V Neck Cardigan in Red (S$49.90)
Thanks to how lightweight it is, the Fluffy Yarn Fleece Full-Zip Jacket is super popular for comfy, casual everyday wear even in Singapore. It also features a higher neckline for greater warmth.
Fluffy Yarn Fleece Full-Zip Jacket in Off White (S$29.90)
*Pro-tip: Uniqlo’s fleece jackets come with inner pockets to keep your belongings safe.
Accessories: Add some spice to your outfit with statement pieces like a colourful beanie, twill cap, or patterned scarf.
The bright blue W’s Souffle Yarn Knitted Beanie (S$14.90) adds colour to any outfit
For women: W’s HEATTECH Extra Warm Ribbed High Neck T-shirt (S$24.90), W’s HEATTECH Ultra Stretch Leggings Pants (S$49.90), W’s Soft Knitted Fleece High Neck Long Sleeve T-shirt (S$19.90), W’s Hybrid Down Parka (S$149.90), HEATTECH Scarf (S$19.90), W’s Souffle Yarn Knitted Beanie (S$14.90)
For men: HEATTECH Extra Warm Crew Neck T-shirt (S$24.90), HEATTECH Slim Fit Jeans (S$59.90), Fleece Full-Zip Jacket (S$29.90), Hybrid Down Parka (S$149.90), HEATTECH Neck Gaiter (S$14.90), Cotton Twill Cap (S$29.90)
Active winter wear for adventures in the wind and rain
Winter wear isn’t known for being mobile. After all, when you’re dressed like a ball, it’s easier to roll down a mountain than to climb it.
Trekking in cold countries is challenging to dress for since you can’t wear too many layers or you’ll soon work up a sweat. Once you summit and stop to admire the view, however, the deathly chill begins. I’ll always remember that hike up Mount Fuji where I confidently climbed in just a dri-fit tee and tights, and nearly caught hypothermia at the top!
This time, we’re properly geared up for winter hiking — at Tiger Leaping Gorge, China
When deciding what to wear in winter during outdoor activities, the trick is to wear a single warm, breathable layer. Bring light, portable garments that you can pile on later.
HEATTECH Crew Neck T-shirt (S$19.90)
Tops: We like having HEATTECH as a base layer because it keeps you warm without feeling stuffy or being bulky. Its microfibres have the ability to release and capture moisture so you don’t overheat while trekking, yet stay warm when you’re less active.
HEATTECH’s stretchability is also great for strenuous activity, enabling you to move freely, while protecting you during light falls.
Women’s BLOCKTECH Parka (S$99.90)
Outer layer: The outermost shell should protect you from the elements (with water-repellent and windproof properties), while being light enough to carry along during exercise.
For wet and windy climates, stay warm in BLOCKTECH outerwear as it comes fitted with a protective laminated film, and sealing tape at the seams. These features make the parka windproof, effectively keep out chilly drafts. It’s also highly breathable, light and water-repellent so it’s great to use for your adventures.
Men’s BLOCKTECH Parka (S$99.90)
For activities in colder climates, Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down (ULD) is a great alternative. Compared to conventional down, ULD is significantly lighter than those from other retailers, and as the name suggests, these jackets are indeed ultra light!
Ultra Light Down Cocoon Jacket (S$129.90), the warmest Ultra Light Down Outerwear available at Uniqlo Singapore
Special coating, waterproof threads and stitching also make the ULD water-repellent, preventing water from seeping in.
And our favourite part — the handy pouch for carrying it everywhere so you’re always prepared.
Ultra Light Down is available as a regular jacket, parka, or even in a puffer/cocoon cut (the trendiest outerwear silhouette this winter). Apart from being fashionable, the Cocoon and Puffer jackets are also warmer since they contain more down feathers than other ULD outerwear! The Men’s puffer jacket contains two-and-a-half times the amount of down than the Men’s ULD jacket.
Ultra Stretch Active Ankle Pants (S$29.90)
Bottoms: For bottoms, opt for something flexible and quick-drying like the Ultra Stretch Active Ankle Pants.
For women: HEATTECH Crew Neck T-shirt (S$19.90), Ultra Stretch Active Ankle Length Pants (S$29.90), Ultra Light Down Cocoon Jacket (S$129.90), HEATTECH Scarf (S$19.90)
For men: HEATTECH Extra Warm Crew Neck T-shirt (S$24.90), HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90), BLOCKTECH Parka (S$79.90), HEATTECH Knitted Cap (S$14.90)
Winter wear for sub-zero temperatures
Now, onto what to wear in winter — real winter, with snow, temperatures below zero, and icy winds chill you to the bone.
If you’re heading in the cold season to places like Iceland and Mongolia, you’ll need a minimum of three layers. Each layer should serve a different purpose, with the innermost helping to wick away moisture and the outermost protecting you from snow, wind, and rain.
Read also: Surviving the Wilderness at Sub-Zero Temperatures — Travel to Mongolia with TTI Experiences
As content creators, functionality is also a huge priority. Our clothes shouldn’t restrict movement as we run around chasing shots (and really, who enjoys both looking and feeling like a ball?).
Base layer (Inner wear): The innermost layer should wick moisture away from your body, which will keep you dry and warm. We went with the HEATTECH Ultra Warm, Uniqlo’s warmest level, designed for intense cold. Made with highly-absorbent rayon, HEATTECH fabric converts water vapour emitted from the body and transforms it to heat!
Uniqlo’s HEATTECH Ultra Warm T-Shirts (S$29.90)
We even danced around a campfire (in -20°C) wearing just Ultra Warm HEATTECHs!
Middle layer (Insulating layer): In very cold conditions, an insulating layer is useful to add extra warmth without excess bulk.
In Mongolia, we needed to layer up even while hiding in our teepee
Fleece makes a great middle layer as it’s lightweight yet effective at trapping heat when worn close to the body. Of Uniqlo’s wide range of fleece designs, the pile-lined material is best at keeping you warm. This is due to the air pockets between the threads of the pile surface, which are able to retain more warmth.
We kept electronics in the pockets of our Pile Lined Fleece (S$49.90) to keep them warm
For an insulating bottom layer, ladies can add on the Wind Proof Extra Warm Lined Pants, while men can choose the HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants. These are Uniqlo’s warmest pants (only available online) — light and great at shielding the legs from strong drafts.
The Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Coat (S$249.90) in Dark Green, HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90) in Brown, HEATTECH Lining Function Gloves (S$24.90) in Black, and the Wool Cashmere Cap (S$29.90) in Dark Grey
Outer layer (Shell layer): The last layer should shield from the harsh winter elements.
Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Short Coat (S$249.90)
Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Short Coat is a beautiful and modern coat packed with cosy down — it’s currently Uniqlo’s warmest outwear! The design uses AIRTECH both outside and down the inside, as well as aluminium print in the body and lining, for greater heat retention in the extreme cold.
Hybrid Down Parka (S$149.90)
The water-repellent Hybrid Down Parka, inspired by Olympic medallist Ayumu Hirano also makes for a great shell layer. Made with a unique combination of premium down and synthetic heat insulation, it’s lighter and easier to move in than other pro grade jackets.
Read more about the different attributes of UNIQLO Down outerwear to find out what type of Down outerwear best fits your travel needs.
Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Coat (S$249.90)
Add a final bottom layer with the Wind Proof Extra Warm Lined Pants for men, and the HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants for ladies. In case you were wondering, the Wind Proof Extra Warm Lined Pants (Uniqlo’s warmest pants for both genders) are the middle layer for women as they’re slimmer and better suited for inner layering.
Accessories: It’s especially important to protect your neck, ears, fingers, and toes — areas that tend to get cold first. Choose items made from wool and cashmere for extra warmth, like the HEATTECH Knee High Socks, Wool Cashmere Cap, and Cashmere Knitted Beanie.
My Cashmere Knitted Beanie (S$49.90) protected me from snow and wind in Mongolia
When you’re already so layered up, you’ll appreciate every last bit of mobility even in your extremities. The clever design of the HEATTECH Snood and Neck Warmer keeps them wrapped snugly around the neck without falling off.
Wearing the HEATTECH Snood ($19.90) and Cashmere Knitted Beanie (S$49.90)
As content creators, we also loved the HEATTECH Lining Function Gloves that are touchscreen-friendly and slip-proof (so you can take pictures on your phones easily).
HEATTECH Lining Function Gloves (S$24.90)
For women: W’s HEATTECH Ultra Warm Crew Neck T-shirt (S$29.90), HEATTECH Ultra Warm Tights (S$29.90), Pile Lined Fleece V Neck Cardigan (S$49.90), W’s Wind Proof Extra Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90), W’s HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90), W’s Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Short Coat (S$249.90), W’s HEATTECH Knee High Socks (S$14.90), HEATTECH Lining Function Gloves (S$24.90), HEATTECH Snood ($19.90), Cashmere Knitted Beanie (S$49.90)
For men: HEATTECH Ultra Warm Crew Neck T-shirt (S$29.90), HEATTECH Ultra Warm Tights (S$29.90), Pile Lined Fleece Jacket (S$59.90), Wind Proof Extra Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90), HEATTECH Warm Lined Pants (S$59.90), Hybrid Down Ultra Warm Coat (S$249.90), HEATTECH Rib Line Socks (S$7.90), HEATTECH Lining Function Gloves (S$24.90), HEATTECH Neck Warmer (S$14.90), Wool Cashmere Cap (S$29.90)
What to wear in winter — Stylish clothes that keep you cosy
Winter wear doesn’t have to be a chunky, unappealing mess. By layering smart with the right materials, you can make every layer work more efficiently — whether you’re channeling a fashion model or even a survivalist like Bear Grylls.
We love how Uniqlo adopts the Japanese Kaizen approach — constantly making improvements to their product range. The result? We get clothes that are warmer, lighter and easier to move in even in the harshest of winters.
Check out the new Uniqlo winter collection, and stay toasty no matter the weather!
Got any other tips for what to wear in winter? Leave a comment on how you stay in cosy in the cold!
This post was brought to you by Uniqlo Singapore.