WINTERIZE YOUR WARDROBE
Aah, wintertime -- when the mere thought of stepping out sends shivers down the spine. Even a quick walk to the bus can make hands and feet feel cold as the body works to keep the core and inner organs warm. These days, there are plenty of products on the market that insulate body heat and provide warmth for hours. Here are a number of cozy accessories and apparel costing $30 or less. (Prices cited here were found just before Christmas.)
Related: 13 Budget-Friendly Destinations for Winter Sun
START WITH THE BASE
Wear a base layer against your skin to regulate sweat and retain heat. It should be thin enough to wear under a mid-layer (such as a wool sweater) and a shell as the outermost layer to protect against wet weather. One that fills the bill is a men's thermal henley from Walmart's Faded Glory brand (on clearance for $6.50), made of 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester.
MAKE IT SOFT
For a soft thermal base, look no further than a Cuddl Duds thermal top ($13 on sale at Kohl's). The extra-soft waffle knit, long sleeves, and crew-neck collar will insulate the body comfortably.
LAYER UP WITH A STYLISH SWEATER
A warm base doesn't have to limit the rest of the outfit. Pile on the warmth with a stylish sweater such as the women's Croft & Barrow cable-knit crew-neck ($13 on sale at Kohl's). The multitude of colors and classic cut work with a variety of bottoms and base layers.
GET WARMER WITH FLEECE
Not only is fleece soft and comfortable to touch, it's also an effective insulator. The Everlast Sport men's fleece sweater ($13 to $15 at Kmart) has knit construction with fleece lining for a very cozy feel. It's available in green, blue, and deep teal.
BUNDLE UP WITH WOOL
Wool is one of the fabrics that retain heat the best, but it usually comes at a higher price. An Iceburg base layer for men made of 70 percent Australian merino wool is a steal at $9 at Walmart.
INSULATE THE CORE
Uniqlo's inexpensive Heattech line is designed to help retain body heat. The women's and men's V-neck long-sleeve tops normally start at $14.90. On sale, they can be had for less than $10. The fabric is designed to maintain its shape and soft texture after repeated washings, so it should survive several cold seasons. Look to the Heattech Extra Warm and Ultra Warm collections for even more insulation.
WEAR LEGGINGS UNDER THIN PANTS
REMEMBER THE EXTREMITIES
The torso needs to be insulated the most, but don't neglect the extremities. Blood vessels run closer to the surface above neck level. Consider inexpensive accessory sets that include gloves, arm warmers, a hat, and a scarf. The N'Ice Caps bulky cable-knit set for women or girls ($30 on Amazon) includes a fleece-lined hat and gloves. Simplicity sets for children and adults ($22 on Amazon) come in a variety of colors and styles (most, but not all, are eligible for Prime).
COVER THE EARS
If hat hair is an annoyance, try fleece earmuffs ($9 on Amazon). They're foldable and comfortable to wear with an oversize scarf and hood. For those who can't live without music, Deal Genius is offering a set of earmuffs with built-in headphones and smart gloves for controlling the playlist ($10 for a limited time).
PROTECT THE FINGERS
Gloves with tips that work on smartphone screens are popular, but expensive gloves aren't necessary. Simply purchase a few yards of conductive thread (about $3 on the website SparkFun) and sew it onto the tips of gloves you already have.
WARM THE HANDS
If gloves aren't warm enough, a Zippo hand warmer (starting at $15 at Cabela's) will really heat things up. Fill it with lighter fluid, slip it into a pocket, and get up to 12 hours of toasty heat.
WEAR THICK SOCKS
Thick, high-quality socks, such as Dickies wool-blend boot socks for men (about $7 at Target), are a smart buy. The wool holds in warmth and the socks also wick moisture, a helpful feature for overly warm office buildings.
KEEP KIDS' HEADS AND HANDS WARM
Keeping the kids warm doesn't have to be expensive either. N'Ice Caps sherpa-lined fleece embroidered sets for little boys and babies (starting at $13 on Amazon) come in a variety of fun styles and prints. Sizes range from 3-6 months to 4-7 years.
DRESS LITTLE ONES IN LAYERS
For a soft layer that toddlers will love, consider a micro fleece with a quarter-zip collar ($9 on sale at Old Navy). Sizes start at 12 to 18 months, and the fleece comes in two color-block styles.