If the idea of heading out into the cold wearing high-waisted leggings and a matching cropped sports bra has you reaching for your chunky knit blanket—not so fast! Like loungewear, twin sets (AKA fall’s buzziest activewear trend) have undergone a hygge transformation for winter. Meet base layers.
Best known as what you wear under your snow pants and puffer jackets to stay warm while skiing, these tops and bottoms (which are made from merino wool or other cold weather-friendly, sweat-wicking fabrics that keep you warm and dry) are no longer strictly for the slopes. “We’ve found our customers really love the matching sets for après ski looks,” says Tamara Hill-Norton, founder and creative director of the British activewear brand Sweaty Betty. “But they work equally well paired with separates at home—and of course to work out, too.”
Base layers have become a multi-million-dollar category as women start wearing them both on and off the slopes.
Because of that versatility, base layers have become a multi-million-dollar category as women start wearing them both on and off the slopes. Hill-Norton says her company sold 30,000 of them in 2017 at around $100 a piece.
Everyone from Adidas and Moncler currently makes their own offerings that are decidedly cooler than the long underwear your mom might have made you put on when you were growing up. More evidence of their mainstream appeal? The snowboard company Burton recently collaborated with avant-garde French fashion house Off-White and Vogue to create a 10-piece women’s capsule collection. It only dropped on January 10, but everything’s already almost entirely sold out. Clearly, people are cozying up to the softer side of activewear.
Below, 6 stylish sets of base layers that’ll keep you warm during your next workout.
Adidas Alphaskin Sport Printed Top, $35; Long Printed Tights, $50
Helly Hansen Lifa Active Graphic Crew, $60; Merino Pant, $90
Moncler Intarsia Wool Turtleneck Sweater, $605; Intarsia Wool Leggings, $450
Burton Base Layer Midweight Merino Crew, $50; Midweight Capri, $45