To Recap from yesterday, typically when seeking the correct cold weather apparel you do not want COTTON. In the run industry, we say Cotton in Rotten for exercise because it holds moisture, remains wet, gets heavy, can chafe and will not move moisture away from the body.
So, what should you look for?
Look for Wool or Polyester. Wool is organic and amazing for keeping you warm, wicking moisture and can last a long long time. Polyester is a man made fabric and is becoming more sustainable. Both fabrics are. Typically for Bottoms, the polyester will also have a blend of nylon or spandex, among other "polyester" type fabrics. depending on what the goal of the bottom is. It isn't uncommon to see a wool/poly blend either.
In our talk I find it important to explain that cold weather gear construction is not like making shorts, short sleeves or tanks for the warm months. The craftmanship that goes into making cold weather gear is tremendous, and as such it will last a long long time, especially if you make the proper investments in it. So, please do not fear what the price tag may say, because these pieces last years, thus it is money well spent on your health, your safety and your wardrobe. In addition, when you see the detailing of this gear, you can see how much effort goes into thinking about the pocketing, the fabric layering, the pattern, zippers, reflective touches etc... As a former Apparel Product Mgr and now Apparel Buyer for over 20 years we hand pick every piece that is on our floor to serve your needs. Therefore we take everything into consideration when making sure we have the correct gear in our stores for you.
While yes there are "gender specific" denoted styles, this is one season where we tell people based on their body frame that they may find the men's garment fits better or a women's garment may fit better. For example, tall women often find success in men's pants or tights because it will cover their whole leg and not ride up. Conversely men who are shorter or more slight may find women's bottoms more suitable. Likewise, I (Ellen) have wider hips and have found some men's bottoms more comfortable than women's. The patterning is very similar and we are all built differently so please do not feel you need to stay with a garment that specifically says men's or women's. Plus especially if it's a black bottom, no one has a single clue what gender type you are wearing..
We basically tell people when looking for the right bottom, grab a few of the size you are from the racks and try them all on. This way you do not have to keep exitting the dressing room and you can see the breadth of options that can work. Each may fit differently. In addition, if you find a bottom that works, get a second one. We liken it to women's jeans. Once you find a pair that fits, get a second one. A third may not hurt either. Being comfortable in what you wear is a big part of Cold Weather Exercise success. And of course, the Fleet Feet team can walk you around the stores and help select the right pieces and even get you sizing.