Time to break out those Winter Whites! Staying warm for winter

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 5th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Nature>Weather

What are you wearing this winter? Chances are it is not white, it is likely to be black and heavy because convention tells us that is what we should wear to tackle a cold hard winter. However should you be wearing white? One scientific study suggests we should.

Cold Winter

We can all probably agree that the winter of 2013/2014 has been a cold hard winter and or not the weather forecast has been accurate or not will not change the weather we are experiencing at this time, snow has been really tough to live with yet we are surviving and perhaps you are doing so a little better if your ancestors are from the north.

For a few moments please think about what you are wearing, most particularly what you have been wearing outdoors.

There is a common convention that we wear light colours during summer and dark ones in winter months. Does the fact that black clothing absorbs heat from the sun and white clothing reflects it mean that we should reexamine what we wear and when?


The function of the colour white is to act as a reflector and at least in theory this would also apply to body heat, so that may mean that wearing it may trap natural heat closer to your body in certain types of clothing and conversely dark clothing, may be less likely to trap your body heat in, especially when there is wind to help convect that heat away from our bodies.

This theory is based on studies of bird plumage by Blair Wolf and Glenn Walsberg, published in Oxford Journals a long time ago and as we know the majority of birds migrate to warmer climates during winter months, although our Canadian geese seem to be very confused this year because they aren't staying south for the winter, on the coldest day of the year I have seen them heading back north again. Unfortunately nobody has actually proven that these concepts also work for clothing. Apparently The New York Times wrote an article about this study back in 1910.

The fashion industry made a study on this theory but results were inconclusive, then again that industry has always been more interested in looks rather than practicality and a drive down our high street last Saturday night proved that, the fashion show of young men and women heading to the night clubs without any coats despite temperatures below -10 Celsius is a testament to this.

Hiding from sight?

Maybe for what is left of winter you can be the one to finally test it out, just perhaps it is time to break all the rules and bring out the whites, my biggest concern with this is being seen in the blizzard, wearing white in a whiteout could prove a visibility challenge for drivers.

Then there is another practical reason why certain birds have white plumage at this time of year and that has little to do with warmth, yet it is as practical as the need to stay warm, it is all about survival and that is to do with camouflage, the ability not to be seen by their predators and white plumage will assist northern birds this way and our soldiers will understand this when they use their white snow gear, because they both need every advantage they can muster in such awful conditions.

Dealing wih the Cold!

How you will have been affected by the cold will differ for everyone but don't worry the cold weather will soon be gone and we will be changing seasons and forget this season (until the next time).

To date the author (Peter B. Giblett) has published a wide variety articles on many subjects here on Wikinut plus others on a variety of other sites, these are the most recent articles published include:

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Black, Fashion, Fashion Industry, Staying Warm, Winter, Winter Clothing, Winter Whites

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
6th Mar 2014 (#)

how interesting Peter is this...and white being the colour of all colours together...through white we manifest all...

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Oh I like to wear black in winter and summer, but for sure in winter. Anything that helps me to be warm! That owl picture is great.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
6th Mar 2014 (#)

I think that camouflage may have more to do with animal colours than anything else. A Siberian tiger is normal colour (brown) in summer, but its coat changes to white in winter for added camouflage.

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author avatar Ptrikha
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Well, I have a Maroon, a blue, a Brown and a Grey-Green Jacket with me for winters. And perhaps people can experiment with Yellow, Orange, Red, Golden colors as well in winters. And Blue is also a good option :)

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
6th Mar 2014 (#)

A man with style.

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author avatar Retired
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Interesting article, Peter. I don't have to brave winters these days, so I can't give this a test.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
6th Mar 2014 (#)

Winter white...just perfect...:0)...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
7th Mar 2014 (#)

Good evening, Peter, conventional rules about white - do not wear before Easter or after Labor Day. I wonder about studies done on military units wearing white - strictly camouflage or warmth factor as well? Like the hide in plain site photo. ~Marilyn

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