Layering Sweaters: A How-To Guide

It's no secret that layering your clothes is essential for staying warm. Jackets, leggings, and socks all help make it possible for you to beat frigid conditions while you're enjoying the outdoors. 

When you're dealing with sweaters, what's the best way to layer them? Let's look at how to wear sweaters in different conditions and layer cold-weather accessories to make the most of your outdoor adventures.

Why Is Layering Important? 

Let's talk about you for a moment. Where are you from? If you're used to a warmer climate, you might have a more challenging time with layering during especially icy seasons. 

On the other hand, if you've lived in freezing temperatures for your entire life, you might feel that you're a pro at staying warm.

Regardless of your starting point, it's always a good idea to revisit the basics. Why is layering so essential anyway?

Here are a couple of reasons you should learn a solid layering strategy for yourself and your kiddo:

To Keep Your Kid's Body Safe from The Elements 

Perhaps you feel entirely comfortable dressing yourself for cooler weather. You have designated leggings, socks, shirts, and jackets to ensure you're cozy in any environment. 

Still, you might struggle with knowing how to dress your kids so that they stay warm in any condition. Revisiting the basics of layering can help you identify which clothing articles are perfect for each layer and how to incorporate sweaters into the mix. 

To Stay Comfortable as Weather Conditions Change

Another reason to look at layering is to ensure your kids are comfortable all day, even as the weather changes. It can be challenging to know how they're feeling when you dress your children, so communicating with them as you layer their clothing is essential for their comfort. 

They may let you know that one article you've been using to dress them bunches up easily or makes them sweaty during their playtime. If so, changing things up to create a new layering strategy can help tremendously.

How to Layer for Different Conditions 

Do you know how to layer your kiddo's clothing in different conditions? If you're unfamiliar with freezing temperatures, you may assume that adding several bulky layers is the best way to keep them warm. That's not usually the case. 

In general, it's best to go with thinner layers on the base level and thicker layers on top for freezing weather. For rainy conditions, a water-column material on the outer layer is a must. On days when the weather begins at freezing temps and increases into the sixties or seventies, dressing your little ones in easily removable layers is ideal.

In just a bit, we'll talk more about choosing the right materials for each layer. 

Kinds of Sweaters for Every Type of Weather 

What about layering sweaters? How can you know which sweaters are best for the job year-round? Hint: they don't all provide the same amount of warmth and comfort. 

Let's look more closely at different kinds of sweaters, and which types are the best for each season. 

Cable-Knit Sweaters 

Cable-knit sweaters tend to be bulkier, so keep that in mind when layering. These also tend to look more decorative, making them excellent for wear on more social occasions when your child needs something nice to wear.

With that in mind, try not to make this kind of sweater your child's base layer. It's ideal for indoor winter events with a heavy coat on top or early spring and late fall with a jacket over the top. 

Mock Neck Sweaters 

Mock neck sweaters provide a bit of extra warmth on days when your child might need to feel a little more coverage. 

Mock neck sweaters are ideal base layers for late winter when made of moisture-wicking material. Otherwise, these may be best on their own during spring.

Knit Sweaters 

This kind of sweater is usually thin and breathable. Knit material is excellent for days when your child only needs one base layer and a jacket on top to stay warm. 

Try using this kind of sweater in spring and early fall when conditions aren't too extreme.

Sweater Vests 

Sweater vests are a unique solution when it comes to staying warm and comfortable. If your child often complains of bunched-up sleeves when you layer multiple long sleeves, you may consider swapping the mid-layer for a sweater vest.

With a sweater vest over the top of a thin, moisture-wicking base layer, your child will remain warm in early spring without feeling as restricted with multiple long-sleeve layers. Plus, who doesn't love a good sweater vest?

Turtleneck Sweaters 

Turtleneck sweaters are another fantastic piece to keep on hand as you stock up on cold-weather essentials for your kiddo. Turtle necks provide extra coverage and warmth for your child's neck and tend to layer well with other articles of clothing. 

These are fantastic pieces to have on hand in the dead of winter when your child needs extra coverage and warmth. On their own, they're excellent for spring and autumn as well. 

The Best Materials for Layering 

By now, you might know which sweaters are most ideal for each season, but when it comes to layering them, do you know which materials to choose? Let's look at some guidelines for selecting materials for each layer of a cold-weather outfit. 

Base Layer

When choosing your child's outfit for a cold day, selecting a moisture-wicking material for the contact layer is essential. Whatever material is against their skin can cause them to retain heat, feel clammy, or sweat. For that reason, choosing the right kind is of the utmost importance if you want your kid to be comfortable throughout the day. 

Synthetic fibers are an excellent option for base-layer clothing since they wick sweat away from the skin. Wool is another outstanding option because of its warmth and its antibacterial properties. It would only make sense that a synthetic wool blend would be the best of both worlds when it comes to keeping your little one bundled up in suitable clothing.

Mid Layer

As a rule, your child's second layer should be insulating above all else. Your child may only need two layers on warmer days, meaning the mid-layer would also be the top. However, on days when the mid-layer sandwiches itself between your base layer and top layer, finding insulating materials is crucial.

Believe it or not, silk makes an excellent insulator to keep your child warm on chilly days. It functions best under another layer of clothing, making it perfect under a coat or jacket. Another excellent material option for cold days is fleece. This material works well to keep your child warm while providing a slightly thicker feel.

Top Layer

The top layer is your child's shield. This layer should protect your little one from the rain, snow, wind, and ice they may encounter throughout freezing days. Go for a waterproof and windproof material that can ensure your child stays completely dry.

When it comes to selecting a top layer, nylon is one material that's perfect for exterior layering. On ski and snowboarding trips, your little one may need increased protection from the freezing elements. Try going for at least a 3,000 mm water column material for a layer that's durable against water and snow. 

Layering Mistakes to Avoid 

It's no secret that dressing for cold weather is a bit more tricky than dressing your children for summer days. With that said, there are a few mistakes you'll want to avoid when choosing your child's sweaters and cold weather wear. Let's look at these mistakes and talk about how to prevent them. Then, we'll show you a few of our favorite articles of cold-weather wear for your kids. 

Choosing the Wrong Material for a Base Layer 

You may think it's no big deal to pick out material like cotton for your child's base layer. Many people have a closet that predominantly contains cotton, so it's an understandable mistake to make. 

While this material tends to be soft and easy on the skin, it's not the best choice for your child's base layer. Cotton tends to absorb moisture rather than wicking it away. As a result, cotton can make your child sweaty and clammy throughout the day. 

Choosing a Mid-Layer Sweater That's Too Thick 

You'll also want to avoid selecting a mid-layer that's too bulky. You may think that layering multiple bulky sweaters would make your child feel warmer and protected from the elements. However, that's not necessarily the case. Your kiddo can feel warm and comfortable with thin layers as long as they contain the proper cold-weather materials. 

Bunching Up Sleeves 

Is your little one active? Perhaps they love chasing their friends outdoors regardless of snow or sunshine. 

When you have a child that enjoys playing outdoors, consider their comfort level. As they run and stay active, bunched-up sleeves may feel irritating to them. 

You might want to include thin sleeves when possible and consider incorporating sweater vests when appropriate for keeping your little one warm without layers and layers of sleeves. 

Neglecting Feet, Hands, and Head 

While you focus on clothing your child's legs and torso, don't neglect the rest of them. You may think they're all set with three layers of clothing on their midsection. 

However, what kind of gloves are they wearing? Do they have appropriate headgear for the weather? Keep your child's feet, hands, neck, and head in mind as you choose the best cold-weather accessories to ensure they remain cozy.

Other Cold Weather Accessories to Help Your Kid Stay Cozy

Here's the fun part. You might have been thinking about which kids' cold-weather accessories to add to your little one's winter closet. The good news is that you don't have to buy twenty new wool sweaters for your child to be warm throughout the season. 

Let's look at a few of our favorite cold-weather accessories that you can add to almost any outfit to stay warm.

LEGO Activewear Gloves

Protecting your child's hands is super important. Whether your little one is gearing up for a snowball fight or a walk to the bus stop in the mornings, their hands should have waterproof, warm protection that allows them to stay comfortable in any environment. 

Our LEGO Wear Kids' Gloves contain a FanTex membrane to keep them breathable while remaining waterproof. They also feature an anti-slip material that allows your child to get a good grip even with slippery snow.

LEGO Wear Snowsuits 

Sometimes, you need the best protection from the elements. When your kid needs a little bit of extra protection from the cold, our LEGO Snow Suits can keep them extra cozy in even the fiercest conditions. 

LEGO Wear Sweaters 

When you're looking for ultra-warm breathable sweaters for your child, you can't find a better option than our LEGO Wear Sweaters. You have the opportunity to select a half-zip or full-zip sweater for versatile wear. 

The recycled polyester micro-fleece is a sustainable material that works excellently as a base layer or a mid-layer. These kids' sweaters are super soft to provide your little one with the perfect combination of cozy and warm while they play outdoors.

To Sum It Up: Stay Cozy With Mallary by Matthew 

Figuring out how to layer your child's clothes on your own isn't always easy. We hope you're able to find a few tips that help you keep your little one safe and warm in any season. When you want to curate the best cold-weather clothing options for your child, we've got your back at Mallary by Matthew. 



The 5 Warmest Fabrics for Cold Weather and How to Layer Them | Modern Ratio

How Cold Weather Affects your Body | Signature MD

7 Mistakes Not To Make Skiing with Kids | Trips With Tykes