Winter Wear REDUX!: Standing in Outside in Cold Temperatures

By | 2013-11-17T20:12:01+00:00 November 20th, 2013|Lessons, Recommendations, Tips|3 Comments

Temperatures are getting colder, so we return to Sara DeRosa’s sage advice on “Winter Wear” for when you’re standing in during the cold season.  Take her suggestions!  (We’ve updated links from the last time we ran this article.)

– The Editor

It’s that time of year again! The weather is getting colder, windier, and soon it will be snowier. But the show must go on! Here are tips about what to wear to keep warm when standing in outside during the colder months.


One of the most important pieces of clothing that will help you keep warm and toasty is a good jacket. I recommend buying a full-length, down-filled jacket. The long length keeps more heat trapped against the length of your body. Most come with a bidirectional zipper so you can unzip the jacket from the bottom, giving you options for more ventilation and for more legroom when walking.

These jackets can be more on the expensive side, but they are a smart investment. You can find cheaper, quality options at discount stores such as Burlington Coat Factory. There is also a wide, reasonably priced selection at Uniqlo. You should choose a neutral color, and it’s best to buy one with a hood and roomy pockets.


For tops underneath your jacket, you should layer different types and thicknesses of shirts. Layers are great because you can always take layers off or add more as needed. Different options for tops that are good for layering include long-sleeved t-shirts, cardigans (for a light sweater option), and heavier sweaters or sweatshirts.

It helps to have a tank top, t-shirt, or long-underwear top that you can tuck into your bottoms for your first layer to keep you as insulated as possible. Longer length shirts that cover your middle and longer sleeved tops that cover your wrists will also help with keeping in your body heat.

Bottoms and Socks

You’ll also want to layer up on the bottom as much as you can. Start with leggings or long underwear that is tighter so it will fit under a pair of your jeans or other pants. You can always remove this layer if you get too hot.

Sara’s Tip!
Sometimes it is difficult to fit a full pair of leggings underneath a pair of jeans that are tighter around the waist. To still get full leg coverage, a great alternative is American Apparel Thigh-High Socks.

For socks, layer starting with the thinnest pair, and add 2 or 3 more pairs, ending with very thick socks. This may seem like a lot of socks, but your feet and toes are one of the hardest parts of your body to keep warm. In order to keep your body heat trapped, make sure some of your layers are long socks that will cover areas your pants don’t cover.

Toe warmers–as well as hand warmers and back (or “full-body”) warmers–are often available on set in coldweather situations, but they are also often a commodity.  If warmers are a requirement for you to stay warm, buy a box before the winter weather season begins.  Because local stores may be out of stock when it really counts, order warmers online to ensure you have a personal stock when production has none to offer. offers a selection of warmers in bulk quantities at affordable prices.

But make sure you don’t put warmers directly on skin!  Affix them to the first layers of clothing where you’re using them.


As mentioned above, feet and toes are one of the hardest places to keep warm. Boots are the most ideal type of footwear for standing in outside.

Look for a snow-boot type pair with good insulation and thick lining. Ones with a short heel can be beneficial because with your foot at a slight angle inside the boot, the blood is encouraged to flow downward to keep your feet warm.


Other components that will help keep you warm include scarves and gloves. You can layer more than one pair of gloves, if necessary. Covering your ears with hats and headbands are a must as well, but a hood may be your best defense against the cold, especially if it is windy outside.

If the hood on your jacket is somewhat loose, wear a sweatshirt with a tighter hood underneath your jacket, or keep your hat on under your hood for double protection.


Uniqlo is a Japanese clothing company that has created a signature line of HEATTECH “heat-generated” clothing.  The Uniqlo website describes HEATTECH as “[f]abric with cutting-edge technology works with your body heat to warm you up and keep you warm.”

I am a big fan of this technology. IT WORKS! And it is inexpensive. Uniqlo has recently expanded and has stores located on both the East and the West Coasts. And you can now shop online via their website!

Color Cover

If color cover is given to you while standing in outside, find a way to wear it in addition to your outerwear. Wear the color cover over your jacket, even if it has to be draped around your shoulders. Figure out a way to make it work without sacrificing any of your layers.

Other Tips for Keeping Warm

Keep moving! Walk around the set area when you have short breaks from standing in. Pop inside a warming tent if there is one available there. If you have a longer break when you are not needed for a scene, head back to holding and ask the PA there to give you a warning when your next scene is coming up.

Warm liquids will help keep you warm. If you’ve already had too much coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, drinking warm water works, too.

And most importantly, layers layers layers! Bring extra layers with you to set–shirts, sweaters, and socks.  You will be prepared for changes in the weather.

Good luck, and have a wonderful winter!

What do you wear to keep warm while standing in outside in the winter months? Do you have tips for keeping warm while on set? Comment below!

About the Author:

Sara DeRosa (Senior Contributor, Stand-In Central) has worked as an actor and a stand-in on numerous television and film sets in New York City. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and a graduate of the two-year conservatory program at The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. Sara has been featured as an unsung hero on Entertainment Tonight and in the ELLE Magazine Women In Hollywood issue for her stand-in work. Sara loves living in New York City, and her favorite sets she has worked on are Madam Secretary, Gossip Girl, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

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