Four (Ok, Six…) New Outdoor Pieces Truly Worth Adding To Your Cool Weather Wardrobe

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Sponsored by Backcountry & ShopStyle Collective.

Ah, winter on the Northern California Coast. It’s actually one of the most beautiful times of the year here – generally clearer and sunnier than the summer, even – and the hillside sunrises and smoldering ocean sunsets are something else entirely.

This year, with Lana being in school, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the bright mornings post-school-drop-off, so a few times a week, I make the effort to head out toward the coast, even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes. Sometimes Chris and I walk to our local beach, usually with coffee or matcha in hand. Sometimes I rope a friend (in this case, a photographer friend) into venturing a few minutes up the road so we can peep the ocean from an angle that’s not quite visible from our neighborhood.

Either way, I usually take a moment to park my preggo bum in the sand for at least a few minutes. Call it what you will (earthing? grounding?), but nothing has helped me through the trials of this pregnancy more than connecting this bod to something decidedly…not concrete. (For someone who’s had a lot of lower back and tailbone pain this round, a slightly built-up, sandy seat also magically provides just the right amount of relieving support.)

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

fleece | turtleneck | leggings | hat | mug

My Trick For Grounding & Other Outdoor Winter Activities: A Cool Weather Outfit That Goes From Drop-Off To The Coast

So far, my uniform for the majority of these unusually crisp morning escapades is comprised of the four exact pieces I’ve got going on in these pics: 1) a silky turtleneck (that easily double-duties for the office or date night); 2) flattering compression leggings; 3) a truly performing fleece that keeps the chill out — without overheating in the process; and 4) rugged, cozy boots that cinch up fast as we run out the door to drop-off. And, no shock here, everything is from our longtime partner Backcountry.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

fleece | turtleneck | leggings | hat | socks | boots

I’ve been shopping Backcountry since long before I was a contributor here at The Mom Edit, and I’ve always had great experiences emailing or chatting with their team of gearheads, too. (If you’re as into reading reviews as I am, you might be tickled to find that a lot of their gearheads also post personal reviews of products, often going into far more detail than the product listing suggests, which is super helpful if you’re waffling between sizes or wondering if a “climbing” jacket is just as well-suited to hiking, for example.) Backcountry is almost always the first place I go when I’m seeking something from a specific outdoor brand, like Patagonia or Fjällräven – and Chris loves that they have a rad selection of cycling gear and bike components, too.

Needless to say (errrm, or maybe I just said it), we’re big Backcountry fans around here.

Pssssst! As always, you can save 15% off your first Backcountry order with code THEMOMEDIT. As usual, exclusions apply, but I just checked and it seems to be valid on everything here except the socks! And only because those are already on sale. Heh.

But more about these new faves of mine.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

fleece | turtleneck | leggings | hat | socks | boots

Now, to be clear, while it may be winter, this is more or less my year-round uniform here in Half Moon Bay. We all know my wardrobe skews unapologetically casual, and there are very few local scenarios where leggings topped with something fluffy won’t more than suffice. But, well, I’m kinda picky, friends. And I don’t like ending up with more than I need of any one thing. So for another pair of leggings and another fuzzy jacket to make their way into my wardrobe? They’ve gotta be pretty dang good. 

Happily, they are.

I’ve dished up plenty of details on all of the Backcountry pieces I’m wearing and loving, below (I know, I know, there are technically six, if you include the hat and socks), but it’s gotta be said: even just the turtleneck I have on here is excellent. Ultra soft and almost silky, and it drapes beautifully, so it’s totally something you can layer with a blazer and jeans or even a dressier trouser, too. And it’s made from sustainable Lenzing Modal. Contrary to my quasi-minimalist approach, I’m becoming a firm believer that one can never have too many turtlenecks, and this one’s worth adding to the collection. Or, heck, even stocking up on.

Ok, on with it, already…

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.
Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.
Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.
Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

fleece | turtleneck | leggings | hat | socks | boots | mug


(Maternity-Friendly) Winter Performance Pieces At Backcountry: The Silkiest Turtleneck, Compression Leggings That Truly Flatter & A Windproof Fleece That Doesn’t Overheat

Quick note: I’m 34 weeks pregnant as I write this, and while all the pieces here can be maternity-friendly, none of them are maternity-specific. I’ve included how that affected my sizing decisions, where applicable, below, but in general I plan to continue to wear these pieces through the rest of my pregnancy as well as postpartum (and beyond!).

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

Fleece: Patagonia Classic Retro-X Fleece Jacket – I can’t count the number of compliments I’ve received since wearing this around town the past couple of weeks. It’s wonderfully retro feeling (that classic Patagonia contrasting pocket situation!), but what I love best is that, while it looks like a run-of-the-mill teddy bear fleece, it’s actually lined with a mesh layer that is somehow both windproof and breathable. (Those seem to fly in the face of one another…right? But it works!) So, you get what you pay for with this one – not just a soft, cute fleece but a jacket that performs. Truly warm in the wind and chill, but I don’t feel like I’m trapped in my own personal sauna while wearing it.

Fit note: Wearing a S here – probably could have gone with the XS if I wanted a closer, preppier fit, but I like the idea of it being just a bit oversized postpartum.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

Turtleneck: prAna Foundation Turtleneck – The piece I couldn’t resist going into detail about, above. Deliciously soft and silky, made from sustainable Lenzing Modal and with a drapey fit that is so good. (Think: perfect on its own with jeans but also made for putting under a menswear-y blazer with a bit of jewelry piled atop). And, of course, totally layering friendly for more athletic pursuits, too. Worth stocking up on (or a great place to kick off your turtleneck collection, if you’re just getting started). 

Fit note: I’m usually between an XS-S and am wearing a S here, which accommodates the belly but is also just a tad roomy through the shoulders and back, too. I think I easily could have gone either way between the XS and S if not pregnant…just depends on if you prefer a slimmer silhouette.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

Leggings: Patagonia Centered Tight – The reviews on these “tights” (don’t fear – from a thickness perspective they’re definitely leggings) couldn’t be better, so I was super excited to give them a spin. I even pushed myself to forego the black color option in favor of this space-dyed blue, and I’m so glad I did. (The black is still available if you also gravitate to all things safe and flattering.) The seaming on these are super duper flattering on the bum, and they offer just the right amount of light compression, so you feel snug and supported without any restriction. Moisture-wicking, too (I can attest, as once the sun came out during this shoot it was near 60 degrees, and I was fully sweating while hiking through the sand and up and down the stairs back to the car). I’ll be wearing these loads for walks, hiking, lounging, and these last few weeks of prenatal pilates, and I can already tell they’ll be great when I slowly get back into running.

Fit note: I’m typically between an XS-S, and after reading reviews, I decided to go with the S, mostly to accommodate my expanding belly/waist. (They just fit pulled up over the belly, but I’ve also worn them with the wide waistband folded down under the bump.) That said, I think I’d prefer them to be even a bit more compressive if I wasn’t trying to accommodate my pregnant bod, so my pre-pregnancy size would be an XS. Also worth noting – I’m 5’5” and they’re truly full-length.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

Boots: Sorel Tivoli IV Boot – I’ve had these boots for more than a year now (they might look familiar from this post) and they get SO. MUCH. WEAR. They’re especially perfect for drop-off: super cozy, and the easy, large-loop lacing makes them quick to get on and cinch up – and easy to kick off the second I walk in the door (something I especially appreciate at the moment as shoe-tying becomes more of an Olympic sport). And they’re excellent for trudging through the muddy trails we often walk en route to the beach. I’ve worn them for sledding and in true winter muck, too, and they perform as you’d expect from a solid pair of Sorel snow boot (PLENTY of traction in that rugged sole). Truly a stellar winter boot, but since they don’t appear quite as cold weather-overkill as some of the others, they actually get three-to-four season use in our temperate climate. Wearing my true size (8). Note: These were fully stocked just a couple of weeks ago, I promise. If they’re low in stock when you check for your size, don’t give up. They’re a classic style that seems to be steadily restocked from time to time.

Socks: Smartwool Performance Hike Light Cushion Tube Stripe Crew – Maybe it’s my Northern California roots showing, but I’ve never been shy about letting my hiking socks peek unapologetically out of my boots. You can’t go wrong with Smartwool socks, and I love the retro striping on this pair. (I’ve been wearing them with my white hightops, too.) Wearing a Medium. If you’re in the market for more of a knee sock, I also love these.

Dishing up details on all the Backcountry performance pieces I’m wearing & loving: the silkiest turtleneck, compression leggings that truly flatter & a windproof fleece that doesn't overheat.

Hat: Patagonia Powder Town Beanie – For someone who’s pretty picky about hats (beanies, especially), I’ve had a run of good luck lately, and this one is no exception. Fun, retro prints, really cozy knit, not at all itchy. Just a classic that I’ll have forever. (And likely the one I’ll reach for first when we head to the snow – nothing like sporting a bright beanie for visibility!)


Here’s to getting outside without sacrificing comfort (or coziness) in this last stretch of pregnancy!

(And really, if you need a reset — sit your butt down on some wintry earth/sand/dirt/snow somewhere, pals. I promise it’s just the recharge you need.)

xo,
Em

Big thanks to Backcountry and ShopStyle Collective for sponsoring this post. As I alluded to above, I’ve long been a fan of Backcountry and all things related to outdoor gear and getting outside, so it’s always such a privilege to work together on these posts. And thanks so much for reading along and supporting our brand partners here at The Mom Edit. Supporting these partnerships allows us to continue producing more of the authentic content you (and we!) expect from this space, and we so appreciate it.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. “Head to the snow”–such a Northern California phrase! Made this native Californian smile and a little homesick. That’s what we do in Northern California, “go to The City” or “go to The Snow” (for us, always Tahoe). Beautifully written article.

    • So funny — you’re right! Totally a thing you say when the snow is close enough to frequent but…it doesn’t come to you. I love that you recognized that. 🙂 And yay, NorCal!

  2. Ha! I didn’t even realize Emily wrote that… but yep, another Northern California person here, just over the hill from Emily (okay, they’re really a mountain range, but if you know, you know… and here it’s “over the hill to Coastside” 🙂 Love this post and I need to check out that jacket.

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