The #1 Winter Item Every New Yorker Should Own

I moved to New York just a little over a year ago from sunny California. Considering I grew up and had spent my entire life near the beach, navigating any temperature below 50 degrees was terrifying to me. Every morning last winter, I would wake up, check the temperature outside, and ask my roommate what kind of layers I needed in order to stay warm. Remember, "cold" in California means you wear a sweater and a coat, so hold your eye rolls, please—I was new to this. After asking every New Yorker I could about the most efficient layering techniques, I was pleased to learn that almost everyone gave me the same advice. "Go to Uniqlo and buy all the Heattech you can," they said. "Wear this under everything, and you'll be warm no matter what the temperature."

Curious to learn more about this magic layer of clothing? So was I. According to the brand's site, Heattech is the first layer of clothing you put on your body to protect you from freezing temperatures. It keeps you warm by "converting moisture into warmth when you need it most." Let's expand on that. Uniqlo tells us that there are three main ways in which Heattech functions:

"Heat Absorption: Thin yet warm—rayon material used in the fabric efficiently absorbs water vapor from the body. The fabric then converts this moisture into heat energy to generate warmth.

"Heat Retention: Ultra-fine microfibers—ten times finer than human hair—trap heat inside its fibers and keep the warm air in, providing an insulating effect.

"Moisture Wicking: Breathable fibers have the ability to capture and release moisture, letting go of excessive heat and humidity to prevent stuffiness."

Although I have only survived one New York winter now, I can honestly say that without Uniqlo's Heattech products, I wouldn't be here today (okay, I would, but I would have had a miserable Christmas). To quickly clarify, this is not a paid post, Uniqlo does not sponsor me, and it doesn't even know I am writing this story. I am just here to let you know how a lowly Californian like myself made it through her first NY winter.

Ahead, shop the wide variety of Uniqlo Heattech products, including shirts, leggings, tights, hats, and more. I promise you that this is a winter purchase you won't regret.

Here I'm wearing a Heattech top and leggings underneath loose-fitting printed pants and a statement coat. 

Heattech tights look just like regular tights but keep you feeling much warmer. 

Most of the time I wear the Heattech tights underneath jeans and pants that are more fitted, but when the temperatures drop, I prefer the Heattech leggings. They are thin enough to wear under trousers without anyone noticing. 

Here I really put the Heattech tights to the test by wearing them with open-toe sandals. Surprisingly, my feet stayed warm all day long. 

In an effort to avoid wearing two coats, I will layer a Heattech shirt underneath another warm turtleneck for double the insulation. 

Bundled up and ready for another freezing NY day—but not without my Heattech tights and turtleneck, of course.