OK guys, you may have noticed it's starting to get cold out there. Reeeeaaaaalllllll cold. Despite the dropping temperatures I've still been seeing coxes out on the water inappropriately dressed - wearing thin leggings, jeans, hoodies without a coat, no hats, no gloves in freezing rain etc.
Getting cold and wet during your session is not only dangerous for your health, it's also bad your your crew. If you are too cold to concentrate properly your calls will not be their best, if you can't hold the rudder because your hands are frozen then steering is going to be tricky. I can't stress enough the importance of getting yourself some decent kit, and whilst it might seem expensive there are a few options if you are on a budget. One is to invest in the best quality outwear (waterproof jacket and trousers) that you can afford, then to buy lots of layers to go underneath, that can be cheaper. Also check out sale items and bargain bins, sometimes the only reason an item is discounted is because it's last seasons colours. Or, if in doubt, put some big items on your Christmas/Channukah/birthday/guilt-tripping-your-parents list!
Base and mid layers
This is where to go for the many layers approach - today for example I was wearing a Queen B "Kate" long sleeve, a Pontoon zip fleece, a Crewroom "South-East" fleece, and a big Gill jacket on top, and Queen B "Lizzie" leggings, fleecy skiing leggings, trackies, and Musto salopette trousers.
Queen B Athletics (aka my favs, you can get a discount with code TEAMZOE at checkout)
Kate baselayer - the warmest, softest, cosiest long sleeve ever http://www.queenbathletics.com/product/kate-baselayer-top-blackpurple/
Lizzie leggings - slightly thicker than their equally excellent siblings Daisy http://www.queenbathletics.com/product/lizzie-blackpurple/
Crewroom (great quality, always reliable, long lasting)
South East fleece - comfy, warm, and practical https://www.crewroom.co.uk/the-south-east-fleece-womens
Liner jacket - I have always coveted this but not been able to afford it, however I have heard great review, and they have a women's fit too https://www.crewroom.co.uk/the-liner-jacket-ii-mens
Classic JL leggings - https://www.crewroom.co.uk/jl-polypro-plain-leggings
Decathlon (great value, decent quality)
Good place to look for base and mid layers
Helly Hansen (a bit pricier, but long lasting and top quality)
Merino LS - I want all their long sleeves, but this one looks particularly warm https://www.hellyhansen.com/en_gb/w-hh-merino-mid-graphic-1-2-zi-48473
Fleece Pants - They look so cosy! https://www.hellyhansen.com/en_gb/w-daybreaker-fleece-pant-51743
This is where you need to spend a bit more money, but if you invest in quality it will last for years. I'm still wearing my Musto BR1s that I bought nearly 15 years ago!
Musto (Sailing trousers and jackets - inshore/coastal is usually sufficient)
BR1 jacket - Taped seams are a must! https://www.musto.com/en_GB/sardinia-br1-jacket/SMJK057.html?dwvar_SMJK057_color=SFFY&cgid=activity-sailing-Coastal-Channel#start=1
BR1 trousers - https://www.musto.com/en_GB/womens-br1-trousers/SB123W6.html?dwvar_SB123W6_color=BLBL&cgid=womens-trousers-shorts-sailing#start=4
Deluge over trousers - Lighter weight waterproof trousers, also good for cycling/walking on rainy days http://www.berghaus.com/womens-deluge-overtrousers/432908.html
As for Musto, inshore/coastal is usually sufficient. Taped seams are very helpful! https://www.gillmarine.com/gb/activity/inshore.html
Lightweight waterproof jacket - thin, but great for layering over a softshell or microlight jacket and other base/mid layers https://rab.equipment/uk/womens/waterproof/charge-jacket
Microlight - warm and packs down really small! https://rab.equipment/uk/womens/insulation/microlight-alpine-jacket-66
Don't forget about keeping your head, hands, and feet warm and dry!
Shoes - The North Face (Also do fantastic outerwear and base/mid layers)
Heavyweight shoes - https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/shop/en-gb/tnf-gb/womens-verto-s4k-gore-tex-boots-a4vu?variationId=GUR
Lightweight shoes - https://www.thenorthface.co.uk/shop/en-gb/tnf-gb/womens-hedgehog-trek-gore-tex-boots-2ux2?variationId=QDK
Beanies - Queen B Athletics and Square Blades (my favourite stylish and fun options)
Square Blades - https://squareblades.co.uk/collections/accessories/products/retro-multi-yarn-rowing-beanie
Queen B - http://www.queenbathletics.com/product/queen-beanie-charcoal-queen-b-rowing/
Snoods - Buff (Go for heavier weight options, also look at places like Decathlon)
Gloves and socks - SealSkinz, Heat Holders, Little Hotties
SealSkinz gloves - make sure you can move your hands enough to steer, cycling gloves with a thinner liner are often the best options https://www.sealskinz.com/gloves/all-weather-cycle-gloves-black.htm
SealSkinz socks - vital if your feet might get wet (e.g. if you are wading out to the boat in wellingtons) https://www.sealskinz.com/socks/hiking-mid-mid-socks-black-green.htm
Heat Holders socks - someone got me these for a Secret Santa present and I can't live without them now, they have their own tog rating and everything! https://heatholders.co.uk/ladies-clothing/socks/
Little Hotties Hand Warmers - great for long sessions, the coldest days, or races when you know you will be on the water for many hours https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Hotties-Body-Warmer-Pack/dp/B0020I5DA2
Let us know if you have favourite bits of kit that should be included (and apologies for the UK weblinks, but I believe all these companies have US outlets or will ship to the US).