Finding the perfect insulated skirt wasn’t a past-time for me. It was full on obsession. Take this Jan. 21, 2014 Facebook update as evidence: I've been on a mission to find an insulated skirt ... seriously a mission ... my husband can often be heard saying "are you looking at insulated skirts on the internet AGAIN." It all started with a frigid winter run. Not the kind where your toes and fingers get a little numb. The kind where you’re whole core gets chilled. The kind where you wonder what the #*&# you’re doing out there, and you pray earnestly that you don’t twist your ankle, because if you were to stop moving for even a moment, you really might die of hypothermia. From that point on, my mind was made up. If I was going to run (or skate ski or ice skate) in those types of temperatures, I wanted to be wearing a mini-sleeping bag – insulated vest on top and insulated skirt on bottom. So I started scouring the internet for just the right one. And, surprisingly, the insulated skirt phenomenon had only sort of caught on. I struggled to hit the “buy now” button because the choices were:
- too fashion-oriented, or
- too expensive, or
- not the right color, or
- out-of-stock (more than one brand of insulated skirts sold out during the holidays last year).
Skhoop Short Down Skirt (the original insulated skirt company)Pros:
- Super high-quality
- Fits well
- Has enough down to actually keep your buns toasty
- Zippers on both sides open, allowing you to wear it while skate skiing and running
- Doubles as office attire, at least in the tiny rural Idaho town where I live
- It makes me feel bad @$$ and feminine
- Made in China
- A bit pricey, retailing at $159
- The full-length, two-way zipper digs into my waist (ie a tucked in shirt is a must)
- The company has a lukewarm personality, contrary to its exceptionally warm clothes
Ruby Jupe Maxi (Made in the USA)Pros
- USA made with love
- Company founded and run by two Wisconsin women
- Fits well
- Insulation is lightweight but still keeps you cozy
- Zippers on both sides let you bundle up or air out
- Reasonably priced, especially for being USA made. The ankle-length skirt costs $128 and the knee-length $108.
- The ankle-length “maxi” skirt can be hard to move around in; I wouldn’t use it to exercise outdoors and I’ve had a few awkward moments trying to get my two-year old into a car seat while wearing it. I’d be interested to try their mid-length Midi (currently sold out except for XS).
- Only offered in black; a variety of color choices is always good, but if you have to pick just one, Ruby Jupe was wise to go with black, because it looks good on everyone and goes with everything.
DIY Insulated Skirts
Photo by backcountrywiththekids.comWant an insulated skirt, but don’t want to shell over the doe? Or, like Alyssa, have the post-holiday weeks left you wondering about your levels of consumption, even when it comes to outdoor gear? Check out this DIY upcycled insulated skirt made from a vest. It’s awesome and genius. I have to admit I don’t have the patience or skills to pull off making one, but I wish I did. And maybe you do!