Layering up & keeping warm at  outdoor winter & Christmas markets

Layering up & keeping warm at outdoor winter & Christmas markets

It's that time of year again, and Christmas markets are in full swing.

A lot of the winter time markets I do are indoors; but even those can be in old, drafty churches/barns/halls.

Then there's the outdoor Christmas markets.... although these can be more effort to see up... I do enjoy the atmosphere of these markets. Christmas lights, mulled wine, & being able to see your breath.

But it can be hard to get the right level of layers to keep warm; after all, I don't want to restrict my mobility, and on the other hand I don't to spend 4-6 hours freezing (chattering teeth is not a good look).

I'm not saying I'm a seasoned/pro outdoor seller (I've only done a handful), but this is what I do to stay snug:

Food & Drink

Sometimes I get lucky, and there's a coffee and hot food stall (or several) at the market. But it's not always practical to leave my stall to get food &/or drink.... plus, with the amount of coffee I drink it would seriously start adding up!

I take a metal Thermos flask filled with milky coffee. This has always stayed hot for 7-8hrs! Plus, I take an insulated/double walled travel mug, to keep any coffee I'm drinking hotter for longer - I use a metal  Bodum travel mug that is older than my kids (so 8+ years old).

I usually also take an insulated pot/flask with soup in it (again, Thermos). It's easy to just chug from, and keeps the soup at the right temperature.

Also lots and lots of snacks, and water (and pray that the toilets are close by).



There's only a few layers worth of difference between what I wear to an outdoor market, compared to the markets hosted in old, cold buildings. Here is the list of what I've found keeps my snug, without looking like Mr StayPuff:

(Additional layers for outdoor markets are in italics)

  • Merino base layer - I have a long sleeved one from Mountain Warehouse, which has done me good for a few years now. Originally, I bought one from H&M, and it started to come apart after 1 wear! I guess you get what you pay for.
  • Long length cotton t-shirt - it may even be classed as a tunic? Either way, it comes down past my hips. When it's cold out, I always prefer to have a long t-shirt or vest layer, I find it don't ride up (or pop of my leggings), given the cold a chance to get at my skin (not today, Jack Frost!) 
  • A Christmas or Fair Isle jumper - you've got to get in the spirit right! How can you expect even one else to feel like they should be spending on Christmas gifts, or winter warmers, if you're just wearing a plain jumper or hoodie! Get festive, that's what I do. I tend to wear my Little Spuggy Garland Merino jumper, but this year I will alternated between that and my 'Rainbow snowflake' Merino jumper.
    Little Spuggy festive Merino Garland jumper
  • Merino leggings - I'm telling you, this was a game changer for me. But if the indoor venue is warm, I wear these on their own (not as an additional layer). 
  • Jeans/trousers
  • Wool boot socks - you'll be noticing a theme, wool is temperature regulating; so will wick away sweat to keep you dry and warm. It also traps air to keep you warm. 
  • Fingerless gloves - I wear fingerless gloves, when working a stall. I find that "normal" gloves just slow me down, or become a nuisance. When I'm not serving, or adding stock, I pop them in my coat pockets.
  • A padded coat - I use the same coat for indoor & outdoor, so its waterproof. The coat I have is padded but not overly so. This is so my movement isn't restricted, and so I don't look like the Michelin man. I have a Seasalt coat ("Rain" I think).
  • Bogs wellies - for outdoor markets that are on a green/park, or equally soggy/muddy area. The one I have well padded soles, and the calves section is neoprene (cosy).
  • Leather boots - for indoor or dry outdoor market; I have some fleece lined leather boots, that are calf length. Not only are they comfy, but they keep my feet nice and warm. 
  • Woolly hat - now, what kind off knitwear seller would I be if I didn't wear my trusty merino knitted beanie hat! 
    A selection of Little Spuggy knitted hats


Other bits

I don't have any electrical heaters or similar set up in my gazebo, or buy my stall. It's just one more thing to think about, plus ideally it should be PAT tested (thinking of insurance). I do however, have some little rechargeable hand warmers that can go in my pockets, if i need the extra warmth. I also pack a wool poncho, as a back up layer. 


There you have it.

Hopefully I haven't missed anything, and I'm still learning with every new market I do. So I have no doubt I will add to this list next winter.


Let me know if you have any hints or tips for cold weather market stall selling in the comments.

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