The Washington Post

How to stay warm on inauguration day

If you're bound for the Mall on Monday, you'll be spending hours outdoors on a brisk winter day. (The extended forecast is currently calling for highs in the 30s with a chance of snow flurries.) Two veterans of the frigid 2009 inauguration (28 degrees at noon!) share their tips for staying comfortable.

Scotty Reifsnyder/For The Washington Post

Heat wraps

At minimum, you should bring air-activated disposable hand warmers (available at sporting goods stores and on But if you want to take it a step further for total-body warmth, buy two adhesive Thermacare heat wraps intended to treat lower-back pain ($5-$8 at CVS). Strap one to your back and one on your front. It will feel like your own personal furnace, all day long.

Long underwear and tights

The season for thermal underwear is almost over, so the racks at Target are more likely to be stocked with bikinis than winter wear. Try sporting goods stores: City Sports carries several options, from pricey SmartWool to a lower-end line that costs $25 for pants or tops; REI Outfitters (several area locations) has offerings ranging from the inexpensive to ultra-warm silk. For women who don't want extra bulk or who want to stay warm under ball gowns, H&M carries tights made of thick cotton rather than nylon ($17.95 for a two-pack) and angora-blend ones that feel like wrapping your legs in a sweater ($12.95).

Faux-fur trapper hats

With flaps that extend beyond the ears and awkward tufts of fur that cover about three-quarters of your face, trapper hats invite others to point and snicker. They also prove effective at blocking the chill. At the height of their popularity in 2009, they were the quintessential inaugural accessory; even rapper Jay-Z donned a real fur trapper for the swearing-in. He looked warm - and just as dorky as the rest of us.

Ugg boots

They might be derided as the ugliest footwear ever invented - yes, even worse than Crocs - but you know what? Uggs are incredibly warm. As they say: Haters gonna hate. Wear them to inauguration and the fashion police will give you a free pass. Same goes for any type of insulated snow boot.


The best - and cheapest - way to generate some body heat is to get moving. Andrew Killion, owner of District Crossfit, recommends 30 reps of air squats: a deep squat, almost low enough for your rear to touch your ankles. "It will help you get some blood to your legs, since you'll be standing all day," he says. If you're in an area with a little extra space, Killion says that burpees, a squat-to-plank move, will also do the trick, especially when performed while wearing multiple layers of clothing. "If you did like 20 in a row, you'd be warm for sure," Killion says. "Tired, but warm."

Get the latest weather forecast from Capital Weather Gang

D.C. food trucks line up for inauguration

A modern girl's guide to inaugural dressing

List of bars and restaurants that can operate around the clock inauguration weekend

State society balls: Which ones are worth the trip?

Going Out Guide: Inauguration events





Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read
Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained
Next Story
Fritz Hahn · January 15, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.