Despite my 17 years of running experience, I still struggle with what to wear as the temperatures drop in the fall. The first couple of chilly mornings I wear way too many clothes. I end the run with shirts tied around my waist, and hat tucked in my waistband, drenched in sweat. Here are the rules I've learned to follow over the years:

  1. You should be slightly cold until around mile one. Seriously, like clockwork right at mile one, you'll notice you warm up.
  2. Dress as if it 20 degrees warmer and you're headed outside to stand around. What I mean is if it's 48 degrees, imagine it's 68 and you're getting dressed to watch a parade. You'd wear a tee or light long sleeve tee and shorts. So wear a tee and shorts to run. Maybe add gloves. If it's raining or windy add a light top layer, maybe a vest. 
  3. Layers! Every runner should be armed with a wicking base layer, a running vest, a light and heavy jacket, capris, and pants. Mix and match to run comfortably all winter, no matter what. 
  4. Know your "no shorts" temperature cut off. Mine is 43 degrees. Yes, seriously. If it's 42 degrees it's a capri or pants situation. Find your temperature. But anything under 35 degrees is a no-no for 99% of people unless they're racing.
  5. And finally it doesn't matter how cute you look if cars can't see you. Headlamp, flashlight, blinking arm band... or have your cake and eat it too with stylish reflective detailing. Obviously Oiselle has you covered there. Because we love cake... I mean reflective detailing.

Now that you've got the basics, lets get down to it with a fall weather pop quiz.

It's 6:17am, 39 degrees, a slight wind from the north laced with drizzle. What do you wear!?

If you said a base layer with a running vest, shorts or capris and optional gloves - You're right!

1. Base Layer Top

2. Gilman Vest *wind, water resistant AND reflective.

3. Lesley Knicker

This is easy to adapt to a colder day, (say 33 - 28 degrees) simply swap the Lesley Knickers for Onyx Tights and the Gilman Vest for it's full body counterpart: the Burke Jacket. Add a hat and gloves.

1. Base Layer Top

2. Burke Jacket

3. Onyx Tights

What are your fall and winter 'what to wear' rules?