Usually winter is unpleasant because the sun is behind gray clouds a lot and also because it's very cold outside. While you can't really control what the sun does, you can control how cold you feel thanks to the magical qualities of thermals. They'll really improve your winter experience and make you feel invincible, which will make anyone feel good.

Nowadays, thermals come in all shapes, sizes, and fabrics; there are turtlenecks, half-zips, leggings, underwear, short-sleeve vee neck tees, sleeveless tees, and more. Aesthetically, too, there are antique-looking long johns and performance baselayers, and while they may be marketed to different people, they all exist under the wonderful umbrella of being able to keep you warm this winter. Don't wait too long to start or expand your thermals because you'll end up wondering why you did.

1. Uniqlo Heattech

My first introduction to the greatness of thermals was Uniqlo's Heattech line. Uniqlo is a good entry point for trying a variety of clothes, and with price points under $30, it's hard to beat their thermal options. Thermals can be great for keeping your body temperature up, but if they're still activated even once you're inside in front of the fire, it can be uncomfortable. One of the things that I've heard most people praise the Heattech line for is keeping you warm when it's cool and keeping you cool when it's warm, which is an admirable task.

Women's Heattech @ Uniqlo (from $12.90)
Men's Heattech @ Uniqlo (from $12.90)

2. Patagonia Capilene and Merino Wool Baselayers

You really can't ever go wrong with Patagonia. Their warranty is second to none, they make clothes for just about every casual occasion you can think of, and they set the standard for technical outer- and innerwear. Their Capilene and merino wool baselayers come in a range of weights and temperature ratings, so you can tailor your thermals to the kind of climate and environment you expect to encounter.

Women's baselayers @ Patagonia (from $29)
Men's baselayers @ Patagonia (from $29)

3. Choctaw Ridge

If you're into attention to detail in your thermal garments, then look no further than Choctaw Ridge's selection. Choctaw Ridge is helmed by Christian McCann, of Left Field fame, and he's taken thermals to another level with details like chambray yokes on the long johns and letterpress hang tags and materials like bone buttons and 100% Pima cotton.

@ Choctaw Ridge (from $79.99)

4. Woolpower

This is the first season I've known about Woolpower, but I want everything they make. Produced in northern Sweden with their proprietary Ullfrotte Original material, which is composed of a mix of merino wool and synthetic fiber, Woolpower's thermal shirts, socks, jackets, and bottoms are worn by the Swedish army. The range of styles is refreshing, and there are some fantastic details, including thumb cut-outs on their full-zip jacket and circular-knit fabrics that have no side seams. With the terry knit lining and muted color palette, you may skip the other layers and wear your baselayers exclusively.

@ Westerlind (from $80)

5. Ibex Outdoor Clothing

Ibex thermals are renowned for being a sure thing when it comes to wool baselayers. Ibex uses raw merino wool, and takes a lot of pride in producing phenomenal garments using sustainable materials. With various weaving patterns that keep heat in as well as a fabric that neutralizes odors, and full men's and women's lines, Ibex clothes are a home run every time.

Women's baselayers @ Ibex Outdoor Clothing (from $30)
Men's baselayers @ Ibex Outdoor Clothing (from $50)