Anyone who knows me is well aware of how badly I feel the cold. Winter is obviously the worst season but even a cold and wet day in late Spring or early Summer is enough to make my fingers and toes turn white and a bit numb! For someone who spends most of their time working outdoors, staying warm is very important – I never let the weather get in the way of my work, and so I’m always eager to find new clothes and products that will keep me toasty in all weathers.
For this reason I was really interested to discover something that I’ve never heard of before. It is called a ‘Haramaki’, which means ‘belly wrap’ in Japanese. It is basically a cosy cotton band – around 30cm or so in length – which is worn around the tummy area, with the aim of keeping the core of the body warm. Luckily for me I discovered (through them getting in touch with me) a company that sells them in the UK – nukunuku – so I didn’t have to source one all the way from Japan.
If I’m being honest, I was initially a little skeptical of how warm the Haramaki would keep me. When my bright pink version arrived (it was tricky to decide on the colour – I liked green and the royal blue, but there was so many other colours too), my partner said to me ‘how is that any different from wearing a top underneath your jumper?’ I wasn’t sure, so I had to put it to the test.
Last week I wore my new Haramaki out on a few chilly days (I live in Scotland, and we have barely emerged from Winter here). I wore it around my tummy and allowed the band to come over the top of the waist of my trousers (that way I got to show off the lovely bright pink colour). The other way of wearing it is to tuck it into the top of the trousers, for minimal chance of draftiness. I have to say throughout the day of gardening I felt incredibly cosy and noticed a huge difference compared to wearing only my normal gardening attire. It was amazing the change I felt having my core area warm and with no draft around my midrift. For those of you who garden, you will no doubt notice when you bend over to weed or pick up leaves, there can often be a gappy area between the trousers and the bottom of the t-shirt – well the Haramaki puts an end to that!
All in all I would highly recommend a Haramaki for anyone who feels the cold as an extra base layer. It may look like a very small boob tube (remember those?) when it arrives but I assure you when you wear it around your middle you will be thankful for it. The only thing I would suggest is ordering a size up from your usual. I tend to be a small in most of my clothes but ordered a medium to be on the safe side and it fits perfectly. I’d also suggest getting a jazzy colour as it will help bring a smile to your face even if the weather is cold, damp and freezing!
I’d love to hear how you get on – please let me know!