What to Wear in 40 Degree Weather (Outfit Ideas)

Dressing for cold weather can be easier said than done. It’s tough to figure out what will be comfortable and practical until you go outside and stand in cold weather. Understandably, many people struggle with what to wear in 40-degree weather.

Ideally, you should wear several layers that include a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt under a hoodie or light jacket in 40-degree weather. Khaki pants, heavy denim jeans, and thick joggers can keep your legs warm when it’s 40 degrees outside. Never wear open-toed shoes in 40-degree weather. Instead, you should wear lined boots or durable sneakers and long socks.

Leggings are the perfect casual bottoms in 40-degree weather, but only if you wear a warm top because they don’t provide too much protection. Follow along as we explore what to wear in 40-degree weather.

What Should I Wear in 40-Degree Weather?


How many layers you wear ultimately determines how comfortable you will be in 40-degree weather. A T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt is a great place to start. From there, a light coat, hoodie, cardigan, or jacket can provide extra warmth.

If it’s going to be a windy and rainy day, you may want to consider wearing long johns. Long johns are the perfect base layer to wear under jeans, khakis, and even sweatpants where you typically have fewer options for layers.


Denim jeans are popular and stylish year-round, and they come in handy with it’s 40 degrees outside or colder. Look for jeans that weigh 16 ounces per square yard of denim because they are the heaviest. Heavier denim jeans offer the most warmth, and they are much more comfortable than light, skinny jeans.

Khaki Pants

Khaki pants are among the most practical bottoms to wear in 40-degree weather. They have useful pockets, they are appropriate for most locations, and they are typically warm. You can find flat and pleated varieties of khaki pants that suit any style, and they go well with cardigans, hoodies, and long-sleeved shirts.


Leggings are staples are fall and winter, and they are perfect for 40-degree weather. Wool and fleece leggings are particularly warm and comfortable, but nylon, spandex, polyester, and cotton leggings are more common. Just make sure to wear a warm enough long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt when you wear leggings in 40-degree weather.


You may not want to wear denim jeans and Khaki pants while running errands in 40-degree weather. That’s where joggers come into play as they are casual and comfortable, and they can keep you warm. They pair well with sneakers, especially if you wear long and thick socks to cover the gap between the end of the pants and your shoes.

Light Jacket

Depending on your tolerance for cold weather, you may not want to wear a heavy coat in 40-degree weather. However, you can’t go wrong with a light jacket over a T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt. This gives you the option to unzip it or take it off if you get too warm without having to carry a heavy coat around.

Polyester, cotton, and fleece jackets are typically light, but they can still protect you from cold air.

Flannel Shirt

A flannel shirt, especially one that is lined, can warm you up when it’s 40 degrees outside. Flannels are in style from September to February in most regions, and they are quite practical. You can also find hooded flannel shirts with thick lining that reduces the need to wear too many layers in 40-degree weather.


Not only are cardigans fashionable, but they can also save the day in 40-degree weather. This cozy type of sweater comes in many styles and goes well with any fall or winter look. Look for a neutral-color cardigan so you can pair it with any outfit.

A t-shirt or long sleeve underneath a cardigan with a pair of jeans and khaki pants can complete your comfortable fall and winter look.


Hoodies offer some of the best protection from the cold in 40-degree weather, and they are invaluable throughout fall and winter. If you are particularly sensitive to cold weather, you can wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath the hoodie to provide as much insulation as possible. Cotton hoodies are quite comfortable, but fleece hoodies typically provide the most warmth.

Long-Sleeved Dress

Do you have plans for a nice function on a cold day that requires classy attire? If so, you can’t go wrong with a long-sleeved dress made of thick and durable material. You can avoid feeling too cold if you bring a scarf to accessorize with and keep your neck warm in 40-degree weather.


Sneakers are perfect for 40-degree weather, that is unless it’s wet outside. The last thing you want is to get your shoes wet when it’s 40 degrees or colder outside. However, you can keep your feet warm on a dry day with 40-degree weather if you pair sneakers with thick and comfortable socks.


You don’t need to reserve boots for days when it’s below the freezing point. Boots are a fall and winter fashion staple, and they are the most practical footwear in 40-degree weather. Insulated boots that extend above the ankles will keep you the warmest.

Long Socks

It’s easy to neglect your feet and ankles when you get ready to go out in 40-degree weather. However, all your careful outfit planning will go to waste if you don’t wear long socks to protect your feet and ankles. Thermal socks are particularly useful when it is 40 degrees outside or cooler.

Look for moisture-wicking socks as well because you may still sweat in 40-degree weather, especially if you wear several layers.


Do you plan to be outside in 40-degree weather for a while? If so, you will regret not wearing a beanie if your ears are prone to getting cold quickly. You can even bring a beanie along with you to keep in your jacket pocket just in case you get cold and need extra protection. Acrylic, cotton, and fleece beanies offer the best protection from cold weather.

So, What Should You Wear When It’s 40 Degrees Outside?

You should wear layers that include a T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt, thick pants, and a light jacket in 40-degree weather.  A heavy cardigan or hoodie is perfect when it’s 40 degrees outside and windy. Wear long socks and boots or thick sneakers to protect your feet and ankles in 40-degree weather.

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