eli5: How do jackets (hopefully) keep us warm?

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eli5: How do jackets (hopefully) keep us warm?

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Normally when our skin is exposed to air that is cold, the cold air removes heat from our skin, which in turn removes heat from our bodies, and makes us cold.

Jackets do two things really, depending on how thin they are.

A really thin one will add an extra layer above our skin, which will provide minimal protection due to the cold air not hitting our skin directly.

A thick jacket does even more. Because it adds layers of fluff/insulation. This insulation does two things. First, it keeps the cold from penetrating onto our skin. Second, like a blanket on your bed, it keeps the body’s natural heat IN and close to the body, keeping us warm.

They trap air that gets warmed by your body (but would then disappear into the ether without the jacket).

It’s the same idea as a duvet.