The method of selecting your clothes for ice fishing is to dress to stay warm and comfortable, no matter what type of weather you encounter. The old saying goes "You can always take layers if you become warm, but you can't add them if you did not bring them along." This means you need to dress in layers. Try to imagine what you would normally wear to an outdoor event in late fall, this is a good place to start to get some ideas on what to wear.
Here are the minimums required for participating in any outdoor sport in the winter months. Begin with the layer closest to your skin. This layer is very important as it is crucial you remain dry in this area. Any type of perspiration on this layer will eventually make you cold and can lead to serious conditions such as hypothermia or at the very least frostbite.Pants, shirts, and socks for this layer ideally should be made of a material that will wick away moisture. Most clothing made of polypropylene will do this nicely. This is better than cotton if you have a choice, but cotton can also be worn. Be aware that cotton may get wet and stay wet, so try to stay as dry as possible and wear layers. Wear your boots tied loosely until arriving at your fishing site. If you begin to get warm along the way, make sure you unzip your jacket to let out some of the heat or even take off a layer. It is also a good idea to carry a few extra pairs of dry felt boot liners, moisture wicking socks, and mitten liners. Moisture or sweat can make you very cold when the wind begins to blow.
The warmth layer is the next layer you need to concentrate on and wool is a good choice for this. It will keep you warm and dry even if you become slightly damp. Fleece can also be used and is a popular warmth layer as well as down jackets. Wool is a good choice for hats and mittens so long as they have a protective fabric on the inside or outside to act as a barrier to moisture and wind. A face mask or neck warmer is essential in windy weather. Also, be sure your hat has generous ear flaps to cover your entire ears . A one-piece insulated coverall is ideal for this sport, especially if it has a hood that can be left open or pulled tight around the face and neck.
The last but not least layer is the windbreaker. Down jackets are nice since they often provide a wind breaking shell on the outside. If you choose to wear wool or fleece as a warmth layer, be sure and top it off with a rip-stop nylon windbreaker shell. Out on the lake the wind can cut through even the warmest wool sweater or jacket. Goggles tucked in a pocket can also help protect you against effects of wind.
Your feet will take the most abuse from winter weather since they are in contact with the ice and snow for hours at a time. You should always purchase the best winter boot you can afford. Your boots can make the difference between a great day on the lake and going home early. Avoid soft-sided hiking boots or street shoes that can get wet and let the wind through. Waterproof and well insulated winter boots are the best footwear for ice fishing