Winter has arrived: Sales of thermals have risen by 40% in one week

Winter has arrived: Sales of thermals have risen by 40% in one week

The number of scarves, gloves and hats being worn on Britain”s streets seems to have doubled in days as temperatures have dropped.

But what we are wearing underneath appears to have also changed.

Marks & Spencer has reported a 40 per cent week-on-week rise in the sales of thermals for men and women – a confirmation that winter has finally arrived.

On the rise: Marks & Spencer has reported a 40 per cent increase in the sales of thermals for men and women - including this top and pair of socks

On the rise: Marks & Spencer has reported a 40 per cent increase in the sales of thermals for men and women – including this top and pair of socks

This autumn was unseasonably warm but now that temperatures have plummeted, the weather seems set to stay cold.

A foot of snow is expected as far south as Birmingham tomorrow and the Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for Scotland, Northern Ireland and much of northern England andthe Midlands.

Keeping comfortable: Thermal underwear is also shrugging its unsexy image

Keeping comfortable: Thermal underwear is also shrugging its unsexy image

Even London is expected to see temperatures fall to -4C in London by Friday.

But lots of us are already prepared and have stocked up on clothes to keep us warm.

The start of the skiing season this week could also be credited with some of the increase in thermals purchases.

Long johns and vests are a must-wear for anyone who expects to spend long stretches of their day sitting on ski lifts.

Thermals are the unsung heroes of a winter wardrobe.

They can be hidden under almost any outfit – even festive party dresses – to keep the wearer toasty warm.

Thermal underwear is also shrugging its unsexy image – we have come a long way since the shiny vests that used to give tiny electric shocks every time you slipped one over your head.

Now, thermal tops, socks, vests and bottoms come in a range of colours and styles ensuring they can keep away the winter chill whatever you want to wear on top.

Mark Yates, Head of Menswear Innovation and Quality at Marks & Spencer said: “The recent warm weather, we believe, has lead to a pent up demand for thermal product amongst our customers.

“Marks and Spencer has the broadest offer of thermal product on the high street including underwear, shirts, trousers, thinsulate-lined slippers and coats.

“We firmly believe that we have something for everyone when it comes to the cold weather.”