Why do I feel colder when wearing more clothes…

….in certain indoor settings?

Regardless of the season, I always seems to get cold in airplanes, and am baffled when I see people board wearing shorts, tee shirts and flip flops. I always bring a jacket because I will invariably get cold. But during a recent trip on a hot summer day, I completely forgot to pack a jacket, so was stuck on a 4-hour flight with nothing warm to put on. Amazingly, I didn’t ever feel cold the entire flight.

I keep my house pretty warm all winter and set the thermostat to 74, as I like to wear shirts and a tee shirt at all times as home. Recently I started wearing sweatpants and a long sleeve top while still working from home, and started feeling cold - even feeling the chills. Once I switched back to shorts and a tee shirt, this was no longer an issue and felt fine.

Does anyone have similar experiences, and since this is FQ, is there a reason?

It’s possible that you’re overdressing for the temperature, which is causing you to sweat, and then once your clothes are sweat-soaked, you’re getting too cold.

If you’re a hirsute sort of person, it could be that your natural covering is more effective at insulating you when it’s all standing up (as happens in cool conditions) than the combination of flattened hairs and shirt.

With the responses so far, this is even more confusing, as neither of these apply to me. I’m definitely not sweating in these situations, and am relatively hairless. And it’s never the case outdoors.

I can overheat while sleeping in winter which makes me perspire until I get cold so up comes the flannel sheet and the down comforter again.

WAG: A psychological trick? Your brain or body thinks “I’m wearing shorts and a T-shirt: it must be warm!” Or, “I’m bundled up: it must be cold!”

A long time ago, I encountered the theory that, if you’re cold, you should actually eat or drink something cold, as this will signal to your body that it needs to turn up the heat and warm you up. I’ve never been able to confirm this and have always suspected that it’s at least partly BS; but if there’s any truth to it, a similar mechanism may be operating here.

That doesn’t really work. I drink ice water all day long and if I’m already cold, the ice water makes me colder. If I’m warm, the ice water cools me down somewhat, but I’m rarely warm inside buildings despite dressing for the cold.

When I used to walk to my train in the morning, my breakfast was a can of Pepsi while walking. I would do this even on very cold days. Some of the regular commuters would comment about how I could possibly drink a cold drink on such a cold day. The theory you described is exactly what I told them, and I think most agreed that it made sense. I don’t know how much I believed it myself, but it definitely didn’t make me feel any colder.

Time of day, or more correctly, where you are in your circadian rhythm can make a big difference. A post lunch or afternoon slump can lead your body to feel much colder than at other times of the day.

I’m suspicious some of us can get into a local minima of homeostatis, where we somewhat shut down and start to feel cold, but don’t kick up metabolic processes to compensate enough, and just end up feeling cold. Yet if we start with a body kicking over in a higher gear, we stay there, so that even when the surrounding temperature drops we stay feeling warmer.

There is a lot more about perceived temperature than just air temperature. The radiated energy from the walls makes a difference, as does air circulation. Aircraft can feel very different depending on your seating position.

Do you always get a window seat? It can get very cold against the side.

I find when I am tired or sometimes stressed, I often feel cold. Maybe the string of events leading up to and being on the plane cause you to be tired and or stressed?
Not sure if this is a common reaction to these states.

I get cold easily if I haven’t gotten enough sleep. And I often don’t get enough sleep the night before I get on a plane, what with the last-minute scramble to pack the night before and getting up early enough to fight traffic and get through security.

How about your feet? Are you wearing warm enough socks and shoes? When I’m lying down under a blanket or whatever and am too hot, it makes all the difference in the world to stick a foot out from under the covers. So, feet seem to have a lot to do with feeling hot or cold, at least in my case.

And if your hands and feet are often cold, it could be poor circulation.

I think it’s due to the mechanism of thermoregulation, plus probably (and this isn’t meant as a criticism) a degree of selection bias.

If you’re underdressed, your body will narrow blood vessels, decrease sweating, make hairs stand up etc to try to keep your internal body temperature stable.
If you’re appropriately-dressed then the opposite of these may happen, which will mean that you are again at a comfortable temperature, but does mean any gaps in your clothing, or a slight draft making one direction colder than others may be that much more noticeable.

Also of course the clothing itself may be cold when initially put on.

The selection bias part is just that I suspect that you would not remember all the many times where there is a correlation between feeling of warmth and degree of clothing insulation.
OTOH, if the pattern of cold feeling to clothing worn is absolute (i.e. you always feel colder when putting on more clothes), then I would highly recommend seeing a doctor, as incorrect temperature regulation is potentially life-threatening.

Sounds like a variation on Coheeni’s First Law of Ice-Cream Eating Dynamics:

Ben & Jerry claim that an Indian mystic called Coheeni tells us that, when you lower your internal body temperature by eating cold things, you will feel warmer because there is less difference between your internal temperature and the external temperature.

Is this related to the trope where a couple of shots of brandy when you are freezing will make you feel warmer?

That’s why I started to go to my business trips the day before. I did that get there in the morning couple of years and then told my boss that take it or leave ir but I’m going to go the night before, sleep in the hotel and be fresh as a daisy to the meeting. My boss said: “Sounds good. Do it.”

The extra cost for the comppany was the hotel and little bit more daily allowance but the end result was that I was much sharper in the meetings and comppany benefited from that.

I have heard it said that Indians drink hot tea in summer because it cools them down; you reminded me of this.

“Trust me,” she said. “I’m Indian, I’m British. A billion Indians can’t be wrong. They drink hot tea in hot weather.”