Clothing for Autumn paddling

I am new to cooler weather paddling and am looking for the proper clothing. There are alot of styles, materials, brands, ect. to choose from and I would like to get it right. I live in the mid-atlantic area and would like to paddle through November. Any suggestions or advice on what to wear from the neck down would be appreciated. Oh, I paddle a Sit on Top kayak.

an economical way to keep paddling
during the shoulder seasons- spring and fall, is to buy a farmer john wetsuit and paddling jacket. The water temperature is your biggest concern. You need to be adequately prepared for a swim. More serious year around paddlers buy drysuits and rarely do they regret that decision. On a warm day you can ditch the paddling jacket in the boat, or peel down the top of the wetsuit. I go with a 2mm wetsuit until I need more warmth than that and then I switch to a drysuit with pile layers underneath.

more than clothing
I canoe year around here in Connecticut, and a lot of that is in Long Island Sound,and I am alone almost all of the time. As the weather cools off, I go from summer wear to wool pants and pile but I also paddle closer and closer to shore as the water temperature drops. I begin to avoid any open crossings unless the weather is really stable. Sometime in October, the drysuit goes on if I am going to be in big water and for winter, the drysuit is on no matter what water I am paddling in.

I wore a farmer john when I was raft guiding in the NW. It was okay when combined with a paddling jacket for 15 minutes or so immersed in 50-60 degree water. It starts to get chilly when the water starts leaking into the paddle jacket…but it does give you time to deal with situation.

By the way, wetsuits are cold once you are out of the water and standing in a cold wind (or sitting on top of your kayak). If that’s a possibility, carrying wind pants or a change of clothes (better) is a good idea.

Dry wear if you can afford it
It so simplifies everything else - then all you need is wicking stuff for underneath that you’d wear in cold weather anyway. And wool socks.

let’s start with the basics
There seems to be alot of varying opinion on the subject so let’s go one step at a time. I do understand the water temperature is the biggest factor. That said, What would be a good paddling shoe, and a good base layer? Wool long johns? along with a wicking shirt and pants? Lots to learn.

Excellent resource
Here it is:

Base layers
The base layers you use under a dry suit are not necessarily the same as under a wet suit. For the wet suit, you want something that will prevent rashes, for the dry suit that is not so much of an issue.

Even with a wet suit, you need a wind blocking layer because a wet suit that has actually gotten wet can be a fast trip to hypothermia in a cold wind.

What is your budget and what are the water temperatures through the period you plan to keep paddling? Those are the basics needed for a good response.

Celia is right
Dry wear makes it easy.

Thank you
This is a very informative web site.

If you can at all spring for one, that’s the route to go, especially when you’re talking November.