So, it’s here…
The mercury is beginning to drop and sleet is flowing through the harsh breeze. The darkness sets in earlier and earlier and scraping ice from the windscreen first thing in the morning seems like the biggest chore in the world.
Catching a glimpse of the fabled “Abominable Snowman” is not uncommon at this time of year.
You know the type… the giant puffer jacket, old scarf and mismatched mountain climbing gloves. Left to their own devices most men focus on the keeping warm part with very little consideration for the lack of style this often comes with.
Of course, this is something of a generalisation from my own experience, some men, thankfully, have a great sense of style whatever the weather. But, if your guy just isn’t one of those chaps, this blog could be for you.
If you’re helping your bloke arrange his winter wardrobe, there’s great news for you, it’s no longer a simple choice between being warm or looking good… he can have the best of both worlds.
Look Sharp & Stay Warm
When you’re getting ready for winter, it’s essential to cover the comfortability and warmth bases. He could be wearing the finest Armani suit in the world, but if he’s shivering and looks like a giant icicle then that’s not going to matter one little bit. Staying warm during winter is important for your health and wellbeing and shouldn’t be neglected.
But these days there’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort either. It’s simply a matter of adapting.
These tips will leave him looking great and feeling comfortable all winter long:
- Layer Clothing
- Choose Winter-Appropriate Fabric
- Wearing the Correct Winter Coat
- Getting the Footwear Right
Winter is a real marmite season – you either love it or you hate it.
But there’s a great opportunity to mix and match clothing. In summer wearing too many layers is an obvious no-no, but in winter you can just go all out and be much more creative.
Wearing several lighter layers not only keeps your man looking slick, but it’s proven to keep you warmer than thicker clothing. And if you get a bit warm you can just take a layer away.
So, on average the basic winter outfit will probably consist of three layers and these can be divvied into three categories:
- Base Layer (e.g. t-shirts or shirts)
- Middle Layer (e.g. shirts, jumpers or cardigans)
- Top Layer (e.g. jacket or coat)
The general rule of thumb to remember when layering is that you work from thinnest to thickest. Also, make sure he doesn’t overdo it and end up with restricted movement, he’ll need to find a balance that simultaneously keeps him warm and affords full movement of the arms.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking that the layers closest to the body will never be seen. The idea is that he can remove layers and look slick in whatever combination is most comfortable.
Never layer up with clothing that wouldn’t be worn on its own.
Curveball. What if he’s got a Christmas office party coming up; do the layering rules still apply?
Fear not… start with the basic t-shirt as the base layer, top off with a dress shirt and then pop a lightweight cardigan or sweater over the top. Whatever he goes for ensure that it fits over the other layers and a tie if applicable and then he can just add a coat over the top for perfect winter formal wear.
Layering for Casual Wear
For casual wear, keep the same practices as above, but because there is no dress code, there’s space for a lot more creative freedom. For example:
- T-shirt, shirt and sweater.
- Shirt, denim jacket and blazer.
- Thick-knit cardigan, blazer or light wool sweater.
There’s so many options when it comes to casual layering, these three ideas are literally just the tip of the iceberg.
Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it.
4 Warmest Fabrics
Choosing clothing made from the right fabrics is another key decision when it comes to keeping warm in the depths of winter. Below is a list of the best insulating materials:
- Cotton: Best as the base or middle layers. It’s not what you’d call the warmest of fabrics, but it’s USP is its absorbency, which allows other clothes to breath; ideal to strip down to when in a building with warm air conditioning.
- Denim: Best used for middle and top layers and legwear. Jeans are an essential for any casual look, and winter doesn’t change that. Denim is good for a middle or top layer. Just remember stick to single denim.
- Leather: Best used for top layers. Leather is the classic option and is a good warm material to conclude a more traditional look.
- Wool: Best used for middle or top layers. Wool is the warmest fabric available. Even a thin layer will normally keep in the warmth better than thick layers of other materials.
The top tip for creating a great winter outfit is mix and match the layers. Wearing three layers of wool will be too warm and if you rely heavily on cotton it won’t keep you warm enough.
Must-have Winter Accessories
Wearing proper winter accessories when he ventures out into the cold is a must to keep the chesty cough at bay. We don’t think enough about this kind of thing – the parts of your body that are all too often left bare are the ones you really need to get him to cover.
Protecting the head in the harsh winter elements is essential, invest in a real winter hat and ditch the tatty old cap. The most important aspect to choosing a hat for winter is keeping the ears warm, and the knit hat is both stylish and practical in this sense.
Trapper hats are a good choice for casual wear and a fedora or homburg will make him look the part in a formal setting, but as mentioned these won’t protect your ears from the wind.
It’s definitely worth spending a little more money investing in a knit hat; the cheaper options are often made from acrylic and are only likely to cause sweating and discomfort or offer absolutely no protection whatsoever.
A personal favourite of mine when it comes to winter shopping. Scarves are not only practical, but they also offer a great opportunity to add some visual pizazz to any outfit.
Most winter coats are low-key colours, such as blacks, greys and browns, so think of a scarf as a signature with the ability to add some colour and character to an otherwise toned-down outfit.
The range available these days for men is quite remarkable, thick-knit and infinity all come in a range of textures that are both masculine and understated.
The more out there you go with your scarf though, the less likely it will be suited to more formal wear. So, for if you’re dressing up stick to a simple non-chunky wool scarf.
There are three key rules to remember when he gets himself a pair of gloves:
- They Should Hold Up to the Cold
- They Should Withstand Moisture
- They Shouldn’t Look Like Mittens or Huge Skiing Gloves.
The most classic choice that springs to mind is leather gloves. The will keep his hands warm, dry and they look good too. Investing in a pair with extra lining is always a good idea.
For formal occasions, leather is the only option to stay sleek and warm. But casual looks offer more options such as wool gloves which can be found in colours and patterns that offer a little individualism.
But, keep it simple.
A little bit overlooked, but you can’t beat a good luxury sock. A good, well-made sock should offer several very distinct advantages, it should not only be able to withstand frequent usage, but it should also offer comfort and warmth all winter long.
The great thing about socks is that there are so many patterns and colours available that you can find just about anything to suit his tastes and preferences.
Choosing the All-Important Winter Coat
Choosing the right winter coat is essential for both comfort and style. It’s the first thing people will see, so it’s a great opportunity to make an impression.
This is an area where many men fall down, opting for a windbreaker or the aforementioned giant puffer coat.
Of course, your man needs to be shielded from the wintery elements, but there’s loads of choice these days, but these will vary depending on the severity of the winter. Some will only need something quite casual, whilst others will need one that can match up to their formal wear.
Below are some of the best coats for him this winter:
A hot favourite at the moment is the pea coat. It really emphasises broad shoulders and slims down the waistline, but it’s also great for keeping you warm.
The double-breasted front does a stellar job of keeping the wind out, but they aren’t particular good in conjunction with blazers and suit jackets.
The overcoat is the absolute classic choice; great for business and business-casual. It keeps you warm whilst giving you sophisticated, professional look.
A great option for layering and is an absolute must if your guy is in need of a sophisticated coat.
Another classic option is the trench coat. These are good to have in the locker when the rain and snow start to fall.
They are really versatile, so they look good with both a casual and formal look. They also come in many styles so there’s plenty of great options out there.
Top Tip: A trench coat with a wool lining will add an extra layer of warmth.
Parkas are a more casual coat with a fur-lined hood that will keep the more extreme elements at bay, whilst keeping the wearer nice and toasty.
Whilst they are more widely known as casual clothing, they can look great over the top of a suit or more formal attire.
Traditionally worn by Eskimos, these coats are more suited to more extreme climes.
Another classic, stylish option. Made from rugged wool to keep the heat in, they are easy to identify due to their wooden toggles in the place of buttons down the front.
Great for both formal and casual wear, they also come with a thick hood to protect from the elements.
Of course, there are tons of options on the market these days, but these are my personal favourites. If nothing else it will hopefully give your significant other an idea of what’s out there and the different styles that might suit him.
A pair of nice dress shoes just aren’t going to cut it when up against frozen ground and harsh conditions I’m afraid.
Winter footwear isn’t something that many even consider, but putting a bit of research towards getting the right footwear will keep him upright and on his feet, all through the icy season.
These are a few tips for choosing the right winter footwear:
- Waterproof: Will Stop the Rain and Snow Seeping in.
- Interior Lining: Stop the Cold Getting in.
- Grip: A Decent Grip Will Decrease the Chances of Slipping.
Below are some excellent boot options that are available:
Brogue boots look just look the popular dress shoe, but they come with a few extra inches around the top of the foot and the ankles.
Don’t worry about the raised part of the boot as this will be covered by your trousers, so you will still look the business in a suit or formal wear.
They also come with insulation and strong soles to keep the wearer sturdy on their feet.
Leather Desert Boots
If you were to think of desert boots, would you think of all the beige and tan suede that are on display throughout spring.
Upgrade that look by opting for leather made desert boots, for added comfort and durability during winter.
Leather Hiking Boots
Every guy needs a pair of rugged and steady hiking boots for winter.
Whether you’re planning on actually going hiking or just need something reliable for the weekends. These bad boys will keep your feet dry even when the rest of the boot is wet.
Chelsea boots are very much back in vogue these days and are great with a suit or a more casual leather jacket and jeans look.
However, it’s worth putting in a little more investment because the cheaper the boot the harder it will be to get them on.
Chelsea boots create something of a sleek, minimalist look due to their lack of laces and subtle detail.
Stay Sharp & Warm
Your man will no longer need the snowman look this winter.
Now he knows how to battle the frost, wind and snow and look damn good whilst doing it, why revert back to the old ways?
With the right combination of layers, coats and footwear, he can be ready to battle the elements without sacrificing a sense of personal style.
Lola Clark is a personal finance junkie who spent 18-months travelling around Thailand, Laos and Cambodia to help further her understanding of different cultures and whetting her appetite to find more about her own heritage and culture back home.
She has learnt a lot about different styles and clothing heritage during her travels and this passion quickly became an obsession and she loves nothing more than writing and discussing personal style and fashion.