The harsh elements of winter make it the most fun season for fashion. Layering is necessary and practical when temperatures drop below freezing. Sweaters and wool pants are cozy and make every moment feel like you’re sitting by the fireplace at home, hot cocoa in hand.
That said, it’s also easy to look like an artic explorer or the Michelin Man if you treat cold weather garments and layering as an afterthought. Here are five garments and style tips that will make sure you walk in a winter wonderland without Jack Frost nipping at your nose.
Boots will never go out of style. That said, while chunky, durable, American-made Red Wings are timeless investments, slimmer European-style boots are making a comeback.
The svelte profile of these boots makes them easier to pair with a variety of outfits, and with the right tread, they’re better for an icy climate than work boots (which traditionally sport cork soles).
My favorite this season is Montreal-based WANT Les Essentiels’ Montoro Derby Boots because of their midnight blue hue and durable rubber soles. That said, their price point is prohibitive, so keep on the lookout for similar styles at a fraction of the price; H&M is your friend in this regard, and the company’s Swedish sensibility comes across in many of their slim boots, most of which are under $100.
Every man should have one investment coat. My current one is a down, quilted Barbour number I picked up from Askov Finlayson; it’s good for the warmer days of early winter. J.Crew’s Ludlow topcoats are perennial favorites and go well with anything from jeans and a sweater to a formal ensemble.
If you want to make a splash, Topman offers a beautiful burgundy topcoat this season featuring a slim fit and better construction than the rest of their line.
White is the perfect color for a winter wardrobe. Though many follow the adage that white shouldn’t be worn after Labor Day, climate change throws this old piece of wisdom right out the door.
While white shoes are a winter no-no, sweaters and pants are fair game. Combine a chunky white turtleneck with a pair of off-white chinos, cords or jeans, and you’ll have a dapper winter uniform that’ll make you look like you belong on the streets of Italy instead of the streets of Minneapolis.
This season’s pleats aren’t the fusty double-and-triple pleats your father and grandfather wore in the ’90s and early aughts. Instead, they’re understated and streamlined with slim, flattering fits.
My favorite pleated pants are the Davis chinos from Unis, a New York City men’s label renowned for their tasteful simplicity. Offered in forest green, khaki and navy, the Davis’ classic color scheme lets the modern fit pop.
For another option, Japanese stalwart Uniqlo did a recent collaboration with French Lemaire, and their dressier pleated pants have a great silhouette and dark colors that go well in monochrome looks.
Cable knit sweaters
Cable knit sweaters sit at the convergence of luxurious and roguish. Slimmed-down cabling and trim fits bring them into the 21st century.
Though blue and white cable knit sweaters are classics that will never go out of style, opt for a colorful number amid the gloomy, slushy landscape. Per usual, J.Crew is your friend here with their frequent sales. Cable v-neck sweaters are also worth a look. Gucci released a stellar model this fall that serves as a fantastic blueprint of what’s worth looking for.