Extreme weather conditions are a relatively rare occasion in the UK, arctic freezes and heat waves come around infrequently and are gone as fast as they arrive which leave little time for the unorganised man who shops for today to address any gaps in his wardrobe!
This can lead to major problems when dressing for the cold, far more than the heat! I see many men mixing activewear and formal wear in an attempt to brave the cold which unfortunately reduces their status and can make them look like a parody character – think bright colours and ski wear, bobble hats and Thinsulate gloves, all of which makes for a reputation damaging ensemble!
As always you should be aiming for a look of planned elegance giving the impression that you are in total control of the image you are portraying, the following items will ensure you nail this if you follow my advice.
1. The Classic Overcoat
THE most essential winter wardrobe item, the classic overcoat can transform any outfit into a the pinnacle of style. There are a few considerations when choosing the perfect overcoat for you to ensure that it amplifies your style to the max.
1. Fabric – If you want your coat to be a staple of your wardrobe for years to come, there is no other choice than wool, the heavier the jacket the more durable and hard wearing it will be so make sure not to scrimp on an item that feels light as you’ll sacrifice longevity.
2. Fit – Make sure that when you’re buying you’re wearing a thick jumper or a blazer when you try the coat on as it should fit comfortably over your indoor outfit in order to be versatile. I see many men make the mistake of trying on an overcoat in a warm shop and judging the fit in their shirt which doesn’t represent how they will be worn.
The coat should give enough room for you to wear these items underneath but is an item of tailoring and should therefore fit fairly snuggly (this will help to keep you warm as well), make sure you don’t go too generous on size as you will lose some of the magic.
3. Sleeves – Sleeves should cover your wrist and reach the base of your hand but ensure they don’t go past the knuckle of the thumb. This should ensure that they cover your suit sleeves and form an overlap with your gloves when worn, to ensure warmth.
2. quarter zip
The perfect winter item for layering your outfits as it sits perfectly under a blazer for those extra cold mornings but can also pass easily on its own worn over a shirt or t-shirt making it extremely versatile for outfit construction.
The quarter zip comes in just about every knit option imaginable, a cashmere garment is perfect for the more formal outfit while you may want to go for a more traditional, thicker wool blend for those particularly cold days.
A good quality pair of boots should be the go to footwear in the winter months but especially when the temperatures drop below freezing!
Chelsea boots are the perfect balance between style and function however my advice would be to look for a rubber or hyrbid sole as leather only doesn’t do you any favours on icy or snowy surfaces – nothing damages your style more than crawling about on the floor!
4. Cashmere Socks
There’s nothing better than pulling on a pair of cashmere socks on a cold winter morning. A thick boot style, preferably in a light hue, will look good with your hiking boots, while a long navy style will keep your legs and feet warm en route to the office.
5. FLANNEL SHIRT
The thicker weave of a flannel short gives a bit of added warmth and elevates it to the go to option for cold weather shirting.
There are some other advantages of flannel as well, it doesn’t wrinkle easily which is a big positive in the winter months due to the increase of layers you are wearing and it also gets softer with every wash gradually making itself a favourite for even the most rugged of men due to the feel against the skin!
6. Leather Gloves
You’ll never regret an investment in a pair of high quality, leather gloves!
The addition of a pair of gloves can transform an entire look, especially when the colour of the leather compliments the rest of the outfit!
In days gone by, gloves were worn by all when the temperature dropped, however as style, fashion and society has changed, coat pockets have formed the less suitable alternative. You can buck the trend and really elevate your style by introducing this accessory to your winter outfits.
7. Statement SCARF
The essential winter accessory, scarves are where you can really stamp your personality on your outfit!
I would always recommend going for a thin cashmere which sits nicely under and overcoat without adding too much bulk, however this is an area you can really go to town. My only piece of advice, avoid the football scarf, especially the half and half!
If you really want to go to town you can experiment with tying your scarf in a different knot, a quick search will throw up numerous articles with a number of weird and wonderful ways to wear your scarf which are relatively easy yet create a visually stunning result!