Dressing for the winter isn't all about layering to keep warm despite being able to wear your most comfortable clothing, your warmest fabrics, and your best scarves. As you look around the streets and see a sea of men in puffy coats and bulky scarves, you might wonder if there’s any way you can dress more stylishly in these cold months. You don’t have to sacrifice your style for warmth, not with all of the textures, fabrics, and colors to choose from.
Great Fabrics for Winter
It’s cold in the winter. As much as you might want to dress yourself in your best clothing, if that clothing isn’t warm enough, you’ll be regretting it. It’s best to choose your fabrics well to help you in whatever cold weather climate you may encounter—and which will prevent you from dressing too warmly and sweating through your clothes.
This is one of your best fabric options. Cotton is not too expensive, soft, and generally doesn’t wash the color out when you clean it. You may struggle with the wrinkles in cotton, but you’ll have to get used to it, since cotton usually makes up many of your winter clothing options. It’s an especially good option too if you don’t like the feeling of wool.
Not all cotton is made equal though. There are different types of cotton out there, and you’ll want to choose the cotton type that will keep you warm without overheating you.
Leather for the Cold
This includes faux leather too. Leather itself though is great for winter months, since it stays strong with age, is durable, and shields you against the elements. If you’re dealing with a lot of windchill, leather will protect you against that.
Flannel is a classic winter fabric. It’s made from fibers like cotton, nylon, and polyester, and is finished off with a process to make it fuzzy without it being irritating on your skin. It helps that it’s not too heavy either, so you can wear layers of flannel with ease.
Then there’s wool. Wool is a great option to keep warm, so this is one of the best things to wear if you happen to live in an extremely cold climate. The wool will create natural insulation for you, while being water-resistant as well. If you live somewhere where there’s a lot of snow and rain during the winter, you’ll want to find some wool to wear. It’s long-lasting too, not to mention lightweight.
Polyester and nylon are the types of fabrics that make up Flannel, and are spun to wick away moisture. Wear some polyester if you’re dealing with snow, and check out some materials that are coated with nylon on the outside to keep you warm.
You probably own a fleece item already, so you know how soft fleece is. This is a great fabric to have since it’s very comfortable and lightweight, not to mention inexpensive and water-resistant. You may not want to wear this if you’re dealing with a very mushy climate then where you have lots of snow and rain.
Finally, there’s faux fur. Faux fur is a common material for the winter, and is perfect for cold weather climates. It retains a lot of warmth, can be fashionable, and will remain durable over time.
Must-have Outfits for Men During Winter
You’re ready to layer fabrics for your winter ensemble. If you’re still trying to decide upon your actual winter style though, take a look here. These are the best kinds of outfits to have in your wardrobe—and they’ll all keep you warm too.
Layer with a Sweater
The sweater is a classic for the winter. There’s nothing better than pulling on a warm sweater when you have to brave the cold outside. Layer yourself with sweaters over a long-sleeve tee, collared shirt, or even a thin sweatshirt.
You can even choose a lighter sort of sweater in merino or cashmere, and pair it with a blazer to add a little bit of style to your outfit. This is perfect to wear if you’re heading to the office for the day.
Don’t Forget Leather
This is a great option for you. A leather jacket is versatile, and can be paired with a tee shirt in the summer or a sweatshirt in the winter. You might even want to pair it with a dress shirt like this Black Non-Iron Dress Shirt, which is made to stretch, wick away sweat, and never wrinkle even under your jacket. It’s not only a classic look, but it looks nice enough to wear even if you’re trying to look casual professional for the day.
Corduroy and Dress Shirts: Casual
Corduroy is a classic sort of fabric, and is made to be warm and flexible. You can choose your fit, whether you want something that’s slim fit or straight, and pick out a great dress shirt to go along with it.
Choose a color that matches the shade of your pants. So, if you’re wearing some brown pants, you may want to choose a shirt like this Dark Blue Textured Dress Shirt, which is patterned, stretchable, and still comfortable.
Let’s not forget about this classic look. A pea coat just screams style, not to mention that you can easily pair it with a navy jacket, jeans, and boots. No matter what you pair with it, a pea coat will look great for even formal occasions, and will definitely give you that classic feel as you walk around with the wind at your back.
Jeans and Boots Combo
There’s nothing better than wearing a good pair of jeans. You don’t have to give that up just because it's winter, since jeans are some of the best when it comes to keeping out the cold. It helps that jeans will pair well with just about any boot you already own, so it’s easy to pull off a casual look while still looking stylish and ready to face the day.
Men’s Winter Style Tips
Use Color and Texture for Winter
Bright, flashy colors and patterns are something best left to spring and summer. Winter is all about a neutral color palette. Keep your wardrobe on point by sticking with colors like grey, blue, brown, or even black. Charcoal is a great base color for any outfit in winter, as is navy. The good thing about neutral colors is they go with just about anything. You can look seamlessly put together with very little effort.
Winter is one time where texture can really reign. Rather than focusing on color, pay more attention to texture. It gives your outfit an extra pop without going overboard. You can still use color, of course. Just make sure it’s dialed down.
Take Advantage of Layers
Winter is prime time for layering your clothing, as long as you do it right. Layering keeps you warm, but it can also add to your style. Of course, when you get inside, you can always remove layers as needed.
One key thing to remember is to use different fabrics for different layers. You’ll likely want a light fabric or cotton t-shirt for the base layer. It’ll keep you dry, and keep you from overheating. Then, wear a long sleeved t-shirt, dress shirt, sweater, or another shirt of your choice. With this layer, you don’t want a super heavy, hot fabric.
A knit fabric does the job nicely. If you choose to go with wool, make it one of your outermost layers. It’ll stay warm when wet, but could be stifling indoors.
Last, choose your outermost layer. Whether you prefer just a winter coat over it all, a blazer, suit jacket, or any combination of them, it’s the finishing touch. This is almost always the layer you’ll take off when entering a building anyway.
Keep Your Gear in Good Shape
If there’s a season that can wreak havoc on your wardrobe, it’s winter. With freezing temperatures, wet conditions, snow and slush, winter can degrade some of your key wardrobe pieces. Namely, your shoes, or leather gloves and coats if you wear them. Polishing your shoes regularly significantly decreases the winter wear and tear.
That said, waterproofing sprays and treatments also do wonders on most other outerwear items. However, it’s best to avoid shoes with materials like canvas, suede, and nubuck.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get much snow, you may not need to winterize your gear to the same extent. Still, it’s a good idea to keep a waterproof overcoat around for when it does snow.
Choose the Right Outerwear
Your winter coat is your most reliable piece of clothing during the winter. You’ll wear it nearly everyday, if not every single day. Not only that it’s what’s on display anytime you’re out and about.
It’s best to go for a classic style like the trenchcoat, pea coat, overcoat, or parka. These are always in style, and work for nearly any occasion. Make sure it’s thick enough, and water resistant enough, to hold up to winter. A neutral color is your best bet, and it’ll match with anything else you wear. Don’t be afraid to invest in a good winter coat, it’ll last longer than any other piece in your wardrobe.
Winter Style For Work
Use Subtle Patterns and Texture
You can add a lot of personality to your winter wardrobe, even if you’re dressing for the office. You’ll want to avoid colors that are too bright, but you can use some classy patterns for a personal touch.
If your office dress code includes button down shirts or dress shirts, this is a great opportunity. Just remember to use patterns that aren’t too overwhelming, and match with the rest of your ensemble.
If you’re not a fan of patterns, try texture. A suit jacket or blazer with texture that contrasts the rest of your outfit makes a stylish statement.
Make Use of Warm Accessories
Winter gives you endless opportunities to add in new accessories to your look. Leather gloves are a classic for men’s winter wear, and they give a good impression at the workplace too. A good winter hat will, of course, keep you warm.
However, it can also be a smart addition to your look. You may have to take it off when you get inside, but you’ll be feeling warm and looking sharp on your commute.
The next essential accessory for your winter work style is a classic scarf. Depending on your work environment, choose a longer or shorter scarf. Longer scarves have a more casual feel, while shorter ones are more formal. Just keep the colors neutral or muted.
Layer for the Office
When you’ve been in the office for a bit, you’ll undoubtedly want to remove some of your warmer layers. Make sure all your layers are suitable for your workplace if you want to be able to cool down.
If your office has a more relaxed dress code, a nice sweater or cardigan is great under your coat. For less relaxed, casual offices, it’s best to make sure you have a blazer or suit jacket with a dress shirt underneath.
Find Outerwear for Work
Depending on the dress code, you’ll need different things in a coat. This is primarily because of what you wear underneath. For example, if you’re wearing a suit jacket all day, it can be uncomfortable to put a sport jacket over top of it. If it’s a more casual atmosphere, your choices are wide open. Just make sure you’re keeping it smart, with neutral colors.
If you do have to wear a suit, you’ll want an overcoat to match. Wool and leather are both classic materials that look sharp and keep you warm. It’s best to choose a longer jacket, like a trenchcoat or classic overcoat that reaches near your knees.
What’s the key to finding a good overcoat?
Make sure it covers your sleeve cuffs. Whether your shirt sleeves show can be the difference between looking professional and looking like the new guy.
Knowing which fabrics, colors, and styles to work with in the winter will ultimately help you achieve a wardrobe that will complement you and your style. Thankfully, with so many options on the market, you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort.