Stay Warm and Look Great his winter!
It’s not as if we suffer from Arctic conditions here in South-West Canada, but winter still comes as a shock to us after the many months of weather, that’s only getting warmer all the time.
Is there a way to prepare for the wetter winters to come, and face this messy time of the year with style, while being careful of the budget? You bet, and here are some dressy tips that will make your winters as comfy as any other time of the year.
You may not want to invest in heavy-duty tailoring that’ll keep you warm only when it really gets cold, but sturdy, winter suiting is important to give a warm under layer to what you wear over it out in the storms. It’s not as if we don’t suffer from cold snaps through the Spring and in the late Fall, too, so invest on a ‘bad weather’ suit combination that you can throw on any time in between CFL seasons when required. It will keep you comfy, look like you can outwit the weather, and you will still look great for work or social occasions that happen to fall on these inclement days.
Look for suits with jackets that are half- or fully-lined, which are made from insulating natural fabrics like wool and flannel in fabric weights around 16oz. You can’t go wrong with tweed, cashmere, corduroy, and herringbone and adding a vest will only help your style and comfort. A Single breasted jacket also allows you to really look cool in a knitted vest or Cardigan.
Texture is one of the most overlooked outfit components. The matte finish of flannel and tweed contrasts nicely with details like silk ties or pocket squares and prevents the overall effect becoming glossy. And they don’t just look good: the brushed ‘nap’ of flannel creates pockets that trap air and therefore heat; and tweed has similar hot pockets as well as some natural waterproofing.
Modern men often shy away from these fabrics because they seem old-fashioned, with corduroy in particular getting a bad rap. But your tailor can do wonders in making them less stuffy and bulletproof. Slim cuts, colours other than brown and, in the case of corduroy, thinner ‘wale’’ or ridges, will all help expel any professorial associations.
Have you noticed that boots are making a come-back? These short, ankle-length ‘Chelsea’ style have long been favourites of the Hipsters, especially boots from Bluntstone. However, you don’t have to wear them everywhere and ensure they are permanently scuffed, like those bearded, flannel wearing youngsters. Look for similar styles, that come in a high-soled style, and can be kept shiny and cool. They will definitely help you when you step off the bus and into a puddle, ten minutes before the big meeting starts (We have all done it!). Also look at investing in the heavy-duty dress available even at cut price Shoe outlets. They’re great for when you have to stand outside for more than a few minutes (like when every cab goes off-duty at the same time), your feet will stay warm especially if you also wear merino-wool, calf-high socks with a reinforced foot-bed. On a style-related note, rugged footwear pairs better with the beefier suit fabrics noted above
Frostbite is not cool, so make your glove choice a wise one. Tatty woolly or finger-less gloves make you look homeless, and massive padded mitts will remind everyone of an extra from Fargo. Besides, you’re on the bus to work, not a chairlift to the peaks. Get a pair that look Adult, and as professional as you can. Keep them plain, simple and close-fitting, you may still have to answer your cell phone in public, so as skin tight as you can is better. Black is smarter but will inevitably prompt Gestapo jibes, especially if you pair them with that leather trench. Dark brown is a shade more smart-casual.
You have a warm, somewhat heavier than usual, suit to keep you toasty in the office, and your shoes are definitely not delicate, so what do you cover everything with? You don’t need to go for another heavy material, simply one that is functional, water repellent, and closes up close enough not to get in your way. Perhaps it’s time for the return of the Trench Coat.
Its light, easily hung or packed away, looks great with those gloves, and is professional. The most versatile and stylish way to wear a trench coat is in black. Although a beige coloured trench coat is probably a more classic look, it can be less practical. It shows stains easier, and a black coat is perfect for any outfit. It has great pockets, and even looks cool when the sun peeps out, and you can wear it open with that great buckle cinched around the back.