Stay Warm In Style

Stay Warm In Style

We all want to look as stylish as we can all the time. Not so easy though, is it friends? This trend comes to pass every winter when we’re faced with the prospect of either dressing warm, or dressing well. It seems as though these two ideas are mutually exclusive, an age-old problem to be sure. It’s always struck me as odd that when walking down the street you see people you would deem stylish in other conditions completely abandon any notions of good taste. I’m here to tell you today, however, that these ideas are not mutually exclusive and we can dress well and warmly, it just takes a little thought.

To me, winter is largely about accentuating a few staples. Unlike summer where you generally are able to wear whatever you want whenever you want, winter necessitates foresight and planning. The best way to get around this is to have items that you can go to at any time and any temperature that allow you to look good and stay warm (we’ll avoid the obvious like boots and winter jackets because I assume everyone has those). We’ll also discuss ways to stay warm that allow you to utilize what’s already in your closet.

As always, we like to find ways to save you a few bucks where we can and short of that, find you pieces you won’t regret buying. Fall and winter are great seasons to pick up items that you can have for years because they require items that are hard-wearing and reliable. With all of that in mind here’s out advice on how to stay warm in style this season:

 

Essentials

As I said, we’ll avoid boots and winter jackets here because I assume those are things all people (at least those of us in chillier northern climates) already own. I want to talk about a few pieces that you may not already own that I consider to be cold weather staples:

  • Heavy-gauge sweater: this is a big one for me and something I think everyone should own. If it’s cold outside a heavy sweater is exactly the type of piece you need to keep warm. Heavy sweaters work great in winter under your winter jacket and they’re just as effective in fall under a lighter-weight coat. I prefer crew-necks as they tend to look better when worn without a collard shirt underneath. As per usual when it comes to sweaters, I look to John Smedley for something and they deliver

John Smedley Pull Over

This sweater is neutral is colour and heavy enough to keep you warm. If you’re looking for something        luxe and different, perhaps a little more workman like, try this number from Wings+Horns.

Wings And Horns Handknit Crewneck

  • Heavy trousers: finding pants that can keep you warm outdoors in the colder months is quite difficult. You don’t want to wear snow pants and long underwear become unbearable to minute you move indoors, so what’s the alternative? I have a few pairs of heavier-weight trousers that work quite well. Your legs are the first thing to get cold when you’re outside so having something practical to combat that goes a long way. I go back to Wings+Horns here as they tend to do seasonal items very well, and this pair of trousers is no different.

Wings And Horns Utility Pant     These will look great at the office and will make the walk in tolerable.

  • Thermals: You remember thermals, right? Those waffle-like shirts your mum made you wear in winter to stay warm? Well they’re still around and as practical now, for the adult you, as they were then. I like to layer long sleeve shirts under flannels or sport shirts in winter to stay warm, and I’ve found that thermals work great for this and you can find them at almost any price point from any retailer. I have found that Reigning Champ has a nice array of thermals every season and their quality is excellent for the price

Reigning Champ Thermal Crewneck      They fit comfortably and work reliably every season. If you prefer a Henley, that works just as well

Henley Heather Grey Thermal

  • Wool Socks: I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I’m very picky about my socks (I guess if you read regularly you’re probably not surprised by my being picky about anything). In summer I either don’t wear them or wear cotton only as my dogs tend to bark when the mercury is high. In winter, I prefer wool socks because they are the warmest and most practical. A label I’ve found that does a fine wool sock is Icebreaker. They’re really warm and stylish enough to wear in almost any situation.

Ice Breaker Wool Sock

 

Layering

Layering can be an art form in winter, as it takes a deft touch to know how many layers you need to wear to be comfortable: too many and you’re hot and look like a fool; too few and you have defeated the purpose of layering because you’re probably still cold. If it’s a mild day, you don’t need to slap on three layers underneath your winter coat. If it’s a very chilly day, throwing on that third layer isn’t going to hurt. Sweaters are always a good choice when layering, as is a shirt underneath your favourite flannel or long-sleeve collard shirt. Something to avoid is wearing a long-sleeve shirt under something with short-sleeves. Although a favourite of the college frat-bro, it’s not something we would ever recommend. We like sweaters, heavier overshirts, thermals, anything of that sort.

 

Winter Accoutrement

Fall and winter are also great times to accessorize your outerwear. When given the opportunity to wear hats, gloves, and scarves, it’s the rare chance you get in the cooler seasons to display your personal style. In recent years, I’ve been very fond of the toques, hats, and gloves being made by Norse Projects.

Norse Projects Beanie

This beanie is a fine winter option and comes in a number of colours so you can find one that works best for you. Their gloves look great as well

Norse Projects Hestra Gloves

 

Scarves are a personal item, so do your best to find something that suits your personality. Bright colours and patterns work really well in breaking up what are often monotonous winter looks. I have come to enjoy the tube scarf and find it to be quite practical, like this one here from French label APC:

APC Scarf

I find them to be most useful because they get down under the collar of your jacket and can be pulled up to cover your whole face and ears. It really comes in handy when it’s a windy day.

Staying warm in style doesn’t have to be that hard, it just takes remembering a few important details:

  • Spend the money on the staples we spoke about– they’ll last a lifetime and will be the practical pieces you need to get through the cold;
  • Break up the monotony– when you have the chance, mix in a brightly coloured toque or scarf. Winter jackets can often be bland, so punch ‘em up with some colour, pattern, or texture;
  • Layer wisely– you don’t want to get caught wearing too many or too few. Know what the temperature is going to be and know what looks good and what doesn’t;
  • Don’t skimp and get cheap fabrics– if you live in a cold climate you know the value of quality material in winter. Stick to wools, cottons, and cashmere (where you can afford it, of course), as blends and cheaper fabrics won’t offer you the protection you need.

Sounds pretty simple, right? That’s what I thought. Winter is the best time to spend a little extra to get quality pieces. Summer fashions tend to come and go, and you can often find deals on things; winter, not so much. Everyone needs to make an upgrade every now and then, just be sure you’re spending your money on the right pieces. Your friends and family will thank you for finally retiring that Sun Ice number you’ve been sporting since the Lillehammer games.

90's Ski Jacket

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