We cover how to layer garments throughout the colder months from both a formal and smart casual standpoint in our thorough men’s winter style guide.
While strolling through a hailstorm while imitating Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant may appear amusing in the strangest of ways, it also raises a crucial question: “What on earth am I going to wear to keep myself warm this winter season?”
The fall season’s fashion sensibilities, where utility and fashion go hand in hand, start to give way to a more primitive urge to stay warm. Where the requirement for protective clothes appears to obliterate practically any desire to be trendy. There is, however, a method around this. A technique to merge fashion and function so that our aesthetic demands aren’t completely overshadowed by our need to wear the most insulate clothing we have lying around the home. So, without further ado, here’s our winter style guide for men!
While the necessity for heavier, warmer clothes and winter textiles may take precedence during the colder months, the fundamentals of layering that we see most often during the autumn season remain the same.
At its most basic level, layering is all about finding the right fabric mix. Erroneous fabric choices, especially when looking for a complex, layered effect, can’t be outdone by any combination of color and pattern.
Layering will be discussed first from the aspect of insulation and comfort, and then from an aesthetic standpoint.
WINTER LAYERING WITH INSULATION
Because winter fashion for men necessitates the use of thicker, heavier fabrics and greater layering, we recommend the following basic guidelines:
- Thick -> Thin
- Slim –> Loose / unstructured
- Heavy –> Lightweight
We want to start with thin, thinner, and lighter textiles that are close to our bodies. As we work our way outwards, this snug, body-hugging fit for our inner clothing will allow us to wear heavier, thicker materials with a more relaxed fit. It also allows our apparel to drape flawlessly, without the uncomfortable bulkier inner layer being counterbalanced by a thinner outside layer. It kind of negates the idea of layering in the winter!
If done correctly, layering will allow you to dress flexibly, with successive layers allowing you to remove or add items as the temperature rises or falls dependent on your circumstances. Layering has two major advantages:
- It’s a lot easier to keep your body temperature in check. You can remove a few layers if the weather is too hot (like when you’re locked inside a building with the air conditioning blasting!). You can add a couple additional layers if you’re afraid about the wind taking you down faster than a Tyson uppercut when you go outdoors. This is in sharp contrast to, say, wearing a t-shirt or shirt with a thicker wool jacket. You’ll feel either too hot or too chilly if there’s no medium ground, which isn’t ideal!
- Your outfits will have a lot more mystique to them – Few things demonstrate a well-dressed gentleman’s skill to layer clothing like doing so. It’s entertaining, and with enough practice, it will demonstrate your ability to elegantly distinguish between materials, colors, and patterns in order to produce a well-balanced, pleasing-to-the-eyes look.
AESTHETICAL LAYERING FOR WINTER
Layering during the winter season, like layering for the fall season, should be done according to the following basic guidelines:
1. EACH VISIBLE LAYER SHOULD BE CAPABLE OF BEING WEARABLE ON ITS OWN.
If you don’t feel comfortable wearing an item alone in your ensemble, it won’t look right when layered. While there are exceptions for undergarments, everything that is visible should only be worn if you feel comfortable wearing it without a jacket or coat (formal or informal).
2. HEMS ON THE OUTSIDE SHOULD BE LONGER THAN HEMS ON THE INNER SIDE.
Nothing says “inappropriately dressed” like a dress shirt peeking out from beneath a sweatshirt. You risk seeming out of place if your outside hems don’t cover your inner hems!
3. SCALE YOUR PATTERNS PROGRESSIVELY
While you may scale patterns in any way, we recommend gradually increasing the size of your patterns, such as from a solid or micro checkered shirt to a solid sweater and a solid overcoat.
4. USE ONLY ONE OR TWO BOLD COLORS IN YOUR ENSEMBLE.
Do you want to make a statement with your outfit? Avoid using a lot of bright colors. The goal is to choose one or two brighter colors to draw attention to your neutral or subtle tones.
LAYERS IN THE MIDDLE
The X-factor of a nicely layered outfit is the mid-layer. Wear a mid-layer plus a jacket or a light coat instead of a single heavy garment.
When compared to a simple shirt and jacket/coat combo, wearing two warmer layers makes it substantially simpler to control body temperature.
So, which fabric should we wear to feel suitably protected from the elements (even if we’re re-enacting that DiCaprio scene from The Revenant with the bear in our heads?
While cotton won’t keep you as warm as the other fabrics listed below, its absorbent characteristics will enable the remainder of your outfit to breathe, reducing perspiration.
Contrary to common assumption, flannel is fabric rather than a design (e.g. plaid). While flannel was initially made of woven wool, more current versions use fibers like cotton, nylon, and polyester. Flannel is completed with a napping process that gives the fabric its distinctive fuzzy look and feel. Flannel may be both warm and soft without becoming overly heavy thanks to this procedure.
With jeans, it’s best for the middle and/or upper layers. Few products are as universally attractive as dark denim with a sophisticated casual ensemble in the winter months. Denim, in the shape of a denim shirt or jacket, is also a terrific choice as a middle or top layer. The key is to keep your outfit to one layer of denim at most.
Leather jackets are a classic choice for outer layers and will protect you from the elements.
It’s best to utilize it for the middle and/or top layers. Wool is the warmest fabric in your outfit, and it may be worn as a middle layer in the form of a sweater or as an outside layer in the form of a suit jacket or winter coat.
COLORS OF THE WINTER
Winter, contrary to popular belief, maybe an excellent season to experiment with a variety of hues and new color combinations. Many guys choose to wear neutral hues during the winter months because they hide any slush or rain stains. Wearing neutral hues, such as brown and beige, has a psychological component, since they make men feel safe and comfortable.
While most winter clothing is made up of muted hues and simple designs, this does not indicate that one should only wear neutral colors. Both brighter and lighter colors can be used with neutral hues.
Avoid wearing too many neutral hues at the same time to produce stylish and sophisticated outfits. Around the winter season, neutral hues paired with coarser materials might make your outfits appear gloomy. As a result, we strongly advise introducing one bright piece of apparel into your wardrobe at any given moment. One of your major pieces of clothes or one of your accessories can provide a splash of color.
Wearing color is a terrific way to display your personality without having to say it out loud. Because your clothing reflects who you are, why not strive to maintain control over the image you project?
We believe the following non-neutral winter hues can perform particularly well throughout the winter months:
BURGUNDY / OXBLOOD
A rich burgundy tint is bold enough to demand attention and make a statement. Burgundy is a great way to add color and texture to your outfit without overdoing it.
Oxblood is a deep and rich burgundy with purple and brown overtones that comes in a few distinct tones. Oxblood is the perfect hue to pair with plaid suits thanks to this combo! In the thick of winter, who doesn’t appreciate a nice plaid sports jacket or suit?
Oxblood works especially well to dress up a casual navy suit, making it look sharper and more official.
Whether it’s a subtle element sprinkled into your favorite winter coat or the hand-rolled edges of a pocket square, no cold-weather outfit is complete without a touch of olive green! Tweed is a great way to add a rustic touch to your formal outfit without going overboard. This is one of the reasons we like olive green tweed. Tweed is not only a warm and fashionable jacket for the winter season, but it also has a trendy hue.
While mustard yellow may appear to be a bold choice, you may begin with a simple element, such as a lapel flower. Mustard is a great hue to go with your blue suits and even those oxblood shoes you saw before. Burgundy tones go fantastically with mustard yellow.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to go through our comprehensive guide. That was a lot of material to take in! To summarize, the following is what we feel summarizes our entire article:
- Layering is extremely significant during the winter season since it may assist control body temperature (by allowing you to remove or add layers as needed) while also adding aesthetic interest to your outfits.
- Cotton (for base or middle layers), flannel, denim, leather, and, of course, wool are all fabrics that function well in the cold.
- Much of your winter apparel can be made up of neutral hues (grey, browns, and beige). Non-neutral colors like oxblood / burgundy, olive green, and mustard yellow, on the other hand, may bring a lot of flare to your outfit!
That’s all there is to it for this one! We hope you had as much fun reading this as we had writing it.