With it being that time of year again many of us are battling the harsher weather conditions. This style guide is here to help you on how to look good when it snows.
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Whether you’re in the UK or further afield; when winter comes around it’s always wise to be prepared for the inevitable chilly snow day. That means pulling out the winter shearling jackets, the woolen overcoats and, of course, you’re trusty hats and scarves.
As many a man will attest to, the winter is typically the most versatile time in most guys wardrobe as lashings of layering offer an increased amount of options when it comes to mixing and matching. When looking at the UK, however, with an average of only sixteen days of snowfall a year it’s not exactly something the Brits are accustomed to. Worry not, however, as in this complete guide we’ll cover exactly what you should be wearing to look good in the snow.
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How to Dress for Cold Weather
When it comes to dressing for cold weather, the key all in the art of layering. While we can all pile on layer after layer of clothing, the likelihood is you’ll be moving from warmer to colder temperatures throughout the day so adaptability is fundamental to a snow-suited outfit.
Starting from the base layer and working up, it’s important to consider the materials your using as well as the ease of stripping off or adding another layer over what you’re already wearing. We’ve covered the three layers and what would work best for each below.
Base Layer: T-Shirts, Oxford Shirt, Polo Shirt’s, Athletic Clothes.
When considering your base layer, the main characteristic you’re looking for is the ability to absorb water, or ‘wicking’. In colder weather, if sweat is left to sit on the skin you’re going to get really cold, really quickly. For this reason, it’s always best to consider natural fabrics for a base layer.
Middle Layer: Shirts, Hoodie, Sweater, Knitted Sweater, Blazer.
Probably the most important layer of the lot, the middle layer is going to form the ‘meat’ of your outfit, if you will. Once again, opting for natural fabrics that retain heat, absorb moisture and allow breathability is your best bet. Wool is particularly suited to this, so a knitted jumper is up there with one of the better options.
Final Layer: Jackets & Coats, Hats & Scarves, Accessories.
The final layer is really the finishing touch. Look for the ideal jacket or coat is all dependant on what it is your heading to, if it’s a walk in the wilderness – you’ll need maximum heat with a parka or something similar. If you’re popping in and out of shops, a wool overcoat will be a little more suited. When wearing a lighter jacket, it’s always worth considering the addition of a scarf or hat as a super adaptable layer also… oh, the joys of layering!
Winter Fashion Tips
When looking to perfect the art of winter dressing and keeping warm in the heat, there’s a few little tips that can help you along the way. We’ve listed some of the better clothing hacks below:
- Consider mixing smart and casual pieces to keep the heat in; some of the most casual jackets will offer great insulation and are generally a little toastier than a smarter tailored option.
- Use warm but breathable fabrics such as wool or cotton as opposed to a synthetic option. This will work just as well with conserving heat while allowing your skin to breathe and wicking moisture from your body.
- Don’t forget your underwear! If it’s going to be sub-zero temperatures you’re dealing with, there are several options for keeping warmer from the base up. Long johns, vest shirt’s and quality socks are all at your disposal!
- Don’t rule out your leather jacket. While many consider a leather jacket to be reserved for nights out and slightly warmer temperatures, layering one underneath an overcoat is a great way of keeping heat in.
- Think about picking up a gilet or bodywarmer. While we’re fully aware they’re not the most flattering items of clothing, they work wonders at maintaining a comfortable body temperature – not just for the granddads!
- Find the perfect balance with a hat and scarf. If it’s a little cool outside, but still too warm for multiple layers – topping a shorter jacket with a hat and scarf is a great way to create an adaptable outfit that you can adjust accordingly during the day.
Winter Outfit Ideas
While we’re all pretty clued up on what makes a good winter outfit, we’ve gathered some of the easier to replicate looks below for your inspiration. Most importantly, each look consists of multiple layers which can be adapted accordingly during the day depending on fluctuating temperatures.
Winter Casual Outfits
When it comes to casual outfits for winter, it’s all about comfort and heat retention. It’s also important that your outfit is reasonably flexible in terms of adapting to fluctuating temperatures. If you plan on traipsing around the shops all day with your significant other, the likelihood is that you’ll be interchanging between heated department stores and sub-zero street temperatures – so versatility is your best friend in this scenario.
Alongside styling tips and tricks for maximum snow suitability, one major point to consider is the use of materials that will allow breathability. Although you might be quick to reach for the synthetics when the snow is pouring down outside, it’s always worth investing that little bit more for some natural fabrics like cotton or wool which will adapt accordingly. As we all know too well, when out in the snow it’s easy for the tables to turn after a brisk walk about, leaving you sweating through your clothing, which will then begin to drop in temperature leaving you shivering in your boots – not ideal.
Looking at the first outfit above, it’s pretty evident that this guy knows what he’s doing. With multiple layers building his outfit, it’ll be easy to adjust throughout the day, while maintaining heat when needed.
For the second look, the gent here shows us how to layer leather correctly. Adding a leather jacket over your shirt is a great way to add further waterproofing as well as a protective heat layer. Alongside this, it’s an easy way to incorporate several outfits into one. Headed to the bar after a winter wonderland walk in the park? No worries! We’ve replicated the look with a pair of light blue jeans with some white trainers.
Finally, a casual, borderline smart-casual look from another stylish NYC based gent. Suitable from the street to the boardroom; removing the top layer cardigan makes this a perfect, versatile look for the city slicker. A striking, tonal blue ensemble; the mixture of blue denim and indigo knitwear works particularly well here. It’s worth noting, a combination of two types of knitwear can be a bit of a hit or miss situation, in this case – the former.
We’ve opted to pair some dark jeans and a navy sweater with a simple oxford shirt, all reasonably priced from the Idle Man. Finishing the look, we’ve chosen a quality navy fleece from The North Face, and we all know – nobody does heat conservation as well as the iconic American brand.
Winter Smart Outfits
When it comes to wearing smarter outfits, winter easily surpasses the warmer months in terms of combinations at your disposal. As opposed to the arduous task of delayering and attempting to forge together some form of office suitable attire, you can layer away to your hearts content with waistcoats, blazers, overcoats, scarves and hats all being building blocks to the perfect winter getup. Check out some of our outfit grids for the perfect smart winter look below.
In the quintessentially British countryside getup above, this gent has opted for a notably smart casual look mixing formal and casual elements into the outfit for the ideal multi-functional look. Mixing a denim shirt with a suede jacket creates a stylish contrast within the look. Finish it off with some dark jeans and a pair of boots for a classic look. Once again, the ability to chop and change the outfit depending on where your day takes you is fundamental.
Next up, a notably smarter ensemble sees the age-old combination of a smart pea coat over tailoring. A timeless classic, the mixture transcends seasons with its stylish and multi-functional appeal. Offering a marginally more contemporary twist on the outfit above; we’ve mixed a simple oxford shirt with some grey marl tapered trousers as an adaptable base layer, then added a pair of Dr.Martens rust leather shoes and a classic parka coat for a smart finishing touch.
Last, but most certainly not least, the look above is a stylish twist on a typically traditional look. The classic Barbour coat perfectly tones down an otherwise extroverted look when out and about, but allows the simple oxford shirt to come through. Team with some dark jeans and a pair of leather boots. Simple, effective and stylish – what more could you want?
How to Look Good when it Snows
- Start with a base layer and work up. Consider the materials of the clothes you’re wearing as well.
- Try and mix smart and casual pieces to keep the heat in. Some more casual jackets offer great insulation.
- Use warm and breathable fabrics like wool or cotton. This means that you retain heat whilst allowing your skin to breath without sweating.
- Think about layering with a leather or suede jacket.
- A body warmer or gilet is a great option if you want something that gives you more mobility.
On That Note
That’s your lot! Looking back at the outfit grids and outfit suggestions, it’s important to remember that you can easily mix and match with similar pieces from your wardrobe. The art of winter dressing isn’t particularly difficult, it’s more the constant consideration of adaptability and practicality that often throws men.
With the complete guide on how to dress for winter above, along with a selection of stylish winter outfits you should be more than equipped to dress with confidence when the snow inevitably falls. Let’s face it though, in Britain, you never really know when that’s gonna come about, do you? Snow for Christmas? Unlikely. Snow in Spring? Possibly. Regardless of when it happens, you can dress with confidence no matter the occasion!