Here in the Northeast, harsh winters are notorious for cramping the style of even the trendiest among us, with function often taking precedence over fashion. While staying warm and dry is the ultimate goal on cold and slushy days, it’s not always easy to dress up clunky coats and knitted scarves.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s a busy time for get-togethers and events that you’ll want to look your best for. Despite the weather, you can pull your winter attire together with smart choices that keep you feeling cozy and stylish.
With the following staples in the closet, you – or the main men in your life – are sure to look good for the holidays and all winter long.
Whether you are looking for function, fashion or something in between, keeping your feet warm and dry is essential. For footwear suited for winter’s challenges, look for insulated, waterproof and slip-resistant boots.
Boots that range from five to 18 inches in height and tie, buckle and/or button for a snug fit are great for shoveling snow, trekking through slush and participating in a snowball fight. Patterned, ridged and “gummy” soled boots are better for gripping in slippery conditions. When it comes to linings, there are all kinds of faux fur-, flannel-, chamois- and shearling-lined varieties to keep your feet comfy.
Chukka and Chelsea boots are must-haves for holiday style. While both can be waterproof and will keep your toes toasty as you head to a party, they are not fit for long-term use outside.
Flannels are a favorite from fall through spring because of their rustic charm and comfort. They are a classic among chilly weather wear, come in a wide range of colors and patterns and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. The magic of flannels also comes down to the details, like elbow patches, button accents and well-stitched pockets and cuffs. Make your flannel extra-cozy by layering with a pullover, sweater or jacket.
When you head out into the winter air, fingers are the first extremities to get cold. A good pair of gloves should keep your hands warm and offer enough dexterity to carry out simple tasks. Deciding on a material comes down to preference. Leather is fairly water-resistant and offers good grip and the ability to use the touchscreen on your phone. Meanwhile, fleece and wool gloves do not repel water but are warm, soft and offer a bit more flexibility.
Maintain your hair, beard and mustache with shampoos, conditioners and a good beard balm or oil. To feel your best for holiday pictures, keep as little or as many greys as you want; gradually reduce grey hairs right in the shower with Control GX shampoo and beard wash.
Hats are an easy way to express your personal style – and keeping your ears from getting frostbite isn’t a bad idea, either. Beanies are a popular and more casual form of winter headwear, usually made from warm materials like cashmere, cotton and wool, and they come in all types of styles from cuffed to slouchy to waffled. For dressier occasions, try a flat cap or earmuffs. Flat caps can evoke a sense of sophistication while muffs will protect your ears without ruining your hairdo.
A good jacket or coat is your best defense against winter weather and doesn’t necessarily need to be overly bulky to keep you warm. While waterproof/water-resistant choices like puffer coats and other heavy-duty options are obviously more practical for snow blowing and shoveling, a wool peacoat, leather jacket or bomber jacket are all sharp options for work events or going out with friends. A parka or overcoat will also keep you warm and looking classically stylish in chillier weather.
Cold winter air quickly dries out skin, especially on the hands and face, which get the most exposure to the elements. To combat dry and itchy skin, use lip balm often, drink plenty of water and don’t slack on using hand cream and facial moisturizer.
To keep your neck warm and help trap heat in your jacket, a scarf is a winter must-have as well as a fashionable addition to nearly any ensemble. Scarves are great because they come in a wide array of colors and textures and can be styled, folded or wrapped in numerous ways.
Sunglasses may be a no-brainer during the summer, but they are a must for winter too! Snow reflects the sun just like beaches and oceans, making it difficult to see and harmful to your vision. Keep your eyes protected from the sun’s UV rays and the eye-watering sting of winter winds by wearing sunglasses all year round.
Just like beanies and scarves, sweaters allow you to play with different textures and materials. Wool, alpaca and cashmere offer more warmth while cotton is a little lighter for those who naturally tend to run hot. A good sweater should keep you warm without being too tight or itchy.
For more men’s fashion tips, check out this Gentlemen’s Guide to Looking Effortlessly Stylish.
What’s your must-have accessory for holiday style? Tell us in the comments!