A casual combination of sweatpants and Nike slides may not make a wearable outfit for some.
If this is you, then the winter months pose a perplexing quandary: how to maintain a degree of style while also staying warm and dry.
Many fall prey to the ill-fated full-body sweatsuit, which is a troubling look unless you’re either on your way to a gym or you’re a Division I athlete warming up before practice. So as a ground rule, athletic-wear is dubious, and should be avoided — though it’s acceptable in small doses.
Leaving athletic-wear behind, there are infinite combinations of boots and outerwear, fabrics, and materials that can solve this issue. It can be difficult when choosing from so many options. However, there is one undoubted truth that must be observed when attempting to solve the paradox of fashion in the frigid cold. It is the use of complementary layers that will guide you through the winter months in style.
Let’s start from layer one. If you plan to be outside most of the time, your under layers can be an extremely useful tool in building an impressive outfit for the outdoors. While everyone loves a good down-coat, it’s hard to feel stunning when you’re walking around in a puffy jacket looking like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. By piling up your non-visible layers, you’re making way for slimmer, more attractive, form-fitting layers that will be seen by those you pass.
Once you’ve thrown on a pair or two of longsleeves, it’s time to carefully select your outer shell. This is where you can deftly select complementing items if you give it some thought. A sweater is a good place to start, as the right woolen-garment can be useful in keeping your body heat close to home. Once you’ve gotten there, even if you’re not a woodsmen or a cowgirl, a flannel is always a great option. And if plaid and buttons don’t quite suit you, throw on an appropriately colored vest.
Next, you’ll need a jacket to complete the outermost layer of your bundle. Jackets with a thermal interior are always a good call when warding off the frost and these days they aren’t hard to find in any style. Something with a zipper going down and button-pockets near the breast is a good call. Though tapered sleeves are in high demand right now, they make layering difficult, as other non-tapered layers are either forced to awkwardly squeeze out of the tight cuff-holes or worse, uncomfortably scrunch themselves up in a bottle-neck around your wrist. Though tapered jackets can be a good look, to avoid unwanted pileups around your forearms, save them for a season when just a T-shirt underneath will suffice.
Browns, tans, and beiges are great looks in the fall, and of course blend seamlessly with the colors of autumn. However, those colors are equally favorable in the winter months and contrast nicely with the all-white surroundings. Black or dark grey jackets can also serve a look well during this time.
Whatever color jacket you choose, make sure it is something with a flat collar, for this allows the collar of your vest or flannel to spring out from underneath your jacket, giving your outfit a jaunty, casual, and unlaboured look.
To further enhance this effect, never zip your jacket up more than three quarters of the way up, or else you’ll do so much as to hide the other carefully selected layers of your fit. When covering up your legs, go for jeans, corduroys, or slacks as opposed to leggings, so as not to undo the bohemian prowess of your meticulously curated torso.
During these times of dark afternoons and snow-covered mornings it is important not to lose your sense of style. Build from the skin up, use wool to your advantage, and always let your collars fly. Keep clunky jackets and monotone athletic-wear out of the equation, and remember: looking hot in the cold is just as important as feeling warm in the snow.
It is this author’s belief that boots, in addition to scarves, hats, glasses, and other accessories are so much a matter of personal taste that it is useless to give others advice on how to wear them.