Old Man Winter arrives early for some, but in the Southeastern U.S., it typically doesn’t get really cold until January. Regardless of you live or travel, here are some stylish cold weather layering tips for men to keep you toasty and looking your best.
As kids we rarely paid attention to the art of layering when mom was bundling us up for the season’s first snowfall, and let’s face it, mom knew what she was doing. Much has changed since then and thankfully so. Today’s fabrics allow us to pick articles of clothing that are lightweight, weather resistant and look great. Even better, today’s “business casual” look gives us even more options to choose from so let’s explore a few basics.
Layer from thin to thick
Many men wear undershirts year around but the only time I wear them is when it’s really cold, mainly because I don’t sweat much. In dressing for cold weather, choose a quality, lightweight cotton or Dri-fit crew or V-neck garment for your first layer. You can opt for a long-sleeve undergarment if its “super cold,” but I prefer short sleeves since I may have two or more long sleeve garments on top.
Make sure you pick a comfortable and breathable garment since this is the layer next to your skin.
A good second layer is a long sleeve, cotton shirt. Depending on how casual or formal your attire needs to be, a quality button-down, collared shirt is a great option. For super cold temps, a mock or full turtleneck is sure to keep you warm.
Use the 3-Layer Rule as a guideline
The three-layer rule is a good guideline for layering. However, when it’s really cold (for me that means 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below) outside I opt to wear undershirts. Above my “cold” threshold, my first layer is usually a regular shirt, followed by a vest or light sweater and then a lightweight jacket.
When the temperature is freezing or below and you’re going to remain outdoors for extended periods, the 4-layer option will keep you warmest.
Vest and sweaters are excellent options on top of your shirt. Since I’m cold natured, vests are an excellent second for either second or third layers. If your job mandates you wear a suit, adding a vest gives you a sophisticated and dapper look, Think about the Blacklist character, Raymond Reddington.
Your top layer is always your heaviest and bulkiest layer
Unfortunately, really cold weather often comes with some type of precipitation. If the forecast calls for rain or snow, then choose a water-resistant outer layer. Wool garments, such as the Navy Pea Coat, can add a lot of flair and fashion to your wardrobe.
If your look requires more formal business attire, a London Fog trench coat is an excellent choice. And if your budget only allows for one long overcoat, then I recommend a good quality trench coat. I also have a black wool overcoat I wear when rain is not in the forecast.
Each layer should stand on its own
Pick each layer as if it’s the only layer your wearing that day. In other words, don’t choose a fabric or pattern that doesn’t match or look good if you removed an outer layer. If I remove my heavy coat, will I look good and stay warm? And if I remove another layer, does everything match, coordinate. and keep me comfortable?
Scarves, Gloves, Hats, Footwear
Since our objective in cold weather wear is to stay warm, don’t neglect your hands, head, and feet. Keeping your feet warm and dry should be your first priority. I think we can all agree when our feet are cold it’s impossible for the rest of our body to feel warm. Choose a sole that keeps your feet warm. Wearing wing tip or cap toes with leather soles is not a great idea if the forecast calls for heavy rain or snow. You can still find stylish and fashionable dress shoes with rubber soles.
For a more casual and stylish look, Chukka boots are my footwear of choice during cold weather months. They look great, come in a variety of styles and fabrics and can keep your keep warm and dry. Timberland boots are an excellent option if you’re going to be outside for long periods of time.
Finally, gloves, scarves, and hats are the finishing touches to stay warm and dry. I keep gloves in the pockets of my heaviest coats so they’re always handy when needed.
Scarves have become a standard accessory for me during the winter months. Winter temps can vary greatly in Southern states and I’ve found scarves are a great accessory for windy days too.
And to maintain the maximum percent of body heat during cold spells, top off your look with a quality wool cap or hat. Stay warm, look great!
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