The cold temperatures are here, but weather in Huntsville is an ever-changing event, going from bright and cold in the morning to rainy and warm by afternoon. All this uncertainty doesn’t mean your style game has to suffer when a little well-applied layering could help take your winter gear to the next level.
Humans have been using layering as a method of combating the cold since the caveman days. This technique is as helpful today as it was when the only option was adding fur, fur, and more fur. The concept is simple, layering keeps you warm while allowing you to quickly acclimate to changing temperatures. Done right, layering makes use of an array of style choices and combinations to help a style conscious man stand out from the crowd. And if the idea of layering and being stylish has you reaching for the same old winter jacket, read on my doubtful friend, we’ve got a few handy tips that are sure to help you look sharp while staying warm this winter.
Layering Tip #1 Switch it up
Until recently, layering in menswear was almost entirely dependent on the venue. For business events or an evening out, men donned a vest and topcoat to stay warm. Heading to a football game or an outdoor activity, guys threw on a sweater and a heavy jacket.
Tired of these limited options, the more style conscious among us began to mix clothes from their business life with those worn in the off hours. Instead putting on the same navy suit, shirt, tie topcoat combo they’d been wearing for years they added a lightweight zip fleece over the shirt and tie and topped it with a tweed jacket on top. Another variation is a sweater with a rolled collar over a dark shirt and tie and topped with a thermal vest. The point isn’t to look like you’ve simply put on every piece of warm clothing you own. Rather, it is to put clothes together in interesting ways that look good and will keep you warm.
Layering Tip #2 Contrast
Two of the most daunting aspects of style for most men are patterns and colors. For some, matching color is hard enough, but tell a man to match patterns, or more specifically contrasting patterns and well most men with thrown their cards and walk away from the table. The key is to choose patterns and colors that compliment each other, but add a bit of contrast. The goal to bring patterns, texture, and color together in cohesive look. In the outfit shown here, we’ve paired a white shirt, with a check tie, a nubby sweater, a puffy vest and a tweed jacket. We kept with muted colors to bring it all together.
Layering Tip #3 Accessories
Accessories aren’t often an aspect of style men pay much attention too, but like the saying goes the devil is in the details, and paying attention to the details can be the difference between stylish rogue and chilly dork. No matter how warm your body is, eventually your ears are going to get cold, and while a baseball cap is fine for casual wear, a more refined option is needed for the other events you attend. This winter, ditch that red fleece beanie your mom got you when you were thirteen, you know the one, with the white poof ball on top and little reindeers on it, and get a lightweight wool one in a solid color, preferably black or grey. Thank you hipsters for bringing back beanies and men’s scarves. Scarves can add a bit of rakishness to your ensemble. Finally, gloves, preferably black or brown. Leave the tan driving gloves to Steve McQueen and James Bond.
Layering Tip #4 Recycle
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate some of your summer favorites. That chambray shirt you’ve been wearing all year, keep wearing it. It looks great under sweaters and with all sorts of jackets. Chinos are always a great option, in fact they’re even better in the winter since they tend to be a tad thicker than most dress slacks, they will keep you warmer, for casual wear, give them a cuff to show off your wool socks, or even better tuck them into the wool socks to give your lace up boots a little more attention.
Layering Tip #5 Thin to Thick
When layering for warmth and style, go from thin to thick. Keep the thinnest, least warm articles of clothing underneath in case you need to take off some of the warmer layers once inside. If you are taking a date to Bridge Street for dinner and a m
ovie you know you’ll be walking outside, but Connors is going to be warm and Monaco will be cooler than Connors but warmer than outside. If you go with just a sport coat, you’ll probably be cold walking around (you know she will want your jacket, and because you’re a gentlemen you’ll give it to her right? Right!) So how do you combat these changing conditions and keep your jacket-borrowing girlfriend warm? Layers. That way you can play the classy gentleman and give her your jacket for the evening but not spend the night shivering like a wimp.
So there you have it, five tips to get you layering like a pro, sure to keep you warm and stylish for anything the north Alabama winter has to throw at you.