Doesn’t matter if it’s a polar vortex, bomb cyclone or nor’easter. Whatever brand of winter you’re experiencing, it’s all a frozen drag. But with the right winter clothes for men, you can turn a tundra into a winter wonderland. Layers is the name of the game, which means two things: more ways to turn out some serious winter looks and more ways to totally brick an outfit. Between extra layers, beefed-up weather protection, and extraneous cold-weather accessories, it’s a lot to take in. Don’t worry, though! We’ve broken it all down bite-size pieces so you can chew through everything easily. From puffy parkas to beanies and boots, everything you need to keep warm through the winter and fire up your winter wardrobe is here.
There’s a method to the winter layering madness, and it starts with the base layer. While base layers do add some insulation, their main function is to wick away moisture and sweat. Even in cold weather, your body still releases sweat, especially when you’re bundled up in a super warm coat. All that sweat and condensation ends up just making you feel even colder. Polyester blends and merino wool fabrics are go-to materials for good base layers because they’re moisture-wicking, breathable, and warm. You can find them in short sleeves, long sleeves, and even turtlenecks, but they’re not just for your torso. Long underwear like leggings are invaluable when the icy wind is whipping and your warmest pair of pants is a pair of chinos.
You can’t go into winter without a good sweater. Next to winter jackets, sweaters are the most fun part of winter dressing. Sure, they’ll keep you warm and thawed through a polar vortex. But a really good sweater will go far beyond the baseline of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and send you straight to self-actualization whether it is a cashmere crewneck, a mohair cardigan, or even a simple hoodie. Wear a sweet cableknit pullover with a classic button-down shirt and a blazer and you’re in your hot professor moment. Or try an elevated zip hoodie with your fluffiest fleece jacket for some mad cozy fits.
This is the meat and potatoes of your winter outfit— the main course, the piece de resistance. And like a good winter meal, your winter outerwear has got to be hearty and super warm (also, water-resistant, even if it doesn’t fit with the food theme here). There’s a ton of winter coats to fit any sartorial palate, from parkas to bomber jackets, and of course puffer jackets. So whether your tastes lean preppy or street or high-fashion, there’s a winter coat with your name on it.
Your winter clothes need some beefiness to them. So just because you’re not wearing shorts any more doesn’t mean that a pair of chinos is gonna cut it. Opt for heavyweight and denser fabrics like corduroy, wool, flannel, or fleece. Or, you can try a pair of lined pants for some built-in bottoms layering. You could even go the opposite route and get a pair of wind-blocking, rain-shedding winter pants to pair over your regular pants.
Alright, now you’ve got your pants. Next up socks. Like base layers, socks should be breathable and wick away moisture while providing insulation. Get yourself at least a week’s worth of thick socks, preferably made of some type of wool. Cashmere socks can be great, too. But you mostly want to save those for weather’s so bad that you end up staying inside. They’re luxurious and oh-so-soft, but also delicate and really ought to be saved for cozying up at home.
It’s time to let your canvas sneakers hibernate for the winter and bust out some shoes that aren’t afraid to take on the elements. This could be a pair of hiking boots, snow boots, or even a pair of Gore-tex-lined work boots. The point is to be able to stomp through snow and slush with confidence. What good is a nice pair of thick wool socks if your boots can’t keep freezing water out? Thankfully, there’s a gang of good-looking winter-ready boots out there.
Once you’ve got the bulk of your winter outfit settled, you can’t forget the cold-weather accoutrements. Unless you want to learn the hard way, as you’re holding your to-go coffee, hands exposed in sub-zero temps, you’ll want to keep your hands outfitted with a pair of gloves. Most gloves will have touchscreen compatibility these days, so you won’t have to worry about frostbite as you text. And, when the weather’s particularly unbearable, a pair of liner gloves slipped into waterproof and windproof gloves will keep your digits toasty as a fireplace.
Scarves are kind of like the dressing to a salad. Bright, zesty, funky, spicy, a good scarf will take your winter outfit/salad to the next level and add dimension and texture. Don’t be shy with experimenting how to wear it, either. Scarves can be wrapped, twisted, and knotted in so many different ways to add a sculptural element to your ensemble. Depending on the size of the scarf, you can turn a big, swaddly scarf into a shawl or even a balaclava.
For some, beanie season doesn’t ever stop. But for everyone, beanies are essential for getting through winter alive. Winter hats aren’t limited to beanies, though. Try a Tyler, the Creator move with a winter-busting ushanka, or make a swerve with a funky crocheted hat.