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Look Cool While Staying Warm

Our image consultants are at it again!  Shuchi Sharma, My Image Expert's New York image consultant shares some tips for men on “How to Look Cool while Staying Warm".  When Jack Frost is nipping at your nose and the ground is covered in snow it is important to dress weather appropriate.  Our New York image consultants all agree that men don’t have to compromise style for comfort.  When winter has you down, take the high road and find the silver lining by following our image consultants style guide below.

There are plenty of shirt options available for men when it comes to staying fashionably warm throughout winter.  One of the best ways to upgrade your style is simple:  layer your look with the right under garments and accessories.  Our New York image consultants recommend using basic garments such as thermal undershirts, henley t-shirts, wife beaters, v-neck and cotton tees as your first layer. Next, try adding a button-down shirt or V-neck sweater.  V-neck sweaters are great because you can combine a v-neck and crew neck t-shirt underneath to create diverse colored layers.  Another current fashionable option is to invest in a plaid flannel shirt.  Our image consultants have seen this look all over the designer runways.  Wear a neutral colored crew t-shirt underneath and finish the look with a pull-over sweater or sport jacket.  This is a suitable casual look that will keep you warm and stylish.  When layering a look, try to incorporate 3-4 different layers.  If you are adding in a fourth layer, like a sports jacket; make sure the layers underneath are thin and fitted.  No bulky or chunky sweaters.  Start out with this simple layering recipe until you get the hang of it:

  • Layer 1: White sleeveless crew neck undershirt (wife beater)
  • Layer 2:  Light grey V-neck Tee shirt
  • Layer 3:  Brown or Navy pull over v-neck sweater, Make sure the opening in the neck is long enough to pass the collar bone
  • Layer 4:  Black or Navy solid blazer
  • Layer 5:  Pattern or solid colored scarf

Wearing sweaters to stay cozy during the fall and winter seasons is a no-brainer.  However, there are endless styles available to ensure a more sophisticated and thought out look.  A thick cable-knit, cowl neck sweater will help add a modern twist to any casual look.  Similar to thick scarves, cowl necks that are bulky and reach to the jaw line will give you a sophisticated look.  You can wear it under a blazer with tailored trousers for a business casual look or you can pair it with jeans and a khaki trench coat for a subtle and casual appeal.  Our New York image consultant Shuchi also recommends trying a cardigan sweater for an equally appealing look. In addition to large cowl-neck sweaters, cardigan sweaters have been seen all over falls runways and at many retail stores.

As mentioned above, layer 4 is the icing on the cake.  A fitted sport jacket or blazer will effectively complete any layered look.  Blazers and sport jackets made of thicker and more durable materials are a better choice for the cold weather season.  A wool or cashmere sports jacket in a dark-colored plaid or stripe pattern can help you recreate looks from Paul Smith’s fall collection.  Try wearing a thin hooded sweater under your blazer or sport jacket to create a relaxed and stylish casual look.  Cashmere spors jackets tend to have a heavier price tag.  If it’s not in your budget, our image consultants recommend a wool blend or tweed sport jacket.  Either way, keep the color or pattern neutral with dark shades of brown or navy.  Here’s the recipe to try at home:

  • Layer 1: White or neutral crew neck t-shirt
  • Layer 2: Solid pull-over hooded sweater (Tan, Grey, or Light Blue)
  • Layer 3: Wool or Cashmere patterned sport jacket
  • Layer 4: Wool or cashmere solid scarf

Any image consultant or wardrobe expert would agree that a fitted topcoat is a must-have item for fall.  This garment is the one thing that you will wear repeatedly throughout the colder season.  When selecting a topcoat make sure to pay attention to important details such as fit, style and versatility.  This coat should be an investment piece and should withstand several winters to come.  Consider purchasing a classic style that has current style details and embellishments.  A well-fitted pea coat, trench style top coat or a fitted driving coat are all stylish options that will help you look cool and stay warm.  Our image consultants recommend classic materials like cashmere and wool.   John Varvatos collection had many great examples of fashionable garments made of classic fall and winter materials. 

There are many casual bottoms available to keep you warm and fashionable during the cold season.  Flannel plaid bottoms, waxed cotton denim, corduroy trousers and heavy cargo pants are all stylish options.  Traditional protective materials are commonly used by many designers to make updated and weather resistant garments.  For example, storm-breaker rain pants and snow pant bottoms have revolutionized over the years and look great when worn with the right winter boots.  By finding sleek cut bottoms made out of these materials, you are sure to look cool whether you are skiing or not!

With the evolution of fashion, men are no longer limited to beanies and simple winter hats to keep warm.  There are many stylish hat options to choose from, for example:  A plaid trapper hat, an over-sized beanie or a fur Russian hat are all up-to-date styles.  Fur and leather hats compliment dressy attire and are versatile because they can also flatter your casual look.  As for colors, your safest option is to choose a black or grey hat color that will match most jackets, gloves and scarves.   If your coat is brown or neutral, consider mix-and-matching earth tone-colored hats and accessories to complement your look. Stores like Banana Republic, Armani Exchange, the Gap and Club Monaco carry well-priced hats.  Our image consultants recommend matching your accessories with your coat for a complete and stylish look.
Scarves are a great accessory that you can and should incorporate into your wardrobe.  Our New York image consultants agree that most men don’t wear scarves because they don’t know how to wrap them around their neck.   Don’t be afraid to ask your image consultant to show you how to wrap a scarf properly. If you are shopping on your own, then ask the sales associate to show you.  Once you learn the right way to wear a scarf, you will be grateful.  This accessory not only keeps you warm and protected, but it can be found in various colors and patterns which will be sure to help complement any outfit.  When purchasing a scarf, consider its length and thickness.  To create a clever look, consider a scarf that is long enough to wrap around the neck two or three times and still have its ends reach mid-torso.  Thicker and bulkier scarves are usually knit and keep you the warmest.  They look great when worn with a wool coat or even a leather jacket, making them a versatile accessory.  Sleeker scarves  made of fabrics such as cashmere or wool is much thinner than knitted scarves, but still keeps you warm.  Keep in mind that these scarves also complement a suited look very nicely. 

When you purchase winter gloves, make sure to consider styles that are warm, water-resistant, durable and breathable.  Leather gloves are a great option as they protect you from winter weather and will add some flair to your look.  For example, some leather gloves are available with fur lining or insulate to add a subtle element of sophistication.  For a more rugged look, consider a motorcycle or driving glove with modern embellishments.  Leather gloves are available in many colors, lengths and styles that can be paired with a trench or leather jacket.  Mittens are more casual than leather gloves, as they are often knitted or felted.  They differ from gloves because they house all fingers in one opening.  In addition to keeping your hands warm, they have been used to accessorize the runways collections of designers like Marc Jacobs.  Mittens can be paired up with other knitted hats and scarves and go well with many types of outerwear.                   

Finding footwear that not only keeps you dry and warm but that is also considered fashionable is not nearly as difficult as it once was.  For men, there is a diverse and endless selection of shoes available to compliment different occasion.  To combat the winter cold our image consultants recommend that you look for footwear that is constructed of materials that repel water.  Our New York image consultant suggests a trendy version of the classic lace- up boot or work boot.  This will go great with jeans and layered tops.  A lace up boot will give you a polished, rugged and masculine appeal. Brands to consider are: Timberland, Kenneth Cole and Diesel.   For a more fashionable appeal, our image consultants agree you should consider styles that have waxed laces and fur lining.  The winter riding boot is also a great option for the fashion forward man.  Its water resistant exterior and longer length not only meets functionality needs, but also adds to the style factor.  This shoe option can be paired up with many bottoms ranging from tweed trousers to skinny jeans

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