The holiday season is coming and you know what that means: It’s time to update your wardrobe with cold weather clothing and suit up for winter.
But we’re not talking about looking bulky and heavy in massive coats, frumpy scarves and thick ski-gloves. The key to staying warm while looking sharp in freezing temperatures is strategic layering. Not only layering 2-4 pieces will make you feel warmer than one heavy piece of clothing – but it will also allow you to mix and match clothes.
With the right strategy and an eye for style, you can look in vogue while staying warm and comfortable. Take your formal, casual or streetwear clothing up a notch by learning from these 9 layering tips and putting your spin on your winter outfit.
1. Know the layering basics
A basic winter outfit consists of these three layers:
The base layer – The base lies against your skin so it’s important to wear something thin and lightweight, and can remove sweat of moisture. Examples are undershirts, t-shirts, dress shirts, and flannel shirts
The middle layer (insulating layer) – The job of the insulating layer is to trap in heat. Shirts, sweaters, cardigans, and vests fit this category. Opt for wool, fleece, leather and denim.
The top layer (outer protection layer) – The top or outermost layer is the shell that keeps your inner layers protected from environmental elements, like snow, wind, and rain. Think about jackets and coats. The layer should be able to trap air and stop the wind. That said, most of them are water-resistant.
2. Level up with accessories
Go for fashionable yet functional accessories. Wear a scarf that can stand up to the elements, a wool beanie or knit caps to retain body heat, and a pair of tech-friendly leather gloves.
3. Layer without the bulk for formal wear
Are you dressing up for your work in a corporate setting? Or attending a formal occasion? Don’t let frigid temperatures stop you from looking sharp.
- Base: Start with long-sleeved,moisture-trapping base or underlayer. Wear your usual dress shirt and tie over it.
- Middle: Top it off with a thin sweater, cardigan, or vest. Make sure it’s lightweight and compact and can go under a jacket or coat
- Top Layer: Lastly, find a coat for your top layer. Go for a long and heavy wool overcoat
4. Dress according to your situational needs
Not all cold-weather clothing serves the same function. Someone who’s dressing up for work should wear something different from someone who’s skiing or dog sledding for a week.
If you’re into winter sports like running and skiing, you might need a high-performance gear that’s lightweight and breathable yet insulating and weatherproof enough to withstand external factors. Since you’re going to be active and your body temperature will stay high, breathability is key to comfort.
5. Choose your fabrics wisely
Selecting clothes from the right fabrics helps keep you warm while staying stylish for the winter. Here are some of the most appropriate winter fabrics:
- Cotton – While it’s not as warm as the other fabrics, cotton is absorbent and breathable. It’s best used for the base and/or middle layers.
- Denim – Jeans are always a great choice for winter. Aside from using it for your bottom. it’s also great for middle and/or top layers in the form of s denim shirt or jacket
- Leather – Leather is best used for middle and top layers, like a leather jacket, overcoat, or vest, and for footwear. It’s waterproof and can protect you from the freezing wind.
- Wool – Wool is the warmest fabric that is best used for your middle and/or top layers.
6. Every layer should be stylish
Depending on the internal and external factors, you may experience body temperature changes and you might need to remove some layers to stay comfortable in warmer temperatures. That said, it’s safe to assume that the layers closest to your bod will be seen so pick a fashionable inner layer.
7. Don’t forget the fit
Aside from ensuring you stay warm, it’s also important that you nail the fit. Make sure you have freedom of movement despite wearing multiple layers. One ill-fitting winter clothing can hinder you from skiing or walking freely and comfortably.
Base layers, which absorb moisture, should always be closely fitted as possible to the body, but not too tight. They should have a stretchable material. Top layers, on the other hand, should have a bit of looseness between them and the insulating layers to help with the airflow.
8. Wear the right shoes
Winter-appropriate shoes are waterproof, insulated, resistant to salt, and comfortable to walk in. Stick to leather or faux leather. Think of wearing tall boots, including a reliable pair of snow boots for extreme weather conditions.
9. Find style inspiration
Now that you know the basics, it’s time to take your formal, casual or streetwear clothing to the next level by searching for style inspirations and putting your own spin. Next to running a quick google search, you can use Instagram and Pinterest to find ideas that’ll suit your style and personality.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a savvy writer for Northern Menswear, an online streetwear fashion website for men, delivering clothing and footwear products from top UK brands such as Unforgivable, Jameson Carter, Loyalti, Rose London, and Avora London. She loves sharing tips about fashion and lifestyle for trendy gents.