When it comes to men’s fashion, winter has always been my favorite season. It brings with it the opportunity for great wool jackets and outerwear, fleece hats and scarves, lots of layering, and warm leather boots.
Plus, you can wear your favorite outfits indoors or out without sweating through them. What’s not to like about that?
This year, winter of 2011-2012 will be very much about classic, masculine pieces that can be layered. Here are the essentials for the men’s winter wardrobe.
Sweaters – Sweaters are a staple of the men’s wardrobe for winter. Some of my favorite details in men’s sweaters for this winter are soft brown leather patches on the shoulders, and a length zipper at the neck.
One good thing to keep in mind when selecting a sweater is that if you intend to layer a jacket over it, it must be slim fitting and sit close to your skin.
The length should be no longer than your hip bones. For the best wear, select a sweater in a natural fabric such as cotton or chenille. Store your sweaters folded and tucked in a drawer or chest, rather than hanging in your closet. Hanging sweaters stretches them out, which causes them to look droopy over time.
Vintage inspired accessories – This look is huge in menswear right now, and really anyone can pull it off. You don’t have to wear actual vintage or second hand apparel to dress in a way that is vintage “inspired.”
You can find these styles in many mainstream men’s clothing stores now. The best vintage inspired accessories include fedoras and wingtip shoes.
Another great way to add a vintage touch to an outfit is with brightly colored ties, collar pins and tie accessories.Vintage inspired fashion is very much about looking gentlemanly and polished.
Jackets – An easy way to upgrade your look for the winter of 2011 is to trade in your basic overcoat for one in a cool pattern or texture. Men’s overcoats in houndstooth and herringbone are excellent choices.
One of my favorites is the Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Wool Blend Herringbone Overcoat. The three-button front, notched lapel and button cuffs make it great to wear over a suit, while the herringbone fabric adds a bit of subtle interest.
For a more casual outerwear choice, look for a quilted jacket or a leather bomber jacket. Or, for a really modern look, you can combine these two styles and don a quilted leather jacket, such as Knoles & Carter Men’s Quilted Leather Jacket in black or brown.
It’s made of luxurious New Zealand lambskin leather and because it has a rather short length (hitting right below the belt buckle) it is a great style for you if you have a short torso or if you wish to emphasize a trim, athletic figure.
Sports jackets – Like outerwear, sports jackets with a bit of pattern and texture are great for winter. Look for those in heavy fabrics such as twill and corduroy.
The great thing about sport jackets in heavy, textured fabrics like this is that they are perfect for layering in both work and weekend looks. For example, on the weekends, you can layer a twill sport jacket with a pair of corduroy pants and a cashmere turtleneck.
Or, if you’re not a turtleneck fan, go for a cotton button down and a v-neck sweater vest instead. For a day at the office, a tan corduroy sport jacket looks nice with wool dress pants, a button down cotton shirt and a skinny tie. During winter, many men instinctively reach for gray and black sport jackets, so wearing tan or camel colored corduroy can instantly set you apart from the masses.