Despite the cold and dreary atmosphere associated with winter, one positive that comes from it is it allows for conscientious men to let themselves shine with their style game. As we’ve repeated in the past, we like to keep style simple which is why I’m continuing with our How to Wear Jeans with Style Series. This winter edition will build upon the previous installments to help you take versatile jean to the next level.
Winter Is the Best Time to Up Your Style Game
Winter allows gives you the opportunity to stand out from other guys because of your ability to layer. With the cold, inclement weather, layering is a necessity to provide sufficient warmth. But as a by-product, layering adds texture and contrast to your outfit if you use some basic principles and creativity. To understand how to effectively layer and mix patterns, we’ve written a 2 part guide here in part I and part II.
What You Will Need
Wearing jeans with style in the winter is can be seen as a simple extension of wearing jeans with style in the fall. To help make things even simpler, we recently put up an article on 5 Stylish Essential for the Winter Season if you’re having trouble picking basic items. Pair the ideas in the fall edition article with the items suggested above and you’re good to go. But for the lazy, here’s a recap of what you need:
- A winter appropriate outer layer such as a peacoat, a trenchcoat or thicker sportcoat.
- Winter appropriate footwear such as the Red Wing Iron Rangers or the LL Bean Katahdin.
- A versatile sweater. There are tons to choose from but you can’t go wrong with wool v-neck sweaters. For thicker options, you can pick something that can be worn by itself or can fit under a coat such as a Donegal wool sweater or a cable knit sweater.
- Functional accessories such as a wool scarf and leather gloves. Both items provide necessary function to warm your neck and hands and also provide the extra benefit adding a touch of pop to your outfit.
Putting the Outfit Together
As you’ll see, the outfits that we’ve put together use the same principles that I went over in the How to Wear Jeans with Style: Fall Edition. It really is as simple as adding layers and textures by using sweaters and coats and using appropriate footwear to tie the outfit together. The outfits also stress the concept of a lean wardrobe: we buy clothes that are versatile and can be used with many outfits and different seasons.
Dressed up Casual
The simplest way to achieve a dressed up casual look with dark jeans in the winter is to wear a coat that can be dressed up and pair it with sweaters and a sleek pair of rugged boots.
You have seen a variation of the following outfit in our fall edition. Again, this is extremely simple: to create a dressed up casual look, you pair elements of that “dress it up” with elements that “dress it down”. Here, the sweater, button up and peacoat from J. Crew are the “dressier” items while the casual, yet sleek, weather durable Red Wing Iron Rangers dress it down to create a “high-low look.”
You can also play around with different variations of this. For example, you can add some accessories mentioned previously such as a scarf and gloves to add different textures to the outfit. In the photo below, Manny is wearing bespoke gloves from FitzGerald Morrell.
One thing to be mindful of is your scarf should complement your outfit. The goal is to create contrast but not make it jarring. In the above picture, Manny is going with a more muted look wearing a simple dark navy knit scarf but winter is a perfect time to add in “power colours” by picking a scarf with some earthy, bolder colours such as a dark burgundy or dark purple. Here are some ideas for you that won’t break the bank:
Keeping with the idea of interchangeable items, you can easily achieve a noticeably different look by substituting the peacoat with something like a trench coat:
Another option you can consider is wearing a thick sweater on it’s own and pairing it with a scarf and leather gloves:
Putting together your outfit is where you can use your creativity to create a look that’s your own but be mindful to not do too much and make things too busy. Harmony and simplicity is key.
Step it up
As previously mentioned, to step up your look, simply change your footwear by substituting the more casual boots with something more elegant like the Chelsea boot:
If you want to add more elegance to your outfit, winter is a perfect time to add in knit or wool tie. This is an easy way for you to stand out from the regular guy.
Knock it out of the Park
If you really want to up your style and be the most sharply dressed man in the vicinity, this is where you can use your sport coat as a piece of outerwear. As we previously discussed, what you’ll need is a warm weather sport coat, a sweater, a scarf and gloves. Given how we’ve set up our winter outfits with jeans, all you’re really doing is substituting your outer jacket with a blazer. Because you’ll be wearing dark jeans, I would recommend that you pair this outfit with an elegant boot or shoe to match the dressier nature of a sport coat. This look is perfect if you want look dressed up but the jeans make it casual enough for you to not look overdressed in more relaxed settings.
Here, Manny is wearing the outfit with his beloved Allen Edmonds Mora 2.0 Monkstraps but you can easily wear this with a Chelsea boot and it’ll look just as sharp.
I hope this series has impressed upon you that dressing well is easily achievable by following simple concepts and using versatile items such as the jeans that can be dressed up or down and throughout different seasons. The beauty of winter for guys who value dressing well is it allows for your creativity to shine. As you’ve seen, by effectively adding layers, textures and switching out different pieces of clothing, you can keep yourself warm and comfortable while putting your best foot forward.
Here’s to looking sharp!