January 08, 2022
Written by Brendan Luck
Image CreditAndreas Weinås
Cold weather. Whether you love it or hate it, for many of us living in the northern hemisphere, cold weather is a reality of life that we face annually. The routine is never-ending; upon first snowfall, we tend to begrudgingly reach for our heavy winter coats, rugged boots, and thick socks. However, as with many things in life, a good wardrobe must take into consideration both form and function. In these cooler conditions, maintaining a proper balance between form and function can be difficult for some, causing us to prioritize function over form, with disastrous results.
While we love to analyze style, the functionality of clothing is also an important topic of discussion. Staying warm may be your priority in the winter, but you don’t have to look bad doing it. Here’s our guide on how to dress warmly, while still maintaining a timelessly smart style. Let’s dive in.
A classic piece of men’s outerwear, the overcoat embodies the principle that form and function can live in complete harmony. Overcoats were made to keep men warm, and that they do, all while sustaining an elegant and timeless appeal. When looking for an overcoat that will keep you warm, we suggest seeking overcoats made from 100% natural materials, such as cashmere, wool, or alpaca. Natural materials provide better insulation than synthetic ones, meaning you’ll be able to stay warm and look great. While double-breasted overcoats are the most traditional, you can opt for a single-breasted one for a more contemporary look. For colours, we tend to appreciate neutral tones for better versatility – stick to colours like brown, black, grey, olive, and navy.
Form? Check. Functionality? Check. The peacoat does it all with its classically casual appearance and warm construction. If you’re looking for a coat that will keep you warm, look great, and appear less formal than a traditional overcoat, look no further than the peacoat. With its roots going back to seafarers and navy men, the peacoat was designed to keep people warm while battling the torrid conditions of the sea. Again, we at Aklasu recommend searching for a peacoat made with 100% wool as opposed to ones made with synthetic materials. Wool has better insulating properties and will remain more durable than some cheaper synthetic fibres. Neutral colours such as black and navy work best with the traditional aesthetics of a hardy peacoat.
Keep Your Head Warm (In Style)
We’ll be the first to admit that at times, hats can not be the most aesthetically pleasing of clothing items. Especially in recent decades, hats are often worn merely for function, and a good hat should keep your head warm. A great hat however can keep your head warm and not disrupt your keen sense of good style.
A beanie can be a great accessory to keep your head warm and to complement the rest of your winter or fall outfit. However, in our opinions, a beanie can look garish if not styled correctly. Search for a beanie that is made from a natural material (like wool), that does not have any large or obtrusive logos, that fits your head properly, that comes in a mature and fashionable colour. A loose-fitting beanie can impart an untidy appearance, and beanies with bright and garish colours and logos tend to look juvenile. If you find a beanie that fits the criteria we’ve outlined, you’ll be able to keep your head and ears warm while still looking great.
Seek Stylish Scarves
When dressing yourself up for colder weather, a scarf can be a great accessory to keep your neck warm and add a pop of interest to your outfit. However, please be aware that this pop of interest can walk a fine line between complementing your outfit or upsetting it. Generally speaking, your scarf should complement the rest of your outfit from a colour perspective, so try choosing a scarf that looks harmonious with the rest of the colours of your outfit. If the rest of your outfit features solid-coloured pieces, you can even opt for a patterned scarf, which adds a wonderful touch of refinement to a fall or winter look. Since your neck is somewhat of a sensitive area, we’d recommend looking for scarves with a soft, luxurious feel.
Materials like cashmere, merino, or even silk (like we use in our neckties) can be comfortable and perfectly cozy for the cool winter nights. As far as styling goes, scarves come in multiple different lengths, meaning you can tie your scarf around your neck in multiple ways (just like neckties). Try finding a scarf length that allows you to construct knots that drape well and complement the shape of your face. Doing so can mean the difference between looking polished or looking like the fourth incarnation of Dr. Who.
Pick Your Gloves Wisely
Keeping your hands warm during the colder months is equally as important as keeping the rest of your body warm, so why not invest in an elevated pair of gloves? Keep the old ski gloves at home this season and opt for a pair of quality leather gloves. We love leather gloves because they impart a classically polished element to your fall or winter outerwear, all while remaining functionally sound. When in the market for a high-quality pair of leather gloves, try searching for gloves made from peccary leather, which is a unique leather from Peru, renowned for it’s soft feel and unparalleled durability. When it comes to liners, cheap gloves typically use liners made from polyester or nylon. High-quality gloves on the other hand will feature liners made from wool, cashmere, or alpaca, which are sturdier and possess better insulating properties. Overall, the colder seasons of the year don’t have to be times where we sacrifice aesthetics for functionality. Seek out stylish pieces that will still keep you warm and cozy, and you’ll never have to look unrefined in the cold again.