Let’s hear it for the boy

If you’re a typical guy, your average cold-weather outfit most likely consists of a hoodie, jeans, and possibly a beanie.

If you’re a typical guy, your average cold-weather outfit most likely consists of a hoodie, jeans, and possibly a beanie. There is nothing wrong with that—and done well, it can be a good look—but there are ways to expand your sense of style. This may be scary, uncharted territory, but bear with me. There won’t be any dramatic changes, just simple alterations that can switch up your style while remaining practical and comfortable in the winter weather.

The best way to stay warm while still looking good is to layer up. A good rule of thumb is to aim for three layers, ranging from “regular” to “medium” and “heavy duty.” To start off, your first layer should be either a T-shirt or long-sleeved flannel shirt as your base. Plain V-neck tees or a plaid flannel shirt are good ways to begin.

Next, add a “medium” layer. This layer should be thin enough to wear under a heavier coat and comfortable enough that it could be worn inside without getting too stuffy.  Good options are a button-up sweater, jean jacket, or even a hoodie. You can also vary the look by starting with a button-up dress shirt and layering on a pullover. Depending on the day, this may be enough to stay warm. However, as winter approaches, another layer will be necessary.

 The final layer you want to add is a heavy-duty, weatherproof coat. This can take the form of a leather bomber jacket, wool-blend pea coat, or military-inspired coat. The “Rapture Bomber Jacket” by Obey incorporates two layers in one by including a built-in hooded sweatshirt under the outer leather jacket for extra warmth.

If you can pull off the fit, skinny jeans work well with this look of bundling up the top and keeping the bottom simple. If not, please just stick to your regular cut. Sticking with traditional denim is always a safe option, but incorporating different colored cords are a nice change.

To bundle up even more, add a hat, scarf, and gloves. Almost every guy already owns a beanie. Whether you’re into brightly colored ones or neutral options, you really can’t go wrong. Fur (or faux fur)-lined trapper hats are also a nice variation. It’s when the topic of scarves and gloves come up that things get a little more controversial in men’s clothing. Put your “manly” prejudices aside and go for it. Start with a black or gray knit scarf and see where it goes from there. When it comes to gloves, fingerless styles tend to be the most practical and maintain an edgy look if you think you’re too tough for your hands to stay warm. Black leather fingerless gloves provide a nice mix of edgy and practicality, but if that’s too biker for you, there are plenty of colorful knitted options to choose from. 

The shoes you choose to complete the outfit will really determine the overall look and pull everything together. Add a pair of Supras or Converse for a more casual look. If you want to dress it up a little, canvas loafers, dress shoes, or combat boots will do the trick.

If you are feeling really creative, don’t be afraid to experiment with different patterns and textures. The “three layer rule” provides a template into which to incorporate your own style. From plaids, stripes and herringbone to different colors, the choices are endless. I know shopping can be overwhelming, so you might consider taking a girl along with you. They can help steer you in the right direction and make the shopping and styling process a little easier. Remember, you really can’t go wrong with neutrals, so if you stay with grays, blues, blacks and browns, they will all coordinate with each other if you’re unsure of how to work with different color options. It’s really as easy as one-two-three…layers, that is. ?