Throughout the winter, it can be easy to get into somewhat of a rut when it comes to layering different items. In some places of the country, it stays so cold for so long that it might even feel routine to throw on something simple like a hooded sweatshirt. But, there are upgrades to nearly any and all cold-weather looks. Layering can be done in effective and unique ways, especially when it comes to texture and pattern. Read on for an example of how to make layering work for you.
Even when utilizing thicker outer layers, it still pays to incorporate some texture into your shirt. In this case, a chambray shirt has a slightly more rugged texture and workwear feel, making it perfectly to throw on as a bottom layer. The less-even look of the shirt also means it can stand up to being paired with multiple, thicker layers over it. Although it’s relatively versatile enough to be worn into the spring, chambray shirts look their best against a rugged, more wintery landscape (but it could be worn in warmer climes, too). The J. Crew option as linked to above is admittedly a little pricey for some, and in that case, Land’s End offers what looks to be a nice, more budget-friendly alternative that could work in just as many situations. Throwing another dose of texture, this time in a slim knit tie with some marling, helps the outfit stay grounded in cold-weather texture.
An overshirt is a slightly trendier, more unconventional first layer to put on in place of a v-neck sweater, but the risk pays off with its unique look. The ability to pop that collar in case of a chilly wind can’t be emphasized enough, and with horn button and front pockets, it’s got a nice hybrid blazer-sweater look going on. Again, it builds off the workwear details of the chambray shirt, a trend and aesthetic that’s certainly continuing to roll along here in 2014. The navy pictured looks like quite a dark shade, but (speaking from personal experience) it actually looks much lighter in person. Sticking to a more neutral color with an unconventional piece keeps the outfit from veering off too much into costume territory, as well. Since there’s another layer to add on top of this one, maybe considering sizing down to prevent added bulk.
Military-inspired silhouettes have been popping up on the runways and in collections for some time now across the past few months, but dialing in the fit and removing gaudy details are great ways to take that trend and use it to inject a bit of contemporary edge to a look. With good reason, military looks are masculine, bold and worn by James Bond himself. The Old Navy jacket as linked above would definitely do the job nicely while providing a thicker wool-blend and added warmth. From personal experience this past fall, Frank and Oak’s Aurora military jacket is a great option, too. The F & O piece is all about clean, solid lines, a trim fit (but with room for layering), and functionality combined with style. Additionally, the jacket on its own would hardly look out of place over a nice shirt and tie combination.
Because the rest of this outfit is solid and relatively neutral in color, the bottom half of your outfit is the ideal canvas to inject some color. A trending color and style pick in these colder months has been, without a doubt, burgundy, and that should largely hold true for the rest of the winter. With that in mind, the chinos above look a little brighter online, but should ideally be darker in person. On that note, deeper shade of red is definitely an acceptable color to throw in the mix in the colder months. The pair in question should add a noticeably brighter hue to this darker, workwear-inspired look.
This look of the week again sticks with a pair of brown boots, but these incorporate some more rugged details to ably kick snow drifts out of the way. These wingtip boots are both on-trend and sharp as nails. They’re equipped with a thick, chunky sole at the heel and through the foot, providing optimal traction on slippery surfaces. The wingtip also places the boot firmly in more casual territory, meaning it can pull double-duty in this look and also with jeans (and if you’re feeling very GQ, then yes, with a suit too). To keep your feet warm inside those boots, look for a thick pair of camp socks — most retailers are still stocking them this time of year, and the slightly higher price gives you a pair that can probably be worn multiple times a week for the quality.
Taking a solid base (like a textured shirt and tie) and mixing it up by throwing on 2 different layers on top (in this case, an overshirt and a military jacket) is just one way to spruce up layers in the cold.