Mariah Carrey memes have been flooding my Instagram feed all morning, which—at least for me—could only mean one thing: Christmas is around the corner, and, by extension, all the winter fashion that I had tucked away for the better part of two years. In 2020, I spent all season sitting inside, looking at snowfall from the comfort of my climate-controlled house, listening to “Baby Please Come Home” on repeat. That scenario, regrettably, is no longer in the cards. I have to trudge back into the office, and however much I want to wear sweats and slippers, I’m a firm believer in putting my best foot forward. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that stance.
It’s time to start dressin’ again, fellas. We all knew that it was inevitable, but that doesn’t make the idea of wearing real clothes less daunting. I mean, it took me, a self-professed pro, a hot minute to get my sartorial sea legs back. So, don’t feel bad if you’re looking at your wardrobe and scratching your head. We have always got you covered on that front, already offering all the building blocks, from puffer coats and sweaters to pants and beanies, throughout the past weeks in preparation for the chilly weather ahead. But now that all these Mimi memes are everywhere—a clear-cut indicator that winter is drawing near—it’s the right moment to brush up on the essentials.
This is why we have compiled a concise list on all things winter fashion, a rundown of the 10 must-haves you need, because, as Mariah reminds us yearly, the snow’s comin’ down.
The best winter jackets are incredibly insulating and durable—and the one style that really encapsulates this description is the mighty puffer. Just ask any mountaineer, and they’ll tell you no wardrobe is complete without one. But you really don’t have to venture into that Great Outdoors to understand that goose down, or something similar, is the only option that’ll have your back when the cold wind blows and the snowfall is blinding.
Yes, I just praised down jackets, but there are many occasions that don’t require something so, well, puffy. Enter the wool topper, particularly the camel coat and peacoat. The former has a length that generally hits around the knee, and comes in a brownish, tan-ish hue, while the latter is cropped at the upper thigh and usually comes in black, gray, or blue colorways. The throughline between them—aside from being great for winter, of course—is that they are warm, sleek, and unquestionably cinematic.
If your career requires that you wear a two-piece—or maybe you have a fancy event on the calendar—don’t think that any blazer-and-trouser combo will do. You’re gonna need a suit made of materials that will keep you warm as you travel from one door to the next. In other words, look for insulating fabrics like wool, cashmere, or blends of both.
Of course, the same qualities that characterize suits apply to the best winter pants, too. The quality of the fabric is first and foremost (corduroy, moleskin, wool, and cashmere are preferred), but you’re also going to want a cut that pairs well with all the other winter essentials you’re reading about here. That may be fitted or a little looser, depending on your preference, but a word of advice: The winter months are probably not the best time to go with a severe crop, lest that cold wind blow right up your pant legs.
Cable Knit Sweaters
When it comes to sweaters for winter, there are plenty of options. From cardigans and turtlenecks to everything in between, you can take your pick. But if there is one style that really reflects the season most, it is definitely the richly textured cable knit sweater.
It makes sense that flannel shirts are linked to outdoorsmen; the fabric serves as one of the warmest thin layer around, which means that you move nimbly. Ones in check patterns are particularly favored, becoming synonymous with cold-weather style.
When the road is blanketed in five inches of snow and black ice is lining the sidewalk, it won’t do you any good to walk out in shoes that don’t have sturdy rubber outsoles, extra insulation, and waterproof uppers. These are the three components to check off before you reach for any kind of boot.
Beanies are usually made of knitted fibers, including wool, cashmere, and sturdy cotton blends. And because they are brimless, close-fitting caps, they do the most in retaining heat.
In the warm season, scarves are that flourish that tops off a fit. But in the cold months, they are a downright necessity. You’re gonna need one made of an insulating fabric that’ll wrap around your neck and parts of your face, preventing the chilly air from hitting your skin. And the best ones add that stylish oomph, too.
Yes, you have pockets, but that isn’t enough. Come a brutal winter, you simply need gloves. So, take the appropriate steps to stop your fingers from freezing.
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