Winter is an extreme season in many climates, so regardless of where you live, you should be sure your wardrobe can handle a dip in the mercury.
We’ve put together a list of 15 of the most important pieces no guy should even think of braving the year’s coldest season without. From sweaters to scarves to woolen socks, these are the items that will have you looking appropriately stylish without feeling the need to mutter “it’s cold” every few minutes.
Keep in mind that these are only the basics – there are no deep cuts here. If you don’t have all of these, we suggest scooping up the holes in your closet quick.
A seasonally appropriate tweed sport coat.
- Brooks Brothers
Cold weather and rougher fabrics go hand-in-hand, which means a tweed sport coat is an absolute necessity.
This smart blazer from Brooks Brothers is perfect for when you need an extra layer during a night out on the town.
A go-to sweater that goes with everything in your closet.
A good example is this one form Everlane. It’s ribbed pattern adds personality, and the wool and cashmere blend is both comfortable and practical.
You’ll want to throw it over everything.
A warm and cozy flannel will be the most comfortable item in your closet.
- Mr. Porter
If you think flannels are just for lumberjacks, you might want to think again.
This Steven Alan flannel is beautiful and minimalist. It goes equally well under a blazer or a denim jacket.
A comfy sweatshirt for more layering options.
- Mr Porter
A super-soft sweatshirt is a perfect substitute for a sweater when you’re not feeling the knitted look. It’ll look just as put-together as your favorite crew-neck sweater, just dressed down a bit.
British brand Sunspel’s version is top-of-the-line, but a sweatshirt from your favorite brand will likely work just as well. Just make sure it’s slim-fitting without any excess bulk.
A dependable wool suit that fits like a glove and feels like a million bucks.
- J Crew
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but you should have at least one suit for the winter that feels amazing
This Ludlow suit in Italian wool by J. Crew is a winner by our standards, but suit shopping is a personal thing, so find a brand or tailor that fits with your style and body type.
A trendy but not ostentatious knit tie.
- The Tie Bar
Though more casual than a traditional tie, knit neckwear is now a cold-weather staple.
The Tie Bar makes a great knit tie for a reasonable $25. Get one in a color you like.
A solid-colored wool scarf goes with everything.
This is the accessory everyone forgets about until they need it. There’s no getting around it: You’ll need a scarf to keep you warm in the winter months, no matter what kind of coat you’re wearing. Choose wool for maximum insulation, and make sure you know how to tie it.
Keep your neck warm this winter with an oversize wool scarf, like this one from Cos.
Gloves that will keep your hands warm without slowing you down.
- J Crew
There are two options here: leather and wool. (Forget cotton, it will be of little help to you – especially when it gets wet).
Leather is usually reserved for more formal occasions, though many, like J. Crew’s cashmere-lined leather gloves ($98), can be worn anytime. On the other side, J. Crew also makes a great wool glove ($49).
Both pairs are compatible with your smartphone, so you won’t need to take them on and off to answer a text message.
A hat to top it all off.
- Club Monaco
Losing most of your heat through your head may be an old wives’ tale, but your head and ears can still get plenty cold in the whipping wind.
Most men these days elect for the wool or cashmere watch cap. It won’t work with a suit, but it should be right at home with the rest of your wardrobe. Avoid bright neon oranges and yellows, or risk being mistaken for a crossing guard.
Club Monaco’s Kensington Cashmere Hat ($69) hits the right note, and is even a good price for decent cashmere.
Snow boots for when it gets slushy out there.
- Via L.L. Bean
If you live in a snowy climate, your sneakers are not going to cut it when it gets slushy outside.
Make sure you’re prepared with a pair of rubbery all-weather boots, like the famous LL Bean Bean Boots. They’re less backordered than last year so you may be able to snag a pair if you’re an abnormal size or want an atypical color. That said, any rubber duck-style boot will likely keep your feet just as dry.
Waterproof boots for when the slush starts to melt.
For when it rains during the winter – and yes, in many climates it does rain during the winter – duck boots are probably overkill.
For those times and places, we recommend a Danner hiker boot that’s waterproof. It even includes a stitched-down upper, which provides more protection against the rain than a Goodyear welted shoe would.
Wool socks to keep your toes unfrozen.
- http://www.amazon.com/Smartwool-Mens-Hiking-Medium-Large/dp/B000G7W09G/ref=sr_1_1?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1421358994&sr=1-1&keywords=smartwool and http://www.amazon.com/Wigwam-Unisex-Womens-Merino-Comfort/dp/B000TFHF22
It cannot be stressed how important warm socks are in the winter. A good pair of socks will keep your feet toasty even in the most freezing of temperatures.
Some complain that wool socks are too thick or itchy, but this is mostly a misconception. Wool is a better insulator than cotton, so it would be much warmer than a comparably thick cotton sock. Also, the right kind of wool or wool blend shouldn’t be itchy at all.
A technical coat to keep you warm and dry when the mercury drops.
When it’s cold enough, it doesn’t even matter what you’re wearing – you just need to keep warm.
However, if you choose the right jacket, you won’t need to pick between warm and stylish. We’re big fans of Patagonia’s down parkas, but North Face, Canada Goose, and even Uniqlo make fantastic ones as well.
A wool coat to look stylish on sunnier days.
- J Crew
For when it’s not quite as cold and windy, a wool car coat is the best option.
Choose one that can be dressed up or down, like this one in dark camel, and it’ll be your go-to all season long. Its lining will still keep you warm and the classic design is timeless.
Don’t forget the getaway bag.
Wherever this winter takes you, be sure you’re prepared with an appropriate bag.
Everlane makes a nice-sized Weekender for short getaways.