Welcome to the doldrums. The holidays are over. The bills from all that celebrating are rolling in. And many parts of the Northern Hemisphere are slogging their way through grey, cold, icy, foggy days for the foreseeable future. If you’re bored with your wardrobe, try digging out some of your warmer weather items. Not everything will work (say, a seersucker suit) but here are a few examples of warm weather staples doing their best to de-drab the drabbiest damn time of the year.
Sure these things look great with a khaki suit at a summer wedding, but why not with a navy or dark charcoal wool suit now? That different, matte texture of chambray is a good way to step away from the sometimes too-smooth look of silk. A sky blue chambray necktie, with a pale blue shirt and navy suit is also a great way to execute the all-blue look (as seen above).
Plenty of options to pick from if you’re going the Timex Slip-thru route, or, pick a solo NATO up and put it on an old favorite. The black, olive, and burgundy Crown & Buckle NATO strap shown here adds some color, but doesn’t get weirdly bright for the time of year. (Note: Watch is the extinct Seiko 5 SNZJ. May this obscenely affordable, not a chrono but kinda looks like an Omega Speedmaster, watch from Seiko rest in peace.)
Yes really. Less hat hair, yet, more reasons to wear hats. Plus, when combined with a bit of facial hair, there can be a certain gritty element that gets added to the mix (for some, others just look fuzzy). Strongly consider having a barber / your stylist do this to your head, instead of doing it yourself. Having a #1 at the sides blended into a #2 or #3 at the top can help avoid the tennis-ball look. Or, don’t go with a true buzz and maybe try a much shorter version of your current cut?
Swim Trunks (hot springs… hot tub… etc…)
More of a reminder to pack them with you when you’re headed off for a long weekend. Or, if you’ve got hot springs near by, maybe make it a point to head up there for an afternoon/evening. A hot tub on full blast + a beer or a cocktail + weather below freezing can be a mighty fine thing in the winter months.
No doubt they look great with summer suits and linen pants, but grey suede shoes work equally well with jeans. More traditional, off-white bucks don’t work as well here. White shoes are much, much more warm-weather friendly. That, and unless you’ve applied suede protector, they can get messy in a hurry. (Shown above, the new grey suede “Joshua” double monk from BR.)
Instead of trusty navy, brighten up the blue. Instead of a dark grey tweed, go with a pale grey in cotton or unstructured wool. Keep the trousers or jeans nice and dark (unlike in the shot above) and you won’t look like a wayward summer garden party guest.
White / Off-White Sweaters
There’s a shade called “winter white” for a reason. White cotton sweaters can be lightweight and great for layering when spending a day (and evening) at the beach. But wool whites look much more nautical/less headed to clam-bake when worn casually with boots and some jeans. But wait, would that make you some sort of spin off from the lumbersexuals? A long-shore-sexual? Oh boy. (shown above, the Bonobos Alpaca blend crew, now on sale for $62.50 w/ SKI20.)
Driving Shoes (for around the house)
If you’re not the fuzzy slipper type, but are getting a bit tired of tracking winter street-crud through your place, consider keeping a pair of drivers (if you got em’) near the door. Boots off, drivers on. They provide more structure than a slipper, but are still super easy to get on and off.
Striped Ribbon / Mixed Media Belts
As long as it’s not something with a sailboat motif or made from seersucker, you should be okay. There’s plenty of muted, darker striped options out there too. It can be a nice bit of color/interest to add to an otherwise quiet/cold weather outfit. (Pictured above: Burgundy strip belt from Brooks Brothers. Now $24, was $48.)
Okay, it’s not something you can “wear” (and if you’re wearing your gin, good grief it’s going to be an awful morning)… but while most lean on whiskey and other dark spirits for their cocktails when it’s cold, gin shouldn’t be brushed aside until spring. For example, here are two suggestions worth a shot between now and April.