The old saying about accessories is as follows: “Last things on, first things noticed.” Now that might not always be true, but what is true, is that the colder the weather, the more accessories we throw on. Its their functionality, that protection against the elements, that leads to higher usage. But just because something is functional doesn’t mean it can’t look great while doing the job. Here’s ten common fall/winter accessories, with good looking examples for each. Don’t worry if there’s not a ton of options available for some of the more winter-oriented accessories. It’s still early in the season, and more options will show as we move through the calendar.
Two pairs of gloves: #1. Thinner Dress, #2. Thicker Insulated
- Franklin Tailored Suede Gloves – $59 (used to be cheaper, but prices have skyrocketed on these things)
- Franklin Tailored Quilted Leather Snap Gloves – $79
- Ralph Lauren Leather/Wool Gloves – $68.00
- CHAPS Sheepskin Leather Gloves – $42.00
- Woolrich Suede Fleece Lined Gloves – $42.00
And note that thicker insulated does not mean ski gloves. Ski gloves are like running shoes. Perfect for the activity they’re intended for. Not so hot for everyday use. For the dress gloves, look for something made of leather. They don’t have to be wild, but many prefer something that steps outside of the three lines of topstitching Isotoner box. Maybe some quilting. Maybe a buckle at the wrist. Whatever. For the thicker gloves, these are the gloves you can wear casually, or, when it’s just flat out bitter outside. Look for suede and/or shearling gloves. Something with a substantial enough lining that air will be trapped, and your fingers will be insulated.
#3. A Simple Wool Cap (Cashmere, Merino, or Lambswool)
- H&M 100% Cashmere Cap – $34.99
- UNIQLO Cashmere Knit Beanie – $39.90
- Lands’ End 50% Cashmere / 50% Wool Cable Knit Cap – $29.40 w/ GET40 + 9052 ($49)
Strongly consider investing in cashmere or merino. It won’t itch quite like lambswool does, but it’s still wool and thus has all of those awesome properties. (Stays warm when wet, breathes, etc…) Skip the synthetic beanies. They just don’t do the job like wool does. Meanwhile, yes, your hair will get messed up. That’s fine. It’s winter. Bring a comb with you if you must. Better hat-hair than frostbitten ears. (Note that the LE 40% off one item code and pin expires today, 10/5/16.)
#4. A Simple Pattern or Solid Wool Scarf (Cashmere, Merino, or Lambswool)
- GAP Merino Blend Stripe Cable Knit Scarf – $29.97 w/ TREAT ($49.95)
- Nordstrom Ombré Stripe Wool Scarf – $49.50 (…Ombre?)
- Banana Republic Merino Double Faced Scarf – $59.50
- Nordstrom Checked 100% Cashmere Scarf – $99.50
Chances are your coat is gonna be solid, so a small, uniform pattern/plaid is going to be just fine for your scarf. Again, like the hat suggestion, skip acrylic and other synthetics. While they can end up being soft, they just don’t feel or wear as nice as actual wool. There are about 8 million ways to tie a scarf, but the point is to protect your neck, and fill in that gap between the lapels of most top coats. It can also be a great way to stay warm, without bulk, when you don’t want to lug your coat into a bar/restaurant/club, and you’re wearing a sportcoat or blazer. (Shown above is an out of stock wool number from J. Crew Factory from last year.)
#5. A Suede Belt
- J. Crew Made in the USA Suede Belt – $38.50 w/ YESPLEASE ($55)
- TheTieBar “Stevenson” Belt – $35.00
- GAP Suede Belt – $29.96 ($39.95)
- Barneys Suede O-Ring Belt – $49 ($125)
Suede belts are to fall as Cotton/Ribbon belts are to spring. Must be the texture of suede that plays so nicely with all the other heavier textures of fall. And remember, you don’t need to be wearing suede shoes to wear a suede belt. In fact, suede shoes + suede belt can often drift into that dreaded “matchy matchy” territory.
#6. Facial Hair (if possible)
Some guys just cannot for the life of them grow a decent beard (or hell, even a good layer of scruff). If that’s you? Skip it. But if you can? Now’s a good time to give it a shot. It’ll keep the brisk winds of fall and winter off your face, plus, you’ll look more handsome to the opposite sex, if that happens to be your target demo.
#7. An Umbrella
I know. I know. The repeated mentions of “Umbrella” has reached Rihanna like proportions as of late. But some dudes just can’t bring themselves to carry one. It’s not a frilly parasol. It keeps them raindrops from a fallin’ on yo’ head.
#8. A Flask
- 8 oz. Stainless Flask – $6.49
- Stanley Classic 8 0z Flask – $16.00
- Hammered Pewter 3 oz Flask – $49.00
- English Pewter Flask – $69.00
Doesn’t have to be some fancy-pants thing. It can be that cheap stainless number you got as a groomsman’s gift when your Eddie-Haskell like pal knocked up his high school sweetheart, and thus, got hitched a few months after graduation (because nothing says shotgun marriage like gifting flasks to groomsmen who are under 21). Anyway, if you’re an imbiber (and props to you if you’re not…) there’s hardly a better thing that being out when it’s brisk, and taking a small pull of a favorite indulgence as the wind whips around you. Warming yourself from the inside out can be quite effective, if done responsibly. Just be discreet. Holding it high above your head and getting down to “hark the herald angels sing” at the annual city Christmas tree lighting ceremony isn’t really how it’s suppose to be done.
#9. A favorite rugged Field Watch
- Hamilton 42mm Khaki Field – $368.24
- Timex Expedition Field Chrono – $51.97
- Timex Intelligent Quartz Flyback Chrono – $85.52
- Standard Instruments Pilot Mission Timer Watch – $162.98 ($267)
Because the heft of the timepiece itself as well as a thick leather strap can often be a bit much in the dead of summer. Plus, chances are you won’t be getting into open water anytime soon, so, a diver can take a back seat for a bit. Now’s the time for your field watch if you’ve got one.
#10. For your home: Non Overhead Lighting
- Color Cord Company Charcoal Mini Tweed Caged Bundle – $59.98
- WorldMarket Tripod Floor Lamp – $99
- WorldMarket Manvi Metal Accent Lamp Base – $19.99
- Target Industrial Antiqued Brass Lamp – $49.99
Lighting, like words, matter/matters. Most men will default to just using the harsh, overhead lights that are in the ceiling of their house/apartment. But having a couple of well placed lamps can make a big difference in terms of how your place feels to you and your guests. Many of us spend far too much time under harsh overhead lighting at work. Bring it down to eye level (or lower) at home, and you’ll probably be pleased with the difference it makes during the colder/darker months.